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5:20 PM ET, December 11, 2011


 Top Items: 
First Read /
Gingrich opens up big leads in South Carolina and Florida  —  Newt Gingrich's surge in the polls isn't limited to just the early presidential-nominating contest of Iowa.  —  According to new NBC News-Marist polls, the former House speaker has now opened up commanding leads in South Carolina and Florida …
David Weigel / Slate:
The Iowa Debate: Newt Wins the Dress Rehearsal  —  \Newt Gingrich speaks while Mitt Romney and Ron Paul look on during the Saturday's debate in Des Moines, Iowa.  —  When he talks to Republicans, especially to Republican voters who may not be inclined to back him, Newt Gingrich wins them over with a promise.
Matthew Putney / ABCNEWS:
Democrats Blast Newt Gingrich in First Video Ad as ‘Original Tea Partier’  —  For the first time in the presidential primary campaign, Democrats are turning their web video and “rapid response” email attack machine on former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.  —  Just hours after the ABC News …
Gschwarzcnn / CNN:
Santorum: Look at Gingrich's record  —  (CNN) - Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum criticized the leadership qualities of rival candidate Newt Gingrich on Sunday, suggesting voters contrast Gingrich's record with his own ahead of the Iowa caucuses.
John T. Bennett / The Hill:
Perry, Huntsman pledge major changes for Congress  —  Two long shot Republican presidential candidates took aim at the nation's capital on Sunday, vowing to make major changes to Congress as they search for traction with GOP voters.  —  Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman …
Discussion: CNN
Michael Barone / Campaign 2012:
Thoughts on the ABC/Drake debate
Christian Whiton / Fox News:
Why Washington Is Shocked, Shocked By Newt Gingrich's Rise Over Mitt Romney
Barry Rubin / Rubin Reports:
Fact-Checking Newt Gingrich and the Fact-Checkers on the Middle East  —  ABC News “fact-checked” Newt Gingrich's Middle East statements and some readers asked me to fact-check ABC, so here is my view:  —  Gingrich said Palestinians are an “invented” people.  ABC says: Not true.
Gschwarzcnn / CNN:
Debate 2.0: Romney and Gingrich surrogates attack
Discussion: ABCNEWS
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
Rick Perry: 'I Don't Have Memorized' The Names Of All 9 Supreme Court Justices  —  During a meeting with the Des Moines Register editorial board on Friday, Rick Perry asserted there were eight justices on the Supreme Court and mispronounced Sonia Sotomayor's name.
Brian Bennett / Los Angeles Times:
Police employ Predator drone spy planes on home front  —  Unmanned aircraft from an Air Force base in North Dakota help local police with surveillance, raising questions that trouble privacy advocates.  —  A Predator drone spy plane helped police make arrests after a North Dakota family's run-in with a local sheriff.
New York Post:
Rev. Al deep in the red  —  The Rev. Al Sharpton's nonprofit paid him nearly $242,000 — even as it carried $1.6 million in debt, according to documents obtained by The Post.  —  In all, the controversial activist and his empire, including the National Action Network and two for-profit companies …
CBS News:
Obama: Not redistributing wealth  —  In a “60 Minutes” interview with Steve Kroft, President Obama disputes the notion he is trying to redistribute wealth with his plans to treat the country's economic ills.  He tells Kroft he's just attempting to deliver the “American Deal” of a strong middle class …
Christopher Sherman / Associated Press:
US proposes unmanned border crossing with Mexico  —  BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK, Texas (AP) — The bloody drug war in Mexico shows no sign of relenting.  Neither do calls for tighter border security amid rising fears of spillover violence.  —  This hardly seems a time the U.S. would be willing …
Washington Examiner:
Why Americans no longer trust Washington  —  Survey after survey in recent months has shown an alarming decline in public confidence in the nation's chief federal institutions, as well as a deepening pessimism about America's future.  Congressional approval is at an all-time low of 13 percent …
Discussion: The Other McCain
Miriam Elder / Guardian:
Russians protest over ‘election fraud’  —  Tens of thousands defy bitter cold and fear of crackdown in challenge to victorious party of Vladimir Putin  —  Up to 50,000 people braved the cold and snow on Saturday to turn out for the largest ever protest against the rule of prime minister Vladimir Putin.
Discussion: Balloon Juice and Truthdig
“Putin Out,” Russian protesters chant
Discussion: Firedoglake
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 More Items: 
JJ Robinson / Minivan News:
Protesters calling for religious tolerance attacked with stones, threatened with death
Discussion: Jihad Watch and The Gateway Pundit
Glenn Kessler / Washington Post:
Romney's claim that Obama is an apologist for U.S. is based on distortions
Discussion: Don Surber and National Review
Lynn Sweet:
Mitt makes $10,000 bet at ABC News debate. Dec. 10, 2011 Transcript
Discussion: Booman Tribune
 Earlier Items: 
John T. Bennett / The Hill:
McConnell: Keystone is ‘shovel ready,’ pushes for linking payroll tax, pipeline
Discussion: CNN
Paul Krugman:
Lessons From Europe