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10:50 AM ET, December 13, 2011


 Top Items: 
Michael Savage /
Ben Smithand Maggie Haberman / The Politico:
Romney's role: The Hillary Clinton of 2012?  —  For Mitt Romney this December, it's beginning to look a lot like Clinton.  —  Like the great, fallen front-runner of 2008, here is another well-funded, Establishment-blessed, presumptive nominee whose supposedly firm hold on his party's greatest prize seems to be slip-sliding away.
Jason Zengerle / New York Magazine:
Playing With Mud  —  The hobbyist oppo researcher.
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Business Insider
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Why Republicans Don't Nominate Swells  —  Don't pull a silver dollar out of that ear!  Don't!  —  The political press corps has decided that the “moment” of Saturday night's Republican presidential debate occurred when Mitt Romney decided to challenge Rick Perry to a $10,000 bet.
Alexander Burnsand Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
The South is up for grabs
Discussion: CNN
Josh Lederman / The Hill:
Mitt Romney starts to show cracks as front-runner status slips further
Discussion: Prairie Weather
Jamelle Bouie / American Prospect:
Were the Debates a Mistake?
Discussion: Ross Douthat and American Power
Deadly attack rocks central Liege in Belgium  —  A gun and grenade attack in the centre of the Belgian city of Liege has killed at least two people and wounded about 25, Belgian media say.  —  They say several men threw grenades and fired on a crowd at a bus stop in Place Saint Lambert, a busy square.
Discussion: Associated Press and Guardian
Lizzy Davies / Guardian:
Two dead in Belgian grenade attack  —  • ‘Four dead’ and dozens injured after blasts in Belgian city  —  • Attacker threw grenades into crowd before shooting self  —  • Situation ‘under control’, say police  —  3.15pm: The man who carried out the attack had been due …
Discussion: Telegraph, Gawker and The Jawa Report
Rep. Dennis Cardoza / The Hill:
Opinion: Obama would rather be university professor than president  —  After observing President Obama for the last three years, it has become obvious to me that the President might prefer to be a university professor rather than do the job he holds today.  While he may not realize that he feels …
Hank Stuever / Washington Post:
Chelsea Clinton makes broadcast debut on NBC's ‘Rock Center’  —  It's no surprise whatsoever that Chelsea Clinton didn't electrify broadcast journalism with her debut Monday night on NBC's “Rock Center With Brian Williams,” because she has no experience in broadcast journalism.
Susan Page / USA Today:
Swing States Poll: Downbeat Dems, resurgent Republicans  —  WASHINGTON - President Obama is moving to energize the Democratic base for his re-election campaign, but in the case of a dozen battleground states, he'll have to work harder than four years ago to find it.
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
Obama Administration Coordinating With Left-Wing Groups on Voter Fraud?  —  I wrote yesterday about the lightly-attended march in New York, ostensibly on behalf of voting rights, which was sponsored by a broad coalition of left-wing groups and was addressed by several Democratic politicians.
Washington Post:
Eric Holder wades into debate over voting rights as presidential election nears
Josh Gerstein / The Politico:
Supreme Court an ‘enormous issue’ for 2012  —  The Supreme Court, which has faded as a major campaign issue in recent years, could make a resurgence in 2012: The justices just keep adding to the hot-button political issues they plan to tackle before the election.
Discussion: Washington Post
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Supreme Court inserts itself into 2012 election in a major way
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
Justices Agree to Hear Challenge to Arizona Immigration Laws
Elizabeth Mendes / Gallup:
In U.S., Fear of Big Government at Near-Record Level  —  Democrats lead increase in concerns about big government  —  WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans' concerns about the threat of big government continue to dwarf those about big business and big labor, and by an even larger margin now than in March 2009.
