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Newslinks for Tuesday December 20, 2011

Posted on 12/20/2011

House GOP postpones vote on payroll tax bill...

Screen shot 2011-07-24 at 13.28.22"House Republicans postponed a planned Monday night vote on the Senate-passed payroll tax cut bill, bowing to pressure from rank-and-file lawmakers to fight the battle in a fresh media cycle, avoid a dark-of-night vote and... find a way to reject the Senate bill without voting directly against a tax cut. House leaders had hoped to vote down the Senate bill, which would extend for two months President Barack Obama’s payroll tax cut, certain unemployment insurance benefits and the current Medicare reimbursement rates for doctors. But after a long debate Monday night, it appeared more likely that they would vote to create a House-Senate conference committee rather than first rejecting the Senate bill outright." - Politico

  • "“The House Republicans’ plan to scuttle the deal to help middle-class families is irresponsible and wrong,” said Senator Scott P. Brown, Republican of Massachusetts. He was echoed by other Republican senators, including Richard G. Lugar of Indiana and Dean Heller of Nevada; all three of them face re-election in 2012." - New York Times
  • Call Senate back and pass a workable payroll tax deal - Washington Examiner editorial

...And will vote on it today

Screen shot 2011-06-25 at 11.57.25"The vote had been expected Monday night, but after a long meeting of the House Republican conference, GOP leaders said they would wait until Tuesday. Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-California, told reporters that it was better to hold the vote "not in the dark of night but in the light of day."" - CNN

  • "House Republicans seem increasingly unperturbed by the potential fallout. “As to the political implications? I don’t care about political implications,” said New York Rep. Tom Reed, when asked how the public might view the House holding up the Senate bill." - Politico

Romney criticizes Gingrich on judges, outlines anti-abortion views

Screen shot 2011-10-15 at 9.01.06 AM"Appearing on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, the former Massachusetts governor said Gingrich’s proposals for taking on what he regards as excessive judicial activism -- including abolishing whole courts -- are unconstitutional. ... Romney also said his handling of abortion was probably the biggest mistake he made as governor. At that time, he decided not to change provisions in Massachusetts’s abortion-rights laws based on the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision." - National Journal

  • "The American legal establishment is not sure what to make of Newt Gingrich’s mounting attacks on the independence of the federal judiciary. Reactions vary from amusement to alarm. What is hard to find is approval." - New York Times

Gingrich in defensive mode in Iowa

Screen shot 2010-12-05 at 18.43.01"Newt Gingrich spent Monday in defensive mode in Iowa trying to shift the message away from negative attacks on the day a new poll showed momentum slipping for the Republican presidential candidate. ... Gingrich shot back at his rivals who have been questioning the competitive frontrunner’s conservative credentials." - CNN

  • "Gingrich hasn’t reached rock bottom yet but political watchers in Iowa say the former speaker has done little to take advantage of his boomlet, avoiding the hard work necessary to convert popularity into success at the notoriously difficult caucuses." - The Hill

Latest polling: Newt and Mitt in dead heat

  • "Gingrich and Romney are each favored by 30 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. Running behind them is Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.), whose libertarian philosophy has attracted a strong following." - Washington Post
  • "Gingrich and Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, are also deadlocked at the top of the Republican field in a CNN/ORC International poll released on Monday. And the latest Gallup tracking poll, conducted Dec. 13-18, shows Gingrich a scant two points ahead of Romney, his smallest lead in any rolling sample since the tracking poll was launched at the start of this month." - National Journal
  • "Congress has reached a new low in job-approval ratings, with only 11% of adults giving lawmakers good marks in a new Gallup Poll." - USA Today
  • "Obama’s job-approval rating is now its highest since summer, according to a new Post-ABC poll." - Washington Post

Rick Perry tries to save his campaign during busy Iowa campaign

Screen shot 2011-08-30 at 11.23.52"Mr. Perry, aiming to reintroduce himself to voters before the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, is casting himself as a political outsider equally conversant in job creation and scripture—with a heavy emphasis, at times, on the latter. ... Some here seem ready to take a second look at Mr. Perry, who led in polls in Iowa this fall before a series of stumbles drained much of his support." - Wall Street Journal ($)

  • Perry vows to appoint pro-gun justices to high court - USA Today

Sarah Palin teases, says it’s not too late for ‘folks’ to jump into presidential race

Palin Sarah black"She announced in October that she would not be a candidate herself. But she told Fox News on Sunday that she was not ready to endorse anyone. “You know, my endorsement is going to be with sincerity and enthusiasm,” she said, “and I’m just not there yet with the field as it stands.” She said she was looking for a candidate “who understands the fiscal crisis” that America faces." - New York Times

  • "Is Sarah Palin flirting with the presidential race again? Might Jeb Bush be the GOP's white knight? And shouldn't Democrats give Hillary Rodham Clinton another chance? 'Tis the season. The silly season" - LA Times
  • Jeb Bush emails Politico to say simply "Not running".

Delusional: Obama suggests he's the fourth-best President of modern times

Obama 2"With nary a mention of Solyndra or Fast & Furious, Steve Kroft's recent 60 Minutes interview of President Obama was already one of the year's finest examples of softball, newsless thumb-suckers that lead the right to tar reporters as liberals. ... "As you yourself said, Steve, I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president -- with the possible exceptions of Johnson, FDR and Lincoln. You know, just in terms of what we've gotten done in modern history," Obama said, according to a clip that never made it to broadcast." - Miami Herald

Following New York special election win for Republicans, Democrats are taking no chances in upcoming OR-1 election

"The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has launched a blistering, high-priced offensive aimed at cutting down Republican Rob Cornilles and boosting the party’s prospects in a race it should win easily. It has reserved around $1 million on the Portland airwaves, airing TV ads hammering Cornilles as an enemy of entitlement programs and casting him as a tea party pawn." - Politico

Supreme Court to hold Obamacare hearings in March

Supreme_court_building"If you’ve been following the battle over President Barack Obama‘s health law, set your calendar for Monday, March 26, through Wednesday, March 28. The Supreme Court, which usually gives litigants just an hour of its time, has set aside those three days to hear five and a half hours of arguments on the law passed by Congress on March 23, 2010." - Wall Street Journal

John Bolton: There's no guarantee that the North Korean military will accept another hereditary ruler - Wall Street Journal

  • US closely monitoring North Korea after Kim Jong Il dies - Fox News

And finally 1... Mitt Romney on the Late Show with David Letterman

"“Newt Gingrich… really,” joked Romney as if he were questioning the rise of his closest competitor in the race for the Republican nomination. And the big reveal came at number one, when Mitt Romney shared that his widely admired hair was “a hairpiece.” ... "What's up gangstas, it's the M-i-double tizzle,” Romney said at number 9. “My new cologne is now available at Macy's. It's Mitts-tified,” was number 5." - CNN

And finally 2... lesser-known presidential candidates debate in New Hampshire

""I am here to tell you about thorium -- an overlooked energy alternative," Democratic presidential candidate Bob Greene said. And then, there's Vermin Supreme -- a veteran candidate and consummate anti-politician. "My name is Vermin Supreme. I am a friendly fascist. I am a tyrant that you should trust," Democratic presidential candidate Vermin Supreme said." - WMUR



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