-> Sen. Orrin Hatch tied for second-place for wisest in the Senate. No awards were given for Utah's junior senator, Mike Lee. [Washingtonian]
Topping the news: President Barack Obama is growing gradually more confident that Republicans in Congress will agree to tax the wealthy in an attempt to stave off the upcoming fiscal cliff. [Politico] [NYTimes]
-> Rep. Jason Chaffetz fights both musicians and conservatives in his effort to drop the royalty rate paid by online radio services like Pandora. [Trib]
-> The prescription drug industry handed a pro-Hatch group $750,000 during Hatch's bid for a final term this year, the Center for Public Integrity found. [CPI]
-> Remember the guy who proudly got a Romney-Ryan face tattoo? He's changed his mind. [Politico]
Tweets of the day: From @daveweigel: "Highlight of day: Orrin Hatch accidentally bumping reporter, joking 'I just like to touch you,' then blushing. 'I'm a good Mormon boy!'"
And from @GroverNorquist: "My mom wants one. RT @ZaidJilani This painting of @GroverNorquist is awesome pic.twitter.com/V6ZtQjtH."
Happy birthday: To National Journal's Josh Smith.
In other news: Today at noon, Obama will meet with former presidential candidate Mitt Romney. A Cabinet appointment? Highly unlikely, says Kirk Jowers, a longtime Romney friend and head of the U.'s Hinckley Institute of Politics. [Fox13]
-> Sen. Mike Lee said on Mike Huckabee's radio show that raising taxes on the rich will hurt the poor. [ThinkProgress]
-> Should the U.N. General Assembly upgrade Palestine's current status, Sen. Orrin Hatch suggests the United Nations will have its U.S. funding withheld. [DNews]
-> Peg McEntee says that former Gov. Jon Huntsman is wise to align himself with bipartisan group No Labels, but doesn't see an easy road ahead for the movement. [Trib]
-> Huntsman, meanwhile, dishes on his former presidential running mates, saying the bar to entering the race was pretty low. [HuffPost]
-> After several difficult years, Utah's budget picture may actually be getting better. [UtahPolicy]
-> The Michael O. Leavitt Center for Public Policy of Southern Utah University announces the winner of its political cartoon contest. [SUUNews]
Nationally: Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, says Republicans considering the Democrat-proposed tax deal are having "impure thoughts," insisting that while the deal may happen, Republicans should want nothing to do with it. [ABCNews]
-> Obama's press secretary tells reporters that the president is "not particularly concerned" about any misinformation about the Benghazi attacks but rather "what happened and why in Benghazi." [WeeklyStandard]
-> At a Wednesday Cabinet meeting, the president singled out U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, saying she is "extraordinary" and that he "couldn't be prouder of the job she's done." [WeeklyStandard]
-> Glenn Beck tried selling a jar containing an Obama figurine and what he originally claimed was his own pee for $25,000, later revealing that the yellow liquid was actually beer. [NYDaily]
-> Romney is going to rent space in the Boston office of his son's firm, former aides say. [Herald]
Where are they?
Rep. Jason Chaffetz heads to the Washington LDS Temple holiday lighting ceremony for the second consecutive day.
Rep. Rob Bishop takes Close-Up students around the U.S. Capitol.
Utah Governor Gary Herbert discusses public lands issues with Kathleen Clarke, heads to the Governor's Mansion for the holiday décor launch, appears on Fox Business Network and holds a budget discussion with Ron Bigelow and Lt. Gov. Greg Bell.
SL Co. Mayor Peter Corroon speaks in a U.S. Government class at Granger High.
SLC Mayor Ralph Becker is in Boston for the National League of Cities Congress of Cities and Exposition.
President Barack Obama meets first with senior advisers and later with 2012 American Nobel Prize winners. In the afternoon, he'll have lunch with Mitt Romney.
Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you haven't already, sign up for our weekday email and get this sent directly to your inbox. [Trib]
Thomas Burr and Betsy BlanchardTwitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/betsyblanchard