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7:15 PM ET, January 2, 2012


 Top Items: 
Roger Simon / The Politico:
Mitt don't need no surges  —  DES MOINES — If Mitt Romney wins the Iowa caucuses, the race for the Republican nomination is over.  —  If Mitt Romney comes in second in Iowa, the race for the Republican nomination is over.  —  And if Mitt Romney comes in third in Iowa, the race for the Republican nomination is over.
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
For no reason, Santorum ‘singled out blacks’  —  Over the weekend, Rick Santorum told an Iowa audience, “Diversity creates conflict.  If we celebrate diversity, we create conflict.”  It seemed like an odd thing for a presidential candidate to say.  —  The line does, however …
Discussion: CBS News and Verum Serum
Joe Klein / Swampland:
1 Day Till Iowa: I Approve This Message  —  I saw a very effective anti-Ron Paul ad on the air last night, but I don't know who was responsible for it.  It was about gay marriage, which Paul tolerates because he doesn't believe the state should involve itself in marriage.
Discussion: Saint Petersblog
NBC's Alex Moe /
Gingrich: 'I don't think I'm going to win' in Iowa  —  INDEPENDENCE, Iowa — Newt Gingrich said Monday that he doesn't expect to win tomorrow's Iowa caucuses in a bow to his sinking poll numbers in the state.  —  The former House Speaker, who led in polls of likely Iowa caucus-goers as recently …
Wallacegw / CNN:
TRENDING: Ron Paul: Santorum is ‘very liberal’  —  (CNN) - Ron Paul dinged rival Rick Santorum Monday for being a “very liberal” candidate, saying the former Pennsylvania senator and staunch social conservative voted for too much spending during his time in Congress.
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Headed for a Photo Finish in Iowa  —  The Republican caucus in Iowa is headed for a photo finish, with the three leading contenders all within two points of each other.  Ron Paul is at 20%, Mitt Romney at 19%, and Rick Santorum at 18%.  Rounding out the field are Newt Gingrich at 14% …
Chris Cillizza / Washington Post:
Does the New Hampshire primary matter?
Gschwarzcnn / CNN:
‘Iron Lady’ goes back up on Iowa TV
Niall Stanage / Ballot Box:
On eve of Iowa vote, Santorum focusing attacks on Romney
Ted Robbins / NPR:
Santorum's Support Builds Ahead Of Iowa Caucuses
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
Cantor can't handle the truth about Reagan  —  CBS's “60 Minutes” ran a good profile on House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) last night, but there was one portion of the interview that was especially important.  —  In this video, it starts at about the 10:19 mark.
Jim Hoft / The Gateway Pundit:
“60 Minutes” Grills Eric Cantor on Why He's Republican in Sunday Night Hit Piece (Video) ...Update: Washington Monthly Continues to Misrepresent Reagan  —  “60 Minutes” grilled Majority Leader Eric Cantor on why he is Republican.  —  “You've taken a lot of criticism from American Jews …
CBS News:
The Majority Leader: Rep. Eric Cantor
Discussion: The Caucus and Outside the Beltway
Ron Paul's Secret Plan To Actually Win  —  He probably can't.  But with stealthy preparations in Bismarck, Boise, and Minnetonka, he can be a huge pain in Mitt Romney's neck.  —  Ron Paul — poised to finish strong in the Iowa caucuses - has begun to implement a quiet …
James Hohmann / The Politico:   Ron Paul's Iowa victory
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Nobody Understands Debt  —  In 2011, as in 2010, America was in a technical recovery but continued to suffer from disastrously high unemployment.  And through most of 2011, as in 2010, almost all the conversation in Washington was about something else: the allegedly urgent issue of reducing the budget deficit.
