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10:35 AM ET, December 14, 2011


 Top Items: 
Jennifer Jacobs / Iowa Caucuses:
Gingrich's Iowa political director leaves campaign after Mormonism ‘cult’ remark  —  Craig Bergman (Dave Davidson /  —  The new political director for Newt Gingrich's Iowa campaign thinks that some evangelicals believe God would reject Mitt Romney because of his Mormonism.
Mj Lee / The Politico:
Christine O'Donnell: I like Mitt Romney's flip  —  Talk about a backhanded compliment.  —  Christine O'Donnell, who has endorsed Mitt Romney, appeared on CNN Wednesday and inadvertently drew attention to one of the charges against the former Massachusetts governor from his critics - flip-flopping.
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Paul closes in on Gingrich  —  There has been some major movement in the Republican Presidential race in Iowa over the last week, with what was a 9 point lead for Newt Gingrich now all the way down to a single point.  Gingrich is at 22% to 21% for Paul with Mitt Romney at 16% …
George F. Will / Washington Post:
Newt Gingrich commits a capital crime  —  Newt Gingrich — the friend of his detractors, to whom he offers serial vindications — provided on Monday redundant evidence for the proposition that he is the least conservative candidate seeking the Republican presidential nomination: He faulted Mitt Romney for committing acts of capitalism.
Kevin Hall / The Iowa Republican:
TIR Focus Group: Evangelicals Will Revolt Against Romney Nomination  —  A focus group of Iowa conservative activists gathered recently to discuss the upcoming caucuses.  The group, organized by in conjunction with McClatchy newspapers, included a retiree, a college student …
Mark Murray /
NBC/WSJ poll: Romney struggles with primary voters, Gingrich with general electorate  —  Jim Lo Scalzo / Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA  —  Why the difference between Mitt Romney, left, and Newt Gingrich, right?  Look no further than the two men's favorability ratings.  —  By Mark Murray, Deputy Political Director, NBC News
Pew Research Center /
Gingrich Leads, But Likely GOP Primary Voters Have Not Ruled Out Romney
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
New York Times:
House Passes Extension of Cut to Payroll Taxes  —  WASHINGTON — Defying a veto threat from President Obama, the House on Tuesday passed a bill extending a cut in Social Security payroll taxes for 160 million Americans for another year.  But the Democratic majority in the Senate vowed to reject …
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Bluff called: House defies Obama veto threat, passes payroll cut extension with Keystone pipeline provision
Discussion:, CNN and Daily Kos
Washington Post:
Congress debates payroll tax cut, government funding omnibus
Discussion: Right Wing News
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
House passes payroll tax cut extension bill despite veto threat
Discussion: Booman Tribune and The Politico
Brian Beutler /
TPMDC  —  Dems To GOP: Deal Fairly On Payroll Tax Or Shut Down The Government
Discussion: Firedoglake and Daily Kos
Kurt Andersen / Time:
The Protester  —  Once upon a time, when major news events were chronicled strictly by professionals and printed on paper or transmitted through the air by the few for the masses, protesters were prime makers of history.  Back then, when citizen multitudes took to the streets without weapons …
Matthew Lynn / MarketWatch:
This slump won't end until 2031  —  Commentary: Our predicament parallels the Long Depression of 1870s  —  LONDON (MarketWatch) — In retrospect, it wasn't hard to see that the markets were becoming dangerously unstable.  Germany had just adopted a new monetary system, and Europe was being flooded with cheap German money.
Discussion: The Agonist
Phyllis Furman / NY Daily News:
Milk Street Cafe, FiDi eatery that lost business due to Occupy Wall Street barricades, to close for good  —  Thursday is last day for popular Financial District restaurant that opened in June  —  Milk Street Cafe owner Marc Epstein, on steps of City Hall in November, complained about Occupy Wall Street barricades hurting business.
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
A First Iowa Forecast: Race Is Still Wide Open  —  We're a few days away from releasing the official version of our polling-based forecasts for the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.  But the statistical work behind the model is done, so I can give you a preview of what the forecasts will look like.
Realtors: We Overcounted Home Sales for Five Years  —  Data on sales of previously owned U.S. homes from 2007 through October this year will be revised down next week because of double counting, indicating a much weaker housing market than previously thought.
Discussion: and KVOA-TV
Malcolm Moore / Telegraph:
Inside Wukan: the Chinese village that fought back  —  Something extraordinary has happened in the Chinese village of Wukan.  —  Thousands of Wukan's residents gathered for a second day in front of a triple-roofed pagoda that serves as the village hall  —  For the first time on record …
Lisa Depaulo / GQ:
The (Real) Governator  —  Nope, not Ah-nold.  On January 1, 2011, Andrew Cuomo rolled into the perpetually dysfunctional city of Albany, New York, and did something truly shocking: He delivered on his campaign promises.  Here, in his first major interview since taking office …
The Jewish Week:
My Tim Tebow Problem  —  I've got a Tim Tebow problem.  —  I want to root for the guy, but I'm afraid of what will happen if the hulky Denver Bronco quarterback continues to pull off what is fast becoming the Greatest Gridiron Story Ever Told.  Since taking over as starting quarterback earlier this season …
Associated Press:
Stephanopoulos back to replace Amanpour at ABC's ‘This Week,’ will remain host of ‘GMA’  —  NEW YORK — Christiane Amanpour is being replaced as ABC's Sunday morning political talk show host by the man she took over from — George Stephanopoulos.  —  ABC News said Tuesday that Amanpour is out as host of “This Week.”
Brian Stelter / Media Decoder:
Amanpour to Leave ABC's ‘This Week’ and Rejoin CNN
Jo Becker / New York Times:
Beirut Bank Seen as a Hub of Hezbollah's Financing  —  BEIRUT, Lebanon — Last February, the Obama administration accused one of Lebanon's famously secretive banks of laundering money for an international cocaine ring with ties to the Shiite militant group Hezbollah.
Government Says Hezbollah Profits From U.S. Cocaine Market Via Link to Mexican Cartel
Discussion: Danger Room
Gene Marks / Quicker Better Tech:
If I Were A Poor Black Kid  —  President Obama gave an excellent speech last week in Kansas about inequality in America.  —  “This is the defining issue of our time.”  He said.  “This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class, and for all those who are fighting to get into the middle class.
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 More Items: 
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
New Data: Obamacare Extended Health Coverage To At Least 2.5 Million Young Adults
Discussion: The New Republic
Charles Krupa / ABCNEWS:
Unfavorable Views of Obama Reach a High, Although Gingrich Trails in Popularity
Ann Gerhart / Washington Post:
Senate's Secret Santas make their rounds
Rush Limbaugh:
Critics Pan Chelsea Clinton's Debut
Discussion: The Other McCain
Jonathan Weisman / Wall Street Journal:
Many Twitter Users Back President Obama, Poll Shows
Julia Preston / New York Times:
Immigration Crackdown Also Snares Americans
 Earlier Items: 
Nicholas Wapshott / The Great Debate:
Streep's shallow take on Thatcher
Discussion: Verum Serum
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Dem Senators to Obama administration: On Plan B, it's put up or shut up time
Scott Baker /
Steven Ertelt /
Kermit Gosnell's Wife Pleads Guilty to Abortion Horrors
Discussion: Hot Air and The PJ Tatler
Dennis Cauchon / USA Today:
Household electricity bills skyrocket
Discussion: The Enterprise Blog and Power Line