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12:20 PM ET, December 20, 2011

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
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:
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
PolitiFact ought to be ashamed of itself  —  The fact-checking website PolitiFact has announced its “Lie of the Year” for 2011.  It made a poor, credibility-killing choice. … This is simply indefensible.  Claims that are factually true shouldn't be eligible for a Lie of the Year designation.
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.
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 …
RELATED:
Gary Langer / ABCNEWS:
Gingrich, Romney Go to a Tie; More See Obama as Competitive  —  Newt Gingrich has relinquished sole front-runner status almost as quickly as he gained it, landing at a dead heat with Mitt Romney in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll.  And as the GOP hopefuls battle it out, ratings of Barack Obama's prospects have warmed.
Tim Mak / The Politico:
Mitt Romney: Newt Gingrich blew it on two key issues
Discussion: CNN
Washington Post:
Obama's job-approval rating is highest since summer, Post-ABC poll finds
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
Both Romney and Gingrich Tie Obama on 2012 Ballot
Discussion: Campaign 2012
CBS News:   Poll: Gingrich, Romney tied at top of GOP race
Alicia M. Cohn / The Hill:
Schumer predicts GOP will fold in payroll fight  —  Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday predicted the GOP will fold and said Democrats should wait out the House Republicans over the payroll tax cut extension.  —  “In a few days, they will fold unless someone falls for these subterfuges …
Discussion: CNN and Weasel Zippers
RELATED:
Alex Seitz-Wald / ThinkProgress:
Instead Of Extending Tax Cut For 160 Million Americans, House Commissioned Bust Of Winston Churchill
Sam Stein / The Huffington Post:
House Republicans Pushed Two-Month Payroll Tax Holiday In January 2009
David Dayen / Firedoglake:
House Republicans Find Smarmiest Way Possible to Reject Payroll Tax Deal
Discussion: Open Congress
Josh Lederman / Ballot Box:
DCCC chairman: Payroll tax cut will be ‘defining issue’ in 2012 election
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
Boehner: We'll take Churchill bust in the Capitol
Discussion: ThinkProgress
The Politico:
House GOP postpones payroll vote
New York Times:
In Kim's Death, an Extensive Intelligence Failure  —  Televisions at an electronics store in Seoul, South Korea, featured reports on Monday about the death of Kim Jong-il, the North Korean Leader.  North Korea said Mr. Kim, 69, died on Saturday.  More Photos »
RELATED:
Max Abelson / Bloomberg:
Bankers Seek to Debunk ‘Imbecile’ Attack on Top 1%  —  Jamie Dimon, the highest-paid chief executive officer among the heads of the six biggest U.S. banks, turned a question at an investors' conference in New York this month into an occasion to defend wealth.
Ta-Nehisi Coates / The Atlantic Online:
Ron Paul's Shaggy Defense  —  The Times notes that Ron Paul's racism newsletters are, again, becoming an issue.  The standard defense has generally been Paul didn't write the newsletters.  I think an honest reckoning with that defense would have someone question the faculties of an adult …
Discussion: The Daily Dish
RELATED:
Roque Planas / NY Daily News:
Santa says 'I don't do poor countries' in new UNICEF Christmas ad  —  New ad encourages people to give gifts through the charity instead  —  A new UNICEF ad shows Santa saying, 'I don't do poor countries.'  —  Santa won't bother going to poor countries this year, so the United Nations Children's Fund …
Discussion: Don Surber and nation.foxnews.com
RELATED:
Tim Graham / NewsBusters.org:   UNICEF Turns Santa Claus Into Poor-Hating Jerk In Christmas Ad Campaign
Terence P. Jeffrey / CNSNews:
U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Pays Homage to Obama—But Not Jesus  —  (CNSNews.com) - The 63-foot Sierra White Fir lighted at the U.S. Capitol Grounds on Dec. 6 as the official 2011 Capitol Christmas Tree includes a prominently displayed ornament paying homage to President Barack Obama …
Karen DeYoung / Washington Post:
Secrecy defines Obama's drone war  —  Since September, at least 60 people have died in 14 reported CIA drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal regions.  The Obama administration has named only one of the dead, hailing the elimination of Janbaz Zadran, a top official in the Haqqani insurgent network, as a counterterrorism victory.
Frank Newport / Gallup:
Congress Ends 2011 With Record-Low 11% Approval  —  Annual average for 2011, 17%, also lowest in Gallup history  —  PRINCETON, NJ — A new record-low 11% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing, the lowest single rating in Gallup's history of asking this question since 1974.
RELATED:
Mj Lee / The Politico:
It's official: Congress at record low
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Ramya / YouTube Trends:
The Top Political Videos of 2011  —  From candidate ads to pundit debates, speeches from the White House to impassioned pleas from the American heartland, this year's most-viewed political videos show us that a message that resonates can come from anywhere — and anyone.
Discussion: FishbowlDC and Iowa Caucuses
Washington Examiner:
GOP unhappiness with field fuels buzz for Jeb Bush  —  There's no doubt some Republicans remain unhappy with the GOP presidential field.  They wish other candidates — Mitch Daniels, Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, Jeb Bush — had entered a long time ago.  But the Iowa caucuses are in two weeks.
dailynewbloginternational:
International Rockstar Legend Jon Bon Jovi dead again at 49  —  Rockstar Jon Bon Jovi (John Francis Bongiovi, Jr) was pronounced dead today after paramedics found him in a coma at his Empress Hotel, city and law enforcement of Asbury Park, NJ sources told The Times after World Christmas Tour concert on
Scott Pelley / CBS News:
Panetta: Iran will not be allowed nukes  —  PLAY CBS NEWS VIDEO  —  The U.S. Secretary of Defense said Monday night that Iran will not be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon.  In an interview, Leon Panetta, said despite the efforts to disrupt the Iranian nuclear program …
Discussion: Elliott Abrams and The PJ Tatler
 
 
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 More Items: 
The Official Google Blog:
Ending the year with another clean energy investment
New York Times:
The Middle-Class Agenda  —  Earlier this month, President Obama …
Discussion: The Huffington Post and Daily Kos
Amanda Terkel / The Huffington Post:
Denver Broncos Respond To Petition For Team To Produce ‘It Gets Better’ Video
Susie Madrak / Crooks and Liars:
Backers Are Hopeful Obama Will Support Tax On Financial Transactions
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
Among Legal Ranks, Shrugs for Gingrich's Tough Talk
David Brooks / New York Times:
The Sidney Awards, Part I
Discussion: Prairie Weather
 Earlier Items: 
Brendan Sasso / The Hill:
Senators urge regulator to take a hard look at Google's search tactics
Discussion: RedState
Bill Gross / Financial Times:
The ugly side of ultra-cheap money
Discussion: Paul Krugman and Business Insider
Patrick Marley / JSOnline:
Gableman voted with law firm after receiving free legal services
Discussion: First Draft
Dan Eggen / Washington Post:
Gingrich's sale of mailing list unlawful, watchdog group charges
Jake Tapper / ABCNEWS:
POTUS Has Coffee with Progressive Media Stars