In case you’re looking for a distraction while waiting for the ball to drop, here are some headlines to peruse…

The country will go over the so-called fiscal cliff tonight, as a deal down in D.C. is close, but won’t be passed before the midnight deadline.

Eleventh-hour talks between Senate Majority Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and VP Joe Biden resulted in an agreement to increase marginal income tax rates to 39.6 percent on individual income more than $400,000 and households that earn more than $450,000.

Biden and McConnell reportedly remain stuck on whether and how to stop $110 billion in across-the-board spending cuts in 2013.

President Obama said he would have preferred a so-called grand bargain, and warned Republicans that he’ll continue to push for more tax increases even beyond whatever may be included in this deal, saying:

“If Republicans think I will finish the job of deficit reduction through spending cuts alone, they’ve got another thing coming. That’s not how it’s going to work.”

Chelsea Clinton looked distraught outside New York-Presbyterian Hospital where her mother, 65-year-old Hillary Clinton, is being treated for a blood clot that is located in the vein between the brain and and the skull behind her right ear.

Clinton’s doctors say the clot did not result in any stroke or neurological damage, and she is expected to make a full recovery.

The former First Lady has a history of blood clots. In 1998, a clot was found behind her right knee and she was put on a blood thinner.

NBC News chief science and health correspondent Robert Bazell suggested Clinton’s clot might not really be related to the concussion she suffered earlier this month.

More speculation here on exactly what’s ailing Clinton and what caused her clot.

The state Senate Democrats have fleshed out their leadership team for 2013.

All but a dozen of New York’s school districts have submitted teacher evaluation plans to the state Education Department.

Assemblyman Joe Morelle is not lobbying Speaker Sheldon Silver for the majority leader gig – the second-highest ranking position in the chamber.

Tomasz Kaczowka, the second firefighter killed during the Christmas Eve ambush in Webster, was laid to rest.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced $4 million for a grant program to help local governments find innovative ways to reduce costs and save taxpayer dollars through consolidation and reorganization. (The submission deadline is 4 p.m., March 13).

Amsterdam News Publisher Elinor Tatum dismisses MTA Chairman and potential 2013 NYC mayoral candidate Joe Lhota as a “Giuliani clone.”

Clyde Haberman pens his final NYC column, but hints at a new position to come for him at the New York Times.

New York City welcomed a record 52 million visitors this year, according to Mayor Bloomberg.

A gun control package being negotiated between Cuomo and legislative leaders does not address microstamping, which the Senate Republicans vehemently oppose, and their biggest individual donor – Bloomberg – vehemently supports.

The father of Newtown gunman Adam Lanza has claimed his son’s body.