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9:25 AM ET, December 21, 2011

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
The GOP's Payroll Tax Fiasco  —  How did Republicans manage to lose the tax issue to Obama?  —  GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell famously said a year ago that his main task in the 112th Congress was to make sure that President Obama would not be re-elected.
RELATED:
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 …
Major Garrett / NationalJournal.com:
Congress's Payroll Standoff — Who Blinks First?
Discussion: Swampland
Associated Press:
Obama blames Republicans for upcoming tax increase
Discussion: New York Magazine and Truthdig
Erik Wasson / The Hill:   Rep. Pelosi on Speaker Boehner: ‘He is not Lucy and we are not Charlie Brown’
Brian Knowlton / New York Times:
Republicans in House Reject Deal Extending Payroll Tax Cut
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
GOP Sen. Brown slams House for ‘playing politics’ with tax vote
Discussion: The Politico and Weasel Zippers
Alexander Burns / The Politico:
You, sir, are no Teddy Roosevelt  —  In a speech to be delivered in Bedford, N.H., this evening, Mitt Romney will push back explicitly on Barack Obama's recent invocation of Teddy Roosevelt in a speech the president used to frame the 2012 campaign in terms of “fairness.”  Here's what Romney will say:
RELATED:
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.
A.Killough / CNN:
Perry presses ‘outsider’ message as closing Iowa argument
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 …
Jason Clayworth / Iowa Caucuses:
Newt Gingrich to gay Iowan: Vote for Obama  —  Gingrich and his wife Callista at tonight's event in Oskaloosa.  (Jason Clayworth/The Register)  —  Oskaloosa, Ia.  - Newt Gingrich told a gay man and longtime resident of Oskaloosa here today that he should vote for President Obama.
Frank Newport / Gallup:
Many Americans Dissatisfied With All Presidential Candidates  —  Nearly half say there is no candidate who would make a good president  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Americans are divided when asked if there is any candidate running who they think would make a good president, with 48% saying yes …
Discussion: The Politico and National Review
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: RedState and Hot Air
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
William Booth / Washington Post:
More Predator drones fly U.S.-Mexico border  —  CORPUS CHRISTI, Tex. — In the dead of night, from a trailer humming with surveillance monitors, a pilot for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency was remotely flying a Predator drone more than 1,000 miles away.
Discussion: ThinkProgress and The Agonist
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.
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
The Long Run: Conservatives Remain Suspicious of Gingrich  —  WASHINGTON — Newt Gingrich arrived in Washington in January 1979 as a brash congressman dreaming of a Republican revival.  Not quite four years later, frustrated at the pace of change, he quietly sought counsel from a man he had once worked to defeat: Richard M. Nixon.
BBC:
South American states ban Falklands vessels from ports  —  Argentina has long claimed sovereignty over the Falkland Islands, which lie 400 miles from its coast  —  A South American trading bloc has agreed to close its ports to ships flying the Falkland Islands flag.
Discussion: The Other McCain and Biased BBC
Ian Swanson / The Hill:
Obama's Hawaii Christmas dilemma  —  President Obama faces a most difficult decision with the payroll tax extension up in the air, and it isn't whether to compromise with Republicans.  —  The toughest call for the president this holiday season may be whether to join his family for Christmas in Hawaii or stay in lonely Washington.
BBC:
Iraqi PM urges Kurds to hand over VP Tariq al-Hashemi  —  Nouri al-Maliki admitted that the Iraqi government still had a long way to go to find stability  —  Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has urged the Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq to hand over Iraq's Sunni Vice-President, Tariq al-Hashemi.
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Romney Tortures Jennifer Rubin  —  Romney is making life hard for his Republican Jewish fans.  —  I've written before about the agonizing plight facing Jennifer Rubin, the Washington Post blogger.  On the one hand, Rubin's deepest roots lie in ultra-hawkish pro-Israel neoconservatism.
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 …
 
 
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 More Items: 
John Paul Rollert / Slate:
A Matter of Trusts  —  What a lonely dissent in a trusts case tells us …
Thomas Erdbrink / Washington Post:
Iranian currency drops amid jitters over regional trade
Discussion: FrumForum and The PJ Tatler
Firouz Sedarat / Reuters:
Awlaki video urges U.S. Muslims to join al Qaeda
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
David D. Kirkpatrick / New York Times:
Thousands of Women Mass in Major March in Cairo
Hillary Rodham Clinton / US Department of State:
Women, Peace, and Security
 Earlier Items: 
Bloomberg:
BofA Shares Fall Below $5; First Time Since 2009
Discussion: Firedoglake
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
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