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6:50 PM ET, December 18, 2011


 Top Items: 
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 …
Associated Press:
House GOP demands new payroll tax cut bill  —  WASHINGTON - Top House Republicans said Sunday they oppose a bipartisan, Senate-approved bill that extends a payroll tax cut and jobless benefits for just two months and said congressional bargainers need to write a new version lasting a longer time.
Discussion: The Mahablog
Russell Berman / The Hill:
Speaker Boehner opposes Senate's two-month payroll tax cut extension  —  Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Sunday that neither he nor rank-and-file House Republicans supported the Senate's two-month payroll tax cut extension, casting doubt on the chances for an agreement less than a week before Christmas.
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 …
Lucy Madison / CBS News:
Gingrich: Gov't branches should rule 2 out of 3  —  PLAY CBS NEWS VIDEO  —  Newt Gingrich on Sunday reiterated his argument that there is something “profoundly wrong” with the United States' judicial system, and argued that the balance of power in American government should come down to “two out of three” branches of the government.
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
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
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.)
Discussion: Don Surber and Daily Pundit
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 …
Last U.S. troops leave Iraq, ending war  —  (Reuters) - The last convoy of U.S. soldiers pulled out of Iraq on Sunday, ending nearly nine years of war that cost almost 4,500 American and tens of thousands of Iraqi lives and left a country still grappling with political uncertainty.
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 …
Discussion: Atlas Shrugs
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
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 …
David D. Kirkpatrick / New York Times:
Egyptian Soldiers Chase and Beat Unarmed Civilians in Cairo
Associated Press:
Islamists win 70 percent of the vote in second round of Egypt elections  —  Unofficial results put Muslim Brotherhood ahead with 39 percent of the vote, Salafi Al Nour with 31 percent; liberal Wafd party wins 22 percent.  —  Get Haaretz on iPhone  —  Get Haaretz on Android
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 More Items: 
Teresa Watanabe / Los Angeles Times:
L.A. schools' healthful lunch menu panned by students
Discussion: Don Surber and Political Mojo
Mhashimoto /
Eric Holder's continued obfuscation on Fast and Furious
Discussion: Hot Air
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
 Earlier Items: 
Blue Yeti / Ricochet Conversations Feed:
When Events Collide: An “Uncommon Knowledge” from July, 2002 with Hitchens and Gingrich
Allysia Finley / Wall Street Journal:
The Chicago Expulsion Act of 2011
Financial Times:
False assumptions underpinned British strategy
Discussion: Political Mojo