* The Hill accurately explains why the Dems’ latest payroll tax cut extension proposal represents an actual “concession” to Republicans in service of compromise, something many commentators find impossible to believe.
* Senator Jon Kyl gives away the game: We might be able to extend the payroll tax cut if Dems agree to extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich.
* GOP Rep. Pete King gives away the game: Republicans should agree to extend the payroll tax cut ... in order to deprive Democrats of a potent political issue.
* Julian Zelizer suggests Dems can win next year with a message built around “fairness” and a clear explanation for who’s really fighting for the middle class.
* Marc Thiessen gives voice to Republican angst about the very real possibility that Romney’s strategy for dealing with Newt just may not get the job done.
* Newt’s surge will come to an abrupt end tomorrow in the face of the huge boost to Romney’s campaign that’s coming in the form of an endorsement from Dan Quayle.
* Ron Paul deserves props for defending Occupy Wall Street as “healthy” and calling out Newt Gingrich’s childish comments about Occupiers needing to take a “bath.”
* Newt-mentum!!! Dave Weigel says that new Gallup poll shows that Mitt Romney really has work to do to pull back Tea Paryers who are seriously flirting with Newt. His candidacy is riding on it.
* Relatedly, Jed Lewison makes a key point about the Gallup poll:
Newt Gingrich is by a wide margin seen as the most acceptable candidate. His “net acceptable” rating is +28, slightly more than double Mitt Romney’s +13 rating.
* Jonathan Cohn says the case against the Affordable Care Act, which is heading to the Supreme Court, may have just been hit by very unlikely, but very serious, legal blow.
* And your sorely needed Monday comic relief: GOP strategists gnash their teeth over plans for a Donald Trump-moderated GOP debate, with Karl Rove calling on the RNC to put a stop to the madness.
Oddly enough, these strategists think having the GOP presidential candidates submit to questioning from a reality TV star who premised an entire presidential bid on Obama’s alleged lack of citizenship — even as the administration was putting together the plan that got Bin Laden — risks making the GOP primary process look less than serious.
What else is happening?