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* Vice President Biden said Thursday he sees an emerging consensus around “universal background checks” for all gun purchasers and a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines. Biden, who is leading an Obama administration working group tasked with coming up with ways to curb gun violence, will present his team's recommendations to President Obama next Tuesday. The consensus Biden described is among gun-control advocates and law enforcement officials he has met with during the past week.

* The National Rifle Association panned its meeting with Biden on Thursday, saying, "We were disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment." The gun rights group indicated it would have nothing more to do with the Biden's task force.

* Another poll suggests Democratic voters in New Jersey prefer Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) over Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D). Among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, Democratic voters prefer Booker over Lautenberg 42 percent to 20 percent, according to a new Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind survey. Booker recently announced that he is exploring a Senate run, even as Lautenberg -- who turns 89 this month -- hasn't yet said whether he will run for reelection in 2014.

* Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli III (R) said an interview that those opposing a federal mandate for contraception coverage should be willing to "go to jail" to fight back against the law. Cuccinelli is the presumptive GOP nominee for governor this year.


* House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) says he's "decided not to decide" right now whether he will run for president in 2016.

* Former Obama campaign staff and and volunteers will hold a conference in Washington and online during inauguration weekend to discuss next steps for the organization they developed.

* The Rev. Louie Giglio won't deliver the benediction at Obama’s swearing-in ceremony, following the recent surfacing of controversial sermon he gave on homosexuality in the 1990s. Giglio opted to pull out because his participation would “be dwarfed by those seeking to make their agenda the focal point of the inauguration," he said.

* Even Obama is having fun with Treasury Secretary nominee Jack Lew's squiggly signature.


He did the Nash.

With Aaron Blake