The Newt Gingrich lead vanishes in Iowa.

The veneer (very thin) of reasonableness evaporates when Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) stalks off the CNN set.

You read it here first at Right Turn, but now Politico discovers the disappearance of any Gingrich message. “For three precious campaign days in Iowa this week, Newt Gingrich has driven a consistent message: he’s unhappy with the negative attacks that are raining down on him here.The problem: That’s seemingly his only message.” Next up: Gingrich is sort of erratic, isn’t he?

Boring, passive Mitt Romney has been extinguished. Now it’s feisty Romney: “‘This is politics and if you can’t stand the heat in this little kitchen, wait until the Obama hell’s kitchen turns up the heat,’ Romney said on Fox and Friends, responding to Gingrich’s criticisms of the Romney campaign’s negative ads.”

This is one ex-president who should just fade away. “Former President Jimmy Carter has sent North Korea a message of condolence over the death of Kim Jong-il and wished ‘every success’ to the man expected to take over as dictator, according to the communist country’s state-run news agency.” Good grief. (Success measured how — people starved, missiles shot at South Korea?)

Is the House Republicans’ opposition to the two-month payroll tax cut deal melting? “They know they are taking the blame for a stand-off that threatens to raise taxes on 160 million Americans. And they cannot let that happen. As one top House Republican aide just told me: ‘I do not expect taxes to go up on January 1st.’”

Predictably, the Obama administration sinks into the goo of moral equivalence. “Syrian security forces have suffered casualties because, for more than nine months, they have hunted opposition figures with the intent to torture, rape, and murder those they catch. And still administration officials plead with the opposition not to pick up arms lest it jeopardize the international support its peaceful protests have earned it. The administration warns that, should the opposition not turn the other cheek, it will be playing into the regime’s hands. But in reality, it is only the administration that is drawing this equivalence between the regime and the opposition.”

I’m thinking the Ron Paul bubble has popped. “Speaking at a campaign rally on October 28, Ron Paul offered another erratic speech on foreign policy and, disturbingly, referred to whistleblowers such as Wikileaks as ‘true patriots’ and ‘political heroes.’”

Evangelicals’ hope to unite behind one candidate dissolves. “Division amid Iowa’s evangelicals is so deep that it’s extremely unlikely they will unite behind one candidate in the two weeks before the caucuses, evangelical leaders agreed Tuesday, after the influential Family Leader organization announced it would not endorse in the race. That deepens fears among some Christian conservatives that their vote will be fractured among three or more candidates, said Steve Scheffler, president of the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition.”