North Korea Rocket Launch Video Is a Display of Propaganda

North Korea proves it can hit western U.S. with missile (via Brian Kim) – North Korea successfully launched its long-range rocket on Tuesday evening, boosting the credentials of its new leader. The rocket, which North Kora says put a weather satellite into orbit, is a test of technology that could one day deliver a missile to the continental US.

Watch the North Korean TV special showing the launch:

2012 in social media – Both Twitter and Facebook released their annual overview. Which do you like better?

Fiscal cliff notes – With 19 days until we go over the cliff, the two sides are no closer to a possible solution. New developments:
–      Corporate taxes are now on the table. The White House told republicans that it wants to include corporate tax overhaul as part of any deficit deal (via WSJ).
–      Top CEOs urge congress to act with a letter to congress.
–      108 economists oppose any tax hikes with a letter to congress.
–      Boehner plays hardball with rebellious GOP members by removing some from cushy committee assignments (via WashPo).

Obama says U.S. will recognize Syrian rebels – “The US will formally recognize a coalition of Syrian opposition groups as that country’s legitimate representative, in an attempt to intensify the pressure on President Bashar al-Assad” (via NYT).

Top PolicyMic stories – 15 Signs You're Actually a Feminist (Brittany Tiara) – Katy Perry recently announced that even though she believes in the strength of women, she's not a feminist. Are you? Take a quick quiz to find out!

Is Bullfighting Art, Or is it Torture? (Juan Pablo Laso) – On Dec. 6, for the first time in over 50 years, no bullfights were held at the Plaza de Toros Quito. Ideas about bullfighting are changing across the world, but the central question remains.

Is Rural America Still Relevant? (Derek Dye) – Chairman of the White House Rural Council, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack gave rural advocates in Washington a long overdue speech about the relevancy, or irrelevancy, of today's rural America.

Obama Shows He'll Double Down On Far Left Policies In Second Term (John Giokaris) – The election is over. Obama got his second term. If the past month is any indication, he will only double down on his far-left policies and there’s nothing left to stop him from going all in.

Big Boi's 'Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors' Is Modern Hip Hop At Its Most Visionary(Thomas Barnes) – Big Boi's new album seeks to unite the sounds of indie alternative with southern rap. The blend is intriguing, but choppy at times. It is current hip-hop at its most ambitious and beautiful.

Blogging is the End and Beginning of Journalism (Tye Tavaras) – The GNAA hacks Tumblr accounts with racist posts, in an effort to take on bloggers as lowering journalist standards. Why they have a point ... and how they don't.

What the PSY Controversy Reveals About U.S.-South Korean Relations (Keeran Murphy) – PSY's presence at the "Christmas in Washington" concert in spite of controversy brings to light the strength, and complexity, of U.S.-ROK relations.

Behind the Scenes at the World's Most Famous Fashion Magazine (Emilie Hall) – HBO's new documentary 'In Vogue: The Editor's Eye' takes you behind the scenes at the world's most famous fashion magazine. What we see is a world nearly as glossy as the 'Vogue' pages.

Advice to Recent Grads: Be Careful What You Wish For (Caira Conner) – When I was offered a paid position a mere five weeks after completing my Master’s degree in global affairs at NYU I was ecstatic. Then, it all fell apart.

What we’re reading – How Mexican drug cartels moved money through British banks(Bloomberg); How Romney spent more on TV ads but got much less (WashPo); Unlikely backers in a battle over taxes (NYT); Does right-to-work increase or decrease freedom? (Forbes); The skills that make an entrepreneur (HBR); The pope’s first tweets (Twitter).

*It was a pleasure covering for Jake with the Mic Check over the past week. If you have any feedback please e-mail me at caltchek@policymic.com.*

Dessert – What People Tweeted Most in 2012 (Alex Marin).

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