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Obama, Boehner meet, no "elixir": 17 days to fiscal cliff

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Fiscal Cliff Notes for Dec. 14, 2012
17 days to the fiscal cliff

BOEHNER, OBAMA: 50 MINUTES IN THE OVAL OFFICE

We're heading into the weekend with nothing solid to report on fiscal cliff dealings, with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) heading back to the Buckeye State after a meeting with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office on Thursday.

Both sides issued a bland statement after the 50 minute meeting, from 5:10 p.m. to 6 p.m.

"The President and Speaker had a frank meeting in the oval office tonight. It lasted approximately 50 minutes. There will be no further readout of the meeting, but lines of communication remain open."

Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck, a man with an incredible sense of wit and ire, knows vanilla, so he put on the subject line of this bland read-out, "to blow your mind," which of course grabbed my attention.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney talked down the tactical importance of face-to-face meetings at the Thursday briefing--just as the face-to-face was in the works.

"Every time that you guys seem to think that a physical meeting is the elixir to all our ills, I think it would behoove you to ask the speaker if he believes that or ask the House majority leader if he believes that."

Boehner and Obama met in person last Sunday and talked on the phone at least once this week--on Tuesday.

PEW POLL: DEMOCRATS "HAVE PUBLIC OPINION ON THEIR SIDE"

From the pollsters at Pew Research Center for the People and the Press:
http://www.people-press.org/2012/12/13/as-fiscal-cliff-nears-democrats-have-public-opinion-on-their-side/

Pew found: "The Democrats are in a strong position with the public as they engage in negotiations to find a solution to the fiscal cliff crisis. Barack Obama's first post-reelection job approval rating has risen to 55%, up five points since July and 11 points since the start of the year. Obama's job rating is markedly higher than George W. Bush's first job measure (48%) after he won reelection in 2004.

"When it comes to the reaching an agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff, 55% say Obama is making a serious effort to work with Republicans. But just 32% say Republican leaders are making a serious effort to work with Obama on a deficit deal."

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press was conducted Dec. 5-9 among 1,503 adults.

CNN MONEY: HOW WE GOT IN THIS MESS PRIMER

For a quick briefing click HERE

http://money.cnn.com/2012/12/14/news/economy/fiscal-cliff-origin/index.html

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