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4:35 PM ET, December 29, 2011


 Top Items: 
Juana Summersand Charles Mahtesian / The Politico:
Ron Paul soft spot emerges: Foreign policy  —  DES MOINES — Scary.  Not serious.  To the left of Barack Obama.  A threat to the existence of Israel.  —  With Ron Paul at or near the top of the polls in Iowa, his Republican rivals are sounding the alarms about the Texas congressman's unorthodox foreign policy views.
Discussion: CNN, Mediaite and Mercury Rising
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
New Iowa Poll May Understate Paul's Support  —  I'm not always a big fan of dissecting individual polls — mostly because there are liable to be a plethora of them in Iowa and New Hampshire over the next several days and their errors will tend to be mitigated as more are added to the average.
Shushannah Walshe / ABCNEWS:
Rick Santorum Gets A Big Polling Boost, Goes After Ron Paul
Kevinliptak / CNN:
Romney's Iowa confidence grows
Jennifer Jacobs / Iowa Caucuses:
Mitt Romney airs final TV ad in Iowa today, plans post-caucus party in Des Moines
Jake Sherman / The Politico:
Pelosi aides dispute daughter's claim  —  Nancy Pelosi's office says her daughter is wrong when she says the California Democrat wants to leave politics.  —  Alexandra Pelosi, the Democratic activist and filmmaker, said in an interview with Andrew Breitbart's Big Government …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Helene Cooper / New York Times:
White House Memo: Obama Gains Reputation as Distant in Washington  —  WASHINGTON — Air Force One had just landed in Manchester, N.H., on a brisk Tuesday morning last month when President Obama made an admission to Valerie B. Jarrett, his close friend and senior adviser.  —  “I just called Reggie,” Mr. Obama said.
David Dayen / Firedoglake:
Slow News Week Leads to Headache-Inducing Obama Personality Profile  —  He's the one in control (White House photo)  —  This feels suspiciously like “he came in and trashed the place and it's not his place” journalism.  Maybe the ghost of David Broder animated this journalist for the purposes of the story:
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Americans See Views of GOP Candidates Closer to Their Own  —  Obama, Bachmann furthest away on ideological scale  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Americans perceive Jon Huntsman, Mitt Romney, and Ron Paul as closest to themselves ideologically, and Michele Bachmann and Barack Obama as furthest away.
Frank Newport / Gallup:
Obama, Democrats Have Edge on Payroll Tax, Unemployment
Discussion: Campaign 2012 and Daily Kos
Bachmann defection opens new rift in campaign  —  Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) - One of Michele Bachmann's top campaign advisers is breaking with his own candidate to defend Kent Sorenson, the Bachmann campaign's former Iowa chairman who publicly defected to Ron Paul on Wednesday.
Robert Reich:
My Political Prediction for 2012: It's Obama-Clinton  —  My political prediction for 2012 (based on absolutely no inside information): Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden swap places.  Biden becomes Secretary of State — a position he's apparently coveted for years.  And Hillary Clinton, Vice President.
Robert Reich / Business Insider:
Get Ready For A Obama-Clinton Presidential Ticket
FOLLOW ME  —  I am really sorry if I have offended anyone.  Obviously that was not my intent.  I do not support racism.  I support gay rights, straight rights, women's rights, men's rights, white/black/purple/orange rights.  I like Ron Paul because he believes in less government and letting the people …
Pew Research Center:
Little Change in Public's Response to ‘Capitalism,’ ‘Socialism’  —  A Political Rhetoric Test  —  OVERVIEW  —  The recent Occupy Wall Street protests have focused public attention on what organizers see as the excesses of America's free market system, but perceptions of capitalism …
Karl Rove / Wall Street Journal:
Political Predictions for 2012  —  Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid or both will leave the Democratic leadership by year's end.  —  As New Year's approaches, here are a baker's dozen predictions for 2012.  —  • Republicans will keep the U.S. House, albeit with their 25-seat majority slightly reduced.
Mackenzie Weinger / The Politico:
ICE launches hotline for busted immigrants  —  As states across the nation ramp up their efforts to catch illegal immigrants, the Obama administration on Thursday launched a new free hotline for people busted on violations to get help.  —  The hotline, run by the U.S. Immigration …
Discussion: Pat Dollard and Weasel Zippers
