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3:55 AM ET, December 22, 2011

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Amie Parnes / The Hill:
Obama shows he's confident he's beating GOP in payroll tax fight  —  President Obama, who has been on the losing end of several hard-fought battles with House Republicans, is showing that he thinks he's winning the latest tax fight.  —  While the White House—which has made it known …
Discussion: The Caucus and Booman Tribune
RELATED:
ABCNEWS:
Capitol Stand-off: Republicans Caving?  —  My prediction: House Republicans will soon - probably within 24 hours - cave in and accept the two-month extension of the payroll tax cut passed last week by the Senate.  —  I base this on conversations with House Republicans who know they are losing …
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Rove: Republicans should fold in payroll tax cut standoff  —  Former Bush adviser Karl Rove said he agreed with the Wall Street Journal's blistering assessment on the failure of House Republican leadership in the payroll-tax debate, and conceded that Republicans have “lost the optics” and should fold on the issue.
Jennifer Epstein / Reuters:
With family away, Obama, Bo shop  —  President Barack Obama took a break from wrangling with House Republicans on Wednesday afternoon for a quick pre-Christmas shopping trip to buy gifts for his daughters and Bo the dog.  —  After calling congressional leaders to reaffirm his support …
Tommy Christopher / Mediaite:
Mitt Romney bin Busted: ‘Candidate Like Myself’ Would Have Done Bin Laden Raid (Except 2007 Mitt)  —  At Christmastime, it's comforting to know that a Mitt Romney interview is the gift that keeps on giving.  On Wednesday's The Daily Rundown, host Chuck Todd drew a lot out of the candidate with his deceptively easygoing style.
RELATED:
ABCNEWS:
Mitt Romney Says ‘Yes’ To Deporting President Obama's Uncle  —  ABC News' Michael Falcone reports:  —  Presidential candidate Mitt Romney told a Boston talk radio host on Wednesday that he supports the deportation of President Obama's Kenyan-born uncle who was arrested this fall on drunken driving charges in Massachusetts.
msnbc.com:
Romney to Gingrich: If you can't stand the heat, wait until Obama's Hell's kitchen  —  By NBC's Garrett Haake and Domenico Montanaro  —  KEENE, N.H. — On the first stop of his statewide bus tour today, Mitt Romney delivered a blunt message to rival Newt Gingrich when it comes to his Super PAC's attack ads: You think this is bad?
Discussion: The Caucus
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
The point at which Mitt Romney loses his mind
Daniel Jacobson / Gossip Cop:
Matt Damon Blasts Obama: “One-Term President With Balls” Would Be Better  —  Matt Damon rips President Obama in Elle magazine, blasting his leadership qualities and saying he'd prefer “a one-term president with some balls who actually got stuff done.”  —  The actor, a longtime supporter …
James Crugnale / Mediaite:
Rep. Ron Paul Gets Irked By Newsletter Questions, Walks Out Of CNN Interview  —  Ron Paul walked out of an interview with CNN's Gloria Borger following a heated exchange over the controversy regarding racist newsletters sent in his name during the 1990s.  Borger asked the Congressman if he had ever read the newsletters.
RELATED:
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Paul abandons interview concerning controversial newsletters
Charlie Savage / New York Times:
$335 Million Settlement on Countrywide Lending Bias  —  The Justice Department on Wednesday announced the largest residential fair-lending settlement in history, saying that Bank of America had agreed to pay $335 million to settle allegations that its Countrywide Financial unit discriminated …
Discussion: Truthdig and Firedoglake
RELATED:
Betsy Rothstein / FishbowlDC:
Lawmaker Says Michelle Obama Has ‘Large Posterior’  —  Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.), known for his cantankerous ways and for not speaking to media unless it's his idea, was overheard at the Delta Crown lounge at Reagan National Airport today talking on his cellphone about an incident …
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Romney Reverses Position on Iraq  —  You people don't care about Iraq any more, do you?  Didn't think so.  —  In an interview with MSNBC's Chuck Todd today, Mitt Romney asserts that “of course” invading Iraq was a bad idea now that we know Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction.
