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President Barack Obama speaks to reporters in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington after meeting with Congressional leaders regarding the fiscal cliff, Friday, Dec. 28, 2012. (Photo by Charles Dharapak/AP)

'Modestly optimistic'--despite 'mind-boggling' dysfunction

12/28/12 06:29PM

President Obama is "modestly optimistic" that an agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff can be reached before the budget deadline hits on January 1. Obama gave brief remarks in a press conference after meeting with House and Senate leaders from both parties which he called constructive, announcing that he's tasked Senate leaders Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell with devising a bipartisan plan that could be passed by both chambers of Congress. He pressed the importance of that deal. "I still want to get this done," he said, stressing the impact it would have on families and businesses. read more

President Barack Obama jokingly mimics U.S. Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney's "not impressed" look while greeting members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic gymnastics teams in the Oval Office, Nov. 15, 2012. Steve Penny, USA Gymnastics President, and Savannah...

Vote: best political photos of 2012

12/28/12 03:30PM

As 2012 comes to an end, we're taking stock of some of the most inspiring and funny political photos taken this. Some came from the campaign trail, others were "behind the scenes" shots, but they all became popular images that told us all a little more about the essence or impression of their subjects. Here are a few of our favorites: 1. Barack Obama gets an "uplifting hug"
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Rev. Sharpton shows off his James Brown-inspired dance moves.

Revvies controversy inspires Rev. Sharpton to bust a move

12/27/12 09:27PM

On tonight's PoliticsNation, host Reverend Al Sharpton addressed the outcry that came from show fans after he awarded the Revvie for "Best Musical Performance" to Chris Christie instead of Barack Obama. Christie, who won the prize for his performance of "Thunder Road," beat out Obama's brief but memorable rendition of a verse from the Al Green hit "Let's Stay Together." Fans of PoliticsNation complained that Obama deserved the award over that of his bi-partisan buddy. But the whole controversy inspired "Rev" to show off his own James Brown dance moves. Watch: 
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Wayne LaPierre, Exec. VP and CEO of the National Rifle Association (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

Teacher union president: plan to arm teachers 'dangerous, irresponsible'

12/27/12 07:45PM

National Rifle Association head Wayne LaPierre responded to the Newtown massacre by suggesting that schools needed more guns, not fewer. His proposal shocked even some already-skeptical critics--but it also found supporters. He told NBC's Meet the Press this past Sunday that "putting a good guy with a gun" in schools was a "pretty darned good argument." Many pro-gun lawmakers and local enthusiasts seem to agree with him, and have begun pushing forward with plans to help arm teachers and other school officials. read more

Voters stand in line to cast their ballot at Hartford City Hall during the U.S. presidential election in Hartford, Connecticut, November 6, 2012. (Photo by Reuters/Michelle McLoughlin)

Blacks may have voted at higher rate than whites for first time

12/27/12 12:57PM

It looks like the GOP’s plan to suppress liberal-skewed voters backfired. The 2012 presidential election may have been the first time blacks voted at a higher rate than whites, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center—despite several Republican-controlled state legislatures passing new voter identification laws. African-Americans made up 12% of the eligible electorate this year, yet they accounted for 13% of total votes cast. This is the second presidential election in a row in which black voters “over-performed” (they did so in 2008 by the same proportion). read more

2012’s best and worst political moves

2012’s best and worst political moves

12/26/12 07:00PM

Rev. Al Sharpton, The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart,’s Richard Wolffe, Krystal Ball from MSNBC’s “The Cycle,” and The Nation’s Victoria DeFrancesco Soto talk about the best and worst political moves of 2012 as part of the second annual ... watch