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The U. S. economy created 146,000 jobs last month. That pushed the unemployment rate down to 7.7 percent, a four-year low. With just a few weeks before the fiscal cliff deadline, President Barack Obama is sticking with his demand that tax rates rise for the wealthiest Americans. ea party favorite, Jim DeMint of South Carolina, said he’s resigning the Senate to head up a conservative think tank. Former President George W. Bush calls for a “benevolent spirit” in the debate over immigration. And the legacy of jazz pianist Dave Brubeck. Shawna Thomas of NBC, Naftali Bendavid of The Wall Street Journal and Lori Montgomery of The Washington Post join Diane to talk about the week’s top national stories, what happened and why.
Sen. Jim DeMint, a Republican from South Carolina, announced his resignation from the Senate on Thursday. The panel discussed the implications of his resignation on the ongoing fiscal cliff negotiations and how it affects the tea party movement. Naftali Bendavid, national correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, said DeMint no longer fits comfortably in Congress because the climate there is moving more toward compromise. Shawna Thomas, White House producer at NBC News, said the tea party lost influence as a result of the 2012 national elections.