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10:05 PM ET, December 8, 2011


 Top Items: 
Michele Bachmann Becomes Fifth GOP Candidate To Reject Donald Trump Debate  —  ABC News' Michael Falcone reports:  —  DES MOINES — Another one bites the dust.  —  Michele Bachmann has officially said “no” to the Donald Trump-moderated Newsmax debate scheduled for later this month.
Mj Lee / The Politico:
Priebus: ‘Malpractice’ for me to back Trump debate  —  Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus spoke out Thursday against an upcoming GOP presidential debate to be moderated by Donald Trump, saying it would be “malpractice” for him as the leader of the party not to think the debate was problematic.
Richard A. Oppel Jr / The Caucus:
Perry and Bachmann Also Pass on Trump Debate  —  6:51 p.m. |  Updated MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. - Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and Representative Michele Bachmann have joined other candidates, including Mitt Romney, in passing on Donald Trump's Dec. 27 debate in Iowa.  Mr. Perry's campaign issued this statement on Thursday:
A.Killough / CNN:
Santorum on Trump debate no-shows: They're hypocrites
Discussion: The Politico, Hot Air and HotAirPundit
Josh Lederman / Ballot Box:   Bachmann opts out of Trump debate
Danny Yadron / Washington Wire:
Perry Goes After Gingrich, Romney; Declines Trump
Discussion: Ballot Box
Mason City / ABCNEWS:
Rick Perry to Roll Through 42 Cities in Iowa on December Bus Tour
Sam Stein / The Huffington Post:
Rick Perry's Anti-Gay Iowa Ad Divides His Top Staff … 2012 Election , Log Cabin Republicans , Elections 2012 , Rick Perry , Video , Iowa Caucuses , Fabrizio Perry , Iowa Caucus 2012 , Perry Ad , Perry Dadt , Rick Perry 2012 , Rick Perry Ad Campaign , Rick Perry Don't Ask Don't Tell …
Matt Ortega / 2012 US Elections:
Perry's jacket in anti-gay ad?  Heath Ledger wore it in “Brokeback Mountain”  —  Rick Perry launched an anti-gay ad called, “Strong.”  In the ad, he attacks gays openly serving in the armed forces.  —  As it turns out, the gays get their revenge... the jacket Rick Perry wore in the ad?
Josiah Ryan / The Hill:
Dems' payroll tax cut extension goes down again in Senate  —  Senate Republicans blocked the latest installment of President Obama's jobs plan — a bill to extend the payroll tax cut — for the second week in a row on Thursday.  —  The bill, titled the Middle Class Tax Cut Act, was shot down 50-48.
Discussion: The Politico, Firedoglake and The Page
New York Times:
Republicans Unveil Plan for Payroll Tax
Discussion: The Caucus and Reuters
NW Daily Marker:
Tweets from Congressional Staffers Describe On-Job Drinking in Office of Congressman Larsen  —  For young men and women with ambitions toward a career in politics, working in a Congressional office can be a heady, almost dreamlike experience.  Left unsupervised, the combination of youth indiscretion …
The Politico:
Hill staffers fired for off-color tweets  —  They called it a “December to Remember”: a mission to spend the final month of the legislative session partying under the patronage of Rep. Rick Larsen.  —  Eight days into it, and a series of ill-advised tweets later, three staffers …
Discussion: Hot Air
Iran shows film of captured US drone  —  The BBC's James Reynolds says the video appears to support Iran's claims  —  Iranian TV has shown the first video footage of an advanced US drone aircraft that Tehran says it downed near the Afghan border.  —  Images show Iranian military officials inspecting …
Jennifer Griffin / Fox News:
Officials Confirm Authenticity of Iranian TV Images Showing Lost U.S. Drone  —  U.S. officials have confirmed to Fox News that images aired by Iranian state television do in fact show the secret U.S. drone that went down last week in eastern Iran.  —  “Yep, that's it,” one senior official told Fox News.
