Preparing for ‘fiscal cliff,’ investors move assets to avoid higher taxes: As lawmakers struggle to agree on a plan to avert the series of tax increases looming next year, many investors are taking preemptive action to get out of harm’s way. Americans are moving to sell investment homes, off-load stocks, expand charitable donations and establish tax-sheltering gifts before the end of the year. Financial advisers and accountants say people are trying to avoid the higher taxes that will take effect in 2013 if Washington does not avert the “fiscal cliff.” (Washington Post)

(Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty Images)

Obama takes push for higher taxes on wealthy to workers at Michigan plant: “President Obama hit the campaign trail again on Monday — more than a month after the election — firing up a crowd of blue-collar automotive workers with calls to raise taxes on the wealthy and eagerly wading into a local political dispute over the powers of labor unions. The visit to Michigan was the latest stop in a public-­relations effort by the White House aimed at harnessing Obama’s popularity across the country to generate momentum behind his plan to avoid the “fiscal cliff.” Shortly before Obama landed in Detroit, his still-active reelection campaign sent out a plea urging millions of supporters to pressure House Republicans to back the president’s approach.” (Washington Post)

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Republicans must wise up: “This reality was brought home in last month’s election. It’s playing out in the struggle over how to avoid the “fiscal cliff.” And we’ll see it again in coming fights over immigration, entitlements, inequality and a host of other issues. Here’s the sad thing: Republicans get this stuff so wrong that Democrats aren’t even forced to go to the trouble of getting it right.” (Washington Post)

Room for Debate asks: The Common Core State Standards, adopted by 48 states and supported by the Obama administration, have worried liberals who question their quality and conservatives who fear they erode states’ traditional responsibility for education. At the same time, the budget pressure of the impending “fiscal cliff” could reduce federal support for education, which would add to the state and local responsibility. As these trends collide, Americans can take a step back and ask: Should education standards and funding vary by state? (New York Times)

Politico’s Arena asks: Is the U.S. pursuing the right strategy in Afghanistan? Heritage’s James Carafano answers. So does Anthony Cordesman of CSIS.  

“The fact that MTA chief Joe Lhota may try for mayor is goodfor New York, because voters need a better choice than the current candidate crop. But New Yorkers also need a solid MTA head to help us slog through the rest of Sandy,” writes Manhattan Institute’s Nicole Gelinas. (New York Post)

Cato’s Gene Healy: Homeland Security grants subsidize dystopia. (Washington Examiner)

Victor Davis Hanson: Ripples from the election. (National Review)

Cato’s Mark Calabaria: Where’s all the TAG bank lending? (Cato)