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8:30 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 …
Discussion: The Caucus and New York Times
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.
Associated Press:
Obama blames Republicans for upcoming tax increase  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — The House of Representatives Tuesday rejected legislation to extend a payroll tax cut and jobless benefits for two months, drawing a swift rebuke from President Barack Obama that Republicans were threatening higher taxes on 160 million American workers on Jan. 1.
Discussion: New York Magazine and Truthdig
Major Garrett / NationalJournal.com:
Congress's Payroll Standoff — Who Blinks First?  —  Less than two weeks remain - with a holiday in between - for Congress to keep alive a payroll-tax cut, unemployment insurance, and a “doc fix” patch.  Here is how it could play out:  —  HOUSE GOP BLINKS: House Republicans see the futility …
Discussion: Swampland
Erik Wasson / The Hill:   Rep. Pelosi on Speaker Boehner: ‘He is not Lucy and we are not Charlie Brown’
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
GOP Sen. Brown slams House for ‘playing politics’ with tax vote
Discussion: The Politico and Weasel Zippers
David Dayen / Firedoglake:
House Republicans Find Smarmiest Way Possible to Reject Payroll Tax Deal
Discussion: Hullabaloo, Open Congress and The Hill
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, The Politico and Althouse
RELATED:
A.Killough / CNN:
CNN Poll: Obama gains strength in 2012 matchups
Gschwarzcnn / CNN:   CNN Poll: President's approval nearing 50%
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.
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: Erick's blog, Hot Air and RedState
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.
Palestinian Media Watch:
Hitler admired in PLO youth magazine because he murdered Jews  —  Hitler tells a Palestinian girl in her dream:  —  “I killed them [the Jews] so you would all know  —  that they are a nation  —  which spreads destruction all over the world.  The following is an excerpt from Deception …
Discussion: Harry's Place and Israel Matzav
RELATED:
Isabel Kershner / New York Times:
Finding Fault in the Palestinian Messages That Aren't So Public
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: Biased BBC
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
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 …
Firouz Sedarat / Reuters:
Awlaki video urges U.S. Muslims to join al Qaeda  —  (Reuters) - U.S.-born al Qaeda militant Anwar al-Awlaki, killed in a CIA drone strike in September, posthumously called on U.S. Muslims to join the group in the Middle East in a video released on Tuesday.  —  Awlaki, identified …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Thomas Erdbrink / Washington Post:
Iranian currency drops amid jitters over regional trade  —  TEHRAN — Iran's currency plunged against the U.S. dollar Tuesday, continuing a sharp drop exacerbated by jitters over tightening international sanctions and uncertainties about the domestic economy and regional trade.
Discussion: FrumForum and The PJ Tatler
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 …
 
 
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 More Items: 
David D. Kirkpatrick / New York Times:
Thousands of Women Mass in Major March in Cairo
Ynetnews:
Fire at Iran refinery prompts state of emergency
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
Elizabeth Hartfield / ABCNEWS:
Gingrich Campaign Steps Up Efforts to Qualify For Virginia Primary
Tony Romm / The Politico:
AT&T's lobbying turned back in T-Mobile bid
Discussion: The Atlantic Online
 Earlier Items: 
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
New York Post:
Ugly inside & out  —  His face horribly charred from his alleged …
Discussion: Gothamist
Alex Pappas / The Daily Caller:
Man publishes book of 200 blank pages: ‘Everything Obama Knows About The Economy’
Discussion: Examiner, The TrogloPundit and Hot Air
Rich Lowry / National Review:
Paul, the Fringe Frontrunner