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January 4, 2013
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National Pulse 
  • What to watch for in the new Congress
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    The new Congress will have to grapple with a number of big, thorny issues that the 112th Congress was unable to resolve, Beltway experts say. Leftover fiscal problems, including efforts to raise the debt ceiling, are likely to dominate in coming months, but lawmakers will also face high-profile legislative tussles over issues such as gun control, immigration, energy and tax reform. CBS News (1/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Reader Polls 
  • This week's poll results: Top news of 2012
    The presidential election took the honors in your picks for the top news stories of 2012, followed by the overall state of the U.S. economy. The results of your votes are shown below. Among additional stories suggested by readers: The growing trade deficit with China and the government's failure to act on climate change and overpopulation. One reader suggested that the top story should be "dysfunctional government in Washington, DC -- a story which encompasses many of the stories in your poll." Well put. Next week: The budget deal.
    The presidential election, primaries and debates  30.17%
    The state of the U.S. economy  19.49%
    Unrest in the Arab world, wars in Syria and Gaza, the terrorist raid in Benghazi  13.62%
    Supreme Court upholds Affordable Care Act  10.95%
    "Fiscal cliff" negotiations and the federal debt  10.28%
    Mass shootings in Connecticut, Oregon, Colorado and Wisconsin  9.08%
    Superstorm Sandy  2.94%
    None of the above/other  1.87%
    More states approve same-sex marriage  1.34%
    Colorado, Washington legalize recreational marijuana  0.27%
Agenda Items 
  • Fiscal deal won't spark an economic boom, analysts say
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    The economy added 155,000 jobs in December, and the jobless rate held steady at 7.8%, according to the latest Labor Department figures -- but analysts say there's little chance of a big economic boom in 2013. A decisive budget deal might have released "pent-up demand," but the compromise solution failed to resolve key problems such as the debt ceiling, says economist Paul Ashworth. "We're going straight into another budget fight. ... I honestly think we'll just get more of the same this year," he adds. The Washington Post (1/4) , National Journal (1/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Data Points 
  • Fact-checking the deficit deal
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    The deal to avoid automatic spending cuts and tax increases helped President Barack Obama to achieve a number of his outstanding campaign commitments, write Louis Jacobson and Molly Moorhead. Still, he didn't get everything he wanted, and many of the final tax thresholds were markedly higher than Obama would have liked. "Given that both sides had to give ground here, we classify this as a Compromise," Jacobson and Moorhead write. (St. Petersburg, Fla.) (1/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

The Conversation 
Daily Chuckle 

If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other it is the principle of free thought, not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate."
--Oliver Wendell Holmes, American physician, writer and poet
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