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Posted: Thursday, December 22, 2011 - 4:40pm

Bush Senior Backs Romney for President, Snubs Perry

Less than two weeks before Iowa Republicans make their crucial caucus choices on the night of Jan. 3, George H.W. Bush offered words of support, if not an official endorsement, to an old friend, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, according to a story today in the Houston Chronicle.

Posted: Thursday, December 22, 2011 - 4:40pm

Gingrich Predicts Third-Place Finish in Iowa

RICHMOND, Va.--Struggling to keep up with his success in opinion polls, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich on Thursday was furiously rounding up the final signatures on petitions that he needs to compete in the Virginia primary.

Posted: Thursday, December 22, 2011 - 4:40pm

QUICK TAKE: Obama Tells House GOP 'Enough Is Enough'

President Obama continued to push House Republicans to take up the payroll tax-cut extension passed by the Senate. Tapping into the social-media resources he used to raise support in 2008, Obama shared stories from Americans who responded to the question, “What does $40 mean to you?” put forth in Twitter, Facebook, and e-mail communications. According to Obama, people with paychecks that total $50,000 annually could expect to lose $40 per pay period if the payroll-tax cut is not extended.

Posted: Thursday, December 22, 2011 - 4:40pm

FCC's Holiday Fruitcake -- Ownership Rules

The Federal Communications Commission has a little holiday present for everyone -- it is expected to announce on Thursday that it has voted to move forward with media ownership rules that would ease restrictions on owning newspapers, TV, or radio stations in the same markets.

Similar rules, enacted in 2007, were struck down by a federal appeals court in July because the FCC did not allow enough time for public comment.

Posted: Thursday, December 22, 2011 - 4:40pm

Backdrop to Action: The Capitol Building in 2011 -- PICTURES

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Posted: Thursday, December 22, 2011 - 2:40pm

Mourdock Launches Radio Ad in Indiana

Two days after Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., released his first radio ad, his Republican opponent, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, is hitting back with an ad of his own which ties the senator to President Obama.

"It's not just Barack Obama who dug this hole, it's his partner, Dick Lugar," a narrator says in the 60-second spot, Mourdock's first of the campaign. The ad also assails Lugar for voting for TARP, among other things.

Posted: Thursday, December 22, 2011 - 1:40pm

QUICK TAKE: Boehner Phones Obama With Proposal: President Says No

House Speaker John Boehner phoned President Obama on Thursday morning to request that the president dispatch his economic team to Capitol Hill to negotiate a full-year extension of the payroll-tax holiday, according to Boehner’s office. The president said no.

"The speaker explained his concern that flaws in the Senate-passed bill will be unworkable for many small business job creators," an aide to the Ohio Republican said. "The president declined the speaker’s offer.”


Posted: Thursday, December 22, 2011 - 1:40pm

Colbert Sought Naming Rights For South Carolina Primary

Imagine what could have been: Iowa votes for Ron Paul! New Hampshire breaks for Mitt Romney! And the entire Republican presidential contest switches gears and focuses on ... The Colbert Super PAC South Carolina Republican Primary?

It was nearly the case, Stephen Colbert revealed today.

Posted: Thursday, December 22, 2011 - 1:40pm

Iowa Voters: What Do They Really Want?

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa -- The Iowan had something to say to Mitt Romney, but Romney didn't seem to be listening.

In response, Romney reminisced about working on his uncle's ranch in Idaho, blamed the Dodd-Frank financial-reform legislation for squelching loans and investment, and launched into that most hoary of Iowa-pandering cliches, a paean to ethanol.

Posted: Thursday, December 22, 2011 - 1:40pm