By Eliot Nelson, Ryan Grim & Arthur Delaney
JACK KINGSTON HAS A PLAN - Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) explained to HuffPost how the payroll impasse can be solved: "Here's a situation where the president could easily call John Boehner and Harry Reid down to the White House and say, 'Hey look guys, let's get together. I've got the DVD of It's a Wonderful Life, I've got a little egg nog, we can put some rum in it, we can make this thing happen. Let's get this right for America.' Why isn't the president doing that?" No idea, man. It worked with that cop and that professor, why not try it again?
GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST: BUSH 43 OFFICIAL BEHIND LETTER DENOUNCING PAYROLL BILL - The Hill: "A former Bush administration official was intimately involved in a decision by a group representing payroll processing companies to send out a letter Monday criticizing Senate-passed payroll tax legislation. The letter from the National Payroll Reporting Consortium, a coalition of major paycheck firms that includes Automatic Data Processing and Paychex, has become a central talking point for House Republican opponents of the Senate bill. Pete Isberg, president of the National Payroll Reporting Consortium, told The Hill Tuesday that the group's lobbyist, a former GOP aide who worked for the Senate Finance Committee and later the Treasury Department under former President George W. Bush, encouraged him to send the letter." [The Hill]
HOUSE REJECTS SENATE'S PAYROLL TAX BILL - The House this afternoon voted down the Senate's payroll tax holiday bill, likely ruining this holiday for Hill staffers and an unknown number of future holidays for taxpayers who, uh, might not have the extra cash needed to buy, um, presents. Mike McAuliff and Jen Bendery: "[House Republicans] wanted a year-long extension or no extension at all. House Republicans accomplished that with a convoluted motion to reject a Senate compromise that would have extended the 2 percent payroll tax break for two months, voting 229 to 193 to send the measure to a conference committee. Seven Republicans voted with Democrats, and no Democrats crossed the aisle. They were Reps. Charles Bass (R-N.H.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.), Tim Johnson (R-Ill.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.) and Frank Wolf (R-Va.). Senate leaders also were hoping for a year-long deal, but sources told The Huffington Post that Republicans and Democrats could not agree on how to fund about half of the $200 billion needed to pay for the bill for a full year. The measure would also extend unemployment insurance benefits and would prevent a 27 percent cut to Medicare payments to doctors with a 'doc fix' provision. Those also expire Jan. 1." [HuffPost]
#OCCUPYHOUSEFLOOR - An email from Hoyer: "**Members are encouraged to remain on the House Floor after last votes today in order to demand that House Republican Leadership bring up the Bipartisan Senate Extenders Compromise to the Floor immediately."
SIREN: Dems not caving: "Let's not play brinksmanship," President Obama said during a briefing room appearance today. "The American people are weary of it. They're tired of it... I'm calling on the speaker and the House Republican leadership to bring up the Senate bill for a vote and give the American people the assurance they need in this holiday season." [WaPo]
@brianefallon McCain on CNN on House GOP's stunts on payroll tax cut: 'It is harming the Republican Party'
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Lori Barnes of St. John's, Fla. said she lost her job running a lawyer referral service for a local bar association in October of 2010. She's landed several interviews but hasn't received an offer. She knows it's possible for someone to be unemployed for a really long time: She said her husband was out of work for exactly that long before finding a job in February of 2010. Barnes, a 45-year-old mother of three, said she discovered her benefits would run out next month when she called the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. She said she was told, "It's going to end in January. All your extensions will be over. If Congress extends benefits before they leave for break you should be OK, but don't count on it." [HuffPost]
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PAUL IS IN FRONT IN IOWA, GUESS IT'S TIME TO UNEARTH SOME DIRT ON HIM, TOO - This isn't new but, hey, when you're in front, everything is. The New York Times, going totally meta, will only say that Paul's past "is receiving new focus." NYT: "Emerging as a real Republican contender in Iowa, Representative Ron Paul of Texas is receiving new focus for decades-old unbylined columns in his political newsletters that included racist, anti-gay and anti-Israel passages that he has since disavowed... A 1992 passage from the Ron Paul Political Report about the Los Angeles riots read, 'Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks.' A passage in another newsletter asserted that people with AIDS should not be allowed to eat in restaurants because 'AIDS can be transmitted by saliva'; in 1990 one of his publications criticized Ronald Reagan for having gone along with the creation of the federal holiday honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., which it called 'Hate Whitey Day.'" [NYT]
Gingrich is reeling: "Newt Gingrich on Tuesday tore into Mitt Romney for saying he has no control over a pro-Romney super PAC, which has blanketed the air waves in the Hawkeye State with TV ads criticizing Gingrich. 'His comments today are palpably misleading, clearly false, and are politics in its worst form,' Gingrich said. 'These are his people, running his ads, doing his dirty work, while he pretends to be above it.'" [HuffPost's Jon Ward]
@jonward11: Just watched 31-yr old female Newt supporter plead with him not to be "arrogant and narcissistic." "I just want you to be humble" she said [HuffPost]
Wealthy, patrician-looking white guy has genealogical ties to other wealthy, patrician-looking white guys. Film at eleven.. Christina Wilkie: "Ancestry.com revealed Tuesday that Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, is related to six former presidents, including fellow Republicans Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, President George H.W. Bush and his son George W. Bush. Romney is also related to Democrats Franklin D. Roosevelt and Franklin Pierce. But none of the past presidents are close relatives; Roosevelt, his closest relative, is his eighth cousin. Romney's Bush and Roosevelt connections trace back to one Puritan, Ann Marbury Hutchinson, who settled in New York and Rhode Island. The rest of his presidential roots can be traced back to Englishman Thomas Richardson, a landowner who lived in Hertfordshire in the late 16th century. Romney is related to Presidents Calvin Coolidge (10th cousins), Herbert Hoover (10th cousins) and Franklin Pierce (sixth cousins, four times removed), through him." [HuffPost]
OBAMA: GEORGE WASHINGTON? SCREW THAT GUY - Our commander-in-look at meeeeeeeeee, from his "60 Minutes" interview: "The issue here is not gonna be a list of accomplishments. As you said yourself, Steve, you know, I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president -- with the possible exceptions of Johnson, F.D.R., and Lincoln -- just in terms of what we've gotten done in modern history. But, you know, but when it comes to the economy, we've got a lot more work to do. And we're gonna keep on at it." Name a single Whiskey or Other-Alcohol-Related Rebellion that you've personally put down, Mr. President! [Politico]
Barney Frank should've taken a cue from Elijah Cummings yesterday and worn a tackle vest. Nipplegate would have been averted.