The New Republic:
TNR On the Most Overlooked Stories of 2011  —  Lawrence Kaplan: America's Silent Withdrawal From Iraq  —  War is over.  —  No, really.  “Permanent” bases?  Absolutely not.  A decades-long partnership between Iraq and the United States?  With the American officials who guide the fortunes …
Discussion: Washington Monthly and Hullabaloo
Perry Draws Blank on Landmark Texas Anti-Sodomy Supreme Court Case  —  CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Texas Gov. Rick Perry admitted Thursday that he didn't know about the Supreme Court case Lawrence v. Texas, a case decided while he was governor which struck down the state's anti-sodomy law and similar laws in 13 others.
Catherine Rampell / New York Times:
Instead of Work, Younger Women Head to School  —  Workers are dropping out of the labor force in droves, and they are mostly women.  In fact, many are young women.  But they are not dropping out forever; instead, these young women seem to be postponing their working lives to get more education.
Hillary Chabot / Boston Herald:
Scott Brown: Media's pulling punches with Elizabeth Warren  —  U.S. Sen. Scott Brown yesterday opened the door to as many as four debates with likely Democratic rival Elizabeth Warren, even as he griped that the media is treating the Harvard Law professor with kid gloves while taking roundhouse punches at him.
Discussion: Daily Kos
Derek Thompson / The Atlantic Online:
Is the U.S. Getting Older and Whiter, or Younger and More Diverse?  Yes.  —  A brief statistical road trip across the swiftly changing, if not swiftly growing, country  —  The U.S. population grew slower in 2011 than any time in the last 70 years, capping the most lethargic decade of population growth since the 1930s.
Donna St. George / Washington Post:
In Washington area, African American students suspended and expelled two to five times as often as whites  —  Across the Washington area, black students are suspended and expelled two to five times as often as white students, creating disparities in discipline that experts say reflect a growing national problem.
Richard A. Oppel Jr / New York Times:
Ranks of Young Paul Volunteers Willingly Clean Up for the Cause  —  DES MOINES — Ron Paul's college-aged volunteer army — a core of the powerful ground organization that is the envy of rivals — is descending on Iowa from around the nation to coax people to the state's Republican caucuses …
Mitch Lipka / Reuters:
Middle-aged borrowers piling on student debt  —  (Reuters) - Middle-aged borrowers are piling up student debt faster than any other age group, according to a new analysis obtained by Reuters.  —  Educational borrowing is up for every age group over the past three years …
John H. Cochrane / Wall Street Journal:
The Fed's Mission Impossible  —  The bank regulator warns of the evils of ‘too big to fail,’ then proposes to stop any large financial institution from ever failing again.  —  The Federal Reserve last week announced its new “Enhanced Prudential Standards and Early Remediation Requirements” …
Discussion: National Review and EconLog
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 More Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
For Safety, Afghan Travelers Tune In to Taliban Ringtones
Discussion: The Raw Story and Danger Room
James Kirchick / Campaign Stops:
Ron Paul's World
Kate Zernike / New York Times:
The Houses of the Hopefuls
Discussion: BostInno
NBC's Carrie Dann /
Perry slams surging Santorum as a ‘prolific earmarker’
Discussion: GOP 12
Paul A. Rahe / Ricochet Conversations Feed:
What is Wrong With the Individual Mandate?
 Earlier Items: 
Dimitra Defotis / Barron's Online:
A Grim Forecast for Corporate Earnings
Slobodan Lekic / Associated Press:
Afghanistan Signs Its First Oil Contract - With China
Wall Street Journal:
Britain's Future Lies With America, Not Europe
Craig Whitlock / Washington Post:
Pentagon trimming ranks of generals, admirals
From North Korea, an Altered Procession
Scott Neuman / NPR:
Congress Really Is As Bad As You Think, Scholars Say

From Mediagazer:

Mike Vorkunov / New York Times:
Sources: the WNBA's media rights deals mirror the NBA's, and the league is set to get at least $2.2B over 11 years or $200M/year, up from the current ~$50M/year

Hong Kong Free Press:
Hong Kong-based reporter Selina Cheng says she was fired by The Wall Street Journal for taking up the position of chair of the Hong Kong Journalist Association

Peter White / Deadline:
Emmy nominations numbers: Netflix took top spot with 107; FX, 93; HBO/Max, 91; Apple TV+, 72; ABC and CBS, 38 each; Prime Video, 37; Hulu, 26; and Disney+, 19

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