Back to Work:

President Obama has cut short his vacation in his home state of Hawaii to deal with the fiscal cliff negotiations. Democrats and Republicans are trying to reach some sort of agreement before Jan. 1 to avoid automatic tax increases and spending cuts that will kick in if no deal is reached. To that end, members of the Senate and the House are also expected to cut their vacations short and return this week. (Read more)

Hitting the Ceiling: Adding to the chaos of the so-called fiscal cliff is Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s latest warning to Congress that the U.S. will hit its debt limit on New Year’s Eve. Geithner said the Treasury Department will once again enact extraordinary measures to stave off default for at least another two months. However, Geithner also said the debt ceiling situation is different this time because of the looming fiscal cliff. “Given the significant uncertainty that now exists with regard to unresolved tax and spending policies for 2013, it is not possible to predict the effective duration of these measures,” Geithner wrote in a letter Wednesday. (Read more)

Hospital Stay: A “stubborn” fever is keeping George H.W. Bush hospitalized, according to Jim McGrath, the former president’s spokesman. McGrath also said Bush has been put on a liquids-only diet, though he wouldn’t comment why. The 88-year-old Bush, who initially was being treated for a bronchitis-like cough, has been in the hospital for more than a month. (Read more)

Meet the Police: David Gregory, moderator of “Meet the Press,” is being investigated by police for displaying a high-capacity gun magazine on the program Sunday. Gregory pulled the item out to demonstrate a point during an interview on the show with NRA chief Wayne LaPierre. The problem? Such magazines are illegal in Washington, D.C., where the program is taped. Now the question is whether the 30-round gun magazine was real or just a prop. (Read more)

Video of the Day: The National Rifle Association is not listening to public opinion and is out of touch, Republican pollster Frank Luntz says of the gun lobby’s proposal to put armed guards in public schools across the country in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., shooting. “The public wants guns out of the schools, not in the schools, and they’re not asking for a security official or someone else,” Luntz told CBS’ “This Morning” on Wednesday. “I don’t think the NRA is listening. I don’t think that they understand.”

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