POLITIFACT'S 'LIE OF THE YEAR' IS SO HEINOUSLY FALSE THAT IT'S ACTUALLY TRUE - Remember how The King's Speech won best picture over, like, 80 vastly more qualified movies? Well, this right here is even more damaging to the national psyche. Jason Linkins: "As Politifact sees it, the 'lie of the year' is the phrase, 'Republicans voted to end Medicare.'... [Medicare] helps to cover the following things: hospital care, doctors' visits, outpatient care, prescription drugs and some preventative services. It's a defined health care benefit provided by the federal government...And the one thing Medicare is designed to do is keep health care costs from mounting on people who are least able to work. Ryan's 'plan' for saving money through 'Medicare reform' was to, quite literally, stop paying for it altogether...Now Ryan is back, with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), with a new plan that still has significant flaws... But guess what? It's still a proposal to end Medicare. Any proposal that ends Medicare, ends Medicare! One need not object to the proposal to end Medicare to say, 'This will end Medicare.' If Paul Ryan negotiates a deal with a newly-discovered island nation of unicorns whereby the unicorns agree to provide seniors with immortality, that is still a set of circumstances by which Medicare is ended." [HuffPost]
HERE'S THE LATEST THING THAT SUCKS ABOUT BLUE COLLAR WORK IN AMERICA - Dave Jamieson: "[M]any bottom-rung workers like [Uylonda] Dickerson don't work for the big corporations whose products are in the warehouses, or even the logistics companies that run them. They go to work for labor agencies that supply workers like Dickerson. Last year, she found work as a temp through one of the myriad staffing agencies that serve big-box retailers and their contractors. Thanks largely to the warehousing boom, Will County has developed one of the highest concentrations of temp agencies in the Midwest....That's one of the many benefits to an employment arrangement based on outsourcing and subcontracting: The corporation at the top indemnifies itself from any unpleasantness at the bottom, thanks to the smaller corporate players in the middle. Many American companies have woken up to this fact, with broad implications for the future of blue-collar work." [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Kitty is adorably terrifying.
JEREMY'S WEATHER REPORT - "Tonight: It's going to be cloudy, but not too bad. 40 degrees, with minimal wind chill. Of course, with the sun setting so early, there won't be that much to look at in the sky, anyway. Tomorrow: This is one of those tradeoffs: Would you rather have freezing weather or crummy skies? Well, it's going to be the latter for a while. Even though the mercury could climb to the 60s (yes, you read that right. There's a six in there), the downside will be rain. Oh, fiddlesticks. Thanks, JB!
- A "Drunk History" reading of The Night Before Christmas. [http://bit.ly/rQiXhm]
- The web funhouse Videogum compiled a list of the 79 best viral videos this year. [http://bit.ly/rVx0jc]
- North Korea knows how to party. [http://bit.ly/srJnCi]
- First installment of The Boston Globe's "The Year in Pictures" series. [http://bo.st/sdsP9S]
- National Geographic's 2011 photo contest winners. [http://bit.ly/vrQH59]
- Jingle Bells, sung by lady with confused feline accompaniment. [http://bit.ly/sXttAq]
- The Batman TV show intro, Lego-style. [http://bit.ly/sTEA7Y]
- This is probably the best way to apply herring to oneself. [http://bit.ly/rOrkLJ]
@TERKELRAGE: If holidays were modern events, Passover would be the invention of the internet and Hanukkah would be the debut of "Charlie Bit Me."
@ethanklapper: Waiting for the White House proclamation that declares this week National Listicle Week.
@politicoroger: Giant machine at left for grinding up judges MT @jonward11 Gives a good feel of Newt's last event:360.io/uhsRKW
4:00 pm: National Hanukkah Menorah Lighting ceremony will happen Tuesday afternoon. [The Ellipse]
5:00pm: WGR-WIIS Homeland Security and National Defense happy hour at Penn Quarter. [639 Indiana Ave NW]
6:00pm - 8:00pm: The Senate isn't in session, but Amy Klobuchar is sticking around to pass the hat in a "Minnesota Mixer." [122 Maryland Ave NE]
6:00pm: The Potonacs and City on a Hill Dancers perform at the National Christmas Tree Music Program. [The Ellipse]
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