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12:00 PM ET, December 23, 2011


 Top Items: 
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
The GOP's payroll tax debacle  —  Now that Congress has reached agreement on what must be one of the worst pieces of legislation in years — the temporary payroll tax holiday extension — let's survey the damage.  —  To begin with, what even minimally rational government enacts payroll tax relief for just two months?
Congress passes payroll tax cut extension  —  Washington (CNN) — Both chambers of Congress passed an amended version of the two-month payroll tax cut extension Friday, sending the measure to President Barack Obama's desk and handing Democrats a hard-fought victory on an issue — taxes …
Jackie Calmes / New York Times:
News Analysis: For Obama, Payroll Tax Victory Was Aided by Republicans  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama did not win much substantively with his victory Thursday over House Republicans in their showdown over extending payroll tax cuts and unemployment aid for two months.
Discussion: Washington Post and The Page
Brian Beutler /
TPMDC  —  Boehner Takes Strong Hand With House GOP After Payroll Tax Meltdown
Jamie Klatell / The Hill:   GOP freshman: House caved to Dems again, gave gift of uncertainty
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Dems win one as GOP caves
Discussion: Speaker and Prairie Weather
House Republicans Agree To Payroll Deal
In ad for newsletter, Ron Paul forecast “race war”  —  (Reuters) - A direct-mail solicitation for Ron Paul's political and investment newsletters two decades ago warned of a “coming race war in our big cities” and of a “federal-homosexual cover-up” to play down the impact of AIDS.
The New Republic:
TNR Exclusive: A Collection of Ron Paul's Most Incendiary Newsletters
Discussion: The Daily Dish and GOP 12
David Weigel / Slate:
The Newsweek Curse  —  This isn't the problem that's kept …
Iowa Conservative Leader Mired in Controversy After Rick Santorum Endorsement  —  ABC News' Shushannah Walshe and Michael Falcone report:  —  DAVENPORT, Iowa — An Iowa Christian conservative leader who bestowed his highly sought-after endorsement on presidential candidate Rick Santorum …
Alexander Burns / The Politico:
Santorum's pop-up Iowa pitch  —  Rick Santorum's campaign will release a new 60-second ad in Iowa this morning — an upbeat spot in the style of VH1's “Pop Up Video,” emphasizing Santorum's credentials as a family man and cultural conservative.  —  “Rick Santorum.  Karen Santorum.
Andrew Cain / Richmond Times-Dispatch:
Bachmann, Huntsman, Santorum not on Va. primary ballot
Bill Adair / PolitiFact:
Fact-checking in the Echo Chamber Nation  —  At a Republican campaign rally a few years ago, I asked one of the attendees how he got his news.  —  “I listen to Rush and read NewsMax,” he said.  “And to make sure I'm getting a balanced view, I watch Fox.”  —  My liberal friends …
Wall Street Journal:
Oh Wow!  —  Some highlights of 2011.  —  The great words of the year?  “Oh wow.  Oh wow.  Oh wow.”  —  They are the last words of Steve Jobs, reported by his sister, the novelist Mona Simpson, who was at his bedside.  In her eulogy, a version of which was published in the New York Times …
Discussion: Booman Tribune
Joe Biden / Des Moines Register:
Vice President: This is what a real opportunity society looks like  —  M itt Romney recently laid out his plan for America.  Reading about it, I thought of my dad.  My dad was a hard worker.  He took pride in what he did.  And, like millions of Americans, that pride was put to the test …
Discussion: CNN, Pirate's Cove, Ballot Box and Fox News
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
The Post-Truth Campaign  —  Suppose that President Obama were to say the following: “Mitt Romney believes that corporations are people, and he believes that only corporations and the wealthy should have any rights.  He wants to reduce middle-class Americans to serfs, forced …
Discussion: Washington Post and Balloon Juice
State media: Suicide bombers strike government buildings in Damascus  —  (CNN) — Two suicide car bombs shook the seat of Syrian power on Friday, said state-run media, a strike the government blames on terrorists and opposition forces call the work of the Bashar al-Assad regime.
Peter Nicholas / Los Angeles Times:
Dog days: Bo's whereabouts spark latest White House controversy  —  President Obama shops for Christmas presents with his dog Bo at Petsmart on Dec. 21, 2011 in Alexandria, Va. (Kevin Dietsch / Pool/Getty Images)  —  We live in world of conspiracy theories — where nothing is as it seems …
Discussion: Washington Post and cab drollery
Steve Tetreault / Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Poll: Berkley holds slim lead over Heller for Senate seat  —  WASHINGTON — For many people, the dawn of a new year can mean a fresh start, a clean slate.  For the politicians running to represent Nevada in the U.S. Senate, the view close to the new year is a nearly level battlefield judging from the latest measure of public sentiment.
Discussion: Ballot Box and Hotline On Call
Scot Paltrow / Reuters:
Special Report: The watchdogs that didn't bark  —  (Reuters) - Four years after the banking system nearly collapsed from reckless mortgage lending, federal prosecutors have stayed on the sidelines, even as judges around the country are pointing fingers at possible wrongdoing.
Noreen Malone / New York Magazine:
A Brief History of Teenage First Daughters  —  Malia Obama greets Justin Bieber onstage during Christmas in Washington 2011 at the National Building Museum on December 11, 2011 in Washington, DC.  —  It has been nearly six months since Malia Obama turned 13.
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 More Items: 
Frank Mugisha / New York Times:
Gay and Vilified in Uganda
Discussion: Box Turtle Bulletin
James Rankin / U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis:
Discussion: The Politico and Calculated Risk
Amanda Terkel / The Huffington Post:
Sherrod Brown's Ohio Senate Race Target Of Most Third-Party Spending By Republicans
Discussion: The Politico
Jillian / Electronic Frontier Foundation:
For Bloggers at Risk: Creating a Contingency Plan
Discussion: The Agonist
Elicia Dover / ABCNEWS:
Gingrich to Campaign With Pets and Music
Discussion: TBogg and The Right Scoop
 Earlier Items: 
Jason Linkins / The Huffington Post:
George Allen Did Not Enjoy That Facebook Chat He Had With You, Virginia
Sam Greenhill / Daily Mail:
Baby born out of wedlock must be adopted - to save her from honour killing by her own Muslim family
The Politico:
Sources: Mitt's fourth quarter at least $20 million
Discussion: and GOP 12
Michael D. Shear / The Caucus:
Romney Says He Won't Release Tax Returns

From Techmeme:

Parmy Olson / Bloomberg:
Google's Gemini video demo of its multimodal capabilities wasn't carried out in real time or in voice; the model was shown still images and given text prompts

Wall Street Journal:
The US and UK governments jointly accuse Russia's FSB of orchestrating a wide-ranging, global hacking campaign since 2015 to interfere in British elections

Jessica Lyons Hardcastle / The Register:
A researcher says a years-old Bluetooth authentication flaw lets attackers inject keystrokes to run arbitrary commands on Apple, Android, and some Linux devices

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