U.S. economy adds 146K jobs, jobless rate falls to 4-year low of 7.7 percent; Sandy minor factor: “The U.S. economy added 146,000 jobs in November and the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent, the lowest since December 2008. The government said Superstorm Sandy had only a minimal effect on the figures.” (Washington Post)

DeMint marks a new, sharper edge for Heritage: “When the Heritage Foundation set up shop in a red-brick Capitol Hill townhouse more than three decades ago, it represented the cutting edge of conservative thought. Ronald Reagan himself once lauded it as “that feisty new kid on the conservative block.” Now, as the think tank hands over its leadership to Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), a tea party icon known more for his confrontational political style than his policy chops, the question is whether Heritage can catch up to the movement it once helped lead.” (Washington Post)

Jim DeMint says move to Heritage ‘a homecoming,’ won’t politicize policy work. (Washington Post)

Think tankers: Let’s all jump off the “fiscal cliff”: With less than four weeks left, reaching an agreement to avoid the negative short-term economic impact of the so-called fiscal cliff might be beyond the ability of the strained U.S. political system. Just kicking the can down the road, averting the more than $600 billion in automatic spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to take effect in January, requires one side to give ground on a core belief: either for Democrats to allow an extension of lower tax rates on top earners or for Republicans to accept a return to higher rates for those taxpayers. It is time to consider a backup plan. (Bloomberg)  

Politico’s Arena asks: The numbers are staggering. President Barack Obama raised $1.123 billion this presidential election, according to reports, while Mitt Romney raised $1.019 billion, making it the most expensive presidential election in history. What do these numbers say about the way campaign fundraising has changed?  Are these changes positive, or should leaders work toward making elections less expensive?

AEI’s Jonah Goldberg: The Stone truth: Left-wingers are boring. (National Review

Room for Debate asks: On Tuesday, the Senate fell six votes short of ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities. Republicans accounted for all 38 votes that prevented the two-thirds approval necessary for treaty ratification. And yet the treaty is based on the Americans With Disabilities Act, enacted 22 years ago with overwhelming Republican support. Two other U.N. treaties — one on arms trade and one on the Law of the Sea — will come up for a vote soon, and face strong opposition in the Senate. Has the idea of treaties itself become more controversial, or are there just concerns about the particular pacts that face ratification? (New York Times)

Manhattan Institute’s Ben Boychuk: “California’s green fantasy appears to have met cold reality. Perhaps, instead of putting faith in policy gimmicks, Brown and his fellow Democrats can try fiscal discipline sometime.” (New York Post

Manhattan Institute’s Paul Howard and Yevgeniy Feyman: Pushing antibiotics off of their own ‘fiscal cliff.’ (Washington Examiner)