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5:00 PM ET, January 4, 2012


 Top Items: 
Erick Erickson / Erick's blog:
Everything You Heard Last Night Was Bull, Perry Might Want to Stay In, & a Newtlear Attack  —  As you wake up this morning, Rick Santorum only lost to Mitt Romney by 8 votes.  Santorum spent about a dollar per vote and Romney spent hundreds of dollars for his votes.
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Winning Ugly, but Winning  —  I don't care if you call it a win or a tie.  In Iowa on Tuesday, Mitt Romney had a performance that looks ugly on the stat sheet , but which accomplished quite a bit when you consider it in its broader context.  —  The two most important things that Mr. Romney accomplished are as follows:
David Corn / MoJo Articles:
Newt the Destroyer  —  Gingrich is now on a single-minded mission to detonate Mitt Romney's presidential prospects.  Will he blow up the GOP in the process?  —  Newt Gingrich has finally reached his destiny: destroyer of the GOP.  —  In a bitter and spiteful concession speech last night in Iowa …
Grace Wyler / Business Insider:
Ron Paul May Have Secretly Won The Iowa Caucuses  —  DES MOINES — Ron Paul may have officially come in third tonight, but if the campaign's caucus strategy went off as planned, then Paul may actually be the real winner of the first Republican voting contest.
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
Conservative elites to huddle  —  A group of movement conservatives has called an emergency meeting in Texas next weekend to find a “consensus” Republican presidential hopeful, POLITICO has learned.  —  “You and your spouse are cordially invited to a private meeting with national conservative leaders …
Ron Fournier /
Bachmann Ends Presidential Run — Source  —  Rep. Michele Bachmann is suspending her presidential campaign, said a senior Republican official with direct knowledge of the lawmaker's plans.  The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Minnesota lawmaker, a favorite …
Rush Limbaugh:
This Race is Far From Over  —  RUSH: I can't tell you the number of people — and I stayed up all the way until they found the votes.  My gosh, I thought I was watching the Democrats last night.  Ninety-nine percent of the votes in and they can't find the votes from two counties.  They couldn't find 'em.
Jason Embry / Austin American-Statesman:
Perry stays in presidential race, says it 'wasn't a hard decision'  —  Gov. Rick Perry said today he will continue his presidential campaign despite a fifth-place showing in the Tuesday Iowa caucuses and serious questions about whether he can continue.  “I re-assessed,” Perry said as he left …
Jeff Zeleny / New York Times:
Romney Wins Iowa Caucus by 8 Votes  —  “Onto New Hampshire, let's get that job done!”  Mitt Romney told supporters before being declared the winner.  More Photos »  —  DES MOINES — Mitt Romney's quest to swiftly lock down the Republican presidential nomination with a commanding finish …
David Weigel / Slate:
Rickrolled: Three Lessons from Iowa
Paul Begala / The Daily Beast:
Iowa Results Show Romney's Weakness Even Against GOP ‘Unelectables’
McCain To Endorse Romney Tomorrow
The Politico:
Perry: ‘Here we come, South Carolina!’ (Updated)
Discussion: GOP 12 and
Bill / Pundits Blog:
Obama wins Iowa — without even campaigning!
Emily Schultheis / The Politico:   Newt won't congratulate Mitt on win
Alicia M. Cohn / Ballot Box:
Sen. McCain endorses Romney for president
Associated Press:
AP sources: Obama bucks GOP, OKs consumer watchdog  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — In a defiant display of executive power, President Barack Obama on Wednesday will buck GOP opposition and name Richard Cordray as the nation's chief consumer watchdog even though the Senate contends the move is inappropriate …
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Breaking: Obama also set to make recess appointments to the NLRB  —  It isn't just Richard Cordray.  Obama is also set to use recess appointments to install his picks to the National Labor Relations Board, according to White House officials and others familiar with ongoing discussions.
Kevin Bogardus / The Hill:
President Obama defies lawmakers with recess appointments to NLRB  —  President Obama will recess-appoint his nominees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), bypassing a likely filibuster from Senate Republicans to keep the controversial agency operating in 2012.
Discussion: CNN and Outside the Beltway
Travis Waldron / ThinkProgress:
BREAKING: Obama To Make Recess Appointments To National Labor Relations Board  —  President Obama is planning to announce today that, in addition to his recess appointment of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray as the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau …
Dan Pfeiffer / White Blog:
America's Consumer Watchdog  —  Today the President will appoint Richard Cordray to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  He has one important job: look out for the best interest of American consumers.  He'll work on behalf of millions of families across the nation to ensure they're …
Peter Schroeder / The Hill:
Reid backs Obama after using pro forma sessions to block Bush
Discussion: Mediaite and Weasel Zippers
Peter Schroeder / The Hill:
GOP blasts Obama for ‘unprecedented power grab’ with appointment
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Obama to GOP: Get the heck out of the way
Donovan Slack / The Politico:
Boehner: Richard Cordray appointment ‘unprecedented power grab’ by Obama
Discussion: The Caucus, Daily Kos and Balloon Juice
Washington Times:
Obama defies Congress with ‘recess’ picks
Kevinliptak / CNN:
Army soldier rallying for Paul violated military ban on political activity  —  (CNN) - Ron Paul spent Tuesday heralding his support among members of the military, but one active-duty supporter may be in trouble after lauding Paul on stage while wearing his Army uniform.
TRENDING: Paul: Gingrich a ‘chickenhawk’
Discussion: The Hill, Wonkette and The Politico
Rebecca Lopez / WFAA-TV:
Dallas teen missing since 2010 was mistakenly deported  —  DALLAS - “It's very frustrating,” Lorene Turner said.  —  She has spent hours on Facebook trying to find her granddaughter, Jakadrien.  —  “Once I get home I am up until 3 or 4 in the morning searching and looking,” Turner said.
Andrew Garber / Seattle Times:
Gregoire proposes legislation to legalize gay marriage  —  Gov. Chris Gregoire on Wednesday said she'll put forward legislation to legalize marriage for gay and lesbian couples.  —  The proposal will be introduced during the legislative session that starts Monday.
Vanity Fair:
The Meaning of Mitt  —  Mitt Romney has long been a front-runner for the G.O.P. nomination—even if no one really knows who he is.  Digging into the candidate's record as a Mormon leader, his business deals at Bain Capital, and that infamous car trip with the family dog strapped to the roof …
Bachmann ends GOP presidential bid  —  (CNN) — Michele Bachmann ended her bid for the Republican presidential nomination Wednesday, hours after a disappointing sixth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses.  —  The Minnesota congresswoman suspended her campaign, a legal technicality that will allow …
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 More Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
China Takes Aim at U.S. Naval Might
Discussion: and CSBA
China tycoon ‘ate poisoned cat-meat stew’
Thomas Erdbrink / Washington Post:
Iran prepares bill to bar foreign warships from Persian Gulf
Richard Cordray / The Huffington Post:
Standing Up for Consumers
Discussion: The Politico
Vanessa De La Torre / Hartford Courant:
Archdiocese Planning To Offer Pro-Abstinence Group For Gays, Lesbians
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Good As You
 Earlier Items: 
Peter F. Vallone Jr / New York Post:
Our misfiring gun laws
Daniel J. Mitchell / Wall Street Journal:
Will Republicans Hand the Left a VAT Victory?
Investor's Business Daily:
The Great Golden State Business Exodus
New York Times:
Bring Back Boring Banks
RealClearPolitics Video Log:
Michelle Obama Jokes: “I Kind Of Like” Being Called “Your Excellency”