Public wants compromise to avoid fiscal cliff:  “An overwhelming majority of Americans want Congress and the Obama White House to reach a deal featuring both tax increases and spending cuts to avert the so-called fiscal cliff, according to the latest national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. In fact, majorities of Democrats, Republicans and political independents each support such a deal. Yet respondents are split over whether any kind of agreement can be reached, and nearly seven in 10 believe that the coming year will feature Democrats and Republicans in Congress showing little willingness to come to an agreement on important matters.” (NBC News)

J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press – House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, leaves after a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, following the GOP caucus. Boehner and the other House Republican leaders are calling for Obama to come up with plan they can accept for spending cuts and tax revenue to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff” of automatic tax hikes and budget reductions.

Executives push for ‘fiscal cliff’ deal, even if their tax concerns have to wait: “With corporate tax rates and tax breaks up for grabs, chief executives are personally stepping forward to lobby Congress and the White House on taxes, seeking to set priorities while conceding that some taxes will have to go up. The business executives, while unenthusiastic about higher taxes, say that avoiding the “fiscal cliff” is their No. 1 priority and that many other key issues can be taken care of in broader tax reform negotiations they hope would take place next year.” (Washington Post)

Groups vow to push ‘right to work’ in other states: “The conservative groups that supported Michigan’s new “right to work” law — winning a stunning victory over unions, even in the heart of American labor — vowed Wednesday to replicate that success elsewhere. But the search for the next Michigan could be difficult. National unions, caught flat-footed in the Wolverine State, pledged to offer fierce opposition wherever the idea crops up next. They consider the laws a direct attack on their finances and political clout at a time when labor influence is already greatly diminished. (Washington Post)

Politico’s Arena asks: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is expected to announce her choice to fill Sen. Jim DeMint’s seat at some point in the next week. Among those reportedly on her short list is Jenny Sanford, the ex-wife of former Gov. Mark Sanford.  Jenny Sanford, a former Wall Street investment banker, has been known as a political force in South Carolina politics – and some experts say she could be a helpful pick for a party that lacks leading women. However, there will likely be stiff competition from South Carolina’s Rep. Tim Scott, who is also on the short list. A tea party favorite, he would be the first African-American U.S. Senator from the South since Reconstruction. Would Sanford make a good pick for U.S. Senate, despite never being elected to a political post?  Which potential candidate would bring more benefits to the position?

Which path for the right? “In the weeks since the election, my hopes have been buttressed by conservatives willing to say that, since Republican candidates have lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections, new thinking might be in order. Democrats went through the same dismal cycle between 1968 and 1988, producing a reformation on the center-left. Conservatives are surely capable of the same,” writes Brookings’ E.J. Dionne. (Washington Post)

Room for Debate asks: Recent factory fires in Pakistan and Bangladeshhave killed more than 400 people. Yet, the stricken garment manufacturers had apparently passed inspection — despite bars on windows and locked exits — and been deemed safe. These factories supply clothing to — and are in business because of — American companies like Wal-Mart and Sears. So where does the responsibility lie in improving worker safety, and what can be done about it? (New York Times)

Robert Wexler: Susan Rice has Israel’s back. (Politico)

Victor Davis Hanson: The real fat cats. (National Review)

Michigan advances one of the nation’s most extreme abortion bans (ThinkProgress)

Michael Peterson: A real debt goal: 60 percent by 2030. (Politico