Fiscal cliff: “The “fiscal cliff” is still two months off, but the scheduled blast of tax hikes and spending cuts is already reverberating through the U.S. economy, hampering growth and, according to a new study, wiping out nearly 1 million jobs this year alone.” (Washington Post

Romney campaign chair: Colin Powell endorsed Obama because he is black. (ThinkProgress)

Room for Debate asks: With a little over a week left to campaign, polls show a very tight race between President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney in key battleground states, like Colorado, Iowa, NevadaNew Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia. If President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney are to visit these states in these final days before the vote, what should they say and where or with whom should they visit to win over undecided voters? (New York Times)

Politico’s Arena asks: A recent New York Times article suggests that with fewer moderates in Congress, next year will amount to increased gridlock and frustration for both parties. What would a Congress with fewer moderates look like? With congressional approval rating at an all-time low, will next year’s Congress function any better than this year’s?

Progressives should support a ‘grand bargain:’ “This week, some of the most vocal progressive organizations planted a flag in the ground in opposition to a grand bargain budget agreement in the lame duck Congress. Led by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who Tuesday wrote an op-ed in POLITICO, “Americans don’t want ‘grand bargain,’” these groups made a particular point in opposing any fixes to Social Security and Medicare. If too many progressives follow suit, this could not only damage our economy but also hurt the middle class and put retirement entitlements in ultimate danger,” writes Third Way’s Jim Kessler. (Politico)

Stimson’s Rachel Stohl and Alison Giffen: Why arming Syrian rebels is a bad idea. (Politico)

AEI’s Jonah Goldberg: Holes in the hull. (National Review)