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9:40 PM ET, December 19, 2011


 Top Items: 
Jake Tapper / ABCNEWS:
Two-Month Payroll Tax Holiday Passed By Senate, Pushed By President, Cannot Be Implemented Properly, Experts Say  —  Officials from the policy-neutral National Payroll Reporting Consortium, Inc. have expressed concern to members of Congress that the two-month payroll tax holiday passed …
Josh Lederman / Ballot Box:
DCCC unleashing Carville on House GOP  —  The House hasn't voted yet on whether to reject a short-term payroll tax cut extension that the Senate passed overwhelmingly on Saturday, but House Democrats are already crying foul.  —  The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Tea Party lawmaker: Payroll-tax-cut fight our ‘Braveheart moment’  —  A member of the House Tea Party caucus said Republicans are rallying behind Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) in the payroll tax cut standoff, calling him “William Wallace” in their “'Braveheart' moment.”
Scott Wong / The Politico:
Brown blasts GOP on payroll tax cut
Discussion: CNN, RedState, Daily Kos and The Hill
Marin Cogan / The Politico:
House GOP freshmen stand their ground
Discussion: The Hill, Speaker and CNN
Gschwarzcnn / CNN:
CNN Poll: Gingrich lead gone, dead even with Romney  —  Washington (CNN) - Newt Gingrich's lead in the race for the GOP presidential nomination has evaporated, according to a new national survey.  —  A CNN/ORC International Poll released Monday indicates that 28% of Republicans and independents …
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
Gingrich's Lead Over Romney Among Republicans Collapses  —  Gingrich now in statistical tie with Romney for the lead, 26% vs. 24%  —  PRINCETON, NJ — After enjoying 14- to 15-percentage-point leads over Mitt Romney in early December, Newt Gingrich is now statistically tied with Romney …
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Romney dominating New Hampshire
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Paul Moves Into Lead in Iowa Forecast
Elise Foley / The Huffington Post:
Mitt Romney Super PAC Ad Attacking Gingrich Sticks In The Minds Of Iowa Voters
Discussion: and Washington Post
Tom Hamburger / Los Angeles Times:
Evangelical leader makes case for Newt Gingrich
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
Pastor Concerned About ‘Destroying Definition Of Marriage’ Asks Evangelicals To Back Gingrich
Discussion: Reuters
Brad Plumer / Washington Post:
Kim Jong Il's economic legacy, in one chart  —  One easy way to evaluate the legacies of North Korean dictators Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il is to compare their country's economic performance with South Korea's over the past four decades.  The difference is stunning.
Discussion: Hit & Run and Business Insider
Ginger Gibson / The Politico:
Kim Jong Il death: 2012ers cautiously triumphant
Discussion: CNN
Jeb Bush / Wall Street Journal:
Capitalism and the Right to Rise  —  In freedom lies the risk of failure.  But in statism lies the certainty of stagnation.  —  Congressman Paul Ryan recently coined a smart phrase to describe the core concept of economic freedom: “The right to rise.”  —  Think about it.
Charles P. Pierce / Esquire:
Draft Jeb!  —  He was the golden child, if there can be said to be a golden child in a brood that included one son who was an S&L swindler who later went on to a career of being surprised when Thai hookers showed up unannounced at his hotel room door, another who was the worst president …
Leslie H. Gelb / The Daily Beast:
Joe Biden On Iraq, Iran, China and the Taliban  —  The United States won't spend a dime to bail out Europe.  The Taliban is not our enemy.  And nobody's easing up on Iran's nukes.  The vice president lets fly.  —  On Thursday, Dec. 15, Vice President Joe Biden sat down in his sunlit White …
Nando Di Fino / Mediaite:
Sarah Palin Tells Fox Business Network That 'It's Not Too Late' To Jump Into The GOP Race  —  In a pre-taped interview set to air tonight on Fox Business Network's “Follow The Money,” Eric Bolling mentioned to Sarah Palin that people constantly tell him they wish she was running for President.
