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5:25 PM ET, December 28, 2011

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
The Politico:
Mitt Romney in striking distance of Iowa win  —  Don't look now, but Mitt Romney suddenly seems like the Iowa front-runner.  —  The former Massachusetts governor has carefully tempered expectations in Iowa all year, visiting only a handful of times and saving the bulk of his television spending for the final weeks of the race.
RELATED:
Kevinliptak / CNN:
CNN Poll: Romney on top, Gingrich fading & Santorum rising in Iowa  —  Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) - Did Newt Gingrich peak too early?  —  A new survey of people likely to attend Iowa's Republican caucuses indicates that the former House speaker's support in the Hawkeye State is plunging.
New York Times:
The Retooled, Loose Romney, Guessing Voters' Age and Ethnicity  —  DAVENPORT, Iowa — When Mitt Romney introduces himself to voters, he has a peculiar habit of guessing their age or nationality, often incorrectly.  (A regular query: “Are you French Canadian?")
Erick Erickson / RedState:
TODAY, December 28, 2011, Mitt Romney Calls Obamacare “Conservative”  —  This isn't a flash back.  This is today.  Mitt Romney is again declaring the foundation of Obamacare, the individual mandate, “conservative.”  —  To be sure, it is conservative that one takes responsibility for their own healthcare.
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Paul maintains his lead  —  The last week and a half has brought little change in the standings for the Iowa Republican caucus: Ron Paul continues to lead Mitt Romney by a modest margin, 24-20.  Newt Gingrich is in 3rd at 13% followed by Michele Bachmann at 11%, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum at 10% …
Erick Erickson / Erick's blog:   No Surprise, Iowa Social Conservatives Are About To Shoot Us All in the Foot Again
Kevinliptak / CNN:
Gingrich urged yes vote on controversial Medicare bill, former congresswoman says
Discussion: Ballot Box
Adam Sorensen / Swampland:
CNN/TIME/ORC Poll: Gingrich Collapse Fuels Santorum Surge in Iowa, Solidifies Romney Lead in New Hampshire
Discussion: Ballot Box
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Polling Gridlock in Iowa Could Produce Last-Minute Momentum
Cameron Joseph / Ballot Box:
EMILY's List ranks Gingrich as ‘worst’ GOP presidential candidate
Washington Post:
Frontrunners stay (mostly) positive as super PACs do dirty work
Michael D. Shear / The Caucus:
What Moves Republican Crowds in Iowa  —  DES MOINES — The Republican candidates for president are doing a lot of talking in the last week before voting begins.  —  But spending a day observing how the crowds react to the candidates can be just as instructive.
RELATED:
Ian Millhiser / ThinkProgress:
Perry Pledges To Openly Defy A Supreme Court Decision Striking Down An Anti-Choice ‘Personhood’ Law  —  At a radio forum sponsored by the anti-abortion and anti-birth control group Personhood USA, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said that he would refuse to obey a Supreme Court decision striking down the group's signature anti-choice proposal:
Scott Keyes / ThinkProgress:
After Watching Citizens United Film, Perry Shifts To Oppose Abortion Even For Victims Of Rape Or Incest
Discussion: Daily Kos
Tony Radar / RADAR:
Anthony Weiner Wanted Threesome With Another Man, According To Mistress  —  Disgraced former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner was caught in online trysts with numerous women, but RadarOnline.com has exclusively learned that according to one of his mistresses, he expressed wanting a threesome - with another man.
RELATED:
New York Post:
Anthony Weiner wanted threesome with woman and man  —  Anthony Weiner proposed a threesome with texting pal Traci Nobles and a man, according to a new report.  —  The Queens Democrat made the suggestion in the midst of his texting and tweeting adventures that eventually forced him to resign …
Zachary Abrahamson / The Politico:
How the Iowa caucuses work  —  Four years ago, 120,000 Iowa Republicans turned out in freezing temperatures to vote on their pick for a presidential nominee.  The weather report and turnout predictions for next Tuesday's caucuses are still somewhat in the air, but the campaigns' organizing efforts …
RELATED:
David Weigel / Slate:
Poll: Newsletters Not Hurting Paul in Iowa  —  Think about it.  If Ron Paul was suffering and taking damage from the stories about his old newsletters, what sort of voters would abandon him?  Who'd be offended by signed editorials about fleet-footed blacks and skeezy gay men?
