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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama offered a special tribute to those who serve our nation and the families who support them unconditionally, while encouraging all Americans to give in their own way in his weekly address.

"Giving of ourselves; service to others – that’s what this season is all about. For my family and millions of Americans, that’s what Christmas is all about," he said.

"It reminds us that part of what it means to love God is to love one another ... to be our brother’s keeper and our sister’s keeper. But that belief is not just at the center of our Christian faith, it’s shared by Americans of all faiths and backgrounds."

"So whatever you believe, wherever you’re from, let’s remember the spirit of service that connects us all this season – as Americans. Each of us can do our part to serve our communities and our country, not just today, but every day."

Here's Barack and Michelle's address to the nation:

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GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul appeared on Fox News Friday and was asked about a possible third-party Donald Trump run, now that he's become an independent.

Paul is not concerned.

“To each his own, he may do it. I doubt he’ll do it," he said. "If he really wanted to be president, why walk away? Why is he concerned he couldn’t do it as a Republican?”

“I have no idea what he is going to do,” Paul said.

“I don’t think he will be calling me for advice. I don’t think he will ask for an appointment to come see me to get advice or an endorsement. I’m not expecting that.”

Your World host Neil Cavuto asked the Republican hopeful why he never "kissed Trump’s ring" like many of the other candidates had over the past year. His reply:

“I didn’t think it was necessary or appropriate ... How could he endorse what I’m doing? My positions are pretty much opposite of what he talks about."

"He doesn’t believe in free market. He likes the Federal Reserve. He is not a free trader. He likes tariffs. So there is not a lot we have in common.”

That about sums it up from Paul's perspective.

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After years as a registered Republican, blowhard Donald Trump is breaking ranks with the party to become an unaffiliated, independent voter in New York State.

Trump made the change late last week, a move prompted by his stated interest in getting as much publicity as possible mounting a third-party presidential run.

"Mr. Trump has said for almost a year that if he is not satisfied with the Republican candidate, he may run as an independent," spokesman Michael Cohen said.

"This change in party affiliation certainly preserves his right to do so," he added, hilariously, but only "after the finale of The Apprentice in May."

Don Trump

Trump's Fox News rants have become a great sideshow this year.

Asked if any developments in the GOP race, or nearly all the candidates eschewing his big debate prompted Trump to make the change, Cohen insisted no.

Cohen did say Trump is "very disappointed" with how the Republican Party has handled the payroll tax extension, handing President Obama a political victory.

Trump has said he plans to endorse one of the Republicans running, and insists that is still his primary objective. However, he is no longer a Republican.

He will still be able to vote in the New York State GOP presidential primary in April, and will do so. It's just unclear right now who he'll be supporting.

Trump for President in '12?

 

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Barack and Michelle Obama will appear on ABC's 20/20 tonight.

Barbara Walters, who says she may retire in 2012, conducted the interview with the First Couple and aired a preview of it yesterday on The View (below).

In the sit-down, Michelle Obama talked about the importance of prioritizing herself, even while married to the U.S. President, and sending the right message to the couple's two young daughters. Clearly, the family dynamic works for them:

This great exchange also happens at another juncture:

Walters: "What is your biggest peeve of each other?"
President Obama: "I don't have one."
Walters: "Aww."
Michelle Obama: "My list is too long."

Hey, at least the payroll tax cut extension passed.

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The South Carolina Republican Party rebuffed a $500,000 donation from Stephen Colbert Thursday because it came with a catch: naming rights to its presidential primary.

Colbert, the host of The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, and a native South Carolinan, writes in Columbia's State newspaper that he was serious - and they agreed.

After learning that the cash-strapped South Carolina GOP and local officials were at odds over who would pay for the January 21 Republican primary, Colbert offered a plan.

He would subsidize the cost, through his "Colbert Super PAC," to the tune of $500K. In return, it would become "The Colbert Super PAC South Carolina Republican Primary."

Stephen Colbert Photo

"I said, 'I can cover that. No strings attached,'" Colbert writes. "Of course, I can't offer that kind of no-strings-attached-money without getting something in return."

Colbert also wanted to add a non-binding referendum question on the ballot - referring to a controversial remark by Mitt Romney - asking whether "Corporations are people."

Apparently there was some confusion over how seriously this plan was taken, because "The GOP agreed to everything," according to Colbert ... but not the GOP.

