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4:10 PM ET, March 16, 2012

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
David Ignatius / Washington Post:
The bin Laden plot to kill President Obama  —  Before his death, Osama bin Laden boldly commanded his network to organize special cells in Afghanistan and Pakistan to attack the aircraft of President Barack Obama and Gen. David Petraeus.  —  “The reason for concentrating on them,” …
Mike Daisey:
Statement on TAL  —  “This American Life” has raised questions about the adaptation of AGONY/ECSTASY we created for their program.  Here is my response:  —  I stand by my work.  My show is a theatrical piece whose goal is to create a human connection between our gorgeous devices and the brutal circumstances from which they emerge.
RELATED:
Seth / This American Life Updates:
Retracting “Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory”  —  Ira writes:  —  I have difficult news.  We've learned that Mike Daisey's story about Apple in China - which we broadcast in January - contained significant fabrications.  We're retracting the story because we can't vouch for its truth.
This American Life Updates:
RETRACTION  —  Regrettably, we have discovered that one of our most popular episodes was partially fabricated.  This week, we devote the entire hour to detailing the errors in “Mr. Daisey Goes to the Apple Factory,” Mike Daisey's story about visiting Foxconn, an Apple supplier factory in China.
Patrick Gavin / Politico:
Richard Branson: I asked for weed at White House  —  When you go to a White House state dinner and you're lucky enough to get some face time with the president, what do you ask the president?  —  “I asked him if I could have a spliff,” businessman and Virgin Group honcho Richard Branson told …
RELATED:
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper / msnbc.com:
George Clooney arrested, handcuffed, outside Sudan embassy in D.C.
Judy Kurtz / The Hill:
George Clooney arrested at protest
Discussion: Politico and ABCNEWS
Ryan Devereaux / Guardian:
George Clooney arrested in planned protest at Sudanese embassy
Sam Baker / The Hill:
Obama shifts healthcare defense  —  The Obama administration has shifted its legal arguments as it prepares to defend the president's healthcare law before the Supreme Court.  —  Written briefs in the landmark case increasingly have focused on a part of the Constitution that didn't get much attention in lower courts.
RELATED:
Wall Street Journal:
Washington Elites Queue Up to See Nine Justices on Hot Seat  —  Supreme Court Arguments on Health Law Trigger Mad Dash for a Few Dozen Spots  —  WASHINGTON—The hottest ticket of the season isn't for the White House Easter Egg Roll or Opening Day for the Washington Nationals baseball team.
New York Times:
No Way to Choose a Judge  —  In a serious setback for justice …
Discussion: The Birmingham
Frank Newport / Gallup:
Romney, Santorum Stir Less Enthusiasm Than McCain Did  —  Romney generates same level of enthusiasm now as in early 2008  —  PRINCETON, NJ — A little more than one-third of Republicans say they would vote “enthusiastically” for either Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum if either candidate were to win their party's nomination for president.
RELATED:
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Romney, Santorum Tie as Gingrich Voters' Second Choice
Discussion: Firedoglake, Ballot Box, CNN and msnbc.com
New York Times:
For Santorum, Trying to Tamp Down a Firestorm Over Puerto Rico Remarks
Sarah Palin / BREITBART.COM:
BREITBART IS HERE  —  There is a new street art poster that's being emailed around and will no doubt eventually be spotted on a street corner near you.  It's a gritty black and white image of Andrew Breitbart looking both battle-worn and ever vigilant with the caption: “BREITBART IS HERE.”
RELATED:
Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
Their Own Alinsky  —  When at the top of an aggregation site I saw the headline ("Breitbart Is Here") and byline (Sarah Palin), I checked the calendar to make sure it wasn't April Fool's Day.  No, that's still two weeks away.  But it's almost too rich for description: … OMG.
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Natural Born Drillers  —  To be a modern Republican in good standing, you have to believe — or pretend to believe — in two miracle cures for whatever ails the economy: more tax cuts for the rich and more drilling for oil.  And with prices at the pump on the rise, so is the chant of “Drill, baby, drill.”
RELATED:
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
Obama's oil flimflam
Kathleen Arberg / Supreme Court of the United States:
For Immediate Release  —  The Court will hear argument in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act cases on March 26, 27, and 28.  Because of the extraordinary public interest in those cases, the Court will provide the audio recordings and transcripts of the oral arguments on an expedited basis through the Court's Website.
Robchristensen / Raleigh News & Observer:
Obama opposes Amendment One  —  President Barack Obama today came out against the proposed constitutional amendment on North Carolina's May 8th ballot banning same sex marriages and civil unions, weighing into a fight in a key battleground state.  —  His campaign issued a statement saying the amendment was discriminatory.
RELATED:
Joe Sudbay / Gay Politics:
Obama now on record opposing NC's anti-gay Amendment 1
Discussion: Daily Kos and Towleroad News #gay
Megan DeMarco / New Jersey Online:
Dharun Ravi found guilty in Rutgers webcam spying trial  —  NEW BRUNSWICK — Former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi was found guilty today of a hate crime, evidence tampering and invasion of privacy, for secretly using a webcam to spy on his roommate's liaison with another man in their dorm room.
BuzzFeed:
Please Don't Leak This Email  —  The Democratic National Committee's war with the Daily Caller isn't about ethics, it's about a changing media landscape.  —  BuzzFeed's story yesterday on a hostile email exchange between a Daily Caller reporter and the Democratic National Committee produced yet …
Patrick Marley / JSOnline:
State Sen. Galloway to resign, leaving Senate split  —  By Patrick Marley of the Journal Sentinel  —  Madison - State Sen. Pam Galloway, who faces a recall election this summer, plans to resign from the Senate shortly, leaving an even split between Republicans and Democrats.
Discussion: The Raw Story and Daily Kos
Alex Kowalski / Bloomberg:
Consumer Prices in U.S. Rose in February as Gasoline Jumped  —  U.S. Consumer Prices Rose in February on Gasoline  —  The cost of living in the U.S. rose in February by the most in 10 months, reflecting a jump in gasoline that failed to spread to other goods and services.
Sharyl Attkisson / CBS News:
GOP freshmen, big-bucks donors hobnob at resort  —  PLAY CBS NEWS VIDEO  —  (CBS News) There are 468 congressional campaigns going on right now.  —  That means a lot of serious fundraising.  —  Much of it is behind closed doors, except on a recent weekend at a South Florida resort …
Discussion: The Hill and Metro
Charlie Savage / New York Times:
Democratic Senators Issue Strong Warning About Use of the Patriot Act  —  WASHINGTON — For more than two years, a handful of Democrats on the Senate intelligence committee have warned that the government is secretly interpreting its surveillance powers under the Patriot Act in a way that would be alarming …
Michelangelo Signorile / The Huffington Post:
Will Comcast Make This the Last St. Patrick's Day Parade to Exclude Gays?  —  It's 2012, and in New York State gays and lesbians have full civil rights, including marriage equality.  Gays are no longer banned in the U.S. military.  But they are still banned from Fifth Avenue's annual St. Patrick's …
Candace Jackson / Wall Street Journal:
The Trophy Basement  —  From London to Los Angeles, some homeowners are burying their most opulent spaces underground.  The rise of the subterranean mansion.  —  Wealthy home builders around the globe are digging deep.  —  In Los Angeles, builder Mauricio Oberfeld has buried about a third …
Discussion: The Maddow Blog and DealBook
Ronald Brownstein / NationalJournal.com:
Stronger, but Not Secure  —  President Obama's approval rating among key groups is approaching his actual share of the 2008 vote.  —  Boosted by growing optimism about the economy, President Obama is showing signs of reassembling the coalition of support that powered him to his 2008 presidential victory.
Discussion: Hot Air
Bill Morlin / Hatewatch:
‘God Hates Fags’ Church Preparing Ad for Limbaugh Show  —  UPDATE: Late Thursday, Rachel Nelson, public relations director for Premiere Networks, said any ads from Westboro Baptist Church would be rejected.  “Premiere Networks is not considering an offer of sponsorship from Westboro Baptist Church …
Janet Tavakoli / The Huffington Post:
Today's Most Important Finance Story: Lan T. Pham, Ph.D., Told the CBO the Truth About Mortgage “Securities” and Was Fired for It  —  Every day I read the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the New York Times and Handelsblatt.  Then I skim other finance papers online.  I also read several finance blogs.
Discussion: Firedoglake
 
