December 27: News Roundup

President Obama’s approval is surging in new polling. There’s more at Politico.

Congress really is as bad as it looks. Scholars call it the worst Congress in more than a Century and a half. There’s more at NPR.

U.S. durable goods orders jump 3.8%; indicate economy on the mend. There’s more at the BBC.

Republican security “advisors” are tied to $40 Billion in Federal contracts. There’s more at Bloomberg News.

Mitt Romney rebounds in the home stretch of the Republican contest leading into Iowa caucuses. There’s more at TPM.

Newt Gingrich compares his own failure to get on Virginia ballot to Pearl Harbor. There’s more at TPM.

Court documents show Newt Gingrich’s version of divorce is doubtful. There’s more at CNN.

Ron Paul disavows his own extremist past, while gleefully embracing the support of extremists for his 2012 effort. There’s more at the New York Times.

Ron Paul building box office trade in weird conspiracy theories. There’s more Reuters.

Texas taxpayers shell out millions for Rick Perry’s security detail. There’s more at the Texas Tribune.

Tea Party Express seeks to lift Michelle Bachmann’s faltering campaign. There’s more at Roll Call.

U.S. government investigation uncovers massive failures in Cleveland’s electronic voting machines. There’s more at the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

House Democrats prepare for fresh Republican attacks on unemployment benefits. There’s more at The Hill.

Fact Check: Keystone XL would ship Canadian oil to foreign markets. There’s more at ThinkProgress.

A 93 year old woman who cleaned the Tennessee Capitol building for thirty years is denied voter ID  card. There’s more at ThinkProgress.

The leader of Arizona’s right-wing “sovereign citizen” crowd is arrested after a standoff with police. There’s more at TPM.

Frank Rich at New York  Magazine does a lengthy piece on the Republican Party’s extremism. There’s more at New York Magazine.

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