Discussion: Atlas Shrugs and Vodkapundit
Rick Gladstone / New York Times:
Iran Shows U.S. Drone on TV, and Lodges a Protest
Rhodes Cook / Sabato's Crystal Ball:
2012 Republican Race: The Field May Not Be Closed  —  Conventional wisdom is that the Republican presidential field is set, and that it is much too late for a new candidate to enter the race.  —  In years past, that would be absolutely correct.  Over the last few decades …
Daniel deVise / Washington Post:
Virginia Tech Police officer, one other, killed on campus  —  A Virginia Tech police officer was fatally shot Thursday during a routine traffic stop on the Blacksburg campus and a second person was found slain in a nearby parking lot after the gunman fled, the university reports.
Josh Glasstetter / Right Wing Watch:
VIDEO: Bill O'Reilly Hits Community Organizer with Umbrella, Tries to Get Him Arrested  —  Anyone who has watched the footage of Bill O'Reilly's infamous meltdown on the set of Inside Edition knows that the Fox News personality has a hot temper.  But you would expect the Fox News personality …
Matthew Boyle / The Daily Caller:
Sensenbrenner floats impeachment of Obama admin. officials as ‘Fast and Furious’ response  —  Wisconsin Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, a former chairman of the House Judiciary Committee where Attorney General Eric Holder testified on Thursday, suggested that impeachment …
David S. Hilzenrath / Washington Post:
Corzine says he could have been misunderstood on transfer of MF Global accounts  —  Jon S. Corzine, the former U.S. senator and governor who presided over the collapse of the commodities brokerage MF Global, told lawmakers Thursday that he never intended to authorize a transfer of customer funds …
Meet Josh Block: Lobbyist For Foreign Human Rights Abuser  —  A Politico article yesterday on CAP's Middle East posture cited Josh Block, who described CAP's bloggers as writing “borderline anti-Semitic stuff.”  In a leaked email to a right-wing listserv, Block, now senior fellow …
David Frum / FrumForum:
The Coming GOP Gingrich Freakout  —  Today's question is: will the Gingrich balloon deflate like all the previous Not Mitt balloons?  —  The answer is: yes of course-but given that these balloons take typically 6-8 weeks to shrivel, the impending Gingrich bust may not arrive soon enough to save Romney.
Jon Brooks / KQED News Fix:
Prop 8 Hearing on Trial Video, Judge Vaughn Walker's Same-Sex Relationship  —  Today a 9th Circuit Court panel heard oral arguments on two ancillary issues in the long-running legal battle to decide the fate of Proposition 8, California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage …
John H. Cushman Jr / New York Times:
Senate Stops Consumer Nominee  —  WASHINGTON — The Senate on Thursday blocked President Obama's nominee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as filibustering Republicans who oppose the powers of the new agency successfully challenged one of the administration's main responses to the financial crisis.
Scott Wong / The Politico:
GOP blocks Cordray for CFPB
Discussion: CNN and
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 More Items: 
Richard Vinen / New York Times:
Bring the Iron Lady Back
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
Arthur Delaney / The Huffington Post:
Jack Kingston: Drug Test The Jobless
Discussion: Hullabaloo and ThinkProgress
Jon Bershad / Mediaite:
President Obama: ‘Ask Osama Bin Laden Whether I Engage In Appeasement’
Discussion: Liberal Values
Toys for Tots ‘running out of toys’ in Philly
Ivan Villanueva / Advocate:
Troy Mayor Fired from Realty Job for Antigay Comments
First Thoughts: The attack on Newt begins
Discussion: ABCNEWS
 Earlier Items: 
Andrew Restuccia / The Hill:
Sen. Boxer to climate-change deniers: ‘You are endangering humankind’
Discussion: Michelle Malkin
Hope Yen / Associated Press:
Census: Widening income gap as blacks leave cities
Discussion: The Politico and ThinkProgress
Jonathan Allen / The Politico:
Eric Cantor smacks down ‘insider’ Spencer Bachus
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Booman Tribune
Investor's Business Daily:
Five Big Lies in Obama's Economic Fairness Speech
Frank Newport / Gallup:
Republicans Less Enthusiastic About Voting in 2012