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2:37 AM ET, December 21, 2011

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
McCain: Payroll-tax fight ‘harming the Republican Party’  —  Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said the failure of the House to approve the bipartisan Senate bill to extend the payroll-tax cut is “harming the Republican Party.”  —  Speaking Tuesday on CNN's “Situation Room,” McCain …
Discussion: New York Times
RELATED:
Erik Wasson / The Hill:
Rep. Pelosi on Speaker Boehner: ‘He is not Lucy and we are not Charlie Brown’  —  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other House Democratic leaders on Tuesday denied that they share any blame for the stalemate over extending a payroll tax cut and jobless benefits that has ensued in Congress.
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
GOP Sen. Brown slams House for ‘playing politics’ with tax vote
Discussion: The Politico and Weasel Zippers
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
House rebuffs Senate payroll tax cut extension, calls for conference
David Dayen / Firedoglake:
House Republicans Find Smarmiest Way Possible to Reject Payroll Tax Deal
Discussion: Hullabaloo, Open Congress and The Hill
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
Mr. Speaker, your weakness is showing
Gschwarzcnn / CNN:
CNN Poll: President's approval nearing 50%  —  Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama's approval rating, a crucial indicator of his reelection chances, is on the rise, according to a new national survey.  —  A CNN/ORC International Poll out Tuesday also indicates that the partisan battle …
RELATED:
A.Killough / CNN:
CNN Poll: Obama gains strength in 2012 matchups  —  Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama's numbers are on the rise in two important indicators of his reelection chances, according to a new national survey.  —  A CNN/ORC International Poll out Tuesday indicates the president's margins …
Discussion: 2012 Decoded and Taylor Marsh
Scott Clement / Washington Post:
Poll: Paul as third party candidate could doom GOP in 2012  —  Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-Texas) is gaining steam in his race for the GOP nomination, up to his highest level yet — 15 percent — in the new Washington Post-ABC News national poll.
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Romney leads Obama  —  For the first time in PPP's monthly national polling since July 2010 Mitt Romney's taken a lead, albeit a small one, over Barack Obama.  He's up 47-45.  —  Romney has two main things going for him.  He leads the President 45-36 with independents.
Discussion: Ballot Box
Jonathan Martinand Alexander Burns / The Politico:
Will Ron Paul kill the caucuses?  —  SIOUX CITY, IOWA -The alarms are sounding in Iowa.  —  Conservatives and Republican elites in the state are divided over who to support for the GOP nomination, but they almost uniformly express concern over the prospect that Ron Paul and his army …
A.Killough / CNN:
Perry presses ‘outsider’ message as closing Iowa argument
Discussion: ThinkProgress, ABCNEWS and The Politico
PolitiFact:
Lie of the Year 2011: ‘Republicans voted to end Medicare’  —  Republicans muscled a budget through the House of Representatives in April that they said would take an important step toward reducing the federal deficit.  Introduced by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the plan kept Medicare intact …
RELATED:
Paul Krugman:
Politifact, R.I.P.  —  This is really awful.  Politifact, which is supposed to police false claims in politics, has announced its Lie of the Year — and it's a statement that happens to be true, the claim that Republicans have voted to end Medicare.  —  Steve Benen in the link above explains it, but let me just repeat the basics.
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
PolitiFact ought to be ashamed of itself
Matthew Yglesias / Slate:
Politifact's Bizarre “Lie of the Year”
Reid J. Epstein / The Politico:
Gary Johnson to drop out of GOP primary to run as Libertarian  —  Gary Johnson will quit the Republican primaries and seek the Libertarian Party nomination instead, POLITICO has learned.  —  The former two-term New Mexico governor, whose campaign for the GOP nomination never caught fire …
Reid J. Epstein / The Politico:
Source: Bob Vander Plaats asked Michele Bachmann to quit  —  DES MOINES - Iowa evangelical leader Bob Vander Plaats called Michele Bachmann and urged her to drop out of the race and endorse Rick Santorum, a source with knowledge of the conversation told POLITICO Tuesday.
