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Newslinks for Friday December 16, 2011

Posted on 12/16/2011

VIDEO: Romney ad asks: "Is this government program so important that it's worth borrowing money from China to pay for it?"

VIDEO: Perry video attacks Gingrich and Romney as political insiders

Harry Reid floats idea of a two-month payroll tax cut extension in case a larger deal was out of reach - Roll Call

If the payroll tax holiday is extended, it will become permanent. Social Security will become another welfare program - Ari Fleischer for the Wall Street Journal

Congress agrees spending deal likely to avert government shutdown - Fox

  • "House Republicans made a habit of criticizing Democrats for passing 1,000-page bills in the last Congress, but the spending measure they introduced late Wednesday night resembles a dictionary itself. The $1 trillion spending package, which includes nine separate appropriations bills, came in at 1,209 pages. That excludes a five-page disaster relief bill that would be voted on separately." - The Hill

National Review: There is a surprising degree of agreement within the GOP field, the White House is winnnable... but Gingrich should not be the candidate...

Gingrich Ad Image"Gingrich’s colleagues were right to bring his tenure [as Speaker] to an end. His character flaws — his impulsiveness, his grandiosity, his weakness for half-baked (and not especially conservative) ideas — made him a poor Speaker of the House. Again and again he combined incendiary rhetoric with irresolute action, bringing Republicans all the political costs of a hardline position without actually taking one. Again and again he put his own interests above those of the causes he championed in public." - NRO Editors

The underdog candidates question the conservative credentials of Gingrich and Romney during Iowa debate - Politico

  • Mitt: 'I changed my mind' on abortion - Politico
  • As Romney steps cautiously, Gingrich duels with others - New York Times
  • Gingrich defends conservative credentials - Washington Examiner
  • Romney Regains Stride; Gingrich Shows Old Newt At Sioux City Debate - NPR
  • "This final debate leading into the Iowa caucuses was a positive one for all GOP candidates. Why? Because the questions from the Fox team were less “gotcha” questions, or questions that divide the GOP from many Americans (e.g. “Should we spend a fortune to put up a fence to keep those Hispanics out of this country?”), and more questions that allowed the candidates to attack Obama’s failed presidency and propose remedies for his errors." - NRO

R-i-c-h becomes a four letter word in GOP politics

Romney on Fox"The GOP is supposed to be the party that celebrates individual success and achievement. Leave the politics of envy to the Democrats, Republicans always say. The GOP is about dynamism, unleashing the creative forces of growth and rewarding the hard-working, job-creating wealth builders. Or they used to be. Last night saw a remarkable moment in the changing politics of wealth. One Republican candidate accused the other of being “wealthy.” And it wasn’t mean to be a compliment. Mitt Romney – net worth $190 million plus – told CBS News that rival Newt Gingrich (net worth more than $6 million)  is too wealthy to be in touch with the middle class." - WSJ

"The polling data I’ve seen over the past two or three days suggests that Newt Gingrich’s momentum has stopped — and has probably reversed itself." - Nate Silver

For Romney, no states are too small or vote too late in the primary cycle as he prepares for long fight to win nomination - WSJ

Paul Ron Close UpRon Paul: Strike against Iran would risk a repeat of 'useless' Iraq war - LA Times

  • Ron Paul's problem isn't better-funded opponent or media bias—it's his own views on foreign policy - Kimberley Strassel in the Wall Street Journal
  • "What is the point of Ron Paul in these debates? He should build a time machine and go back to the age before Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, and Arthur Vandenberg reoriented the GOP toward internationalism. Sorry, but as long as he is out of sync with the rest of the party on foreign policy, he'll be nothing more than a fringe candidate. He may do well in the caucuses, where turnout is low, but he will be obliterated in the primary battles, and such intensive focus on his out-of-step foreign policy views is a waste of everybody's time. On a related note, nobody is winning any points any more by even arguing with Paul's foreign policy positions. That ship sailed a long time ago. Just ignore him and move on, already." - Jay Cost in the Weekly Standard

Herman Cain sees himself running the Pentagon - CBS

Obama's appeasement of Russia and Iran has failed - Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post

"The Iraqis who loyally served us are under threat. We must give them refuge." - Kirk Johnson in the New York Times

The United States is holding about 2,500 detainees captured in operations against al Qaeda, the Taliban and other terrorist forces, President Obama told congressional leaders in a letter Thursday - Washington Times

Nature magazine admits that the latest climate change summit was a failure

"Of course, Nature is hoping for some kind of economy-killing super-Kyoto Protocol, but is honest enough to recognize that the latest agreement—the “Durban Platform”—is merely a fig leaf over the increasingly abject failure of this whole idiotic process, though it did achieve the most important objective of dipsomanaics diplomats, an agreement to meet again next year.  As Nature puts it, “In the search for a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, we now have the Durban Platform, which comes on the heels of the Bali Road Map and the Copenhagen Accord.”" - PowerLine

And finally... A world without Christopher Hitchens - Matt LeBash in the Weekly Standard

Screen shot 2011-12-16 at 12.03.56"Hitchens is gone. And the phrase that echoes in my mind is Nehru’s at the death of Gandhi: “The light has gone out of our lives.” For every young writer – and every victim and opponent of authoritarianism – there is now darkness. To Hitchens, there was no difference between the two: he rejected the line that separates the observer from the doer. The master stylist of the English language was also the Western world’s most forceful opponent of authoritarianism. He savaged intellectuals who, obsessed with playing the thinker, refused to engage with reality and often became apologists for tyranny." - FrumForum

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