The XX Factor

We’re Talking About: End-of-Life Planning and Kamala Harris

-Another victory for President Obama : The proposal that touched off a furor over “death panels” will be enacted on January 1, permitting Medicare to pay doctors for advising their patients on end-of-life care. [ New York Times ]

-The January 1 inauguration of Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s president-elect , will continue a leadership trend in Latin America; she’ll make the region’ s third sitting female head of state, and the sixth since the 1990s. [ Wall Street Journal ]

- Kamala Harris , who narrowly won the California Attorney General Race in November, is viewed by many Democrats as “the anti-Palin.” [ Politico ]

-The tenor of Supreme Court oral arguments is shifting: With the addition of Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan , the court’s liberal wing is no longer being drowned out by Justice Antonin Scalia. [ LA Times ]

-A new report concludes that the average American woman now gives birth after 39 weeks of pregnancy , down from 40 weeks in 1990. [ ABCLocal ]