Morning Must Reads: Game

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(White House/Pete Souza)

–Jim DeMint wins the earmarks game; Minority Leader McConnell and President Obama embrace the porkatorium.

–Nate Silver thinks Tim Pawlenty is too forgettable to be the GOP’s next presidential nominee.

–Jonathan Bernstein thinks Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin are overrated.

–Newt Gingrich sticks up for Romney vis-à-vis health care.

–Following up on last week’s post, Mike Huckabee ally Bob Vander Plaats officially gets the nod to head up the Iowa Family Policy Center umbrella group and is unambiguous about being a player in 2012.

–Mary Landrieu still has a hold on incoming OMB topper Jack Lew. The White House’s annual budget is due to Congress in February.

–Dick Lugar will run for re-election in 2012. Expect a primary.

–Conservatives find quite a bit of traction in Fed bashing.

James Fallows pulls on the yarn of that amazing Chinese professor ad.

–I can’t imgaine two people Sarah Palin must like less than Lisa Murkowski and Katie Couric.

–Murkowski has pretty much locked things up in Alaska.

–Shot: Speaker-to-be Boehner tells the incoming freshmen, “It’s about the people.”

–Chaser: Incoming freshman Andy Harris M.D. just wants to know where his taxpayer-funded health coverage is and why he can’t have it faster. (The good doctor could get COBRA, but he’d prefer to buy some kind of “insurance from the government.”)

–And choose your own adventure: Fix the budget.

Just got back from a long weekend with no internet or cell service, so I’m sure I missed plenty.

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