Romney Face Tattoo Guy… He's Having It Removed - http://abcn.ws/Tue2ok
Fiscal Cliff Talks Suffer Major Setbacks - Jonathan Karl reports: Both sides tell me talks between the White House and House Republicans have been significantly set back over the past 24 hours. As they say, the darkest hour is before the dawn, but this is looking pretty grim. A top aide to Speaker Boehner describes the White House's latest offer presented by Secretary Geithner today as "completely unrealistic" and "a break with reality." And a top Democratic aide says, "The Republicans have taken to screaming at us." And sources familiar with the call last night between Boehner and Obama - which lasted 30 minutes - as "unproductive" and "blunt." One source said the president did most of the taking: explaining why he will insist that tax rates go up.
Read newly leaked details of what Democrats have offered - http://abcn.ws/X5Th83
Karl's report sounds even worse than Boehner's public alarm bell - ""No substantive progress has been made over the last two weeks," he told reporters.
Boehner too said Democrats haven't been serious in their proposals.
Harry Reid, apprised of what Boehner said, shot back from a later press conference that no YOU haven't been serious.
Obama's Trip to the Tinker Toy Factory Friday to apply pre-Christmas tax cut pressure might not help the escalating public rhetoric angle of all this.
Pelosi says it 'doesn't have to be a cliffhanger'; Republicans just have to pass what they oppose - She suggested breaking out the middle class tax cut, which she said Republicans are holding hostage - http://abcn.ws/Uv17pn
Where are we at? "I don't understand his brain," Harry Reid told reporters of Boehner. Reid still insists that progress is being made, it's just that Republicans don't want to admit it. http://abcn.ws/Wx8I4e
There are signs of a very few House Republicans willing to deal on the all-important issue of tax rates and on the size of the revenue hikes in a fiscal cliff avoidance pie. But Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole, the one who has admitted to it publicly, isn't John Boehner. And Boehner has publicly said he disagrees with Cole.
The full wrap from Devin Dwyer - http://abcn.ws/TuezGW
Susan Rice (and the U.S.) Lost a Vote at the U.N. Today - Sarah Parnass and Dana Hughes report on Palestinians winning "non-member observer state" status - http://abcn.ws/WxADkB
Romney and Obama: The Screenplay - We don't know what Obama and Romney actually talked about during their lunch today, but Matt Negrin has written a short one-act with some possible dialogue:
Romney: Well, you know, politics is politics. So what's for lunch? Obama: Hm? Oh, right. What do you want? What do they eat up in Massachusetts? Or Michigan, is that your home state? I always forget. Doesn't matter - I won them both. Romney: (Sighs.) Obama: Mitt! I'm kidding. But I did. Romney: I've heard a lot about the cheeseburgers here. What do you say? Obama: Grade A beef - 47 percent fat! Romney: I - OK, I deserved that one.
Here's Mary Bruce's report on what really happened. Obama and Romney promised to keep in touch - http://abcn.ws/U5mNDN
Remember All Those Odd Obama Email Subject Lines? The seem to maybe have worked, per Devin Dwyer - He writes:
"Hey," wrote Barack Obama in at least five messages during the campaign.
"Hell yeah," topped one note from strategist David Axelrod.
Beyonce Knowles teased in an inbox message, "I don't usually email."
And women's rights activist Sandra Fluke provocatively reached out on "Legitimate rape." New data released by the campaign show that these and other catchy and casual phrases were hugely successful at getting Obama supporters to open the emails and click through to donate. Most of the $690 million "Obama for America" raised through online fundraising came from direct email appeals, according to data provided by the president's campaign exclusively to Bloomberg Businessweek and confirmed by ABC News. http://abcn.ws/Wxzp90
Pretty Pictures of Bo the Dog and the White House all Decorated for Christmas - http://abcn.ws/V6Le70
George Stephanopolous Takes Viewer Questions - Bronwyn Lowe asked "Is it possible for President Clinton to become Secretary of State after he has been president for two terms? I know it sounds odd, but he would be the perfect replacement. Just curious what the probability would be." - http://abcn.ws/Qty4Ss