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1:10 PM ET, December 20, 2011

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
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.
New York Times:
Bias in Ron Paul's Newsletters Draws New Attention  —  Emerging as a real Republican contender in Iowa, Representative Ron Paul of Texas is receiving new focus for decades-old unbylined columns in his political newsletters that included racist, anti-gay and anti-Israel passages that he has since disavowed.
Rich Lowry / National Review:
Paul, the Fringe Frontrunner
James Hohmann / The Politico:
Paul's new ad calls him The One …
Discussion: Washington Wire and The Reaction
Ta-Nehisi Coates / The Atlantic Online:
Ron Paul's Shaggy Defense
Discussion: The Daily Dish
Washington Post:
Obama's job-approval rating is highest since summer, Post-ABC poll finds
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  —  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.
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: The Politico, CNN and Weasel Zippers
RELATED:
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
Mr. Speaker, your weakness is showing
David Dayen / Firedoglake:
House Republicans Find Smarmiest Way Possible to Reject Payroll Tax Deal
Discussion: Open Congress
Sam Stein / The Huffington Post:
House Republicans Pushed Two-Month Payroll Tax Holiday In January 2009
Mj Lee / The Politico:
Bill Clinton: Newt Gingrich tall tale on the budget  —  Former President Bill Clinton called out Newt Gingrich on Tuesday for claiming more credit than he deserves, saying the Republican presidential candidate actually led the opposition to efforts in 1993 to balance the nation's budget.
Discussion: CNN
RELATED:
Alexander Burns / The Politico:
Romney: ‘Get rid of these super PACs’
Discussion: Political Mojo and CNN
Gschwarzcnn / CNN:   Mailers take aim at Gingrich in Iowa
Tim Mak / The Politico:
Mitt Romney: Newt Gingrich blew it on two key issues
Discussion: CNN
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Gingrich wins endorsements from American Family Association, Iowa Speaker
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
Both Romney and Gingrich Tie Obama on 2012 Ballot
Discussion: Campaign 2012
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.
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:
Alex Seitz-Wald / ThinkProgress:
Instead Of Extending Tax Cut For 160 Million Americans, House Commissioned Bust Of Winston Churchill  —  While House Republicans couldn't get their act together to approve an extension of the payroll tax holiday and unemployment benefits last night, they were able to do something far more frivolousness …
RELATED:
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
Boehner: We'll take Churchill bust in the Capitol
Discussion: ThinkProgress
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.
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 …
Amanda Terkel / The Huffington Post:
Denver Broncos Respond To Petition For Team To Produce ‘It Gets Better’ Video … LGBT Rights , Gay Rights , Lgbt , It Gets Better Project , Change.Org , Change.Org Petition , Denver Broncos , Denver Broncos It Gets Better , Gay Bullying , It Gets Better , Gay Voices News
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.
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
 
 
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 More Items: 
Alex Pappas / The Daily Caller:
Man publishes book of 200 blank pages: ‘Everything Obama Knows About The Economy’
Discussion: Hot Air
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
Iowa conservative endorses Santorum
Discussion: The Politico
New York Times:
Brooklyn Senator Expected to Plead Guilty in Corruption Case
Scott Pelley / CBS News:
Panetta: Iran will not be allowed nukes
Discussion: Elliott Abrams and The PJ Tatler
The Official Google Blog:
Ending the year with another clean energy investment
Roque Planas / NY Daily News:
Santa says 'I don't do poor countries' in new UNICEF Christmas ad
 Earlier Items: 
Ramya / YouTube Trends:
The Top Political Videos of 2011
Discussion: FishbowlDC and Iowa Caucuses
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
Bill Gross / Financial Times:
The ugly side of ultra-cheap money
Discussion: Paul Krugman and Business Insider
Jake Tapper / ABCNEWS:
POTUS Has Coffee with Progressive Media Stars