1. A bit of news: Ed Markey is running for Senate in the upcoming Massachusetts special election.

2. Before that broke, Massachusetts politics expert David S. Bernstein handicapped the upcoming race. Will it be Markey over Weld? Real news here is that it appears to be unlikely that Democrats there will once again change election law for short-term advantage.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (Associated Press)

3. More news: Hillary Clinton will return to work next week, having now recovered from illness and injury. Josh Rogin reports.

4. Howard Schultz is still at it; Suzy Khimm tries, one more time, to educate him on the basics of the fiscal cliff.

5. Also this, from Matt Yglesias: “Anything that both the White House and John Boehner agree to can pass the senate. Everyone knows that.” Which is why Boehner’s ploy of saying that the Senate should act next is a pretty obvious stall, and not a real path forward.

6. Meanwhile, conservative columnist Philip Klein has excellent advice for Republicans on taxes. They’re not going to listen to him.

7. Jonathan Chait: “It is odd how straight news reporters and editors all decided to openly cheer for an outcome on fiscal cliff.”

8. Juliet Eilperin looks back at the EPA under Lisa P. Jackson.

9. A good point by Ed Kilgore about polarization: it’s here for systematic reasons; it isn’t going away just by wishing it would, or by putting slogans on coffee cups.

10. Steve Benen on Joe Lieberman and “It’s both their fault.”

11. And Wonkblog brings us “the year in graphs.” Of course.