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By Mark Finkelstein | December 30, 2011 | 7:57 AM EST

With not one Republican primary vote cast yet, we're getting way ahead of ourselves by speculating about whom Mitt Romney might pick as his vice-presidential running mate.  But Willie Geist did invite Politico's Mike Allen to make his "bold predictions" for 2012.  And Allen delivered, prognosticating that Romney would pick Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman as his ticket-mate.

Mark Halperin strongly seconded Allen's assertion.  View the video after the jump.

By Tim Graham | December 30, 2011 | 7:45 AM EST

In the ongoing left-wing parade of charges that conservatism equals racism, add Daily Kos blogger Chauncey de Vega, who on Wednesday night hailed a article on the avoidance of slavery talk as another opportunity to weave together “the tapestry that is historical memory, the slave-holding South, and contemporary conservatism.”

“Adults who dress up in Colonial era period clothing, believe that the Constitution is divinely inspired, and take the metaphor of ‘a shining city on the hill’ as a get out of jail pass for America's shortcomings both at home and abroad, have little use for such facts," de Vega lectured. “Selection bias, Fox News, and an embrace of a fantastical view of political and social reality, protects the Tea Party GOP faithful from any experience of cognitive dissonance.”

By Tim Graham | December 29, 2011 | 11:14 PM EST

Before he tweeted “Merry Mythmas everybody,” HBO host Bill Maher rubbed Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow’s face in the dirt on Twitter, but somehow Tebow’s the “notorious” one. Maher posted, “Wow, Jesus just [screwed] #TimTebow bad! And on Xmas Eve! Somewhere in hell Satan is tebowing, saying to Hitler ‘Hey, Buffalo’s killing them.’” But on, reporter Ken Lombardi described Maher as simply a “comedian," but Tebow as a “notorious evangelical Christian.”

The word “notorious” has synonyms like “infamous,” “shameless,” and “disreputable.” But CBS didn’t care, insisting  “And Maher’s in hot water again for a now-controversial tweet on Christmas Eve referencing famed quarterback and notorious evangelical Christian Tim Tebow.”

By Mark Finkelstein | December 29, 2011 | 9:47 PM EST

Is Ed Schultz's expression of respect for Rick Santorum a Machiavellian maneuver designed to sow chaos in the Republican field?  I actually don't think so.  

Watching the MSNBC host in action this evening, I got the sense that Schultz, out on the Iowa campaign trail with Santorum, came away with a sincere respect for the former Pennsylvania senator, calling him "impressive" among other things.  Watch the video after the jump and be the judge.

By Brad Wilmouth | December 29, 2011 | 8:53 PM EST

On Thursday's World News on ABC, substitute anchor David Muir brought up the Gallup Daily Tracking Poll numbers from Monday which at that time showed President Obama with a 47 percent approval rating and a 45 percent disapproval rating, the first time in recent memory that his approval number was higher than his disapproval.  (Video below)

But, since Monday, the Gallup tracking poll numbers have turned further against Obama each day, with today's poll showing that the President's approval rating is back down to 41 percent with his disapproval up to 50 percent. As Muir referred to the Gallup survey as "one poll," he did not inform viewers that this same poll had trended away from Obama since Monday.

By Matt Hadro | December 29, 2011 | 6:30 PM EST

In lieu of President Obama's Hawaiian vacation, CNN highlighted the plight of a Hawaiian same-sex couple that will legally celebrate a civil union come January 1st, but desires federal marriage benefits that do not apply to same-sex couples. In a one-sided and sympathetic report, White House correspondent Brianna Keilar painted the picture of a President who could make a gain at the voting booth if he legalizes same-sex marriage.

CNN analyst and National Journal's Ron Brownstein strongly hinted that Obama could be alienating some of his liberal base by sitting on the fence over the gay marriage issue. He made the case that Obama may be losing socially-conservative Democrats anyway, and could "mobilize" voters by supporting same-sex marriage.

By Matt Hadro | December 29, 2011 | 4:13 PM EST

ABC News White House correspondent Jake Tapper apparently thinks the race is just about over for many campaigns before the Iowa caucus has even begun. On Thursday's Good Morning America, Tapper credited Mitt Romney's recent success in the polls with other campaigns "exploding" on the campaign trail.

Tapper later repeated his former assertions, insisting that other candidates were "just self-immolating and careening off the highway" – harsh language for campaigns that have not even undergone the test of primary season.

