Morning Must Reads: Symbolic

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(Getty/Chip Somodevilla)

–The labor department released a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad November jobs report. The economy added a measly 39,000 jobs as the unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent, falling far below expectations or anything resembling a real recovery.

–Bush tax cuts state of play: The White House wants a year-long extension of unemployment benefits and the major tax credits from the stimulus renewed in exchange for extending the Bush-era breaks in full. Though a temporary extension of all the Bush breaks looks like their main bargaining chip, Robert Gibbs insists no deal is yet done and talks are ongoing. Senate Dems will hold their symbolic votes on Saturday.

–Mark Halperin rubs his eyes in disbelief.

–Andy Stern becomes the fifth deficit panel member to decide against voting to recommend the commission’s plan, thus making the 14-vote threshold unreachable.

–Derek Thompson gets some background on three gripes that scuttled the supermajority.

–The essential Jon Ralston writes up John Ensign’s post-probe political prospects:

Let us descend from Mount Delusion for a moment, dear friends, to talk reality for a moment. Ensign’s negatives are in the Reidosphere — no criminal charges but forever indicted as a morally superior hypocrite — but that is where the analogy ends. Unlike Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Ensign cannot count on a fantastic campaign team or a well-funded party that will be at his beck and call. Oh, and there’s the little matter of a primary with Rep. Dean Heller, who would not be the candidate in the race who voted for the 2008 bailout, a Tea Party litmus test.

–Jim DeMint says he won’t actively go after Dick Lugar in 2012.

–A Virginia Tea Partier eyes a challenge to George Allen’s expected Senate run.

–Chris Cillizza considers Palin’s attitude toward the media.

–Michelle Rhee lands on Florida governor-elect Rick Scott’s transition team (!).

–And the federal budget is really just a Chipotle burrito.

What did I miss?

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