US politics from outside the beltway

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US Press: pick of the papers

The ten must-read opinion pieces from today's US papers.

1.Payroll tax bill passes (Politico)

Congress today easily approved a two-month extension of the payroll tax break and renewed several other provisions dealing with unemployment and Medicare, writes Seung Min Kim.

2. The desperation down the block (Detroit Free Press)

Those of us who remain employed can choose to the stories of desperation around us in many ways, this Editorial suggests.

3. Sailor's gay kiss is a milepost on a long road of change (Los Angeles Times)

Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta's homecoming kiss to her girlfriend shows progress in the military. But more is needed, according to this Editorial.

4. Newt Gingrich takes New Hampshire for granite (Politico)

New Hampshire has all the conditions in place for an insurgent conservative to catch fire. If only Newt Gingrich - or anyone else - would strike a match, suggests Alexander Burns.

5. White House Christmas Cards: Signed, Sealed, Secular (Star Tribune)

Since the beginning, the White House's Christmas messages have usually taken on an inclusive, if not bland, character - one that manages to respect the holiday season and simultaneously to give scant offense, writes David Greenberg.

6. Voter rights need protection (Philadelphia Enquirer)

Voting rights are under attack, according to this Editorial.

7. Why isn't peace on anyone's platform? (The Boston Globe) ($)

Nicholas Burns asks- is the word "peace'' disappearing from our national conversation?

8. The GOP's payroll tax debacle (Washington Post)

Now that Congress has reached agreement on what must be one of the worst pieces of legislation in years - the temporary payroll tax holiday extension - Charles Krauthammer surveys the damage.

9. Holder's Voter ID Fraud (Wall Street Journal)

Witness Eric Holder's attempt to play the race card and perhaps twist the law in a campaign against voter identification laws, according to this Opinion piece.

10. Christopher Hitchens gets the last laugh (Chicago Tribune)

No Hitchens screed has taken more heat over the years than his 2007 Vanity Fair essay "Why Women Aren't Funny", writes Meghan Daum.