By Matt Hadro | December 29, 2011 | 3:09 PM EST

Faux-conservative David Frum told CNN Thursday morning that only "one person" in the current GOP field was qualified to be president, before adding that fellow phoney-conservative Jon Huntsman might also be able to do the job but his message is not resonating with Republican voters.

Frum, a CNN contributor who regularly appears to give the conservative analysis opposite a liberal panel member, had no qualms about bashing almost the entire Republican field, aside from Romney and Huntsman. "They are not presidents," he insisted during the 8 a.m. hour of American Morning.

By Mike Bates | December 29, 2011 | 1:44 PM EST

There's good economic news today, at least for those who only scan headlines.  On USA Today's Web site, the headline is "Weekly jobless claims at lowest level in over 3 years."  Oh, happy day!  The president's stimulus is finally working.  But if you read the Associated Press story under the headline, the news isn't quite so sanguine:

The number of people seeking unemployment benefits rose last week after three straight weeks of declines to a level consistent with a modest pick-up in hiring.

By Brad Wilmouth | December 29, 2011 | 1:44 PM EST

Earlier this week, both NBC's Today show and the NBC Nightly News made a point of informing viewers that President Obama's Gallup Daily Tracking Poll numbers had improved significantly since the Republican House caved on the payroll tax cut extension. The NBC Nightly News on Tuesday even highlighted the outdated numbers from Monday that were more positive for Obama, while merely noting as an afterthought the more recent Tuesday numbers that showed the trend starting to reverse back against the President.

By Tim Graham | December 29, 2011 | 12:27 PM EST

The forthcoming Meryl Streep movie The Iron Lady about former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher was quickly slammed by Thatcherites as a "Granny going mad" flick, but it might cause a backlash against Hollywood leftists. On Wednesday's Washington Journal on C-SPAN, historian Amanda Foreman, author of a recent Newsweek cover story on Thatcher, said Americans might not be comfortable with the film, which might play like a film of Ronald Reagan's descent into Alzheimer's disease.

Near the end of the interview, she admitted the film has "prompted a massive rethink" on the Thatcher legacy, that she wasn't this "out-of-control Sherman tank," but a "great feminist pioneer" and "she ended the Cold War," which Foreman confessed she had forgotten:

By Tom Blumer | December 29, 2011 | 12:04 PM EST

After the news portion of a "Warmer Weather Hurting Retail" segment on the impact of the mild winter on retail sales thus far appearing early this morning on CNBC, Joe Kernen and John Harwood got into it over the relevance and influence of so-called "global warming" (I guess Harwood didn't get the memo that it's "climate change" now).

Picking up at the 2:10 mark of the video:

By Penny Starr | December 29, 2011 | 11:39 AM EST

Although an Occupy Wall Street protest group in Pasadena, Calif., tried to get a slot to march in the Rose Parade on Jan. 2, officials with the parade said no. The group now plans to march down the street behind a group of police cars that mark the end of the parade.

In November, the Occupy group announced its plans to “occupy” the parade, but the Pasadena Tournament of Roses provided a statement on Wednesday to saying that protesters would “not be taking part in the Rose Parade” because only official entries, approved by the tournament well in advance of the event, can take part in the event.

By NB Staff | December 29, 2011 | 11:07 AM EST

Despite the left's newfound embrace of class-warfare and the politics of envy, in the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrats are being led by one of the richest people in America, Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco. That may not be a long-term trend, though, if you consider what her daughter, a journalist and documentary film-maker, said recently--that her mother wants to leave Congress:

She would retire right now, if the donors she has didn’t want her to stay so badly. They know she wants to leave, though. They think she’s destined for the wilderness. She has very few days left. She’s 71, she wants to have a life, she’s done. It’s obligation, that’s all I’m saying.

That's quite a stunning thing for a member of Congress's daughter to say about her, particularly to conservative journalist, Jeffrey Scott Shapiro, writing at Big Government. It's starting to look as though Pelosi may retire should Democrats do poorly in the 2012 races. What are your thoughts?

By Brad Wilmouth | December 29, 2011 | 9:13 AM EST

As GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum appeared as a guest on Thursday's Today show on NBC, substitute co-host Savannah Guthrie focused the interview on the former Pennsylvania Senator's views on abortion and contraception, and whether he would be acceptable to "middle of the road voters." (Video below)