John Hawkins / Right Wing News:
The 50 Best Political Quotes For 2011 (Third Annual)  —  50) Get the hell off the Beach in Asbury Park and get out.  You're done.  It's 4:30 PM.  You've maximized your tan.  Get off the beach.  Get in you cars and get out of those areas.  — Chris Christie 49) NPR is a very elitist …
Derek Thompson / The Atlantic Online:
The Most Important Graphs of 2011  —  What is it about graphs and economics?  In a discipline where facts are murky and certainty is elusive, graphs offer a bright light of information and a small confidence that the world can be summed up between two axes.
Grist:
New EPA mercury rules are a bona fide Big Deal  —  Wednesday, at long last, the EPA unveiled its new rule covering mercury and other toxic emissions from coal- and oil-fired power plants.  —  Anyone who pays attention to green news will have spent the last two years hearing a torrent …
RELATED:
yosemite.epa.gov:
EPA Issues First National Standards for Mercury Pollution from Power Plants/ Historic 'mercury …
Victor Morton / Washington Times:
Ex-President Carter sends condolences to Kim Jong-un  —  Former President Jimmy Carter has sent North Korea a message of condolence over the death of Kim Jong-il and wished “every success” to the man expected to take over as dictator, according to the communist country's state-run news agency.
Brian Tashman / Right Wing Watch:
Robertson Tells Father to Love his Gay Son through ‘Ex-Gay’ Conversion  —  Today on The 700 Club, a man with an openly gay son asked Pat Robertson how he can show his son “the love of Jesus when you know his sexual preference is an abomination to God.”  Robertson told the father to love …
iMFdirect:
2011 In Review: Four Hard Truths  —  What a difference a year makes ...  We started 2011 in recovery mode, admittedly weak and unbalanced, but nevertheless there was hope.  The issues appeared more tractable: how to deal with excessive housing debt in the United States …
Ginger Gibson / Reuters:
Newt Gingrich courting Iowa voters with judicial rants  —  Newt Gingrich, scrambling to regain ground in Iowa, has worked to keep his crusade against federal judges alive — talking up the issue for the fourth straight day in an appearance on “The O'Reilly Factor” on Tuesday night.
Discussion: NewsHounds blog
Zack Ford / ThinkProgress:
Gay Republican Groups Defend Gingrich, Urge Gay Voters Not To Vote On Equality  —  Gay Republican group GOProud said today that “Speaker Gingrich said absolutely nothing wrong” when he told a gay voter he'd be better off supporting President Obama's reelection.
Wall Street Journal:
Fewer Ports in a Global Storm  —  The world economy faces a shortage of super-safe financial assets, bonds for which there is almost no risk of default and for which the market is so big that investors can buy and sell them readily.  —  When anything is in short supply, its price rises.
Discussion: Brad DeLong
 
 
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 More Items: 
Maureen Dowd / New York Times:
Separation of Newt and State
Discussion: Hullabaloo and Prairie Weather
Doug Stanglin / USA Today:
Sheriff: Stray bullet kills Amish teen 1.5 miles away
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Gingrich challenges Romney to one-on-one debate over attack ads
Discussion: Reuters, The Politico, Hot Air and CNN
Gschwarzcnn / CNN:
RNC sees benefit to longer primary and caucus season
Discussion: The Politico
Gschwarzcnn / CNN:
Santorum: Faith leader asked me, others to consider dropping out
Discussion: The Politico
ABCNEWS:
Romney Orders Hawaiian Pizza, Feeds Reporters
Brock Vergakis / Associated Press:
2 women share 1st kiss at US Navy ship's return
 Earlier Items: 
The Politico:
POLITICO Influence: Endgame
Discussion: Eduwonk
Ron Paul / Washington Post:
Ron Paul becoming serious contender in Republican presidential race
U.S. Census Bureau News:
Texas Gains the Most in Population Since the Census
Robert Reich / The Huffington Post:
Why the Republican Crackup is Bad For America
Discussion: The Other McCain