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December 28, 2012
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National Pulse 
  • Dockworker strike is averted ... for now
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    The International Longshoremen's Association and the U.S. Maritime Alliance have cleared a major stumbling block in contract negotiations and averted a strike that threatened to close ports up and down the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts. The two sides reached agreement late this morning on container royalties and agreed to a 30-day extension of talks. Bloomberg (12/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Businesses urged White House to keep ports open:   As the threat of a dockworker strike shutting down 14 major ports loomed, business leaders pressed President Barack Obama to use his powers under the Taft-Hartley Act to keep the ports open. A shutdown would take a major toll on U.S. businesses, causing logistical chaos that could take months to put right, industry groups argued. Taft-Hartley was last invoked in 2002 by George W. Bush, during a West Coast port shutdown that cost the economy about $1 billion a day. The Hill/Transportation blog (12/28) , (Philadelphia)/Bloomberg (12/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Reader Polls 
  • This week's poll results: Holiday spending
    Most readers responding to this week's poll were being thrifty this holiday season. The overwhelming majority of respondents said they were spending the same amount or less on gifts, decorations, travel and big-ticket bargains this year than last. Next week: Your choice for the top news story of 2012.
    My household is spending less than last year  46.23%
    My household is spending about the same as last year  32.68%
    My household is spending more than last year  21.08%
Agenda Items 
  • Wall St. says fiscal deal must come by mid-Jan.
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    Wall Street's top financiers say they're disappointed but unsurprised by federal politicians' failure to push through a fiscal deal, and that the gridlock likely won't take a serious toll on market performance until mid-January. That's when investors and analysts will begin to conclude that lawmakers simply don't understand what it takes to run a major economy, writes Nancy Cook. "It will also signal that the fiscal cliff will just be the beginning of a year's worth of unresolved budget and tax battles," she writes. National Journal (12/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Data Points 
  • Broken promises and big government
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    President Barack Obama kept about two-thirds of his 508 campaign promises during his first term, according to PolitiFact's "Obameter" scorecard. With hindsight, the extraordinary thing is that as a candidate, Obama was willing to put so many of his campaign promises into writing, writes Louis Jacobson. "Whether it's due to the existence of the Obameter or just simple self-preservation, the idea of a 508-promise presidential agenda appears to be headed to history's dustbin," he writes. (St. Petersburg, Fla.) (12/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

The Conversation 
Daily Chuckle 
  • Best of 2012: Why Joe Biden hates Scranton, Pa.
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    Biden, Ryan/Reuters
    "Saturday Night Live" offers its take on the vice-presidential debate, with a well-hydrated Paul Ryan watching as Joe Biden rolls his eyes, throws up his hands and explains his loathing of his hometown of Scranton, Pa. (10/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

In the face of indescribable violence, in the face of unconscionable evil, you've looked out for each other, and you've cared for one another, and you've loved one another. This is how Newtown will be remembered."
--Barack Obama, president of the United States
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