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7:20 AM ET, December 14, 2012

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Tracy Connor / Rock Center with Brian Williams:
EXCLUSIVE: Susan Rice drops out of running for secretary of state; saddened by partisan politics  —  Embattled U.N. envoy Susan Rice is dropping out of the running to be the next secretary of state after months of criticism over her Benghazi comments, she told NBC News on Thursday.
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Susan Rice / Washington Post:
Why I made the right call  —  View Photo Gallery — What you need to know about Susan Rice: The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations has withdrawn from consideration for secretary of state  —  On Thursday I asked that President Obama no longer consider me for the job of secretary of state.
Hans Nichols / Bloomberg:
Hagel Said to Top Obama's List to Take Over at Pentagon  —  Former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel has emerged as the leading candidate to become Obama's next Secretary of Defense and may be nominated as soon as this month, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Washington Post:
Susan Rice withdraws as candidate for secretary of state  —  View Photo Gallery — What you need to know about Susan Rice: The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations has withdrawn from consideration for secretary of state  —  U.N. Ambassador Susan E. Rice withdrew her name …
Carlo Muñoz / The Hill:
Report: Hagel likely top White House pick for Department of Defense chief  —  Former Nebraska Republican senator and Vietnam veteran Chuck Hagel has taken the top spot on the Obama administration's shortlist of candidates to replace Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at the Pentagon, according to news reports.
Discussion: Booman Tribune and The Agonist
Lucy Madison / CBS News:
Hillary Clinton to testify on Benghazi
New York Times:
Rice Ends Bid for Secretary of State, and Fight With G.O.P.
Reid J. Epstein / Reuters:
Susan Rice withdraws for secretary of state
Discussion: Politico, CNN and americanthinker.com
Megan Ruyle / The Hill:
House Republicans made scarce during ‘cliff’ talks  —  House Republican leaders have limited lawmakers' time in Washington during the high-wire negotiations with the White House on taxes and spending.  —  In the more than five weeks since November's election, the House has held votes on 11 separate days.
Discussion: Politico
RELATED:
John Gramlich / Roll Call:
House GOP Boosts Funds for DOMA Legal Defense
CNN:
GOP budget concerns could stall Sandy emergency aid
Wall Street Journal:
Debate Grows in GOP Over Tax Stance
Discussion: Eschaton and Firedoglake
Gregory Wallace / CNN:
Why your lawmaker may not be at your holiday party
Discussion: ABCNEWS and Politico
BuzzFeed:
Death Star Petition Requires White House Response  —  The petition has passed the 25,000 threshold needed for a response from the White House.  The White House petition is now quite operational.  —  Andrew Kaczynski  —  a half hour ago  —  3 responses
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Judy Kurtz / The Hill:
More staffers recount confrontational elevator rides with Rep. Foxx  —  More House staffers are coming forward with cautionary tales of their members-only elevator rides with Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.).  —  ITK last week brought you one tipster's claims of Foxx laying the verbal smackdown …
Mackenzie Weinger / Politico:
Neil Cavuto cuts off Rep. E.B. Johnson  —  Fox News' Neil Cavuto cut to commercial during a heated interview with Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson where the congresswoman told him to “shut up for just a second” and he later called their discussion “a total waste of time.”
Discussion: Hot Air and Unfair Park
Joe Romm / ThinkProgress:
Mother Nature Is Just Getting Warmed Up: Record-Smashing Early December Assures 2012 Will Be Hottest In U.S. History  —  We've had spring weather in early December — and that guarantees 2012 will be the hottest year on record for the United States.  —  I had reported on Monday that 2012 …
David Morgan / CNBC:
Only 15 States Opt to Run Obamacare Exchanges  —  Only 15 states have told the federal government they plan to operate health insurance exchanges under President Barack Obama's reform law, leaving Washington with the daunting task of creating online marketplaces for two-thirds of the country.
Discussion: National Review and Power Line
BuzzFeed:
Other Media Provocateurs Pan Steven Crowder's Performance  —  “It's important not to instigate the person you're interviewing,” Fields says.  —  Video of conservative activist Steven Crowder's tussle with a union member in Michigan this week, which led to the Fox News contributor being punched …
Discussion: The Dana Show
David Sherfinski / Washington Times:
King: Benghazi 10 times bigger than Watergate, Iran-Contra combined  —  Rep. Steve King, Iowa Republican, said Wednesday that the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, is 10 times bigger than the Watergate and Iran-Contra scandals put together.
RELATED:
Hamed Aleaziz / ThinkProgress:
Steve King: I Don't Know What Happened In Benghazi But It's Worse Than Watergate
Kate Zernike / New York Times:
Promise vs. Reality in Newark on Mayor's Watch  —  NEWARK — When snow blanketed this city two Christmases ago, Mayor Cory A. Booker was celebrated around the nation for personally shoveling out residents who had appealed for help on Twitter.  But here, his administration was scorned …
Margalit Fox / New York Times:
N. Joseph Woodland, Inventor of the Bar Code, Dies at 91  —  N. Joseph Woodland, who six decades ago drew a set of lines in the sand and in the process conceived the modern bar code, died on Sunday at his home in Edgewater, N.J. He was 91.  —  His daughter Susan Woodland confirmed the death.
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Is Obama Punishing the GOP Because He's Mean?  —  Even as they grudgingly have come to accept that they can't prevent the expiration of the Bush tax cuts for the rich, Republicans have increasingly started explaining this pitiable state of affairs to themselves as the product of President Obama's unique malevolence.
Cal Fussman / Esquire:
Arnold Schwarzenegger: What I've Learned  —  Actor, former governor, 65, Los Angeles  —  The Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts, Inc./Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York  —  Warhol photographed Schwarzenegger, then a bodybuilder, with a Polaroid Big Shot camera in 1977.
RELATED:
Patrick Gavin / Politico:   Arnold Schwarzenegger: ‘I love paying my taxes!’
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
A Modest Proposal  —  The old adage goes, “Don't get mad, get even.”  For a select few Americans, that principle could be amended to “Don't get mad at your enemies, buy them.”  I have sometimes thought that if I were Charles Koch, instead of trying to influence American politics honestly …
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 More Items: 
Jennifer Martinez / The Hill:
US says it won't ratify UN telecom treaty
Travis Waldron / ThinkProgress:
Virginia GOP Official Calls Union Members ‘Terrorists’
Mick Brown / Telegraph:
In truth, Ravi Shankar couldn't stand the hippies
Discussion: Hit & Run
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Obama displays menorah rescued from Sandy destruction in Hanukkah ceremony
Discussion: Politico
BBC:
Syrian rebels may win - Russia
Greg Giroux / Bloomberg:
Voters Throw Bums In While Holding Congress in Disdain
Discussion: Outside the Beltway and Politico
 Earlier Items: 
Richard Hall / The Independent:
‘Gangnam Style’ death prompts warning to middle-aged men not to attempt the vigorous dance
Discussion: TheFW, The Daily Caller, Mediaite and Gawker