RELATED:
The Caucus:
Vander Plaats Endorses Santorum
Elizabeth Hartfield / ABCNEWS:
Gingrich Campaign Steps Up Efforts to Qualify For Virginia Primary
The Politico:
Santorum gets evangelical boost
Discussion: Ballot Box and The Hill
Stephen Gutowski / MRCTV:
Liberals Cry About New Tom Clancy Game  —  The next iteration of Tom Clancy's blockbuster Rainbow Six series has been announced.  The series goes back over a decade and has produced some of the best shooters ever made.  However, this release, Rainbow Six: The Patriots …
Discussion: Hot Air and RedState
Rich Lowry / National Review:
Paul, the Fringe Frontrunner  —  Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is in a bid to make history in Iowa.  Can he become the first marginal, conspiracy-minded congressman with an embarrassing catalog of racist material published under his name to win the caucuses?
RELATED:
Jordan Weissmann / The Atlantic Online:
How Kim Jong Il Starved North Korea  —  What kind of disastrous economic policy results in the death by starvation of up to 3 million people in a nation with the population of Texas?  —  Reuters  —  When North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il died of a coronary this weekend after 17 years in power …
Discussion: Hit & Run
Mj Lee / The Politico:
Blogs bash Obama's historic claim  —  NewsBusters calls Obama's statements made during his ‘60 Minutes’ interview ‘laughable.’  —  Newt Gingrich isn't the only one on the campaign trail who sees himself as a towering historical figure.  President Barack Obama has just joined the club.
Financial Times:
Strong take-up of ECB loans expected  —  By Tracy Alloway in London and Ralph Atkins in Frankfurt  —  The European Central Bank is expected to report strong demand for an offer of unlimited three-year loans after banks were urged to take the funds as part of concerted efforts …
Patrick Goodenough / CNSNews:
U.N. Adopts ‘Religious Intolerance’ Resolution Championed by Obama Administration  —  (CNSNews.com) - The U.N. General Assembly on Monday adopted a resolution condemning the stereotyping, negative profiling and stigmatization of people based on their religion, and urging countries to take effective steps …
Ynetnews:
Fire at Iran refinery prompts state of emergency  —  Malfunction in Isfahan refinery, the second largest in Iran, results in black out, burning of gas, oil residues  —  Dudi Cohen  —  A malfunction at an Isfahan refinery caused a leakage of cooling water from its generators - the latest in a string of mysterious mishaps in
 
 
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 More Items: 
Hillary Rodham Clinton / US Department of State:
Women, Peace, and Security
Bloomberg:
BofA Shares Fall Below $5; First Time Since 2009
Discussion: Firedoglake and ThinkProgress
Kitsepile Nyathi / Daily Nation:Breaking News …:
MP arrested for saying Mugabe is homosexual
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Tony Romm / The Politico:
AT&T's lobbying turned back in T-Mobile bid
Discussion: The Atlantic Online
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
Caribbean Newspapers Publish Ad Promoting Ex-Gay Therapy
Discussion: Truth Wins Out
Stephanie Jones / Journal Times:
Ryan for VP? Law allows running for both VP and Congress at the same time
Discussion: Campaign 2012 and Hotline On Call
 Earlier Items: 
New York Post:
Ugly inside & out  —  His face horribly charred from his alleged …
Discussion: Gothamist
Isabel Kershner / New York Times:
Finding Fault in the Palestinian Messages That Aren't So Public
Luke Rosiak / Washington Times:
Dems outpace GOP in lobbyist cash race
Discussion: Campaign 2012
Alex Pappas / The Daily Caller:
Man publishes book of 200 blank pages: ‘Everything Obama Knows About The Economy’
Discussion: Hot Air
Scott Pelley / CBS News:
Panetta: Iran will not be allowed nukes
Amanda Terkel / The Huffington Post:
Denver Broncos Respond To Petition For Team To Produce ‘It Gets Better’ Video
Discussion: Towleroad News #gay
Ramya / YouTube Trends:
The Top Political Videos of 2011