‘Fiscal cliff’ talks a stalemate over tax hikes: “As the White House and Republican leaders enter the final month of negotiations to avoid a year-end “fiscal cliff,” both sides struck an uncompromising tone Sunday, as warnings mounted that they will be unable to forge an agreement to stop an automatic series of deep spending cuts and large tax hikes that could push the economy into recession.” (Washington Post)

OLIVIER DOULIERY / POOL/EPA – President Barack Obama speaks at a bipartisan group of congressional leaders as Speaker of the House John Boehner looks on in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, on November 16, 2012.

Obama’s bargaining power on the fiscal cliff: “President Obama’s victory blew up the framework created by the 2010 elections, which forced him to play defense. Now, he finally has room to move. That’s the only way to understand the ongoing budget talks,” writes Brookings’ E.J. Dionne. (Washington Post)

Norquist still calling cadence in GOP ranks: At times, it has seemed that Republican lawmakers eyeing a fiscal compromise with President Obama were moving closer to a public split with Grover Norquist, author of the famous no-new-taxes pledge that has defined conservative politics for decades. Yet Norquist, whose influence in the conservative movement spans well beyond his well-known fixation on taxes, remains an unwavering force in the GOP debate — and even some of the most prominent lawmakers publicly flirting with a break from Norquist have assured him in private that they remain loyal soldiers in the anti-tax cause. (Washington Post)

The fiscal cliff’s not the problem: “Washington is consumed with wrangling over how to deal with the specter of big automatic tax hikes that will hit Jan. 1 when the Bush tax cuts expire. It’s also the day that the sequester kicks in, which is the budget-wonk term for an automatic process that will slow the growth of government spending over the next 10 years. This is the so-called fiscal cliff; it’s a fight that has important implications, particularly since some of the tax increases will have a significantly harmful impact on incentives to work, save, invest and create jobs. In a competitive global economy, for instance, it is bizarrely self-destructive to increase the double taxation of dividends and capital gains,” writes Cato’s Daniel Mitchell. (New York Post)

“Don’t look now, but a quick deal to sidestep the federal government’s fiscal cliff could end up pushing New York state to the edge of its own precipice. Yet top New York officials seem oblivious to a wave of federal tax hikes due to hit the state’s tax base as soon as next month. If President Obama and Republican leaders can’t agree on a way to avoid the automatic spending “sequesters” and higher taxes set to kick in Jan. 1, the consequences will be dire for the whole country. But any compromise relying heavily on soak-the-rich tax increases seems likely to draw a bulls-eye on the Empire State,” writes Manhattan Institute’s E.J. McMahon. (New York Post)

Politico’s Arena asks: Grover Norquist warned Sunday that if President Obama pushes the nation over the “fiscal cliff” there will be a tea party revival that will outweigh that of the 2010 midterm elections. “Tea party two is going to dwarf tea party one if Obama pushes us off the cliff,” said Norquist on NBC’s “Meet The Press.” Is Norquist’s warning one that Democrats should heed?  Or has the tea party movement largely been a one-hit wonder?

Room for Debate asks: Many senators are troubled by Republicans’ increasing use of filibusters to stall legislation and prevent debate. But even some of them are wary of the “nuclear option” to change the rules: It would allow the vice president and a simple majority to revise the rules, a precedent that today’s majority party might regret someday when it became the minority again. Should the Senate filibuster rules be reformed? Could they change without losing the Senate’s value as a counterweight to the House? (New York Times)

Heritage’s Peter Brookes: Will the perps pay? (New York Post)

Heritage’s James Carafano: Obama’s new terror war: Bush ultra-light. (Washington Examiner

World released 2.4 million pounds carbon pollution every second in 2011, a record high. (ThinkProgress)