John Heilemann / New York Magazine:
The Gingrich-Huntsman Debate: A New Way to Bash Mitt Romney  —  If you happened to devote 90 minutes to the Lincoln-Douglas-style debate between Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman that took place yesterday at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire — and you are in tenuous possession …
Ben Smithand Juana Summers / The Politico:
Newt, Huntsman agree, seriously
Chris Moody / Yahoo! News:
Newt Gingrich takes his fourth ‘no-adultery pledge’  —  Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich this week signed a pledge to uphold conservative values from the Iowa-based group The Family Leader and vowed to restrict federal dollars from paying for abortion overseas …
Discussion: The Caucus, Prairie Weather and Gawker
Alexander Burns / The Politico:
Newt takes no-adultery pledge
Rasmussen Reports:
55% Favor Repeal of Health Care Law  —  Most voters still want to repeal the national health care law, even though they tend to believe the law won't force them to change their own health insurance coverage.  —  The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 55% …
Eric Boehlert / Media Matters for America:
Huh?  Now Obamas Are Condemned For Celebrating Christmas Too Enthusiastically  —  Man, this whole War on Christmas is getting confusing.  —  Right on cue, the right-wing media this month has been waging its annual battle to convince faithful followers that religious-hating liberals are at war …
Saudi woman executed for ‘witchcraft and sorcery’  —  A Saudi woman has been executed for practising “witchcraft and sorcery”, the country's interior ministry says.  —  A statement published by the state news agency said Amina bint Abdul Halim bin Salem Nasser was beheaded on Monday in the northern province of Jawf.
Discussion: Informed Comment
Jeremy Herb / The Hill:
Deal reached on DoD authorization bill  —  Lawmakers reached an agreement Monday on the $662 billion Defense authorization bill they believe will satisfy White House demands to avoid a veto over the detention of terror suspects.  —  House and Senate Armed Services Committee leaders changed …
Washington Examiner:
York: In Iowa, evangelical church to Queer Studies  —  Jacob Ellis, left, and Pastor Larry Wagner, both of Keosauqua, Iowa, close their eyes in prayer during an anti gay-marriage rally sponsored by The Family Leader, Tuesday, March 15, 2011, at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa.
New York Times:
Premier's Actions in Iraq Raise U.S. Concerns  —  Jasim Nusaif, 71, in a photograph held by his son.  He was among hundreds of former Baath Party members swept up in recent arrests.  His family said the party expelled him in the 1980s.  —  BAGHDAD — Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki …
Jessica Brady / Roll Call:
Occupy Activists to Meet With Progressive Lawmakers  —  An Occupy Wall Street group will take to the House later this week, only this time the meeting is a planned occasion with the Congressional Progressive Caucus.  —  Ten organizers from New York's OWS group will speak to the caucus …
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Weasel Zippers
Andrew Ross Sorkin / DealBook:
Romney's Run Puts a Spotlight on Private Equity  —  On Wednesday, Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate for president, will attend fund-raisers in Manhattan given by his former private equity peers and Wall Street bankers, putting the spotlight on the private equity industry and Mr. Romney's role in it.
Discussion: Fortune and Business Insider
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 More Items: 
Yalman Onaran / Bloomberg:
EU Banks Taking Government Cash Seen Sparking ‘Vicious Cycle’
Discussion: EconLog
Leading Training and Security Services Provider Xe Services Announces Name Change to ACADEMI …
Discussion: and Washington Post
Associated Press:
Canada formally pulls out of Kyoto Protocol on climate change
New York Times:
Mets, Struggling for Cash, Receive $40 Million Bank Loan
Discussion: NBC New York and Business Insider
Conor Dougherty / Wall Street Journal:
Economy Poised for Growth Spurt, but Risks Abound
Sultan Knish:
A Badly Invented People
 Earlier Items: 
Jason DeParle / New York Times:
Recession Crimped Incomes of Richest Americans
Discussion: The Enterprise Blog and Althouse
The Daily Beast:
Barack Obama's Next Job
Discussion: Gawker and Don Surber