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10:15 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:
Marin Cogan / The Politico:
House Republicans who bucked their party  —  Seven House Republicans bucked their party and voted against sending the payroll tax bill to conference Tuesday.  —  Reps. Charlie Bass of New Hampshire, Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington state, Chris Gibson of New York, Tim Johnson of Illinois …
Major Garrett / NationalJournal.com:
Congress's Payroll Standoff — Who Blinks First?
Discussion: The Mahablog, Swampland and The Hill
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
McCain: Payroll-tax fight ‘harming the Republican Party’
Washington Post:
Congress leaves town with an uneasy stalemate and looming payroll tax hike
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’
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
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.
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: americanthinker.com and Hit & Run
RELATED:
Scott Whitlock / NewsBusters.org:
Whoopi Goldberg: Communism Is ‘a Great Concept’ That ‘Makes Perfect Sense’ on Paper
Discussion: Doug Ross
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 …
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.
RELATED:
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
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.
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
James Lynch / KCRG-TV:
Vote 2012: Ron Paul Takes Lead in KCRG/Gazette/ISU Poll  —  U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, of Texas, and GOP presidential candidate, speaks to a crowd during a town hall meeting Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011 at the Northeast Iowa Community College east campus in Dubuque, Iowa.  (AP Photo/Telegraph Herald, Jessica Reilly)
John Paul Rollert / Slate:
A Matter of Trusts  —  What a lonely dissent in a trusts case tells us about Sonia Sotomayor.  —  If you've ever found yourself in a debate with a room full of brilliant people at the end of which not a single mind is changed, you know what it's like to be a Supreme Court Justice on the losing end of an 8-1 decision.
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
Evan McMorris-Santoro / 2012.talkingpointsmemo.com:
TPM2012  —  Newt's Campaign Comes Down To Earth As Iowan Calls Him ‘F—king A—hole’ To His Face  —  When a man in a camouflage coat grabs your hand in an Iowa grocery store and calls you ‘a f**king a**hole’ to your face, it might be time to take stock of your position in the state.
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
 
 
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 More Items: 
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
Obama Places Himself on the Continuum of Greatness
Joel Gehrke / Campaign 2012:
DOJ indicts gundealer for Fast&Furious-like sales
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Siobhan Gorman / Wall Street Journal:
China Hackers Hit U.S. Chamber
Lee Davidson / Salt Lake Tribune:
Romney has six. Jon Huntsman has four. And Rick Perry has one.
Discussion: The Caucus
Mohamed A. El-Erian / Project Syndicate:
The New International Economic Disorder
Discussion: Business Insider
BBC:
Iraqi PM urges Kurds to hand over VP Tariq al-Hashemi
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
The Long Run: Conservatives Remain Suspicious of Gingrich
 Earlier Items: 
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
Financial Times:
Strong take-up of ECB loans expected