Obama, top lawmakers meet over fiscal cliff

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The end game at hand, President Barack Obama and congressional leaders made a final stab at compromise Friday to prevent a toxic blend of middle-class tax increases and spending cuts from taking effect at the turn of the new year.Success was far from guaranteed in an atmosphere of political mistrust - even on a slimmed-down deal that postponed hard decisions about spending cuts into 2013, and pessimism vied with optimism in a Capitol where lawmakers grumbled about the likelihood of spending the new year holiday in the Capitol.\The clock is ticking

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