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2:10 PM ET, January 2, 2013


 Top Items: 
The fiscal cliff deal that almost wasn't  —  House Speaker John Boehner couldn't hold back when he spotted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the White House lobby last Friday.  —  It was only a few days before the nation would go over the fiscal cliff, no bipartisan agreement was in sight …
John Boehner / CNN:
TRENDING: Boehner's White House F-bomb  —  (CNN) - For all the stalemate in the fiscal cliff negotiations, there were some heated moments, too.  —  A Democratic source familiar with one particular exchange told CNN that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell …
Jeff G. / protein wisdom:
Jim Geraghty, et al: Obama won!  —  So, you know, deal with it.  Besides, other “pragmatic” Republicans agree.  It really was the best we could do: … (A quick interjection here: it was Boehner's willingness to caucus with Dems, rather than his own base, that allowed this monstrosity to pass.
Matthew Boyle / BREITBART.COM:
SOURCES: ENOUGH REPUBLICANS WILLING TO UNSEAT SPEAKER BOEHNER  —  American Majority Action spokesman Ron Meyer told Breitbart News late Tuesday that enough House Republicans have banded together in an effort to unseat House Speaker John Boehner from his position—they just need a leader to take up the mantle.
Alicia M. Cohn / The Hill:
Sen. Toomey: GOP should risk shutdown to force spending cuts in debt-limit fight  —  Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) on Wednesday called for Republicans to be ready to shut down the government to gain spending cuts in exchange for raising the nation's debt-limit.  —  “We Republicans need to be willing …
Washington Post:
House members meet to review Senate-passed cliff deal
Daniel Halper / Weekly Standard:
Back to Vacation: Obama Takes Midnight Flight to Hawaii
Colleen McCain Nelson / Wall Street Journal:   Lack of Grand Bargain Complicates Obama's Priorities
Kevin Robillard / Politico:
Peter King: Halt donations to House GOP  —  New York Republican Rep. Peter King went to war with his Republican colleagues on Wednesday after leaders spiked a Hurricane Sandy relief bill, calling on New Yorkers to stop all donations to GOP House members.  —  “These Republicans have no problem finding …
David Rogers / Reuters:
House pulls plug on Sandy aid bill  —  House Republicans abruptly pulled the plug Tuesday night on their promise to take up this week an emergency supplemental disaster aid bill for Northeast states damaged by Hurricane Sandy.  —  The decision is a stunning reversal since just hours …
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
Boehner under growing pressure to allow vote on Sandy relief bill  —  Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) came under intense pressure Wednesday from Republicans in New York and New Jersey to allow a vote on legislation providing relief to the states hit by Hurricane Sandy in October.
NBC Politics:
Bipartisan outrage after House skips vote on $60 billion Sandy aid bill  —  House Republicans have abandoned plans to vote on an aid package for victims of Superstorm Sandy in the current term of Congress after the Senate approved more $60 billion to help affected residents recover.
Marc Santora / New York Times:
New York Area Officials Blast House for Ignoring Storm Aid Bill
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
Erik Wasson / The Hill:
Boehner committed to move Hurricane Sandy relief bill in January
Discussion: Firedoglake
Dorsey Shaw / BuzzFeed:   Outraged Congressman Suggests He'll Abandon Republican Party Over Sandy Relief
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
House members to Boehner: ‘Shame on you’ for not holding Sandy vote
Discussion: Politico and Politicker
Andrew Grossman / Wall Street Journal:
House Fails to Take Up Sandy Aid Bill
Discussion: Metropolis and Politicker
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
New Year, New Dish, New Media  —  When I first stumbled into blogging over 12 years ago, it was for two reasons: curiosity and freedom.  I was curious about the potential for writing in this new medium; and for the first time, I felt total freedom as a writer.  On my little blog, I was beholden to no one but my readers.
Matt Cover / CNSNews:
Senators Got 154-Page Fiscal Cliff Bill 3 Minutes Before Voting on It  —  ( - The U.S. Senate voted 89-8 to approve legislation to avoid the fiscal cliff despite having only 3 minutes to read the 154-page bill and budget score.  —  Multiple Senate sources have confirmed …
CBS News:
GOP Rep: “We got whooped” on “fiscal cliff”
Discussion: Post Politics and The Raw Story
Zachary A. Goldfarb / Washington Post:
‘Fiscal cliff’ deal does little to tame threats from debt ceiling, high unemployment rates  —  Video: President Obama is praising the bill that staves off the “fiscal cliff” tax hikes and spending cuts.  The House of Representatives followed the Senate's lead and passed the bill late Tuesday.
James Pethokoukis / AEIdeas:
Why the Obama tax hikes have only just begun
Discussion: protein wisdom and Vodkapundit
Wall Street Journal:
Obama's Tax Bill Comes Due
Discussion: Belmont Club and American Power
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
Democratic Congressman Laughs At Fox News' Fiscal Cliff Misinformation  —  Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) schooled the hosts of Fox & Friends on the details of the deal to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff” during an appearance to explain his opposition to the Senate-passed compromise on Wednesday morning.
Discussion: The Raw Story and The PJ Tatler
Conor Friedersdorf / The Atlantic Online:
The Strangest Conservative Priority: Prepping a ‘2nd Amendment Solution’  —  The Bill of Rights offers much smarter, more effective ways to safeguard liberty than preparing for armed insurrection.  —  Reuters  —  In the National Review, Kevin Williamson argues that nearly everyone calling …
Glen Johnson / Boston Globe:
Scott Brown questions Edward Markey's state residency in jab at possible opponent  —  Senator Scott Brown today took on a possible opponent in a special election to succeed his colleague John F. Kerry, questioning whether US Representative Edward J. Markey is actually a resident of Massachusetts.
Dskriloff / The Rockland County Times:
The Journal News is Armed and Dangerous  —  ROCKLAND COUNTY TIMES EXCLUSIVE  —  Armed guards from RGA Investigations have taken up post at the Journal News' Rockland County headquarters  —  Journal News' Rockland headquarters in West Nyack, Town of Clarkstown  —  Guns are good for the goose but NOT for the gander.
Andrew Higgins / New York Times:
Used to Hardship, Latvia Accepts Austerity, and Its Pain Eases  —  RIGA, Latvia — When a credit-fueled economic boom turned to bust in this tiny Baltic nation in 2008, Didzis Krumins, who ran a small architectural company, fired his staff one by one and then shut down the business.
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 More Items: 
David Kurtz / Talking Points Memo:
The Eight Senators Who Voted Against The Fiscal Cliff Deal
Matthew Yglesias / Slate:
Avis Budget Group to Buy Zipcar for $500 Million
Discussion: Wonkblog, DealBook, The Week and BuzzMachine
Mary Agnes Carey /
‘Doc Fix’ In ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Plan Cuts Medicare Hospital Payments
Discussion: Weekly Standard, Hit & Run and Wonkblog
Craig Whitlock / Washington Post:
Renditions continue under Obama, despite due-process concerns
 Earlier Items: 
Anthony Bond / Daily Mail:
Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez in a coma ‘only kept alive by life support’ after cancer surgery
Yuval Levin / National Review:
The Left and the Cliff  —  For Republicans, the question presented …
Discussion: Power Line and Right Turn
Aviva Shen / ThinkProgress:
GOP State Senator: Kwanzaa Is A Leftist Plot ‘To Destroy’ America
Erik Ortiz / NY Daily News:
Attorney for Newtown survivor seeking to sue Connecticut for $100 million backs off
Discussion: Althouse
Charles P. Pierce / Esquire: