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2:55 PM ET, December 27, 2011

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
John Bresnahan / The Politico:
Ben Nelson retiring from Senate  —  Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska will announce today that he is retiring after two terms, a serious blow to Democratic efforts to hold onto their majority in the chamber next November.  —  Nelson is scheduled to hold a press conference back home …
RELATED:
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Sen. Ben Nelson won't seek reelection
Discussion: Crooks and Liars
Charlie Riedel / ABCNEWS:
Gingrich '06 Memo: “Agree Entirely With Gov. Romney” on Health Care  —  To conservatives, the biggest strike against Mitt Romney is the health care plan he put in place in Massachusetts, but Newt Gingrich lavished praise on Romney's plan after it was passed in 2006.
RELATED:
BuzzFeed:
In 2008 Video, Gingrich Is Passionate About The Mandate  —  Newt Gingrich has had a hard time attacking Mitt Romney's Massachusetts health care plan — which, like “Obamacare” — required all citizens to have health care.  What's more — as The Wall Street Journal reports today — Gingrich actively praised Romney's plan.
Wall Street Journal:
Gingrich Applauded Romney's Health Plan  —  Newt Gingrich voiced enthusiasm for Mitt Romney's Massachusetts health-care law when it was passed five years ago, the same plan he has been denouncing over the past few months as he campaigned for the Republican presidential nomination.
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
How Can Romney Lose?  —  The conventional wisdom on the Republican nomination race has once again shifted.  In the span of just two weeks, Mitt Romney has gone from seeming quite vulnerable to the near-inevitable Republican nominee.  The odds attributed to Mr. Romney winning the nomination …
RELATED:
Washington Examiner:
‘Mischief’ voters push Paul to front of GOP race  —  Ron Paul is surging in the Republican presidential race.  Just not among Republicans.  —  The Texas congressman is leading some polls in Iowa and is in a tie for second in New Hampshire.  A candidacy once dismissed as sideshow …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
Romney's ‘carried interest’ problem  —  We talked last week about Mitt Romney's decision to keep his tax returns hidden, despite the fact that every major-party nominee in the post-Watergate era has released their tax records.  Romney's position has already generated some pushback …
Mark Blumenthal / The Huffington Post:
Iowa Caucus Polls: Ron Paul And Mitt Romney Lead, But Surprises Likely … 2012 Election , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich 2012 , Elections 2012 , Newt Gingrich , Ron Paul , Video , Iowa Caucuses , Iowa Polls , Ron Paul 2012 , Iowa Caucus 2012 , Iowa Caucuses 2012 , Mitt Romney 2012 , Pollster Analysis , Politics News
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
RELATED:
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
Santorum says he'll exit presidential race if he does poorly in Iowa caucuses  —  Rick Santorum said if he finished badly in Iowa's Jan. 3 caucuses, he would drop out of the presidential race.  —  “If I finish dead last in the mix I'll go home but I don't think that's going to happen,” …
RELATED:
Jason Clayworth / Iowa Caucuses:
Gingrich will make half of the number of Iowa stops announced last week
Discussion: Ballot Box, CNN and Outside the Beltway
Robert Stacy McCain / The Other McCain:
Republicans With Shotguns
Alexander Burns / The Politico:   Newt's incredible shrinking bus tour
Jason Donner / Fox News:
Gingrich Compares Virginia Ballot Fiasco to Pearl Harbor
David Wessel / Wall Street Journal:
Obama to Name Two Fed Board Nominees  —  President Barack Obama will announce Tuesday that he plans to nominate a Harvard University finance professor and a former private-equity executive to fill the two vacancies on the seven-member Federal Reserve Board, a White House official said.
RELATED:
Margaret Chadbourn / Reuters:
Obama to ask for debt limit hike: Treasury official  —  (Reuters) - The White House plans to ask Congress by the end of the week for an increase in the government's debt ceiling to allow the United States to pay its bills on time, according to a senior Treasury Department official on Tuesday.
Peter Whoriskey / Washington Post:
Growing wealth widens distance between lawmakers and constituents  —  BUTLER, Pa. — One day after his shift at the steel mill, Gary Myers drove home in his 10-year-old Pontiac and told his wife he was going to run for Congress.  —  The odds were long.  At 34, Myers was the shift foreman at the “hot mill” of the Armco plant here.
RELATED:
Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Moving melee causes chaos at packed Mall of America  —  Some stores shut down Monday night as panicked shoppers fled.  At least 10 youths were arrested.  —  A noisy, racing crowd of more than 200 young people created a chaotic scene at the packed Mall of America Monday evening …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
What Obama didn't say on ‘60 Minutes’  —  President Obama appeared on “60 Minutes” a couple of weeks ago, and as is always the case with longer interviews, some of the exchanges between him and Steve Kroft ended up on the editing-room floor.  CBS went ahead and posted everything online …
Discussion: Liberal Values and Booman Tribune
Mike McCormick / WYFF-TV:
Caught On Tape: Clerk Punches, Knocks Out Armed Robber  —  Clerk Then Makes Suspect Clean Up His Own Blood  —  HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. — A clerk at a business in Western North Carolina punched a would-be robber and knocked him out cold just minutes after the man barged in with a gun and demanded money.
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
Predictions gone wrong  —  Dave Weigel had a good item yesterday on his “2011 Pundit Audit.”  It's a worthwhile idea, so I thought I'd join the fun. … Weigel points to four flubs: the assumption that Rick Perry would be a competent candidate; the belief that Perry's book and agenda …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Luke Broadwater / Los Angeles Times:
War vets invade an urban village
Discussion: Crooks and Liars and cab drollery
Joshua Spivak / The Recall Elections Blog:
The Year in Recalls — 150 Recalls in 2011
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
John Hawkins / Townhall.com:
7 Reasons Why Mitt Romney's Electability Is A Myth
Wall Street Journal:
Taxing Kim Kardashian
Discussion: EconLog and TaxProf Blog
Agence France Presse:
Italy fines Apple for misleading consumers
Matt Friedman / New Jersey Online:
Rep. Steve Rothman to challenge Rep. Bill Pascrell in June Democratic primary
 Earlier Items: 
Michael Luo / New York Times:
More Concealed Guns, and Some Are in the Wrong Hands
Tim Mak / The Politico:
Economists predict better economy
Discussion: Daily Kos
Suzanne Daley / New York Times:
Greeks Reeling From Health Care Cutbacks
Discussion: Hullabaloo and Via Meadia
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
Democrat wants grants for women's restrooms in fire stations
Jewel Samada / Investor's Business Daily:
The Obamas celebrate Kwanzaa in spirit of umoja
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and PERRspectives
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
Van Hollen: 2012 spending bill undercuts government's clean air, water mission
Discussion: Right Wing News