1. FISCAL CLIFF:
Congress girds for a long December
It's looking less and less likely that Congress and the White House will reach agreement on the year-end "fiscal cliff" before Christmas, leading to predictions Washington is in for a long December waiting for a resolution. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) continued to blast Republicans over the fiscal cliff negotiations -- which cover a suite of impending tax hikes and across-the-board spending cuts lawmakers and President Obama would like to avoid, although they have not agreed on how. And he doused expectations that a resolution would present itself in the next two weeks.