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7:40 PM ET, December 16, 2008

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System:
For immediate release  —  The Federal Open Market Committee decided today to establish a target range for the federal funds rate of 0 to 1/4 percent.  —  Since the Committee's last meeting, labor market conditions have deteriorated, and the available data indicate that consumer spending …
RELATED:
Edmund L. Andrews / New York Times:
Fed Cuts Benchmark Rate to Near Zero  —  WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve entered a new era on Tuesday, setting its benchmark interest rate so low that it will have to reach for new and untested tools in fighting both the recession and downward pressure on consumer prices.
Bloomberg:
Fed Cuts Rate to as Low as Zero, Shifts Policy Focus  —  A A A  —  Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve cut the main U.S. interest rate to as low as zero for the first time and shifted its focus to the amount and type of debt it buys, seeking to revive credit and end the longest slump in a quarter- century.
The Huffington Post:
Hale “Bonddad” Stewart: The Fed's Kitchen Sink Interest Rate Policy
Discussion: The Big Picture
Associated Press:   Stocks surge after Fed cuts rates to record lows
Monica Davey / New York Times:
Blagojevich Impeachment Inquiry Stalls  —  SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A committee of the Illinois House considering evidence and testimony in an impeachment inquiry against Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich adjourned its first day of hearings after about an hour on Tuesday, after the governor's lawyer …
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New York Post:
BUNGLING ON BLAGO  —  TEAM BAM MISMANAGES MEDIA  —  Barack Obama is experiencing the first “scandal” of his presidency before he's taken office - or so sayeth the media.  —  Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is accused of (among much else) conspiring to sell or trade Obama's Senate seat for personal benefit.
Bob Cusack / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:   Rove Blasts Obama On Senate Seat Scandal
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Clinton chides supporters on Kennedy  —  Hillary Clinton has told her supporters not to involve her in their efforts to stop Caroline Kennedy's path to the U.S. Senate, a person familiar with replacement discussions said.  —  The move clears a major obstacle between Kennedy and the seat.
RELATED:
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Reid Urged Paterson To Pick Kennedy  —  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) urged New York Gov. David Paterson to appoint Caroline Kennedy to the Senate seat being vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton, according to a Democratic strategist familiar with Reid's thinking.
Pajamas Media:   The Banana Republic of New York
Timothy Williams / New York Times:
Iraqi Shoe-Thrower to Appear in Court  —  BAGHDAD — The Iraqi television reporter who threw his shoes at President Bush during a news conference is scheduled to appear before a judge on Wednesday, the first step in a potential criminal prosecution against him, a senior lawyer and the reporter' s brother said on Tuesday.
RELATED:
Ali Frick / Think Progress:   Juan Williams: Iraqi Protesters Are ‘Ingrate[s]’ Who Should Appreciate U.S. Invasion
BBC:
Shoe thrower ‘beaten in custody’
Michael Sneed / Chicago Sun Times:
Rahm's calls on tape  —  The Blago scandal . . .  Sneed hears rumbles President-elect Barack Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, is reportedly on 21 different taped conversations by the feds — dealing with his boss' vacant Senate seat!  —  A lot of chit-chat?  —  Hot air?  —  Or trouble?
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Newt denounces Blago attacks  —  Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is denouncing Republican attempts to link President-elect Barack Obama and disgraced Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.  —  Senator John McCain Sunday distanced himself from Republican National Committee attacks on Obama …
RELATED:
The Huffington Post:
Gingrich Rips RNC For Its Blagojevich Attacks  —  Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich sent a rather scathing letter to Mike Duncan on Tuesday, accusing the RNC chairman of engaging in “a destructive distraction” by attempting to tie Barack Obama to Rod Blagojevich.
Jeff Zeleny / The Caucus:
Vilsack Picked for Agriculture Secretary  —  CHICAGO - President-elect Barack Obama has settled on Tom Vilsack, a former governor of Iowa, as his Agriculture Secretary.  The announcement will be made here on Wednesday morning, according to Democrats familiar with the decision …
Discussion: The New Republic and Firedoglake
RELATED:
Washington Post:
