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5:15 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.
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% …
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: Verum Serum
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.
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 …
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 …
New York Magazine:
Battered in Iowa, Gingrich Plans to Rip Romney in New Hampshire and Beyond  —  The morning after the Des Moines Register's final Iowa pre-caucus poll put Newt Gingrich in fourth place and falling, the former Speaker of the House attended mass at St Ambrose Church in Des Moines …
Chris Cillizza / Washington Post:
Does the New Hampshire primary matter?
Gschwarzcnn / CNN:
‘Iron Lady’ goes back up on Iowa TV
Joe Klein / Swampland:
1 Day Till Iowa: I Approve This Message
Discussion: Saint Petersblog
Wallacegw / CNN:
Santorum's fundraising soars along with his poll numbers
Ted Robbins / NPR:
Santorum's Support Builds Ahead Of Iowa Caucuses
Niall Stanage / Ballot Box:
On eve of Iowa vote, Santorum focusing attacks on Romney
Discussion: RedState and Sister Toldjah
James Hohmann / The Politico:   Ron Paul's Iowa victory
Michael D. Shear / New York Times:
Frenetic Push for Votes as Iowa Campaign Wraps Up
Discussion: The Caucus and Truthdig
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
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.
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 …
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 …
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.
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.
Robert Pear / New York Times:
After Three Decades, Tax Credit for Ethanol Expires  —  WASHINGTON — A federal tax credit for ethanol expired on Saturday, ending an era in which the federal government provided more than $20 billion in subsidies for use of the product.  —  The tax break, created more than 30 years ago, had long seemed untouchable.
Sam Quinones / L.A. NOW:
‘Person of interest’ detained in L.A. arson fires  —  Los Angeles police this morning detained and are questioning a “person of interest” in the spate of arson fires occurring around the city since Friday.  —  The individual, believed to be the man seen in a video police released Sunday …
Tim Lister / CNN:
Islamist militants in Nigeria warn Christians to leave north within 3 days  —  The devastating scene outside St Theresa Catholic Church near the Nigerian capital Abuja on Christmas day  —  (CNN) — The militant Islamist group Boko Haram has issued an ultimatum giving Christians living …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and
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 More Items: 
James Crugnale / Mediaite:
TLC's The Duggar Family Endorses Rick Santorum
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
Edward-Isaac Dovere / The Politico:
Iowa officials brace for Occupy protests
Discussion: IntoxiNation
Angel Jennings / L.A. NOW:
Rose Parade 2012: Occupy activists form ‘peacekeeping’ team
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Scared Monkeys
 Earlier Items: 
Steve Clemons / The Atlantic Online:
Biden Gets China
Ilan Grapel / Washington Post:
In Egypt, jailed but not broken
Colombia Urabenos ‘drug gang leader’ shot by police
Discussion: PoliBlog
About 200 birds found dead in Arkansas city for second straight New Year's Eve
Discussion: The Raw Story and Joe. My. God.
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