Dec 20, 2011

Santorum Has a Shot in Iowa—Really


Today: Kim Jong-il's Corpse Displayed , House Delays Payroll Tax-Cut Vote , D.C. Pols Tip Hedge Fund Managers
The Daily Beast Cheat Sheet: Morning

December 20, 2011
BUBBLE

Is it time for a Rick Santorum bubble? The latest polls out of Iowa show Newt Gingrich collapsing, Ron Paul surging, and the underdog ex-Pennsylvania senator finally reaching double digits. The Daily Beast's Michael Tomasky writes that Santorum is free of the flaws that dragged down the last alternatives to Romney, knows how to mobilize the conservative base—and could even be competitive in a blue state if he gets the nomination.

Funerals

North Korea isn't ready to put its Dear Leader in the ground: Kim Jong-il's corpse is on public display ahead of his Dec. 28 funeral. State TV showed it beneath a red blanket, beside bouquets of red flowers, and with two guards standing watch nearby. His body rests in the same glass mausoleum where his father's body has been on display since 1994, though it's unclear if it will remain on display after the official funeral. His heir, Kim Jong-un, paid respects, along with military leaders.

On the Hill

Maybe they should rally behind Newt Gingrich, after all: House Republicans compared themselves to the Scots in Braveheart (a Gingrich favorite) Monday in a closed-door meeting as they vowed to defeat a payroll-tax extension. They delayed a Monday-night vote to Tuesday, but House Speaker John Boehner still predicted defeat for the two-month extension. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says, however, that the Senate will not reopen talks after passing the extension 89–10. Without the extension, the payroll tax will jump from 4.2 percent to 6.2 percent on Jan. 1, raising taxes by $1,000 on the average American family.

Suspicious

More evidence of insider trading on Capitol Hill? The Wall Street Journal reports on "a growing, lucrative—and legal—practice in Washington that employs a network of brokers, lobbyists, and political insiders who arrange private meetings between hedge funds and officials, including lawmakers and their aides." The hedge funds pay for access and learn valuable information. On Dec, 8, 2009, for example, a group of hedge funds learned about the health-care compromise hours before it was made public—information worth millions of dollars. The meeting was arranged by JNK Securities, a New York–based brokerage firm.

2012

Welcome back to earth, Newt. The former House speaker's lead has evaporated, and he now finds himself in a dead heat with Mitt Romney according to two new national polls. CNN shows Gingrich and Romney tied 28–28, while Gallup finds Gingrich maintaining a slim edge, 26–24. Gingrich led Romney 24–20 in CNN's November poll, and Gallup showed him with as big as a 14-point lead earlier this month. Ron Paul is in third place in both polls, with 14 percent in CNN and 11 percent in Gallup.


WikiLeaks
Gov't Links Manning to Assange
Chat logs show discussion of classified information.
MIC CHECK
Hip-Hop's Pro-Gay Moment
MCs changing their tune on homophobia.
Crime
Elevator Suspect's Face Badly Burned
After he allegedly set woman on fire.
SMARTPHONE WAR
Apple Hits Google in Patent Ruling
Will force Google to tweak some Android phones.
NEW THEORY
Did Mold Kill Brittany Murphy?
Actress's mother sues former attorneys.
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