Executive director Matt Moore says "Stephen Colbert, the private citizen, called out of the clear blue and made an unsolicited offer to help his home state."

"We were intrigued and met with him, but also wary ... ultimately we determined it was not in the state party's best interests to accept Mr. Colbert's offers."

"Everything was not 'agreed to.' We did not sign his contract. Despite our repeatedly saying 'no,' Stephen Colbert, the comedian, seems intent on being involved."

Thank goodness for that.

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House Republican leaders agreed Thursday to accept a temporary extension of the existing payroll tax cut, bowing to political pressure after a lengthy standoff.

Under a deal reached between House and Senate leaders, the House will now approve as early as Friday the two-month extension of a payroll tax holiday.

The extension, which also includes unemployment benefits, was approved by the Senate Saturday. A committee will work on legislation to extend both through 2012.

Obama-Boehner Pic

House Republicans - who rejected an almost identical deal on Tuesday - collapsed under the political rubble that has accumulated, much of it from their own party.

With the bill set to keep the payroll tax at 4.2% instead of rising to 6.2%, the GOP, who abhors tax hikes, was dead set on killing the bill because ... who knows honestly.

Worried that the blockade would do serious damage to their appeal to voters, House Speaker John Boehner was determined to put the issue behind Republicans.

After his conversation with lawmakers, the speaker conceded it might not have been “politically the smartest thing in the world” for House Republicans. The reason?

Putting themselves between a tax cut and the 160 million American workers who would benefit from it, and to allowing President Obama to seize momentum.

Makes sense. Might as well actually govern.

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In desperate need of a bump in the polls, Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman might consider making this a regular part of his campaign stops.

The former Utah Governor may trail frontrunners Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul where it counts - name recognition - but are any of them in a band?!

After sitting down with David Letterman last night, Huntsman sat in with the band on a rocking version of the Chuck Berry classic, "Johnny B. Goode." Really.

Watch him play the piano on The Late Show below!

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Anthony Weiner now has something to take his mind off the fact that he resigned in shame from Congress after half-naked photos he sent to various women online were released to the public:

A son!

Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin

Huma Abedin gave birth to the couple's first child yesterday, The New York Post confirms, as Jordan Zane Weiner weighed in at just over seven pounds and all indications are that mother and child are fully healthy.

Abedin, who works as an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, would have come a lot closer to leaving Weiner, according to insiders, if she had not found out she was pregnant just as the Tweeting scandal broke.

The couple got married in Long Island last year.

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GOP Presidential candidate Ron Paul furrowed his eyebrows, growing agitated before taking off his mic and walking away from CNN interview about his old newsletters.

As Paul has gained traction in recent polls, the media has turned up the heat, alleging that he made money and won fame with a sometimes racist series of publications.

Paul claims he didn't read most of the newsletters and their controversial content, written during the 1980s and 1990s, despite them being published under his name.

He has taken responsibility for being a bad publisher, but disavowed the views, as he explained to CNN's Gloria Borger, who grilled him on the topic yesterday ...

"Why don't you go back and look at what I said yesterday on CNN and what I’ve said for 20 something years. 22 years ago?" the 76-year-old Paul said at the outset.

"I didn't write them, I disavow them, that's it."

Borger pressed on for a few seconds before urging Paul to react to what people are saying about the allegations. "These things are pretty incendiary," Borger said.

"Because of people like you," Paul snapped back.

Later, when talking with Borger about the interview incident on air, Situation Room host Wolf Blizter suggested that Paul "got tired of talking about" the allegations.

He could have probably handled it a lot better, although he has answered the same questions the same way a ton of times now, including last week on Hannity.

What do you think? Is Paul's explanation satisfactory? Will the fiery newsletters from long ago continue to dog him, or will they become background noise?

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GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney says he would deport President Barack Obama's uncle, who authorities say was arrested in August for DUI near Boston.

Onyango "Omar" Obama is, allegedly, an illegal immigrant.

In an interview with Boston radio host Howie Carr, Romney said "yes" when asked if "Uncle Omar" should be deported. Romney at first did not recognize the name, and was far from incendiary about it, saying simply that U.S. immigration laws should be enforced.

Take a listen to the exchange:

Onyango Obama is the 67-year-old half-brother of the commander-in-chief's late father, Barack Obama, Sr. His case is pending in Framingham, Mass., District Court.

He was initially held without bail by immigration officials on allegations he violated an official order to return Kenya issued 20 years ago but has since been released.

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