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At his press conference just now, President Obama explained that he was compromising with the Republicans on a two-year extension of the Bush tax cuts for the highest incomes, in order to avert the expiration of all the tax cuts that would result in across-the-board tax increases at a tough time.

"Now if there was not collateral damage, if this was just a matter of my politics, or being able to persuade the American people to my side, then I would just stick to my guns," said Obama. "Because the fact of the matter is, the American people already agree with me. There are polls showing right now that the American people for the most part think it's a bad idea to provide tax cuts to the wealthy.

"But the issue is not me persuading the American people -- they're already there. The issue is, how do I persuade the Republicans in the Senate who are currently blocking that position? I have not been able to budge them. And I don't think there's any suggestion that anybody in this room thinks realistically that we can budge them right now. And in the meantime, there are a whole bunch of people being hurt, and the economy is being damaged."

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Throughout the 2008 campaign, President Obama repeatedly stated that he would not extend the Bush tax cuts for Americans making more than $250,000 a year. Now, in the wake of Obama's announcement of a deal with Republicans to extend those very tax cuts for another two years, he's taking some heat.

As Greg Sargent reports, a SurveyUSA poll of voters who contributed time or money to Obama's campaign found that a vast majority oppose extending tax cuts for the nation's top earners, even if it comes as part of a deal with Republicans. Eighty-three percent of the surveyed Obama backers said they were opposed -- 70% of them strongly -- to extending the tax cuts for people making over $250,000 a year, with 74% opposing a Republican compromise that would result in an extension of those cuts.

In addition, 51% of the respondents said they would be less likely to contribute to Obama's reelection campaign if he struck such a deal, while 57% said they would be less favorable toward Democrats who back the compromise.

The tax deal currently being mulled would extend the Bush tax cuts on all Americans, regardless of income, for two years in exchange for a 13-month extension of unemployment benefits, among other things. Congressional Democrats have hardly embraced the proposal, with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer saying this morning that a top bracket tax cut extension "is not appropriate," and that the compromise could still change.

The poll, commissioned by MoveOn, surveyed 1,132 voters in twenty states who donated to or campaigned for Obama in the 2008 presidential election. It was conducted December 6.

Gov.-elect Paul LePage (R-ME) on Monday tried to walk back his claim that if 35 states join a lawsuit against the federal government, the health care law "dies automatically."

It turns out it's not quite that simple. No such provision exists in the Constitution. So LePage's spokesman Dan Demeritt explained what he really meant to say.

As the Portland Press Herald reports

"His intent was to discuss the concept of broad-based political opposition, rather than a nonexistent statutory or constitutional trigger."

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Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), who has become one of the most vocal critics of Wikileaks, said today that while Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is definitely guilty of crimes, the New York Times may also have broken the law by posting some of those diplomatic cables.

"To me, the New York Times has committed at least an act of bad citizenship," Lieberman said on Fox News today. "Whether they've committed a crime, I think that bears very intensive inquiry by the Justice Department."

Lieberman acknowledged that the idea is "sensitive" because "it gets into the First Amendment."

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Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has released a statement on President Obama's tax compromise with the Republicans -- and it sounds some clear notes of skepticism on the Republicans' conditions of a two-year extension of the Bush tax cuts on the top income brackets.

"The tax proposal announced by the President clearly presents the differences between Democrats and Republicans," Pelosi says. "Any provision must be judged by two criteria: does it create jobs to grow our economy and does it add to the deficit?"

Pelosi then compares and contrasts the Dem proposals on middle-class tax cuts, saying that "Republican demands would provide tax cuts to the millionaires and billionaires, fail to create jobs and increase the deficit."

Take it as another sign that the White House could have a tough road ahead to bring House Democrats on board.

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House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer today expressed serious reservations with the tax cut framework President Obama reached with Senate Republicans, and declined to say whether his caucus would support the plan or even whether the leadership time would whip votes to ensure that it passes. However, Hoyer also chastised Republicans for their willingness to let all the Bush tax cuts expire, suggesting Democrats will figure out a way to assure the President's plan doesn't fail entirely -- including, perhaps, by making some changes to it.

"There was no consensus or agreement reached by the House leadership," Hoyer told reporters this morning, reiterating the broad view of the Democratic caucus that "giving tax cuts to high-income Americans is not appropriate."

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At a luncheon on climate control, media mogul Ted Turner urged world leaders to adopt China's one-child policy on a global scale.

Turner said the environmental stress on the Earth requires radical solutions, according to the Globe and Mail. He suggested that countries should follow China's lead in instituting a one-child policy to reduce the population growth -- and ultimately, the human population.

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The new Public Policy Polling (D) survey of Michigan, which saw strong Republican gains this year with a pickup of the governorship and other offices, suggests that President Obama is still the early favorite to hold the state again in 2012.

Obama previously carried Michigan by 57%-41% against John McCain in 2008.

In this poll, Obama was tested against various Republicans: He leads Newt Gingrich by 52%-37%, leads Mike Huckabee by 51%-39%, and leads Sarah Palin by 56%-36%. Only native son Mitt Romney comes close -- as the son of the late Michigan Governor and auto executive George Romney -- but Obama still leads by 47%-43%.

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In January, Colorado will begin enforcing a law that forbids bars, restaurants and liquor stores from selling low-alcohol beer -- usually low-calorie beer like Michelob Ultra, Heineken Light and others. Even Guinness may qualify as low-alcohol and be booted from Irish pubs. How did this happen?

In Colorado, convenience and grocery stores can only sell low-alcohol beer. Bars, restaurants and liquor stores can sell full-strength beer, plus wine and liquor. It's a two-tier system that was designed in order to keep full-strength beer away from fake-ID-toting minors who frequent convenience stores.

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