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12:40 PM ET, December 26, 2012

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Jeremy W. Peters / New York Times:
Obama Returning to Capital to Seek Fiscal Deal  —  KAILUA, Hawaii — President Obama was planning to cut his Christmas vacation short and return to Washington to make a last-ditch push for a compromise on a tax and spending dispute that remains stubbornly unresolved.
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Lydia Saad / Gallup:
Americans' Optimism Wanes About Averting “Fiscal Cliff”  —  Obama, Democratic leaders see increase in approval on budget negotiations  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Americans' optimism that President Barack Obama and congressional leaders will reach a budget agreement before Jan. 1 has waned somewhat over the past week.
Ezra Klein / Wonkblog:
The White House's Kent Conrad problem  —  On Fox News Sunday, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), the outgoing chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, made a proposal to solve the “fiscal cliff.”  The proposal isn't going anywhere, but its specifics explain something important about the White House's negotiating strategy.
Discussion: Mother Jones and Balloon Juice
Reuters:
Obama, Congress set for one last effort on “fiscal cliff”
Discussion: Daily Kos and Hot Air
Amy Gardner / Washington Post:
FreedomWorks tea party group nearly falls apart in fight between old and new guard  —  The day after Labor Day, just as campaign season was entering its final frenzy, FreedomWorks, the Washington-based tea party organization, went into free fall.  —  Richard K. Armey, the group's chairman …
Josh Margolin / New York Post:
Benghazi penalties are bogus  —  The four officials supposedly out of jobs because of their blunders in the run-up to the deadly Benghazi terror attack remain on the State Department payroll — and will all be back to work soon, The Post has learned.  —  The highest-ranking official caught …
RELATED:
Fox News:
Lawmaker rips State after claim that official who ‘resigned’ over Libya remains on payroll
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Thomas L. Friedman / New York Times:
Give Chuck a Chance  —  In case you haven't heard, President Obama is considering appointing Chuck Hagel, a former United States senator from Nebraska and a Purple Heart winner, as the next secretary of defense — and this has triggered a minifirefight among Hagel critics and supporters.
Discussion: Israel Matzav and Weekly Standard
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Robert Wright / The Atlantic Online:
Chuck Hagel Gets His Second Wind  —  Tom Friedman, in this morning's New York Times, endorses Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense.  Friedman finds it “disgusting” that Hagel has been “smeared as an Israel hater at best” by his detractors (some neoconservatives).
Washington Post:
In defense of Chuck Hagel
Starbucks Coffee Company:
Let's Come Together, America  —  Posted by Howard S., Starbucks chairman, president and chief executive officer  —  There are moments in our lives when we have an opportunity to ignite tremendous positive change—not just in the lives of the customers and communities we serve every day, but in our country.
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CNNMoney.com:
Starbucks makes political push on fiscal cliff
Discussion: The Raw Story
Kevin Robillard / Politico:
Frank Luntz: NRA not listening to public  —  Pollster Frank Luntz, who has studied attitudes about gun control, said on Wednesday that he doesn't “think the NRA is listening” to the American public in the wake of the massacre of 20 children at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.
Jonathan Martin / Politico:
Virginia embodies GOP's woes  —  RICHMOND, Va. — Look no further than Virginia to catch a glimpse of the GOP's national dilemma.  —  As the Old Dominion becomes a firmly centrist state, more closely resembling the rest of the country demographically and politically, Virginia Republicans are shifting rightward.
Norman J. Ornstein / Washington Post:
Look beyond the Capitol for the next speaker  —  Norman J. Ornstein is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and co-author of “It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism.”
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Daniel Halper / Weekly Standard:
W.H. Petition: ‘Press Charges Against David Gregory’ for Breaking D.C. Gun Laws  —  A petition on the White House's website calls for charges to be filed against David Gregory for breaking Washington, D.C.'s gun laws.  “Press charges against David Gregory for possession of a 30-round …
RELATED:
Katie Glueck / Politico:
Police probe NBC's David Gregory on gun clip
FRANCE 24:
Gunmen kill six at Nigerian Christmas service  —  Gunmen attacked a church in northern Nigeria during a midnight mass on Christmas Eve, killing six people including the pastor, before setting the building ablaze, residents and police said Tuesday.  —  Gunmen killed six people attending midnight mass …
Discussion: Atlas Shrugs
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 More Items: 
Phil Gramm / Wall Street Journal:
The Multiple Distortions of Wind Subsidies
Discussion: Moonbattery
Jack Moore / BuzzFeed:
Mark Zuckerberg's Sister Complains Of Facebook Privacy Breach
Reason:
The Rioter's Veto  —  Can violence in the Middle East justify …
Discussion: Jihad Watch
George M. Walsh / Associated Press:
Body found in Webster home is believed to be killer's sister
Discussion: The Reaction
Glenn Harlan Reynolds / USA Today:
Column: Reflections on Newtown
Discussion: Hot Air, The Raw Story and Hit & Run
Trip Gabriel / New York Times:
Clout Diminished, Tea Party Turns to Narrower Issues
Discussion: Eclectablog and Prairie Weather
 Earlier Items: 
Aviva Shen / ThinkProgress:
Petition To Deport CNN Host For Gun Control Support Reaches 60,000 Signatures
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and “The Lid”
Nick Timiraos / Wall Street Journal:
Refi Program Expansion Eyed
Discussion: naked capitalism
ABCNEWS:
President Barack Obama is likely to cut short his traditional …
Discussion: Politico
Joshua Green / Wonkblog:
Jack Klugman's secret, lifesaving legacy
Greta Van Susteren / Gretawire:
FNC's ED HENRY just emailed me news about President Obama
Discussion: Politico, Business Insider and Mediaite
 

 
From Mediagazer:

Mathew Ingram / Gigaom:
Journalism and the internet: Is it the best of times? No — but it's not the worst of times either

Christine Haughney / New York Times:
Mental Floss finds success in video with “The List Show” using star power of John Green

New York Times:
Pakistani Protesters Briefly Take Over Headquarters of State Television

 
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