Dylan Welch / Sydney Morning Herald:
New to Twitter: the tweet Murdoch took down ... fast  —  “Either @rupertmurdoch is genuinely now on Twitter, or some disgruntled ex-NOTW journo just won the hacking Olympics.”  —  Less than two days after joining Twitter, media mogul Rupert Murdoch appears to have had his first brush …
President Obama's Words: RNC Weapon of Choice in 2012  —  On the eve of the Iowa caucuses, the Republican National Committee is touting an expansive new video database that party operatives say is their most potent weapon for attacking President Obama in 2012.
Discussion: Daily Kos
Nick Allen / Telegraph:
Americans buy record numbers of guns for Christmas  —  Americans bought record numbers of guns last month amid an apparent surge in popularity for weapons as Christmas presents.  —  According to the FBI, over 1.5 million background checks on customers were requested by gun dealers …
Ta-Nehisi Coates / The Atlantic Online:
The Roots Of Glenn Beck  —  Mark Lilla doesn't really like Corey Robin's new book on conservatism: … Better though, is his own perspective on the roots of conservatism and its current flight into the apocalyptic and reactionary: … It's interesting that Lilla raises Buckley here.
James Crugnale / Mediaite:
TLC's The Duggar Family Endorses Rick Santorum  —  Reality TV star Jim Bob Duggar, from TLC's 19 Kids and Counting, endorsed Rick Santorum today at a rally in Polk City, Iowa.  “All the people in America that have conservative family values have to get behind Rick Santorum for President,” Duggar said.
John Hawkins / Right Wing News:
The 50 Most Obnoxious Quotes Of 2011 (8th Annual)  —  50) Take the vehicle, I have 10 more.  Police don't have anything else (expletive) to do except (expletive) with me.  Do you know who I am?  — Allen Iverson 49) Storms Kill Over 250 Americans In States Represented By Climate Pollution Deniers …
Discussion: YID With LID and Bookworm Room
Angel Jennings / L.A. NOW:
Rose Parade 2012: Occupy activists form ‘peacekeeping’ team  —  Occupy the Rose Parade activists said they had assembled a “peacekeeping” team to thwart members who might try to cause trouble during the event.  —  A team of about 36 Occupy protesters will, in three groups …
RealClearPolitics Video Log:
Andrea Mitchell: Iowa Is “Too White, Too Evangelical, Too Rural”  —  NBC's Andrea Mitchell gives her take on the state of Iowa while covering the upcoming caucus.  Mitchell makes her feelings about the Midwestern state to the viewers, opining that “the rap” on Iowa is that it is too white.
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 More Items: 
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
McConnell, Boehner face tough job of smoothing tensions when they return
Discussion: Booman Tribune
Jonathan Bernstein / A plain blog about politics:
No, You Can't Skip New Hampshire Either
Discussion: Associated Press
NY Daily News:
Four firebombs, including one tossed at Queens mosque, eyed as hate crimes
Elise Foley / The Huffington Post:
Rick Santorum Saves Cash, Gains A Surrogate, By Turning To Daughter
Discussion: Daily Kos
Rep. Michele Bachmann / CBS News:
Bachmann offers tough talk on Iran after test launch
The Independent:
Gordon Brown's Downing Street emails ‘hacked’
CBS News:
60 Minutes/Vanity Fair Poll: January Edition
Discussion: Saint Petersblog
Edward-Isaac Dovere / The Politico:
Iowa officials brace for Occupy protests
Discussion: Pat Dollard and IntoxiNation
 Earlier Items: 
Steve Clemons / The Atlantic Online:
Biden Gets China
Tim Lister / CNN:
Islamist militants in Nigeria warn Christians to leave north within 3 days
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and
Colombia Urabenos ‘drug gang leader’ shot by police
Discussion: PoliBlog
Robert Pear / New York Times:
After Three Decades, Tax Credit for Ethanol Expires
Sharon Otterman / New York Times:
Obscuring a Muslim Name, and an American's Sacrifice
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
GOP 2012 Battle to Date Most Akin to Dems in 2003
Discussion: The Politico and Ballot Box