Jonathan Easley / Ballot Box:
Paul holds slim lead over Romney in first post-Christmas Iowa poll
Discussion: CNN, The Politico and Weasel Zippers
CNN:
‘Liberated’ Gary Johnson seeks Libertarian nomination  —  (CNN) - Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson announced his intention to seek the Libertarian nomination for president Wednesday.  —  Calling his choice “both a difficult decision-and an easy one,” in a statement …
RELATED:
Billy Hallowell / TheBlaze.com:
GIRL SCOUTS BOOK REFERS READERS TO LIBERAL GROUP MEDIA MATTERS TO CLEAR UP ‘MEDIA MISINFORMATION’  —  In 2010, the Girl Scouts of the USA published a book called “MEdia.”  The publication, designed for girls in grades six through eight, is a guide that apparently offers insight into how young people …
John Avlon / The Daily Beast:
Sen. Ben Nelson's Retirement Signals Twilight of Blue Dog Democrats  —  Centrist Sen. Ben Nelson's retirement puts the Democrats' Senate majority in jeopardy and could even spell trouble for Obama's reelection.  But the absence of his and other independent voices in Congress is the real danger.
RELATED:
Investor's Business Daily:
What Ben Nelson's surrender means for 2012
Discussion: The Other McCain
Greg Miller / Washington Post:
Under Obama, an emerging global apparatus for drone killing  —  U.S. Air Force/GETTY IMAGES - A crew chief from the 46th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron completes post-flight inspections of the RQ-1 Predator after one of its sorties in Balad Air Base, Iraq.
Pew Hispanic Center:
As Deportations Rise to Record Levels, Most Latinos Oppose Obama's Policy  —  I. OVERVIEW  —  By a ratio of more than two-to-one (59% versus 27%), Latinos disapprove of the way the Obama administration is handling deportations of unauthorized immigrants, according to a new national survey …
Steven Hayward / Power Line:
Ode to the Welfare State  —  A friend in Texas (where else) sent me the following item, which appeared in the New York Daily News on November 4, 1949, and since it has a Minnesota connection, as well as reminding us that some things about liberals never change, I thought it worth sharing with Power Line's home town readers:
Bare Naked Islam:
Well, well, well, the Texas Christmas Day massacre of 7 people, including the killer, was a MUSLIM honor killing, after all.  —  Truth be told, I quickly discounted my initial reaction that Muslims might be involved because the killer was reported to be in a Santa costume.  Stupid me.
CNN:
Santorum gets late help from super PAC  —  Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) - As Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum aims for a late surge in Iowa, a super PAC backing his candidacy is up with a new television ad calling him the “real conservative” in the GOP race.
Discussion: Washington Post and GOP 12
Choe Sang-Hun / New York Times:
North Korean Mourners Line Streets for Kim Jong-il's Funeral  —  SEOUL, South Korea — Kim Jong-un, the designated dynastic heir to power in North Korea, walked alongside the hearse of his deceased father, Kim Jong-il, through snow-covered downtown Pyongyang on Wednesday …
Charles P. Pierce / Esquire:
Mitt Romney: The Real Austerity Candidate  —  Over the holidays, Willard Romney has been seeking once again to define himself, a job that is very similar to that undertaken by the people who renovate old country homes.  The first thing you have to do is to tear down the accumulated improvements …
Discussion: Suburban Guerrilla
 
 
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 More Items: 
Amy Chozick / Media Decoder:
The Times E-Mails Millions by Mistake to Say Subscriptions Were Canceled
Eli Lake / The Daily Beast:
U.S., Israel Discuss Triggers for Bombing Iran's Nuclear Infrastructure
NBC's Carrie Dann / msnbc.com:
Perry: Obama's health law threatens ill patients
Discussion: Eschaton and Daily Kos
Agence France Presse:
Gunmen kill toddler near Nigeria flashpoint city
Discussion: Atlas Shrugs and Weasel Zippers
Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
The Unwritten Religion “Stories” of 2011
Jonathan Easley / Ballot Box:
In new ad, Newt Gingrich claims he can create ‘millions of jobs right now’
Discussion: CNN
Alicia M. Cohn / The Hill:
Perry blasts Obama for not hosting parade for returning US troops
Matt Bai / New York Times:
Newt Gingrich's Glory Days
Discussion: Iowa Caucuses and Daily Kos
 Earlier Items: 
Curtis Gans / The Huffington Post:
A Proposed Solution to Voter ID Controversy
Richard Pollock / PJ Media:
Not Just Barney: Eight Veteran House Dems Retiring
Discussion: Bloomberg and Pat Dollard
Daily Mail:
'Don't worry kids, I'll be fine': Marine shot three times in street robbery survives …
Discussion: The Jawa Report and Breitbart.tv
Meredith Dake / Breitbart.tv:
Going Rogue: Independent Group Runs Palin For President Radio Ads In Iowa
Jennifer Epstein / The Politico:
First family frees 4 turtles
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Jeffrey Gettleman / New York Times:
Somalia Faces Alarming Rise in Rapes of Women and Girls
Discussion: Jezebel and Hullabaloo
Lori Montgomery / Washington Post:
Washington's year of drama leaves little done regarding debt
Discussion: Firedoglake, Hit & Run and RedState
Stephen Gordon / speculist.com:
In the Future Everything Will Be A Coffee Shop
Discussion: EconLog and Belmont Club