Vilsack and Salazar Nominations Expected Weds.  —  President-elect Barack Obama has tapped former Iowa governor Thomas J. Vilsack to be his secretary of agriculture and will introduce Vilsack tomorrow at a news conference in Chicago, where he will also name Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Colo.) …
Jonathan Karl / ABCNEWS:
Exclusive: Cheney Says He's Changed  —  Vice President Reflects on Time in Office, Assesses Obama's Team  —  In an exclusive interview with ABC News, a reflective Vice President Dick Cheney praised President-elect Barack Obama's national security team and admitted he's changed during his time in office.
The Politico:
Madoff bought influence in Washington  —  Within a day of the Dec. 11 arrest of Wall Street financier Bernard L. Madoff, his Washington lobbyists were scrambling to sever all ties to a man who's been accused of a $50 billion fraud and who may go down in history as the largest financial scam artist ever.
RELATED:
Jill Drew / Washington Post:   Frenzy  —  It was Wall Street's version of an inside joke …
Charles Thomas / WLS-TV:
Jackson, Jr. may have been working with feds to investigate gov.  —  Jackson has been fighting for his reputation since the federal complaint revealed his supporters were willing to raise money for the governor, if Jackson was appointed to the Senate.  —  The new information appears …
Dana Goldstein / American Prospect:
MEET ARNE DUNCAN, OBAMA'S EDUCATION PICK.  —  With the Democratic Party embroiled in internal debate over public school reform, it is very much like Barack Obama to tap Chicago public schools CEO Arne Duncan as education secretary.  Duncan is one of the only prominent education leaders …
RELATED:
J. Taylor Rushing / The Hill:
GOP probes Holder's role in Elian Gonzales case  —  Senate Republicans have requested information about Attorney General nominee Eric Holder's role in the Elian Gonzales controversy as part of a broad probe into his tenure with the Clinton administration and potential ties to presidential scandals during that era.
RELATED:
Marc Ambinder:
Where Republicans Can Pick A Fight
Discussion: Spin Cycle
George Packer In / New Yorker:
SEAN PENN FOR SENATOR!  —  The cover of the December 15th Nation magazine features an article by the veteran foreign correspondent Sean Penn on his recent trip to Venezuela and Cuba.  Travelling in the company of Douglas Brinkley, the noted actor, and Christopher Hitchens …
John Bresnahan / The Politico:
Pelosi lays down the law with Rahm  —  In a recent conversation with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rahm Emanuel offered some advice on a Democratic House leadership race.  Pelosi's response, according to several Democratic sources: It is “an internal House Democratic Caucus matter, and we'll handle it.”
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
The Southern Way  —  Nice piece from Mike Lillis at The Washington Independent about the tenuous commitment to free market ideology shown by the union-busting southern conservatives who want the domestic auto industry to die, in order to benefit Dixie-built cars from foreign-owned firms:
Discussion: The Bellows
RELATED:
Mike Lillis / The Washington Independent:
Foreign Auto Makers Won Billions in Government Subsidies
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
An Empire of Sentimentality  —  I think this kind of sentiment from Dave Dilegge at the COIN hotspot Small Wars Journal reflects some dangerous trends in American culture: … Americans love and respect the men and women who volunteer for military service under our flag.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Gary Andres / Weekly Standard:
Do You Tattoo?  —  According to Pew Research, nearly …
Discussion: PewResearch.org and Reason
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
MADOFF: I'M VERY CLOSE WITH THE REGULATORS
Discussion: Newsalert
John Gapper / John Gapper's Business Blog:
Eliot Spitzer shows his face in Chinatown
Craig Silverman / Regret the Error:
Crunks 2008: The Year in Media Errors and Corrections
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Jeremy Korzeniewski / AutoblogGreen:
US Prius assembly in Mississippi officially on hold
 Earlier Items: 
Bonnie Malkin / Telegraph:
Australian couple served with legal documents via Facebook
Discussion: TalkLeft and Silicon Alley Insider
William Glaberson / New York Times:
U.S. Is Set to Release 3 Detainees From Base
Discussion: TalkLeft and Washington Post
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Reynolds Keeps Flailing
Natasha Korecki / Chicago Sun Times:
Former Blagojevich adviser Christopher Kelly to plead guilty
BBC:
Serious security flaw found in IE
Megan McArdle:
How did Bernie Madoff get away with it?
 

 
From Mediagazer:

Rick Edmonds / Poynter:
Newspaper industry narrowed revenue loss in 2013 as paywall plans increased

Peter Kafka / Re/code:
Beats Bites the Bullet, and Starts Selling Subscriptions From Apple's App

Ted Johnson / Variety:
Concept for Live TV On-the-Go Was Around Long Before Aereo

 
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