Having already planned to go on a serious diet January 1 (or maybe January 2, in light of the need for a pre-Capital One Bowl tailgate on New Year’s Day), I chowed down on buttered biscuits for breakfast this morning. Wish I could share. But here are some mid-day news crumbs:

* Reports bubbling up that Obama has offered GOPers a “scaled down” fiscal deal that extends Bush tax cuts for income under $400k, splits difference on estate tax, delays sequestration, lets payroll tax holiday expire, drops stimulus demands (other than unemployment extension), ignores debt limit. More on this later.

* Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf dies at 78.

* Dallas Morning News reports former Dewhurst campaign manager under criminal investigation for pocketing $600k in GOP contributions.

* Des Moines Register reports low water levels could halt commercial traffic on Mississippi River next week. Remember that next time you’re told economic needs bar action on climate change.

* Yglesias notes the immediately dire “fiscal cliff” items that aren’t on either side’s negotiating lists (e.g., payroll tax holiday extension, wind production tax credit, dairy subsidies).

And in non-political news:

* Comic book icon Stan Lee turns 90 today.

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Back after a short break to bundle up and deal with this chilly Central Coast morning.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.