Welcome OTUSNews.com, Obama Approval Rebounds, Gingrich Craters, What Comes After Kim Jong Il? (The PM Note)

ABC News

Obama's approval has rebounded to near 50 percent. Support for Gingrich among Republicans suddenly cratered. Americans Elect, the anti-part nominating system, qualified for the 2012 ballot in California. And it's looking more and more like the House revolt against a bipartisan, short-term payroll tax cut extension from the senate could mean a lapse in the cut. The House votes, likely after our bed time.

But first -

It's a big day at ABC; Welcome, OTUSnews.com, where we'll report what you need to know about politics in 2012. Bookmark http://otusnews.com

Try out the Match-o-Matic - Find the candidate you should be supporting - http://abcn.ws/tkUKZg

Rewrite History - Pit '60 JFK up against '80 Reagan. '88 Dukakis vs. '00 McCain. It's Internet fun for political junkies. http://abcn.ws/ssUY7u

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, but leads all with 65.19. The market closes at 7 p.m.  -  http://bit.ly/sj5NiO

Back to the News -

Approval Poll - Obama Rebounds, Congress Craters - ABC Pollster Gary Langer reports: Aided by comparison to the vastly unpopular Congress, Barack Obama has advanced to a 49 percent job approval rating in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll - his best showing since spring, and one that, if it holds, may put his re-election prospects back within reach. The result continues an improving trend for the president amid some signs of economic gains. And it contrasts with both parties in Congress, embroiled in their latest game of political chicken. A mere 27 percent of Americans now approve of the Democrats in Congress, and just 20 percent approve of the Republicans - both new lows in ABC/Post polling back to 1994. http://abcn.ws/rveWxP

Americans Elect in California - But people are still fed up with Washington and Politics. Witness - No-Party Nominator Gets on California Ballot - For people fed up with the nominating process, Americans Elect made news today, got on the California ballot. Plans bus tour, per Amy Bingham: http://abcn.ws/vKxQpw

Boehner Rejects Senate Payroll Deal, Pushes for Longer Extension - http://abcn.ws/vWYEpf

Is a Short-Term Extension Even possible? - Jake Tapper reports: Officials from the policy-neutral National Payroll Reporting Consortium, Inc. have expressed concern to members of Congress that the two-month payroll tax holiday passed by the Senate and supported by President Obama cannot be implemented properly. Pete Isberg, president of the NPRC today wrote to the key leaders of the relevant committees of the House and Senate, telling them that "insufficient lead time" to implement the complicated change mandated by the legislation means the two-month payroll tax holiday "could create substantial problems, confusion and costs affecting a significant percentage of U.S. employers and employees." http://abcn.ws/taKdvT

Nutgraf: This is a fight among Republicans perhaps more than it is between Obama and the GOP right now. The House GOP rejected the Senate GOP. Scott Brown today called the House GOP "irresponsible." And the three-way disagreement with real implications for real Americans paychecks is being played out against the backdrop of the holidays.

VIDEO: Barney Frank Goes Casual - http://abcn.ws/tWG6Te

QUIZ - Who is the the Most Senior Member of the Obama Administration to Have Met Kim Jong Il … - http://abcn.ws/tJVncb

Democrats are working on their base - Biden calls strategists… http://abcn.ws/spPX4X Obama does coffee with progressive bloggers and pundits… http://abcn.ws/suQEAo

With a stumble on Gingrich's part, Mitt Romney sighs in relief - Matt Negrin's wrap of today's political news - http://abcn.ws/tTw3QP

Or Can Bachmann Capitalize? - Russell Goldman is on the ground with her bus tour: Disheartened by Mitt Romney, disenchanted by Newt Gingrich, disappointed by Ron Paul  and dissatisfied with Rick Perry and Rick Santorum, Bachmann is hoping she'll be the last person standing, when traditionally conservative Iowans vote in the first-in-the-nation caucuses on Jan 3. http://abcn.ws/tnYSkp

Early state roundup - Des Moines: 36 and overcast Manchester:41 and scattered clouds Columbia: 61 and clear Reno: 44 and mostly cloudy Tampa: 74 and clear

15 Days Out: Good Morning Iowa - http://abcn.ws/sTBRdq

'Swing Counties' - Jake Tapper has this item about a website that endorses philandering being on a billboard outside Philadelphia. And he has a good headline for it too.   http://abcn.ws/tdfASt

Rick Santorum Picks Up Two Endorsements - http://abcn.ws/t4iMCk

Top Ten Worst Dictators - In light of Kim Jong Il's sudden death, a slideshow of the bad year for bad guys - http://abcn.ws/sCPSTD

What Happens Next in North Korea? Kirit Radia reports that Secretary Clinton Says U.S. Interested in Peaceful and Stable Transition in North Korea - http://abcn.ws/uH4Qjv

Perryisms of the day (More from Perry on Nightline with Terry Moran). Bailouts the 'Greatest Act of Thievery' - http://abcn.ws/un9TjP 'Gingrich is the Granddaddy of Earmarks' - http://abcn.ws/sFpFNM

Biden Says That the Taliban Per Se is Not Our Enemy - http://abcn.ws/upCo6O

Obama Cautions a Nervous South Korea to Remain Calm -   http://abcn.ws/vg3Y0J

Courtroom Cleared in Wikileaks Hearing - http://abcn.ws/vTwlon

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