Payroll Stalemate Intensifies, Ron Paul’s Ceiling, Newt’s American Justice, Stockings Stuffed on House Floor (PM Note)

Late afternoon trading on the OTUS Stock Ticker: Perry UP 6.4, Bachmann DOWN 4.24, Romney UP 2.99, Paul UP .49, Gingrich DOWN 6.59 More on the Political Stock Market at

Another Holiday, Another Stalemate: President Obama sought to publicly shame the House GOP for rejecting the bipartisan short-term payroll tax cut extension passed by the Senate earlier this week. But John Boehner wasn't having it. Asked about Obama's request for "a little help" from Republicans, Boehner shot back, "I need the president to help out!"

So with House Republicans insisting on a conference to square their differences with the senate and Democrats insisting that no conference should take place, we're all scratching our heads about how the payroll tax cut gets extended before the end of the year. It could effect 160 million Americans to the tune of up to $1,000 bucks over the course of the year.

All things stalemate from John Parkinson and our White House troops here:

Stocking Stuffer - Rep. Jim McDermott Literally Putting Coal into a stocking on the House floor:

Ron Paul's Ceiling and Romney's Running Room - Here are Amy Walter's late afternoon thoughts on Iowa: There's a growing consensus among those covering the Iowa caucuses most closely that Ron Paul is going to win here. But get beyond the confines of the cornfields, and Paul's appeal to the GOP electorate starts to diminish. Read it here:

Anti-Party Nominator Americans Elect is Getting in on the Bus Tour Game -

Newt's Judiciary: Arresting Judges, Abolishing Circuits - Ariane de Vogue takes a look at Newt Gingrich's plan for American justice:

Obama's Gay Marriage Congratulations - His thoughts on the issue continue to evolve, but President Obama is happy to well-wish gay couples who get married.

Newt and Ballots and Signatures - Turns out that when Newt was signing books in Mount Vernon this weekend he maybe should have been collecting signatures to get on the ballot too. More from Elizabeth Hartfield: The filing deadline for Virginia's presidential primary is Thursday, Dec. 22 at 5 p.m. Candidates who have not turned in the signatures necessary to qualify by that time will not appear on the ballot. The Gingrich campaign is reportedly struggling to gather signatures and today announced a series of signing drives across the state, with signing stations set up during after work hours. On Wednesday the former Speaker of the House will host a rally in Arlington.

Newt's Finances - CREW files complaint with FEC against Gingrich; ABC reported on his charities earlier this year:

Santorumentum? - Rick Santorum gets a key endorsement from Bob Vander Plaats. But not the endorsement of Vander Plaats organization Family Leader. More from Shush Walshe:

Democrats Will be Tracking Santorum, per Michael Falcone:

Romney's Closing Argument and Bus Tour  - Emily Friedman confirms that Romney will bring his brand new campaign bus (which will do its first trip in New Hampshire this week) to the Hawkeye State. Romney will hold a bus tour December 28-30 across Iowa.

No Rudy - Romney Released a Long List of New York Endorsers. Matt Negrin noticed Giuliani wasn't on there.

Get Happy - Excerpts of Romney's speech to be delivered in New Bedford, New Hampshire later tonight: "I am tired of a President who wakes up every day, looks out across America and is proud to announce, "It could be worse." It could be worse? Is that what it means to be an American? It could be worse? No. If I am President I will wake up every day and remind Americans that not only must we do better but also that we can do better!  I believe in America!" "… Among these core principles is what the founders called the "pursuit of happiness." We call it opportunity, or the freedom to choose our course in life.  That principle is the foundation of a society that is based on ability, not birthright."

Today's Perryism - "I've run a lot of races before, so as long as no one's misstating the facts, then I don't consider that to be negative." More from Arlette Saenz:

Romney's Mysterious South Carolina Operation - Holly Bailey over at Yahoo looks at Romney's attention (or lack thereof) on South Carolina: "Republicans in the state-including ones who supported Romney four years ago-question whether Romney's sudden interest in the state is too little, too late. The Romney campaign has just three paid staffers in South Carolina. Gingrich, with 11 people on his payroll, has the largest organization in the state. Four years ago, Romney had put several dozen people on the ground by this point in the race. The one Romney campaign office in South Carolina is located in a nondescript building-marked by a large "for rent" sign out front-on the outskirts of downtown Columbia. Two yard signs taped to a side door that is not visible from the street provide the only evidence that Romney's state headquarters is located inside."

Bradley Manning Hearing, Day 5 -


Try out the Match-o-Matic - Find the candidate you should be supporting -

Rewrite History - Could John Kerry have Beat Barry Goldwater? It's Internet fun for political junkies.

And Chart Our Political Stock Market - In trading today -Gingrich is down 6 percent, Perry is down by about three quarters of a percent, Romney is up .29 percent and Obama is down 2. -

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