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3:55 PM ET, December 15, 2011


 Top Items: 
Rasmussen Reports:
Iowa: Romney 23%, Gingrich 20%, Paul 18%  —  For the fifth straight survey, the GOP field has a new frontrunner in Iowa.  —  On this first release video, Scott Rasmussen reveals Mitt Romney as the new frontrunner in the Iowa Caucus.  —  Although this video is available to everyone, most of the content on Rasmussen Reports is not.
Byron York / Campaign 2012:
Poll: Dramatic drop in Gingrich support in Iowa  —  DES MOINES — A new survey from pollster Scott Rasmussen shows support for Newt Gingrich in Iowa has fallen sharply in recent days.  The poll shows the former House speaker with the support of 20 percent of likely Republican caucus-goers …
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Giuliani slams Romney, likens Newt to Reagan  —  Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani slammed Mitt Romney as an unelectable flip-flopper, and said Newt Gingrich, who he compared to Ronald Reagan, offers Republicans the best shot at unseating President Obama.
The Politico:
David Mark  —  Moderator :  —  Now that Rep. Ron Paul …
Conor Friedersdorf / The Atlantic Online:
Pretending That Ron Paul Doesn't Matter Won't Make Him Go Away
David Grant / Christian Science Monitor:
Jon Huntsman leapfrogs Ron Paul in New Hampshire, says poll
Wall Street Journal:
A Bipartisan Way Forward on Medicare  —  Allowing private plans to compete with traditional Medicare will help lower costs and spur innovation.  —  Few issues draw more heated partisan rhetoric than the future of Medicare.  Seniors are a reliable and powerful voting bloc …
Sam Stein / The Huffington Post:
Wyden-Ryan Medicare Proposal Has White House ‘Concerned’ … WASHINGTON — The Obama administration expressed concern Thursday over the bipartisan Medicare reform proposal that has been hammered out between Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), saying it believes the plan could weaken the program.
National Review:
Winnowing the Field  —  A hard-fought presidential primary campaign is obscuring the uncharacteristic degree of unity within the Republican party.  It has reached a conservative consensus on most of the pressing issues of the day.  All of the leading candidates, and almost all of the lagging ones, support the right to life.
Charles P. Pierce / Esquire:
In Congress, a Merry (and Stupid) Christmas Compromise
Wall Street Journal:
The Wyden-Ryan Breakthrough  —  A better, bipartisan Medicare future.
Discussion: Corrente
New York Times:
U.S. War in Iraq Declared Officially Over  —  BAGHDAD — The United States military officially declared an end to its mission in Iraq on Thursday even as violence continues to plague the country and the Muslim world remains distrustful of American power.  —  In a fortified concrete courtyard …
Pew Research Center for the People and the Press:
Frustration with Congress Could Hurt Republican Incumbents  —  GOP Base Critical of Party's Washington Leadership  —  OVERVIEW  —  Public discontent with Congress has reached record levels, and the implications for incumbents in next year's elections could be stark.
Pew Research Center for the People and the Press:
Frustration with Congress Could Hurt Republican Incumbents  —  GOP Base Critical of Party's Washington Leadership  —  Nearly three months after protests began in New York and later expanded to cities around the country, 44% support the Occupy Wall Street movement and 35% oppose it.
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
A nation of populists and class warriors
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Hullabaloo
Marc Lacey / New York Times:
Arizona Sheriff's Office Unfairly Targeted Latinos, Justice Department Says  —  PHOENIX — In a harshly worded critique of the country's best-known sheriff, the Justice Department accused Joe Arpaio of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office of engaging in “unconstitutional policing” …
Tim Mak / The Politico:
Justice Department: Sheriff Arpaio mistreated Latinos
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
The United States Department of Justice:
Department of Justice Releases Investigative Findings on the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office
Discussion: TalkLeft
Pete Souza /
Obama Family Portrait Revealed  —  From left: Michelle, Malia, Barack and Sasha Obama  —  President Obama may be gearing up his campaign for reelection soon, but at home with his wife and daughters, he couldn't be happier.  —  The White House is releasing this new family portrait of the Obamas …
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Laura Meckler / Washington Wire:
Obama Says He Relished Trip to NYC After Bin Laden's Death
Rosalind S. Helderman / Washington Post:
Payroll tax cut and spending bill stall in Senate, raising threat of shutdown  —  Negotiations over how to extend a payroll tax holiday for 160 million Americans and avoid a government shutdown this weekend ground to a halt Wednesday after a standoff in the Senate over how to proceed.
David Nakamura / Washington Post:
President Obama to stay in D.C. while Michelle Obama, daughters head to Hawaii
Chris McGreal / Guardian:
Americans face Guantánamo detention after Obama climbdown  —  Defence funding bill allows American citizens to be arrested as terrorists on home soil and held indefinitely without trial  —  Barack Obama has abandoned a commitment to veto a new security law that allows the military …
The Politico:
Newt's loot: Billionaire commits $20M  —  Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is planning to direct $20 million to an outside group backing Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign, multiple sources told POLITICO - the first answer to urgent pleas from allies to the former speaker's long-time billionaire supporters.
Discussion: GOP 12 and The Other McCain
Paul Bedard / US News:
Harvard Poll: Young Voters Say Obama Will Lose  —  More bad news for President Obama  —  More bad news for President Obama, this time from his alma mater, Harvard University.  In a new poll, more younger voters, many of whom voted for him in 2008, think he will lose next year.
Mj Lee / The Politico:
Herman Cain's Cabinet dream: DOD  —  Herman Cain says that if he could be a Cabinet secretary, he wants to be head of the Department of Defense.  —  In an interview with Barbara Walters, who chose Cain as one of the “10 Most Fascinating People” of the year, the former presidential hopeful was asked what Cabinet position he would like.
Elizabethwarren / Blue Mass Group:
Protecting and Promoting Equality  —  Warren sets the terms of debate. - promoted by Bob_Neer  —  I've had the chance to say it in living rooms and school auditoriums, but I'm glad to have the chance to say it here: No one - no one - should be discriminated against because of race, color …
Discussion: Firedoglake, Ballot Box and Good As You
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
Newt Gingrich: Gay People Choose To Be Gay Like Priests Choose Celibacy  —  Newt Gingrich told the Des Moines Register's editorial board this morning that gay people have a “significant range of choice within a genetic pattern” and can choose to be straight just like someone can “choose to be celibate.”
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 More Items: 
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Congress members clash over call to investigate NYPD
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Is This Hell? No, It's Iowa
Discussion: The Atlantic Online
Andrew Restuccia / The Hill:
Nuclear chief Jaczko says he's ‘mortified’ by staff allegations of verbal abuse
Discussion: The Politico
Jim Nolan / Richmond Times-Dispatch:
Va. OKs same-sex adoption hurdle
Christopher C. Horner / Washington Examiner:
Obama's Justice Department joins Britain's ‘Climategate’ leaker manhunt
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Greg Hengler /
2008 Flashback: Michele Bachmann Gushes Over Newt Gingrich
Discussion: The Politico
Jake Silverstein / Texas Monthly:
Why We Chose Rick Perry as Our 2012 Bum Steer of the Year
Discussion: The Hill and Trail Blazers Blog
 Earlier Items: 
Rudy Giuliani Carves Up Mitt Romney on Morning Show
Josh Lederman / The Hill:
Cantor: Palestinian culture ‘infused with resentment and hatred’
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard / Telegraph:
China's epic hangover begins
Investor's Business Daily:
Documents Show Justice's Breuer Misled On ‘Furious’
Jonathan S. Landay / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Marines promoted inflated story for Medal of Honor recipient