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Today's Three Stories To Read About The 'Fiscal Cliff'

As we've said now several times, "the White House and congressional leaders continue to talk about taxes, spending cuts and how to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff that arrives at midnight Dec. 31 — when Bush-era tax cuts are set to expire and automatic spending cuts are set to go into effect."

As NPR and others cover the story, we're pointing to interesting reports and analyses. Here are some of the latest.

-- "Silence On 'Fiscal Cliff' Could Be A Good Sign." (CBS News)

"The White House and Speaker Boehner's office haven't revealed a single detail about the meeting on Sunday, and the members CBS News have spoken to are taking that as a good sign that the talks are getting serious and substantive, just in time."

-- "Boehner's Test: Keep GOP Ranks Behind Him." (The Wall Street Journal)

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, "has been slowly bringing Republican freshmen to his side by introducing them to the realities of legislating and congressional leadership. Mr. Boehner's strategy, and his future as speaker, will get tested between now and year-end as Washington wrestles with negotiations designed to avert tax increases and spending cuts due to begin in early January."

-- "What Happens If We Fall Off The 'Fiscal Cliff'?" (Morning Edition)

"Let's imagine it's January and the nation has gone off the 'fiscal cliff.' You don't really feel any different and things don't look different either. That's because, according to Stan Collender, the cliff isn't really a cliff. 'It was a great communications tool but it was a misnomer from the beginning,' he says. 'The idea of jumping off the cliff and just having the economy go into the tanks immediately is just absolutely, positively, incontrovertibly incorrect.' Collender, a former congressional budget staffer, now works at Qorvis Communications."

And a bonus track for well-read folks:

-- "The 'Fiscal Cliff' For English Majors." What do Shakespeare, the Greeks and other classics tell us about what's likely to happen? (Morning Edition)

Update at 12:15 p.m. ET. And The White House Responds.

After Boehner's call for President Obama to "get serious," White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer tweeted that:

"The irony of this is that the White House offer had very specific cuts, the GOP counteroffer had almost none."

Update at 12:05 p.m. ET. Boehner Calls On President To "Get Serious":

On the floor of the House moments ago, Boehner said he and other Republicans are still waiting for the White House to "identify what spending cuts the president is willing to make as part of a balanced approach" to deficit reduction.

"The American people have to be scratching their heads and wondering, when is the president going to get serious," Boehner said.

He also described his one-on-one meeting with the president Sunday as "nice ... cordial."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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