Top Links: Congressional leaders head to the White House and a $imple explanation for how the GOP held the House

Updated
President Obama is scheduled to meet with Congressional leaders of both parties today.
President Obama is scheduled to meet with Congressional leaders of both parties today.
Rex Features via AP Images

T.G.I.Fiscal cliff. That and more of what we’ll be talking about at 4 p.m. with our guest host, Karen Finney.

  • Congressional leaders are scheduled to head to the White House this afternoon to talk about (what else?) the fiscal cliff. (Bloomberg)
  • Not everyone is convinced this heralds that a deal is in the works. (Politico)
  • Here’s what happens if there is no deal. (NBC News)
  • Of course, Sunday’s special House session on the fiscal cliff is messing up the other important battle in Washington this Sunday: Redskins-Cowboys. (Jordan Fabian)
  • One of conservatives’ favorite talking points about tax hikes is that promised spending cuts that accompany the hikes never materialize. Here’s why that’s wrong. (The Ticker)
  • Here’s your talking point the next time someone blithely comments that we need to cut Social Security. (Josh Barro)
  • A million more Americans voted for Democrats than Republicans in House elections in 2012. So why didn’t it change hands? “The hundreds of millions spent this year on presidential TV ads may not have hit the mark, but the relatively modest sums funneled to redistricting paid off handsomely.” (Pro Publica)
  • Another metric for how the financial crisis and high unemployment rate has affected the United States: we have about 523 fewer municipalities today than we did 5 years ago. (Quartz)
  • Anecdotally, gun owners seem to be fine with new restrictions on magazine clips and gun show loopholes. (Byron York)
  • How the GOP has screwed itself on foreign policy. (Daniel W. Drezner)
  • An explanation for why Russia’s Vladimir Putin is banning adoption of children by American parents. (The New York Times)
  • Russia is also telling Syria’s Bashar al-Assad that it’s time he starts talking with rebels. (Reuters)
  • New York City’s subway authority “is preparing to launch a smartphone application that will reveal train-arrival times on seven of the city’s 24 lines.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  • A fascinating account of the origins of the phrase “The Whole Nine Yards.” If you think you know the source, you’re probably wrong. (The New York Times)
  • And in case you missed it: character actor Charles Durning (“Tootsie”) died on Christmas Eve. But what should impress you about this man isn’t just his acting, but his war record: “He was in the first wave of troops to land on Omaha Beach on D-Day and his unit’s lone survivor of a machine-gun ambush. In Belgium he was stabbed in hand-to-hand combat with a German soldier, whom he bludgeoned to death with a rock.” (The New York Times)

Top Links: Congressional leaders head to the White House and a $imple explanation for how the GOP held the House

Updated