 
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 More Items: 
Mark Vanhoenacker / New York Times:
Op-Ed Contributor: The Unwelcome Mat
Steven Lee Myers / New York Times:
U.S. Military Aid to Egypt to Resume, Officials Say
Penny Starr / CNSNews:
After Film Warning Kids Not to Call Others ‘Jerks,’ Sebelius Tells Kids to Say: 'You're Being a Jerk'
Kenneth P. Vogel / Politico:
Rick Santorum turns to secretive group for money muscle
Discussion: Algemeiner.com
Erik Wasson / The Hill:
CBO: Obama budget adds $3.5 trillion in deficits through 2022
Discussion: protein wisdom
Matthew Rosenberg / New York Times:
U.S. Rebukes Afghan Jail Over Searches of Female Visitors
 Earlier Items: 
Robert Pear / New York Times:
House G.O.P. Hesitates on Birth Control Fight
Dave Levinthal / Politico:
Obama's 2012 campaign is watching you
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Investor's Business Daily:
Bigot Chris Matthews' War On Catholics And Mormons
Discussion: The POH Diaries
New Orleans Times-Picayune:
Dismissal of gun-rights suit upheld by 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel
Discussion: americanthinker.com and Law Blog
Josh Barro / The Barrometer:
Santorum Promises Broad War on Porn
 

 
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Wall Street Journal:
Apple and Google offer promotional boost to games in exchange for exclusivity

 
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