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11:15 AM ET, December 29, 2012


 Top Items: 
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Leading proponent of filibuster reform claims he has 51 votes  —  Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), a leading proponent of filibuster reform, said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) has the 51 votes he needs to change Senate rules with the “nuclear option.”  —  The maneuver would be controversial …
Talking Points Memo:
Obama To Congress: Come To A Deal - Or Else  —  Following a meeting with congressional leaders at the White House on Friday, President Obama appeared before the press to urge all parties to take immediate action to reach a deal before a set of major tax increases and spending cuts kick in on Jan. 1.
Sam Stein / The Huffington Post:
Fiscal Cliff Deal Not Reached, Leaders Agree To Continue Talks … REACT:  —  FOLLOW:  —  Harry Reid , John Boehner, Barack Obama , Barack Obama , Video, 2012 Fiscal Cliff, Harry Reid Fiscal Cliff, US Fiscal Cliff, Boehner Fiscal Cliff, Fiscal Cliff, Fiscal Cliff 2012, Fiscal Cliff Deal …
Brett Taylor / Twitchy:
Dude, where's Nancy Pelosi's car?  Minority leader appears lost in parking lot  —  The suspense!  Usually, lawmakers exit a closed door meeting and head straight for the TV cameras.  House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi were uncharacteristically quiet leaving …
Ezra Klein / Wonkblog:
‘Come together’ breaks Washington apart
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Marc A. Thiessen / Washington Post:
Why not let taxes rise on the middle class?  —  Barring a last-minute breakthrough, taxes will go up for every American taxpayer on Jan. 1 — and that's a development conservatives should welcome.  —  Don't get me wrong, it would be better not to raise taxes on anyone …
PR Newswire:
ASPCA Pays $9.3 Million in Landmark Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Settlement  —  Feld Entertainment RICO Lawsuit Will Continue against the Humane Society of the United States, the lawyers, and other remaining defendants  —  Feld Entertainment, Inc., the producer of Ringling Bros …
New York Times:
Woman Dies After a Gang Rape That Galvanized India  —  NEW DELHI — A young woman who had been in critical condition since she was raped two weeks ago by a group of men who lured her onto a bus here died early Saturday, an official at the hospital in Singapore that was caring for her said.
Megan McArdle / Asymmetrical Information:
Should People Be Forced to Buy Liability Insurance for their Guns?  —  The latest gun-control idea is forcing owners to buy liability insurance.  That may help a few victims, but it won't stop crime, writes Megan McArdle.  —  Novel gun control ideas continue to percolate through the commentariat.
French Court Says 75% Tax Rate on Rich Is Unconstitutional  —  President Francois Hollande's 75 percent millionaire-tax is unconstitutional because it fails to guarantee taxpayer equality, France's top court ruled today.  —  The tax, one of Hollande's campaign promises …
Discussion: BBC and National Review
Phillip Reese / Sacramento Bee:
California gun sales jump; gun injuries, deaths fall  —  Gun deaths and injuries have dropped sharply in California, even as the number of guns sold in the state has risen, according to new state data.  —  Dealers sold 600,000 guns in California last year, up from 350,000 in 2002 …
Michael Medved / The Daily Beast:
The Liberal God Delusion  —  Our government has been hijacked by a party obsessed with a higher power.  But I'm not talking about the GOP.  I'm talking about the left and their worship of government.  —  As Washington staggers into a new year, one side of the political spectrum polarizes …
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Joe Weisenthal / Business Insider:
There's Only One Way To Fix The Deficit — And Actually It's Totally Painless  —  People who insist that the US has a gigantic “spending problem” are ignorant of what really drives the deficit and the national debt, as Henry Blodget easily demonstrated in a series of charts.
David Rogers / Reuters:
$60B Sandy aid package clears Senate  —  A $60.4 billion Hurricane Sandy disaster aid package cleared the Senate Friday evening after Democrats beat back a Republican alternative promising less than half the funding and focused more narrowly on the immediate needs over the next three months.
Discussion: CNN
Andrew Cohen / The Atlantic Online:
The Human Casualties of the War on Drugs  —  Let's stop humoring ourselves, says the filmmaker Eugene Jarecki — America can no longer afford to keep millions of its citizens locked away.  Now he's taking his law-and-order documentary on the road.  —  Jarecki in 2006.  (Seth Wenig/Reuters)
Glenn Greenwald / Guardian:
GOP and Feinstein join to fulfill Obama's demand for renewed warrantless eavesdropping |  Glenn Greenwald  —  The California Democrat's disgusting rhetoric recalls the worst of Dick Cheney while advancing Obama's agenda  —  To this day, many people identify mid-2008 as the time they realized …
Harry J Enten / Guardian:
How polarisation in Washington affects a growing feeling of partisanship |  Harry J Enten  —  Legislators may no longer feel they have reason to play to the middle making Washington seem more divided than ever  —  “Can a divided House stand?” is a question that Nate Silver posed in a blogpost Thursday.
Discussion: Addicting Info, and theGrio
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 More Items: 
Ari Shavit / Haaretz:
The success of Naftali Bennett is the failure of the Israeli center-left
Discussion: Israpundit and Israel Matzav
Michael M. Grynbaum / City Room:
Crime Is Up and Bloomberg Blames iPhone Thieves
Discussion: The Consumerist and The Verge
Emily Schultheis / Politico:
Kerry, Dems back Markey for Senate
Discussion: Addicting Info and Weasel Zippers
Associated Press:
Paintings Outrage Islamic Hard-Liners in Pakistan
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Jihad Watch
Louis Charbonneau / Reuters:
National Rifle Association vows to fight arms trade treaty at U.N.
Discussion: Guardian
Josh Feldman / Mediaite:
Krauthammer To Hannity: Obama Has Successfully Created ‘An Internal Civil War’ Within The GOP
 Earlier Items: 
Tom Kludt / Talking Points Memo:
Tea Party Leader: Romney Was ‘The Worst Candidate In History’
Discussion: Crooks and Liars
Kevin D. Williamson / National Review:
Regulating the Militia  —  My friend Brett Joshpe has published …