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4:05 AM ET, December 21, 2011

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
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: New York Times
RELATED:
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
Wall Street Journal:
The GOP's Payroll Tax Fiasco
Discussion: The Moderate Voice and Hot Air
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
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: 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 and The Politico
RELATED:
A.Killough / CNN:
CNN Poll: Obama gains strength in 2012 matchups  —  Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama's numbers are on the rise in two important indicators of his reelection chances, according to a new national survey.  —  A CNN/ORC International Poll out Tuesday indicates the president's margins …
Discussion: 2012 Decoded and Taylor Marsh
Gschwarzcnn / CNN:
CNN Poll: President's approval nearing 50%  —  Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama's approval rating, a crucial indicator of his reelection chances, is on the rise, according to a new national survey.  —  A CNN/ORC International Poll out Tuesday also indicates that the partisan battle …
Scott Clement / Washington Post:
Poll: Paul as third party candidate could doom GOP in 2012  —  Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-Texas) is gaining steam in his race for the GOP nomination, up to his highest level yet — 15 percent — in the new Washington Post-ABC News national poll.
A.Killough / CNN:
Perry presses ‘outsider’ message as closing Iowa argument
Discussion: The Politico, ThinkProgress and ABCNEWS
Jonathan Martinand Alexander Burns / The Politico:
Will Ron Paul kill the caucuses?
Elizabeth Hartfield / ABCNEWS:
Gingrich Campaign Steps Up Efforts to Qualify For Virginia Primary
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.
RELATED:
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 …
Matthew Yglesias / Slate:
Politifact's Bizarre “Lie of the Year”
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
PolitiFact ought to be ashamed of itself
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.
RELATED:
The Caucus:
Vander Plaats Endorses Santorum
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: Hot Air and RedState
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
RELATED:
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.
Rich Lowry / National Review:
Paul, the Fringe Frontrunner  —  Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is in a bid to make history in Iowa.  Can he become the first marginal, conspiracy-minded congressman with an embarrassing catalog of racist material published under his name to win the caucuses?
RELATED:
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
Mj Lee / The Politico:
Blogs bash Obama's historic claim  —  NewsBusters calls Obama's statements made during his ‘60 Minutes’ interview ‘laughable.’  —  Newt Gingrich isn't the only one on the campaign trail who sees himself as a towering historical figure.  President Barack Obama has just joined the club.
 
 
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 More Items: 
David D. Kirkpatrick / New York Times:
Thousands of Women Mass in Major March in Cairo
Financial Times:
Strong take-up of ECB loans expected
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
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
Isabel Kershner / New York Times:
Finding Fault in the Palestinian Messages That Aren't So Public
Alex Pappas / The Daily Caller:
Man publishes book of 200 blank pages: ‘Everything Obama Knows About The Economy’
Discussion: The TrogloPundit and Hot Air