New York Times:
Retirement Deal Keeps Bain Money Flowing to Romney  —  Almost 13 years ago, Mitt Romney left Bain Capital, the successful private equity firm he had helped start, and moved to Utah to rescue the Salt Lake City Olympic Games and begin a second career in public life.
Rebecca Kaplan /
Perry's Day Ends in Confrontation Over Fracking, Gays in the Military  —  At Decorah town hall, Perry faces some criticis of his policies.  —  DECORAH, Iowa—What had been a calm day for Rick Perry filled with church services and friendly audiences ended on a sour note as the governor found himself …
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
14-Year-Old Challenges Perry's Anti-Gay Views
Discussion: ABCNEWS and Towleroad News #gay
Matthew Boyle / The Daily Caller:
Justice Dept silent as Holder charges critics with racism  —  Attorney General Eric Holder accused his growing chorus of critics of racist motivations in a Sunday interview published in the New York Times.  When reached by The Daily Caller Monday morning, the Department of Justice provided …
Steven Hayward / Power Line:
Hayek Vindicated Again  —  Way back on the Federal Page of today's Washington Post is an article that ought to be on the front page above the fold, and its deep placement on the boutique page of the bureaucracy shows how the Post, like most everyone else, doesn't understand what a big story it is.
Jay Rubenstein / The Huffington Post:
Crusade vs. Jihad: Which Is Worse?  —  The First Crusade (1096-1099) spawned horrors the likes of which none of the crusaders had ever experienced.  And they were horrors of their own making.  Of the massacre in Jerusalem, a contemporary observed, “The knights could hardly bare it …
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
Katha Pollitt /
Regarding Christopher  —  Christopher Hitchens, my colleague for twenty years, was clever, hilarious, generous to his friends, combative, prodigiously energetic and fantastically productive.  He could write with equal ease about Philip Larkin, capital punishment, Henry Kissinger and having his balls waxed.
Barry Ritholtz / The Big Picture:
Gingrich Implodes in Iowa  —  I don't know about Conservatives, but Republicans should be relieved.  —  So much for the Gingrich juggernaut . . .  Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data, ability to repeat discredited memes, and lack of respect for scientific knowledge.
Discussion: Boing Boing
Andrew Mytelka / The Ticker:
Appeals Court Rejects Christian Student's Bid for Reversal of Her Expulsion  —  A federal appeals court on Friday upheld a lower court's ruling against a graduate student who had sought a court order preventing Augusta State University from expelling her from its school-counseling program.
New York Post:
Professor claims NYU fired him after he gave James Franco a ‘D’  —  James Franco's tired James Dean act got an NYU professor booted from the school last year — after the teacher dared to give the overhyped Hollywood hunk a “D” for blowing off class, a lawsuit charges.
Alex Seitz-Wald / ThinkProgress:
Pro-Adultery Website Endorses Gingrich  —  A website that promotes adultery has endorsed Newt Gingrich for president, and even erected a giant billboard in Pennsylvania to announce it.  Next to a picture of Gingrich making a “shh” gesture, the billboard reads: “Faithful Republican, Unfaithful Husband.”
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 More Items: 
Nando Di Fino / Mediaite:
BFFs? Fox News Plays Wrong Clip, Making Mitt Romney's ‘Best Friend’ Barack Obama
Discussion: THEROOT.COM and NewsHounds blog
Brendan Sasso / The Hill:
AT&T abandons T-Mobile merger
Discussion: The Politico
John C. Goodman / Wall Street Journal:
Why Mandated Health Insurance Is Unfair
Sam Baker / The Hill:
Supreme Court sets aside three days for arguments on healthcare reform law
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
In 2010, Romney Said He Wouldn't Repeal The Individual Health Mandate In Obamacare
Discussion: Daily Kos and Washington Monthly
Kim Zetter / Threat Level:
Forensic Examiner Found No Match of Cables on Manning's Laptop to WikiLeaks'
 Earlier Items: 
Jamie Weinstein / The Daily Caller:
Tucker Carlson wins online auction for dinner with Bill Ayers
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Will China Break?  —  Consider the following picture …