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11:10 PM ET, December 29, 2011


 Top Items: 
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
The Santorum Surge In Iowa and Beyond  —  The extent to which Rick Santorum has gained in Iowa polling is not entirely clear.  Although two polls have him with 16 percent of the vote, two others that were in the field at the same time have him at 10 and 11 percent, respectively.
Maggie Haberman / The Politico:
Michele Bachmann's hard fall  —  The split had been presaged, however, for weeks, thanks to a divide between the staffers and advisers on her campaign bus, and the national and Washington-based team.  Her then-state chairman, Kent Sorenson — who is now a Paul backer …
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:
Romney Edges Gingrich, 27% to 23%, for National GOP Lead
Niall Stanage / Ballot Box:
New poll shows Romney with big NH lead
Discussion: The Moderate Voice and CNN
Fox News:
Santorum Claims Iowa ‘Spark’ as Polls Show Candidacy Surging
Discussion: Naked DC
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Romney still up big in New Hampshire
Discussion: The Raw Story, Guardian and Mediaite
Paul West / Los Angeles Times:
Ron Paul: Sanctions against Iran are ‘acts of war’  —  Ron Paul campaigns during an event honoring veterans at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2011.  (Charles Dharapak / Associated Press)  —  Reporting from Perry, Iowa— Defending himself against charges of isolationism …
Bachmann campaign loses second key staffer in Ron Paul flap  —  Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann's campaign lost another high-ranking staff member on Thursday after that staffer defended another former Bachmann official's defection to a rival campaign.  —  Wes Enos, Bachmann's political director …
Discussion: National Review and The Page
Hunter Walker / PolitickerNY:
Stormfront Founder Don Black Says White Supremacists Thought Ron Paul Was ‘One of Us’  —  Ron Paul was a hot topic this week on the talk radio show hosted by prominent white supremacist Don Black and his son Derek.  Mr. Black said he received Mr. Paul's controversial newsletters …
Benjy Sarlin /
TPM2012  —  Ron Paul Downplays Newsletters : Only ‘Eight To Ten Sentences’ Were Offensive
Kevinliptak / CNN:
Occupy vs. Ron Paul
Jeffrey Scott Shapiro / Big Government:
EXCLUSIVE: Nancy Pelosi's Daughter: ‘My Mom Wants to Leave Congress’  —  Alexandra Pelosi, daughter of House Minority Leader and former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, told Big Government this week that her mother wants to leave Congress-and that she remains in Washington only at the behest of her campaign donors.
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
Malia Zimmerman / Hawaii Reporter:
Occupy Hawaii Island Movement Plans Protest Near Pelosi's Posh Hawaiian Hotel  —  BY MALIA ZIMMERMAN - U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, one of the most powerful supporters of the Occupy Wall Street movement, may be in the right place at the right time to protest with the Big Island branch of the movement, Occupy Hawaii Island.
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Karl Rove / Wall Street Journal:
Political Predictions for 2012  —  Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid …
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 …
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
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Andrew Restuccia / The Hill:
Despite GOP opposition, light bulb standards will phase in on Jan. 1  —  New light bulb efficiency standards will begin phasing in on Jan. 1 despite intense opposition from conservatives, who have blasted the rules as a textbook unnecessary federal regulation.
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.
Amanda Terkel / The Huffington Post:
Rick Santorum's Two-Step Plan To End Poverty … WASHINGTON — At a campaign event in Iowa on Wednesday, GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum laid out his simple two-point plan for eradicating poverty in America.  —  “Do you know if you do two things in your life — if you do two things in your life …
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 …
Source: Al Qaeda leader sends veteran jihadists to establish presence in Libya  —  (CNN) — Al Qaeda's leadership has sent experienced jihadists to Libya in an effort to build a fighting force there, according to a Libyan source briefed by Western counter-terrorism officials.
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Jim Hoft / The Gateway Pundit:
WordPress Takes Down “Bare Naked Islam” Blog After Threats From CAIR  —  WordPress took down Bare Naked Islam Blog today after threats from CAIR.
Discussion: American Power
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 More Items: 
Jason Embry / Austin American-Statesman:
Perry hits Santorum on earmarks, but Texas has sought its own
Discussion: The Politico and Ballot Box
Bryan Fischer /
When we pick a president, we are in fact choosing a minister of God
Investor's Business Daily:
Kind columnist vows to help N.Y.Times readers on its reneged offer
Cameron Joseph / Ballot Box:
Top Santorum supporter says he can win Iowa caucus
New York Times:
Egyptian Forces Shut Civic Groups, Drawing U.S. Protest
 Earlier Items: 
John H. Cochrane / Wall Street Journal:
The Fed's Mission Impossible
Discussion: National Review and EconLog
Hillary Chabot / Boston Herald:
Scott Brown: Media's pulling punches with Elizabeth Warren
Discussion: Daily Kos and The Raw Story
Catherine Rampell / New York Times:
Instead of Work, Younger Women Head to School
Derek Thompson / The Atlantic Online:
Is the U.S. Getting Older and Whiter, or Younger and More Diverse? Yes.