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Top Links: Bernanke talks fiscal cliff, 'job creators' back Obama, and Romney wins 'Lie of the Year'

Read between the lines and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is expected to tell Republicans and Democrats to get their fiscal cliff act together.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke announced  (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke announced

Read between the lines and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is expected to tell Republicans and Democrats to get their fiscal cliff act together. That and more of what we’re talking about today at 4 p.m.

  • “Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will get one last chance on Wednesday to talk Washington down from the 'fiscal cliff'.” (The Hill)
  • “Ben is aware that the politicians might screw things up and leave us in a world of uncertainty and he will want that ace up his sleeve just in case he needs it.” (Market Advisors)
  • President Obama tells Barbara Walters, “I’m pretty confident that Republicans would not hold middle class taxes hostage to trying to protect tax cuts for high-income individuals.” (ABC News)
  • “While Boehner took to the House floor to criticize Obama for a failure to get 'serious' in the talks, the White House offer and GOP counteroffer suggest the two sides are narrowing the gap over what tax hikes should be part of a deal.” (The Hill)
  • So just how "serious" are fiscal cliff negotiations right now? “It’s more serious than the press release kabuki theater of two weeks ago, but less serious than it needs to be to actually get a deal” (Roll Call)
  • 160 “job creators” have changed their minds and are now saying: Yes, raise taxes on the über-rich. (The Business Journals)
  • In fact, everyone has an opinion on the fiscal cliff. Even Santa Claus. (National Journal)
  • Of course, “Any budget deal with Obama would need [Eric] Cantor’s support to insulate [Speaker] Boehner from rebellion in Republican ranks.” (Bloomberg)
  • And if you think you’re sick of the perpetual crises that grip Washington, so are the people covering them: “Official Washington has very much become the boy who cried wolf." (John Stanton)
  • Oh, and then there’s the estate tax, which also needs fixing: “This year just 3,600 estates are expected to face any taxation at all … But if the tax reverts on schedule, more than 50,000 estates, the wealth of about one in 50 people who may die each year, could be taxed.” (Debt Reckoning)
  • And in insert-joke-here fashion, the House is having trouble finding four members to fill positions at its Office of Congressional Ethics. (Roll Call)
  • RNC chairman Reince Priebus says that, maybe, Republicans shouldn’t have a circular-firing-squad of a primary schedule for 2016. Also, this note about when Priebus first came to the RNC: “When we got here, both of the committee’s credit cards were suspended when we walked in the door. We began paying for [staff] flights and expenses on my credit card.”(National Review)
  • Want to hire Ron Paul to speak? It’ll cost you $50,000 a pop. And, yes, he accepts cash. (Buzzfeed Politics)
  • Politifact has awarded its "Lie of the Year". Guess which former Massachusetts governor-turned-failed-presidential-candidate won? (Politifact) Even better, Politifact has a tick-tock of how the lie came to be. (Politifact)
  • By the standards of diplomatic semiotics, China is upset at North Korea over its missile launch: “China said that it ‘regrets’ the launch, the first time it has used that word in the context of the North’s rocket program.” (The New York Times)
  • “What could possibly justify the failure to adequately address the humanitarian needs of the expanding Syrian refugee population?” (Marc Lynch)
  • An excellent look at how diplomats who helped free Kosovo from the Serbs have translated their talents to the private sector in that country. However, while the article involves neither of these men, this line stands out: “Pristina, the capital, may be the only city in the world where Bob Dole Street intersects Bill Clinton Boulevard.” (The New York Times)
  • And the pope has sent his first few tweets. Blessed are the tweets. (Pontifex)