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1:25 PM ET, December 19, 2012


 Top Items: 
Michael Scherer / TIME:
2012 Person of the Year: Barack Obama, the President  —  Twenty-seven years after driving from New York City to Chicago in a $2,000 Honda Civic for a job that probably wouldn't amount to much, Barack Obama, in better shape but with grayer hair, stood in the presidential suite on the top floor …
Richard Stengel / TIME:
The Choice  —  In 1782 an expatriate French aristocrat named J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur who lived in New York's Hudson Valley published a book in London called Letters from an American Farmer.  The third letter was titled “What Is an American?”
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Obama is Time's ‘Person of the Year’
Roger Kimball / Roger's Rules:
Robert H. Bork, 1927-2012  —  Judge Robert H. Bork, one of the the greatest jurists this country has ever produced, died early this morning from heart complications in a Virginia hospital near his home.  He was 84.  —  Bork was a national celebrity.  Several years ago …
New York Sun:
Kagan on the Second  —  There have been so many irresponsible statements by those seeking to exploit the tragedy at Newtown, Connecticut, that it's hard to keep up with them, but for the combination of arrogance and inaccuracy one can't beat the editorial the New York Times ran out this week under …
Ethan Bronner / New York Times:
Robert H. Bork, Conservative Jurist, Dies at 85  —  Robert H. Bork, a former solicitor general, federal judge and conservative legal theorist whose 1987 nomination to the United States Supreme Court was rejected by the Senate in a historic political battle whose impact is still being felt, died on Wednesday in Arlington, Va. He was 85.
David Savage / Los Angeles Times:
Robert Bork, failed Supreme Court nominee, dies at age 85  —  Robert Bork, shown at 1987 hearings on his nomination to the Supreme Court, died Wednesday.  (Charles Tasnadi / Associated Press)  —  Robert H. Bork, whose failed Supreme Court nomination in 1987 infuriated conservatives …
Discussion: protein wisdom
Fox News:
Robert Bork, former Supreme Court nominee, dies  —  Robert Bork, former federal judge and Supreme Court nominee, has died, his family confirms to  —  Family members said Bork, 85, died early Wednesday morning.  He had a history of heart problems and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a lung condition.
Washington Post:
Judge Robert H. Bork, conservative icon, dies at 85
Steven Hayward / Power Line:
Robert Bork's Revenge?
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Judge Robert Bork dead at 85
Discussion: Politico and The Hill
Adolph L. Reed Jr / New York Times:
The Puzzle of Black Republicans  —  WHEN Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina announced on Monday that she would name Representative Tim Scott to the Senate, it seemed like another milestone for African-Americans.  Mr. Scott will complete the term of Senator Jim DeMint, who is leaving to run Heritage Foundation.
Ashley Killough / CNN:
Tim Scott points to ‘moral decay’ after school shooting
Discussion: Politico
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
CNN Anchor Blasts Florida Governor For Ducking Gun Control, Demands Action Before ‘I Cover Another Tragedy’
Manu Raju / Politico:
Orrin Hatch would vote against Boehner ‘Plan B’  —  The top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee said he'd vote against House Speaker John Boehner's back-up plan allowing tax rates on millionaires to increase, the latest sign of the uncertain road ahead for the year-end fiscal cliff.
Discussion: CNN and Post Politics
Associated Press:
Obama Social Security Offer at Odds With Top Dems
Discussion: CNN, Politico and Post Politics
Sam Baker / The Hill:
Boehner: Raising Medicare age can wait until next year
Discussion: CNN
Vicki Needham / The Hill:   Democrats turn up pressure on extending long-term jobless aid
Kos / Daily Kos:
Capitulation is never popular. Or effective.
