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10:30 AM 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?
Jamie Klatell / The Hill:
GOP freshman: House caved to Dems again, gave gift of uncertainty  —  The deal struck between Republican House leaders and Senate Democrats to extend the payroll tax holiday for two months did not fill Rep. Time Huelskamp (R-Kansas) with holiday cheer.  —  “Washington wrapped and put under …
House Republicans Agree To Payroll Deal  —  House Republicans on Thursday crumpled under the weight of White House and public pressure and have agreed to pass a two-month extension of the payroll-tax cut, Republican and Democratic sources told National Journal.
Brian Beutler /
TPMDC  —  Boehner Takes Strong Hand With House GOP After Payroll Tax Meltdown
Jackie Calmes / New York Times:
News Analysis: For Obama, Payroll Tax Victory Was Aided by Republicans
Discussion: Washington Post and The Page
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Dems win one as GOP caves
Discussion: Speaker and Prairie Weather
New York Times:
House G.O.P. Leaders Agree to Extension of Payroll Tax Cut
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.
Discussion: CNN, Mediaite and Indecision Forever
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 …
Discussion: ThinkProgress and GOP 12
Gschwarzcnn / CNN:
Santorum: Vander Plaats said ‘he needed money to promote the endorsement’
Jim Geraghty / National Review:
Why Must We Care About the Whims of So Few Iowans?
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.
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, Ballot Box, Pirate's Cove 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.
Jillian / Electronic Frontier Foundation:
For Bloggers at Risk: Creating a Contingency Plan  —  In 2011, we have witnessed the incredible power of bloggers and social media users capturing the world's attention through their activism.  At the same time, regimes appear to be quickening the pace of their cat-and-mouse game with netizens …
Discussion: The Agonist
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.
Michael D. Shear / The Caucus:
Romney Says He Won't Release Tax Returns  —  Mitt Romney, who is one of the wealthiest men ever to seek the presidency, said on Wednesday that he had no intention of releasing his tax returns if he became the Republican presidential nominee, breaking with a long tradition in both parties.
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 More Items: 
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
Noreen Malone / New York Magazine:
A Brief History of Teenage First Daughters
Elicia Dover / ABCNEWS:
Gingrich to Campaign With Pets and Music
Discussion: TBogg and The Right Scoop
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
Josh Peterson / The Daily Caller:
As political season heats up, Politico's Web traffic cools down
Discussion: Big Journalism and Wake up America
 Earlier Items: 
The Politico:
Sources: Mitt's fourth quarter at least $20 million
Discussion: GOP 12
James Hohmann / The Politico:
In Virginia, Gingrich tries to lower expectations
Discussion: CNN
Joe Holley / Rick Perry 2012 Campaign for President:
Bush 41 backs Romney for president, admits he's not Gingrich's ‘biggest advocate’
Kevin Hoffman / The Blotter:
Gay community apologizes to Amy Koch for ruining her marriage