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Banner Image: US President Barack Obama speaks on the payroll tax extension December 22, 2011 in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, next to the White House in Washington, DC. Obama is pressuring Republicans to extend a payroll tax holiday for 160 million Americans for two months. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Producers:
Katie Cooper
Caitlin Shamberg
Christian Bordal

Making News Coordinated Bombings Rock Baghdad 7 MIN, 23 SEC

In Baghdad today, a wave of coordinated explosions hit markets, grocery stores, schools and government buildings in a dozen neighborhoods—killing at least 63 people and wounding more than 180.  It’s the latest sign of a growing crisis soon after the withdrawal of American troops. 

Guests:
Tim Arango, New York Times (@tarangoNYT)

Main Topic House Republicans Feel the Heat on the Payroll Tax Stalemate 34 MIN, 47 SEC

Congress is winding down in much the same way it conducted itself all year: with gridlock.  Have Republicans outsmarted themselves on taxes, unemployment and Medicare?  Can they pull their feet from the fire before the end of the year? 

Even the Wall Street Journal has editorialized that Republicans might re-elect Barack Obama “before the… campaign even begins in earnest.” Republicans are snarling at each other, and the President is posing with “ordinary Americans” who face a tax increase on January 1st.  It’s all about failing to extend the payroll tax “holiday” and unemployment benefits as well rescinding cuts in Medicare compensation to doctors. We’ll look at the consequences of the latest political stalemate and the likelihood of a GOP rescue effort before the end of the year.   

Guests:
David Hawkings, CQ Roll Call (@davidhawkings)
Bob Turner, Republican Congressman, New York
Karen Bass, Congresswoman (D-LA, Culver City) (@RepKarenBass)
John Feehery, QGA Public Affairs (@JohnFeehery)
Mary Agnes Carey, Kaiser Health News (@maryagnescarey)
Jeremy Schwartz, Professor of Economics, Loyola Marymount University

Reporter's Notebook US and Pakistan to Blame for Death of Pakistani Soldiers 8 MIN, 29 SEC

The Pentagon today conceded that US airstrikes mistakenly killed 26 Pakistani soldiers. Pakistan wants President Obama to apologize.  

Guests:
Adam Entous, Wall Street Journal (@adamentous)

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