Matthew Lee /
STATE DEPT SECURITY CHIEF RESIGNS AFTER BENGHAZI  —  You are here  —  Home » United States government » State Dept security chief resigns after Benghazi  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Three State Department officials resigned under pressure Wednesday, less than a day after a damning …
New York Times:
Inquiry Into Libya Attack Is Sharply Critical of State Dept.  —  WASHINGTON — An independent inquiry into the attack on the United States diplomatic mission in Libya that killed four Americans on Sept. 11 sharply criticizes the State Department for a lack of seasoned security personnel …
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Rep. Cole: Report reveals White House ‘failed’ on Benghazi security
Discussion: CNN and Taegan Goddard's …
Susan Crabtree / Washington Times:
Obama taps Biden to lead gun-violence curb  —  President Obama has tapped Vice President Joseph R. Biden to lead an administrationwide effort to curb gun violence in the aftermath of the massacre in Newtown, Conn., on Friday.  —  Mr. Obama, with Mr. Biden at his side, will make a statement …
Discussion: Weekly Standard
NY Daily News:
Comfort dogs help ease pain of mourning Newtown community
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Washington Post:
Chuck Hagel is not the right choice for defense secretary  —  FORMER SENATOR Chuck Hagel, whom President Obama is reportedly considering for defense secretary, is a Republican who would offer a veneer of bipartisanship to the national security team.  He would not, however, move it toward the center …
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
Neocons push against Chuck Hagel
Ryan Ellis / Americans for Tax Reform RSS:
ATR Statement on “Plan B” Tax Plan  —  ATR's statement on the “Plan B” tax bill.  —  ATR has consistently maintained that individual Members of Congress make a pledge to their constituents to oppose and vote against tax increases.  The House this week will vote on a tax bill.
Conor Friedersdorf / The Atlantic Online:
Quoting Rush Limbaugh Verbatim Is the Easiest Way to Discredit Him  —  His broadcasts since the Newtown shooting are an apt illustration of his self-contradiction and lack of intellectual integrity.  —  Reuters  —  There's been a lot of talk about the “national conversation” these last few days.
Tampa Bay Times:
Man shot at St. Pete pizza joint had been complaining about slow service  —  ST. PETERSBURG — Florida's controversial “stand your ground” law has been cited in hundreds of cases.  People have used it to justify shooting, stabbing, killing and maiming would-be intruders, romantic competitors and rival gang members.
Matt Ridley / Wall Street Journal:
Cooling Down the Fears of Climate Change  —  Evidence points to a further rise of just 1°C by 2100.  The net effect on the planet may actually be beneficial.  —  Forget the Doha climate jamboree that ended earlier this month.  The theological discussions in Qatar of the arcana of climate treaties are irrelevant.
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 More Items: 
American Gun Deaths to Exceed Traffic Fatalities by 2015
Samuel Knight / Washington Monthly:
“Fix the Debt” - Defense Contractor Ties Exposed
Zachary Warmbrodt / Politico:
Treasury to exit GM bailout, likely at a loss
Ginger Gibson / Politico:
Boxer calls for Guard help at schools
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Adam Peck / ThinkProgress:
Newt Gingrich Blames ‘Anti Religious’ Secular Government For Newtown Shooting
Discussion: Mediaite and The Raw Story
Charlie Savage / New York Times:
Congressional Negotiators Drop Ban on Indefinite Detention of Citizens, Aides Say
Discussion: Business Insider
 Earlier Items: 
Joel Gehrke / Washington Examiner:
Court: Obama must rewrite contraception mandate to accommodate religious liberty
McKay Coppins / BuzzFeed:
Mormon Church-Owned Website Suspends Gun Sales
Jared A. Favole / Wall Street Journal:
Obama to Tap Biden to Oversee Gun-Control Efforts
Alexander Burns / Politico:
New GOP polling firm goal: Catch up with Dems
Rajiv Chandrasekaran / Washington Post:
Civilian analysts gained Petraeus's ear while he was commander in Afghanistan
Jana Winter / Fox News:
EXCLUSIVE: Fear of being committed may have caused Connecticut gunman to snap