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Romney's transition plan cost $9 million. Utah went more Republican in 2012 than ever before. Utah 4th fastest growing state.

Happy Friday. It's the end of the world as we know it (It starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aeroplane - Lenny Bruce is not afraid). At least that's what the Mayans and REM might have everyone believing. But fret not, dear readers, it's just another day closer to the fiscal cliff.

-> And on that note, House Speaker John Boehner stumbled last night as he failed to rally enough votes to pass his "Plan B" offer on averting the tax hikes and deep spending cuts coming Jan. 1. Boehner pulled his bill rather than see it go down in defeat. The House, he said, will now wait for President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to negotiate a way forward and the House will return when needed. [NYTimes] [WaPost]

-> The Washington Post puts together a handy chart of all the plans floating out there to forestall a cliff dive. [WaPost]

Topping the news: Mitt Romney's transition team, led by ex-Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, spent nearly $9 million in the anticipation of a Romney presidency. [Time] Time Magazine also got hold of the 16-page memorandum of understanding laying out what the government would provide and what Romney's group had to pay for. [Time] PDF

-> Utah's first lady has apologized for sending a letter supporting a reduced sentence for a convicted child pornographer. [Trib]

-> BYU's Adam Brown does the math and finds that Utah voted more Republican in 2012 than anytime during its history as a state. [UtahDataPoints]

-> Utah was the fourth-fastest growing state in the nation with the highest birthrate, according to new Census data. [Trib]

Tweets of the day: From @PostRoz: "Sen. Murray goes there. When she heard of Plan B, she thought 'Finally. They've made progress on a really important women's health issue.'"

-> And from @PoliticoRoger: "I hear Plan C is that we all use gigantic circular stones for money."

-> And finally @BadJokeCat: "People are making apocalypse jokes like there's no tomorrow."

Happy birthday: Today to USU's Neil Abercrombie and on Christmas, to our friends Debbie Hummel and Tim Miller.

Programming note: Political Cornflakes is taking a holiday break and will return to your inboxes on Wednesday. We wish you the very best during this season and thank you for your valued time every morning.

In other news: Utah Democratic Party Chairman Jim Dabakis will soon join the state Senate that he has criticized and threatened to sue. [Trib]

-> Rep. Jason Chaffetz says the GOP has been "pathetic" in how it is handling the messaging of its fiscal cliff arguments and has strong words for Boehner. [DailyCaller]

-> The Brigham City Council has stripped Mayor Dennis Fife of several powers following the revelation that he had an affair. [Trib]

-> Utah is the next big test case for the Affordable Care Act's health exchange mandate as the state asks for more flexibility in running its own system. [Politico]

-> Utah won't know for another year whether the United States will bid for the 2026 Olympic Games but is moving ahead with its pitch anyway. [DNews]

-> Taylorsville Mayor Russ Wall is resigning his post to take up a new job with Salt Lake County. [Trib] [DNews]

-> Paul Rolly notes that Utah's Republican lawmakers don't want kids seeing alcoholic drinks being poured at restaurants but say it's a right to be able to wave a gun around outside a school. [Trib]

-> Pat Bagley offers his take on the real Mayan apocalypse. [Trib]

-> Utah Policy's No. 4 political story of the year: The crush of outside money flowing into races in Utah. [UtahPolicy]

-> Legislative leaders are wondering why there still haven't been any charges extending from the state's alcoholic beverage control scandal. [UtahPolicy]

-> UDOT has a gift for Utahns this holiday season: No road work in any part of the state. [Trib]

-> A Woods Cross refinery will pay a $115,000 penalty for clean air violations. [Trib] [DNews]

-> Clark Aposhian talks about why he thinks Utahns love their guns. [SLMagazine]

Nationally: Some key dates on the fiscal cliff deadline. [AP]

-> Newt Gingrich says he would have done better against Obama than Mitt Romney and says the GOP needs to change its process. [HuffPost]

Where are they?

Utah Governor Gary Herbert is taking a personal day.

SL Co. Mayor Peter Corroon hits the Road Home Annual holiday broadcast.

President Barack Obama will observe a moment of silence in honor of the victims of the Newtown shooting and later speak at the funeral for late Sen. Daniel Inouye at the Washington National Cathedral.

Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at If you haven't already, sign up for our weekday email and get this sent directly to your inbox. [Trib]

— Thomas

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