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It's "Thinking Out Loud About the Fiscal Thingy" Monday, as we were joined in succession by Greg Dworkin and Armando Llorens to ponder the possibilities as time winds down on the calendar year and the 112th Congress. Might we see a "Grand Bargain" negotiated in stages? How likely is a separate tax deal before the year is out? What about a quickie deal to kick the can down the road on sequestration? Where do Medicare and Social Security fit in all this? And what about the debt ceiling? Does it even belong in these negotiations at all? How roles have reversed in the use of the calendar as leverage in year-end legislative games. And what might the filibuster have to do with it? Finally, a look back at one of the craziest Congressional races (and situations in general) in the country, in Michigan's 11th District, where short-timer Rep. David Curson (D) is filling in for just a few weeks, and Rep-elect (and reindeer farmer and kinda-sorta 9/11 Truther) Kerry Bentivolio (R) is set to take over in January. Yes, Kagro in the Morning brought you that story, thanks to Daily Kos Political Director David Nir, back in August, and we reprise it today.

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