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4:20 PM ET, December 18, 2011


 Top Items: 
Associated Press:
Vaclav Havel, Dissident Playwright Who Led Czechoslovakia, Dead at 75  —  PRAGUE — Vaclav Havel, the dissident playwright who wove theater into politics to peacefully bring down communism in Czechoslovakia and become a hero of the epic struggle that ended the Cold War, has died.  He was 75.
J.Y. Smith / Washington Post:
Vaclav Havel, dissident playwright and former Czech president, dies
Michael Winfrey / Reuters:
Vaclav Havel, leader of “Velvet Revolution,” dies
Ted Mann / The Atlantic Wire:
Vaclav Havel is Dead
Nick Gillespie / Hit & Run:
Vaclav Havel, RIP
Ron Nixon / New York Times:
Boehner Says House G.O.P. Opposes Deal on Payroll Tax  —  WASHINGTON — A day after the Senate overwhelmingly approved legislation to extend a payroll tax cut for two months, House Republicans made clear Sunday that they would not support the measure.  —  Speaker John A. Boehner …
Discussion: Blue Mass Group
Russell Berman / The Hill:
White House backs Senate payroll bill over House objections  —  The White House is throwing its weight behind a Senate compromise for a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut, despite strong objections from House Republicans that could unravel the deal.  —  The director of the National …
Russell Berman / The Hill:
Speaker Boehner opposes Senate's two-month payroll tax cut extension
Discussion: The Politico
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
Quote of the Day  —  At this week's debate for Republican presidential candidates, Newt Gingrich emphasized one of his favorite subjects: his disgust for the federal judiciary.  The disgraced former House Speaker warned of “an uprising” against the courts, adding that he's …
Alexander Bolton / Ballot Box:
Gingrich: Congress can send Capitol Police to arrest rogue judges  —  GOP presidential frontrunner Newt Gingrich said Congress has the power to dispatch the Capitol Police or U.S. Marshals to apprehend a federal judge who renders a decision lawmakers broadly oppose.
Iowa Caucuses:
The Des Moines Register's GOP caucus endorsement: Mitt Romney is best to lead  —  Sobriety, wisdom and judgment.  —  Those are qualities Mitt Romney said he looks for in a leader.  Those are qualities Romney himself has demonstrated in his career in business, public service and government.
Reid J. Epstein / The Politico:
Mitt Romney has tame return to Sunday roster
Discussion: CNN
Jennifer Jacobs / Iowa Caucuses:
10 factors that could determine Newt Gingrich's fate in Iowa
A.Killough / CNN:
Des Moines Register endorses Romney
Associated Press:
Gingrich says rivals' criticism taking a toll
Discussion: The Caucus
Max Fisher / The Atlantic Online:
A Photo That Encapsulates the Horror of Egypt's Crackdown  —  Three soldiers beat a defenseless woman, pull off her abaya, and drag her down a Cairo street  —  The above photo shows Egyptian army soldiers beating a young woman in Tahrir Square in Cairo on Saturday, the second straight …
Discussion: Sister Toldjah and
Inderdeep Bains / Daily Mail:
The brave women of the Middle East: Female protesters brutally beaten with metal poles as vicious soldiers drag girls through streets by their hair in day of shame  —  After being viciously beaten by a 10-strong mob of Egyptian male soldiers, this woman lies helplessly on the ground as her shirt …
David D. Kirkpatrick / New York Times:
Egyptian Soldiers Chase and Beat Unarmed Civilians in Cairo
Michael Zennie / Daily Mail:
Vivid new Battle of the Bulge photos offer never-before-seen look at the war-weary soldiers braving the frigid weather as they fight off Nazi Germany's last major offensive of World War II  —  Breathtaking new photographs, including several vivid full-color images, offer a never-before-seen look …
Robert Stacy McCain / The Other McCain:
Minnesota Republican Resigns Post Over Allegation of ‘Inappropriate’ Relationship  —  This news was a shock to me, involving allegations — and we must stress that these are only allegations at this point — against a female politician whom I have actually met: … (Via TPM and Memorandum.)
Star-Ledger Guest / NJ Voices Guest blog:
Discrimination against same-sex marriages cannot be tolerated in our society as a matter of law  —  By Robert Menendez  —  Since my vote in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act 15 years ago, like tens of millions of Americans, I have reflected deeply and frequently about this issue.
Discussion: Towleroad News #gay
New York Times:
Last Convoy of American Troops Leaves Iraq, Marking an End to the War  —  BAGHDAD — The last convoy of American troops to leave Iraq drove into Kuwait on Sunday morning, marking the end of the nearly nine-year war.  —  The convoy's departure, which included about 110 vehicles and 500 soldiers …
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 More Items: 
Mhashimoto /
Eric Holder's continued obfuscation on Fast and Furious
Discussion: Hot Air
Blue Yeti / Ricochet Conversations Feed:
When Events Collide: An “Uncommon Knowledge” from July, 2002 with Hitchens and Gingrich
 Earlier Items: 
Allysia Finley / Wall Street Journal:
The Chicago Expulsion Act of 2011
Financial Times:
False assumptions underpinned British strategy
Discussion: Political Mojo
Martin Newman /
Bollywood actress Veena Malik reported missing after nude FHM photo scandal