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9:25 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
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.
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
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.)
Discussion: Don Surber and Daily Pundit
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 …
Last U.S. troops leave Iraq, ending war
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 …
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
Teresa Watanabe / Los Angeles Times:
L.A. schools' healthful lunch menu panned by students  —  For many students, Los Angeles Unified's introduction of healthful lunches — part of a campaign against obesity, diabetes and other problems — has been a flop.  The district says the menu will be revised.
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
Charlie Savage / New York Times:
Under Partisan Fire, Holder Soldiers On  —  AUSTIN, Tex. — For nearly three years, Republicans have attacked Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on national security and civil rights issues.  For months, they have criticized him over a gun-trafficking investigation gone awry, with dozens of leaders calling for his resignation.
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Mediaite
Mhashimoto /
Eric Holder's continued obfuscation on Fast and Furious
Discussion: Hot Air
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 More Items: 
J. Freedom du Lac / Washington Post:
In Iraq, the last to fall: David Hickman, the 4,474th U.S. service member killed
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Christopher Hitchens and the protocol for public figure deaths
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
Frank Bruni / New York Times:
Op-Ed Columnist: Newt Gingrich's Self-Adoration
Allysia Finley / Wall Street Journal:
The Chicago Expulsion Act of 2011