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5:00 PM ET, December 4, 2011


 Top Items: 
Erik Wasson / Ballot Box:
Coburn blasts Gingrich, found his leadership ‘lacking’ as House Speaker  —  Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said Sunday that he cannot support GOP presidential frontrunner Newt Gingrich because the former House speaker lacks leadership skills.  —  “I am not inclined to be a supporter …
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Obama to channel T.R. — Cain may endorse Newt — Gingrich talks Middle East, inner city this week - Perry bus tour - Iowa Poll: Newt, Ron Paul, Mitt, undecided, Bachmann, Cain, Santorum, Perry  —  GREEN ROOM CHEAT SHEET - our notes for “Face the Nation” roundtable:
NBC's Mark Murray /
Gingrich takes control in Iowa  —  With about four weeks until the first Republican presidential nominating contest, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has surged to the lead in Iowa and has climbed nearly 20 percentage points in New Hampshire since October, according to new NBC News-Marist polls.
‘This Week’ Transcript: GOP Candidate Rick Santorum and Rep. Barney Frank  —  CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, HOST: Thank you, John.  —  And a big question this morning, where will all those Herman Cain voters go?  Our headliner today hopes they flock straight to him.  He's former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.
Jennifer Jacobs / Iowa Caucuses:
Iowa Poll: Newt Gingrich leads three-candidate race in Iowa
Jennifer Jacobs / Iowa Caucuses:
Iowa Poll: Gingrich leads GOP pack, then Paul, Romney
Cynthia Kouril / Firedoglake:
The Profits on the Secret $7.7 Trillion Loans to TBTF Banks  —  Elliot Spitzer has an excellent article up at Slate about the $7.7 trillion secret loans that the Fed made to the nation's biggest banks.  He wants criminal and Congressional investigations, as you would expect.
Erik Wasson / The Hill:
Sen. Conrad: Reid to unveil payroll tax holiday compromise  —  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will unveil a compromise proposal on Monday to resolve the simmering congressional dispute over whether and how to extend a payroll tax holiday.  —  Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) …
Discussion: CNN and The Moderate Voice
Ginger Thompson / New York Times:
U.S. Drug Agents Launder Profits of Mexican Cartels  —  WASHINGTON — Undercover American narcotics agents have laundered or smuggled millions of dollars in drug proceeds as part of Washington's expanding role in Mexico's fight against drug cartels, according to current and former federal law enforcement officials.
Discussion: JustOneMinute and Truthdig
Merkel and Sarkozy to unveil eurozone rescue package  —  Germany's Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy of France will set out plans for a eurozone rescue package when they meet tomorrow, and the European Central Bank could offer a €1 trillion (£640bn) cash injection if closer fiscal union is agreed later this week.
Discussion: National Review
Tom Hamburger / Los Angeles Times:
A closer look at Mitt Romney's job creation record  —  The Republican presidential contender says he learned about expanding employment during his time heading a private equity firm.  But under his leadership, Bain Capital often maximized profits in part by firing workers.
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Hullabaloo
Maureen Dowd / New York Times:
Out of Africa and Into Iowa  —  NEWT GINGRICH'S mind is in love with itself.  —  It has persuaded itself that it is brilliant when it is merely promiscuous.  This is not a serious mind.  Gingrich is not, to put it mildly, a systematic thinker.  —  His mind is a jumble, an amateurish mess lacking impulse control.
Peter Schroeder / The Hill:
Ron Paul says he's ‘flavor of the decade’  —  Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) said Sunday he hoped voters attracted to Herman Cain's “independent mindedness” would take a second look at his presidential campaign with Cain now out of the race.  —  “We're paying a lot of attention of that …
Discussion: CNN and Weasel Zippers
Washington Post:
ProPublica review of pardons in past decade shows process heavily favored whites  —  White criminals seeking presidential pardons over the past decade have been nearly four times as likely to succeed as minorities, a ProPublica examination has found.  —  Blacks have had the poorest chance …
Associated Press:
Panetta Scolds Israel on Peace Talks  —  WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urged Israel on Friday to “reach out and mend fences” with Turkey, Egypt and other security partners in the Middle East, saying he is troubled by the Jewish state's growing isolation in the volatile region.
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 More Items: 
Jim Rutenberg / New York Times:
Huntsman's Cash-Poor Campaign Gets Help From Father
David McKay / Hartford Courant:
Sexual Assault Reported At Occupy Hartford Camp
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Pirate's Cove
George F. Will / Washington Post:
Choking on Obamacare  —  In 1941, Carl Karcher was a 24-year …
Peter Schroeder / The Hill:
McCain: GOP needs to address immigration in a ‘humane’ way
Discussion: CNN
 Earlier Items: 
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
The Decadent Left  —  IN the days when Tea Party activists …
Discussion: Booman Tribune and TBogg