Cool Infographic - How Obama's Cabinet Could Change This Year - http://abcn.ws/VzoXm1
Unanimous Consent for Popcorn? - Sunlen Miller reports Harry Reid wants a special favor from the Senate Rules committee - a one-time waiver to allow popcorn for a special screening of "Lincoln" he's planning in the Capitol Visitor's Center for members and their spouses. http://abcn.ws/VL9fkn
Jim DeMint Will Resign from the Senate - He has been a vehement opponent of the Obama administration on everything from the 2009 stimulus to the president's health reform law. DeMint called the president a "bully" for trying to pressure the Supreme Court on Obamacare. But DeMint's legacy may be less important for his opposition to the Obama administration than for the effect he had on his own party, drawing it further to the right.
That's a legacy that even Sen. Lindsey Graham, the other South Carolina senator can agree with. Although Graham could well face a primary of his own in 2014.
"What he's done over the last four years to build a conservative movement, to get people involved in politics, like Marco Rubio, who Jim helped early on in his primary I just think is going to be a great legacy," said Graham.
"Jim DeMint is one of the main reasons I'm in the Senate," said Marco Rubio today. http://abcn.ws/Uh6iod
Replacing DeMint - "Rep. Tim Scott is the undisputed favorite - and probably preferred by Jim DeMint," one South Carolina Republican told Michael Falcone.
"It would be historic for an Indian American governor from the Deep South to appoint an African American to the U.S. Senate. I think it's highly unlikely she would appoint a placeholder. There are too many critical votes coming in the next 24 months. Scott and DeMint are lock step on the issues."
Scott would be the fifth African American to serve in the Senate since Reconstruction and the first from the South.
All things DeMint - http://abcn.ws/Uh6iod
DeMint and Immigration - Univision's Jordan Fabian explains why his resignation could have major consequences for the immigration debate - http://abcn.ws/Xv1brL
Coburn - We're Already Over the Cliff - The way Tom Coburn described it to Jon Karl today gives us visions of Wile E. Coyote running in mid-air even though he's already gone over the cliff. Then he realizes what's going on, looks at the camera, and whooosh.
That's the cartoon version.
"We're over the cliff already," Coburn said. "We went over the cliff when we started spending money we didn't have on things we didn't need," he said. "What the debate now is: What does the parachute look like for a softer landing?"
Because the so-called Bush tax cuts are set to expire on Dec. 31, Coburn said, Republicans have no choice to but to accept higher taxes.
"We have no leverage on that, so whether we want taxes to go up or not they're going to," Coburn said. "We can't stop that from happening. But the real elephant in the room is entitlements."
Karl's full report - http://abcn.ws/TFpCwB
Has Obama Already Won? - File Coburn off in 'thoughts of senators.' It's only when Tom Cole over in the House starts to get some company that things will really be moving.
There was maybe a little of that movement today when Rep. Steven La Tourette told CNN it's starting to seem like the White House has won this round.
"The sense was that there's a growing number of folks in our party that are saying, you know what, the president has won this round relative to the rates, but we need to you to sit down and get the second half of the deal and that's the spending," LaTourette said on CNN's "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien."
"We have engaged in some charades over the last 18 years, where we all like pretend to be working in our office, but we're not doing anything to get this done because there's nothing we can do," he said. "This is going to be a discussion between the top leaders of the House and the White House. "And when they signal, sort of like the pope being elected, you know when the white smoke comes out of the Capitol, then we can come back and execute the deal," he said. http://bit.ly/VL3jHP
All Things Cliff - Devin Dwyer wraps all things cliff related, including Obama's trip out to visit with a Northern Virginia family - http://abcn.ws/RbXkOL
George Stephanopoulos Explains the Cliff - Facebook questioner asks why does Boehner insists on not raising rates. Others ask about Anna Wintour. Shirley Temple Black is mentioned - http://abcn.ws/TVYsBC
How Do We Know There Are 11 Million Undocumented Immigrants? Univision explains - http://abcn.ws/VJKBjZ
Chris Christie Vetoes Obamacare Exchanges, Makes Plea for Sandy Cash - On the same day that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie paid a visit to the White House to ask for more disaster relief money, he vetoed a bill that would have set up an Obamacare-mandated health exchange program in the Garden State. Christie is not the first Republican governor to opt out of crafting a plan for his state, but the others - Nikki Haley, Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker - are hardly the president's biggest fans. http://abcn.ws/QL19sO (Walshe)
The Story Behind the Scarf - How did First Dog Bo end up wearing a thin scarf and frolicking in hip deep snow in an unseasonably warm Washington winter? Behind the White House holiday card - http://abcn.ws/THF0wa
Mark Kirk to Return to Senate After Stroke - http://abcn.ws/121YSMl