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12:05 PM ET, January 3, 2012


 Top Items: 
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
Rick Santorum's curious closing argument  —  POLK CITY, Iowa — Nothing fires up a crowd like cloture.  —  Rick Santorum, the man who has improbably become a contender in Tuesday's Iowa caucuses, was making his closing argument to a sea of TV cameras here on Monday when he swerved into a thicket of Senate trivia.
Jeremy W. Peters / New York Times:
Sleeveless and V-Necked, Santorum's Sweaters Are Turning Heads  —  PERRY, Iowa — Rick Santorum is definitely pro-traditional sweater.  —  It's just that in Iowa, he happens to like a smart, sleeveless V-neck number.  —  Crewnecks, with their neck-hugging collars, aren't suitable …
Mark Blumenthal / The Huffington Post:
Iowa Caucus Final Poll Snapshot: Close, But Romney's Ahead … 2012 Election , Michele Bachmann , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich 2012 , Rick Santorum , Elections 2012 , Michele Bachmann 2012 , Newt Gingrich , Rick Perry , Ron Paul , Video , Iowa Caucuses , Iowa Poll , Mitt Romney Iowa …
Lucy Madison / CBS News:
Santorum targets blacks in entitlement reform  —  At a campaign stop in Sioux City, Iowa on Sunday, Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum singled out blacks as being recipients of assistance through federal benefit programs, telling a mostly-white audience he doesn't want to …
David Brooks / New York Times:
Workers of the World, Unite!
Discussion: Rod Dreher and Balloon Juice
George Packer / News Desk:
Un-American Activities  —  In the tenth paragraph of a page …
Discussion: The Politico, Hot Air and Daily Kos
CBS News:
Gingrich: Mitt Romney is a liar  —  PLAY CBS NEWS VIDEO  —  Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, whose support in Iowa has withered after riding on top of the polls, today called former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney a liar who would lie to the American people if elected to the White House …
John G. Geer / The Politico:
Newt's slide is not about attack ads
Pete Kasperowicz / Ballot Box:
Dick Morris: Santorum could win Iowa
John Dunbar / iWatch News:
‘Super PACs’ spend $13 million on early primaries, Romney top beneficiary
Meghashyam Mali / The Hill:
Gingrich blasts Romney for attacks, says it's ‘sad he had to stoop to that level’
Discussion: CNN
Tommy Christopher / Mediaite:
Fox News' Alan Colmes Flips Out When Called Out For ‘Cheap Shot’ About Rick Santorum Baby (Updated)  —  In a wild exchange on Fox News' Happening Now, longtime contributor Alan Colmes lost it a little bit when National Review's Rich Lowry pressed him over an attack on Rick Santorum's handling of the 1996 death of his newborn son.
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Alan Colmes: The way Santorum dealt with the death of his child sure was crazy  —  You'd think liberals would want to pull their punches against Santorum until he's built up enough momentum nationally to complicate life for Romney, yet here's Colmesy throwing an uppercut straight to the groin.
David Boaz / Cato @ Liberty:
Rick Santorum v. Limited Government
Discussion: National Review and Naked DC
First Thoughts: Caucus Day  —  It's Caucus Day in Iowa... Romney yesterday: “We're going to win this thing”... Gingrich yesterday: “I don't think I'm going to win”... Gingrich also calls Romney a liar... Watch to watch tonight... What happens (process begins at 8:00 pm ET …
Discussion: Hot Air
Kevinliptak / CNN:
Nikki Haley to campaign with Romney in New Hampshire
Discussion: The Hill and GOP 12
Mj Lee / The Politico:
DNC chair: No time to meet Occupy  —  The chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee said Tuesday morning she probably will not meet with Occupy Wall Street protesters, who have been rallying in Iowa against both Republicans and Democrats ahead of Tuesday's caucuses.
Cameron Joseph / Ballot Box:
Romney Iowa event interrupted by Occupy Wall Street protesters
New York Times:
The Next War: Pentagon to Present Vision of Reduced Military  —  WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta is set this week to reveal his strategy that will guide the Pentagon in cutting hundreds of billions of dollars from its budget, and with it the Obama administration's vision …
Kevin Drum / Political Mojo:
Crackpots Do Not Make Good Messengers  —  So then: Ron Paul.  Should we lefties be happy he's in the presidential race, giving non-interventionism a voice, even if he has other beliefs we find less agreeable?  Should we be happy that his non-mainstream positions are finally getting a public hearing?
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
Santorum: States Should Have The Right To Outlaw Birth Control  —  Rick Santorum reiterated his belief that states should have the right to outlaw contraception during an interview with ABC News yesterday, saying, “The state has a right to do that, I have never questioned that the state has a right to do that.
Discussion: ABCNEWS and Eschaton
Richard Winton / L.A. NOW:
L.A. arson suspect is 24-year-old Hollywood man  —  Los Angeles police on Monday afternoon booked a 24-year-old man on suspicion of arson after an L.A. County sheriff's deputy detained him in connection with a string of more than 50 deliberately set fires  —  Booking records identified …
Dennis Romero / The Informer:
Harry Burkhart, L.A. Arson Fires Suspect From Germany, Says ‘I Hate America’
Rasmussen Reports:
Partisan Trends: Number of Democrats Falls to All-Time Low  —  The number of Republicans in the country increased by a percentage point in December, while the number of Democrats fell back two points to the lowest level ever recorded by Rasmussen Reports.  —  During December, 35.4% of Americans considered themselves Republicans.
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Rasmussen: Dem party affiliation at all-time low
Serafin Gomez / Fox News:
Santorum: “ Ron Paul is Disgusting.”  —  “Ron Paul is disgusting,” presidential candidate Rick Santorum said to a handful of FOX reporters shortly after his FOX and Friends interview Tuesday morning.  —  Santorum blamed his rival for Iowa robo calls that claimed that the former U.S. senator …
Iran threatens action if US carrier returns-IRNA  —  Iran will take action if a U.S. aircraft carrier which left the area because of Iranian naval exercises returns to the Gulf, the state news agency quoted army chief Ataollah Salehi as saying on Tuesday.  —  “Iran will not repeat its warning …
Burgess Everett / The Politico:
Candidates steer clear of transportation before Iowa  —  Building roads and rails is central to President Barack Obama's economic recovery plans.  Congressional leaders are calling new long-term surface transportation legislation this Congress's “jobs bill.”  —  So in Washington, transportation means jobs.
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 More Items: 
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
How the Iowa caucuses will work
Discussion: Political Mojo
Kenneth Rogoff / Project Syndicate:
Rethinking the Growth Imperative
Discussion: Eschaton
Steven Greenhouse / New York Times:
A Gathering Storm Over ‘Right to Work’ in Indiana
Jason Horowitz / Washington Post:
Romney's religion still a sticking point
Discussion: 2012 Decoded and US Politics
Kara Swisher / AllThingsD:
Not the iPad 3 or New TV — But Apple Planning Media-Related Event in the Big(ger) Apple This Month
E. Scott Reckard / Los Angeles Times:
Bank of America severing some small-business credit lines
 Earlier Items: 
Deanreddington / CBS Boston:
Charlton Library Sends Police To Collect Overdue Books From 5-Year-Old
Discussion: JONATHAN TURLEY and Scared Monkeys
Mackenzie Weinger / The Politico:
Michele Bachmann: Caucus ‘surprise’ coming
Discussion: CNN
Attaturk / Firedoglake:
Finally it comes to an end
Discussion: New York Times and Eschaton
New York Times:
For 2012, Signs Point to Tepid Consumer Spending