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12:20 PM ET, January 30, 2013

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Economy Unexpectedly Contracts in Fourth Quarter  —  Private-Sector Hiring Rose by 192,000 in January, ADP Reports  —  WASHINGTON—U.S. economic momentum screeched to a halt in the final months of 2012, as businesses pared back inventories and government spending fell sharply …
RELATED:
U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis:
National Income and Product Accounts  —  Gross Domestic Product, 4th quarter and annual 2012 (advance estimate)  —  Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States — decreased at an annual rate of .1 percent …
CNBC:
GDP Shows Surprise Drop for US in Fourth Quarter  —  The U.S. economy posted a stunning drop of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter, defying expectations for slow growth and possibly providing incentive for more Federal Reserve stimulus.  —  The economy shrank from October through December …
Shobhana Chandra / Bloomberg:
Economy in U.S. Contracts as Defense Spending Slumps  —  The economy in the U.S. unexpectedly shrank in the fourth quarter, restrained by the biggest plunge in defense spending in four decades and dwindling inventory growth as household purchases picked up.  —  Gross domestic product …
Discussion: Weekly Standard and Right Turn
White House.gov Blog:
Advance Estimate of GDP for the Fourth Quarter of 2012  —  According to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis today, real GDP edged down .1 percent at an annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2012, amid signs that Hurricane Sandy disrupted economic activity …
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit and Wonkblog
Associated Press:
US economy shrinks 0.1 pct., first time in 3½ years; deep cut in defense spending key factor
Arlette Saenz / ABCNEWS:
Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly vs Wayne LaPierre of NRA at Gun Violence Hearing  —  Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will testify at a Senate hearing on gun violence alongside her husband Mark Kelly Wednesday morning.  —  Testimony given by the former congresswoman, who was shot by a gunman …
RELATED:
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Reid declines to endorse Feinstein's assault-weapons ban  —  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday declined to voice support for Democratic legislation that would ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips.  —  Reid said he would bring gun-violence legislation …
Discussion: Right Turn and americanthinker.com
CBS News:
NRA vs. Giffords' husband at Senate gun control hearing
Discussion: Booman Tribune
Scott Clement / The Fix:
President Obama's popularity surges to three-year high  —  President Obama is riding a wave of personal popularity into his second term, with his highest favorability ratings since his first year in office, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.  —  Fully 60 percent of Americans …
Alexandra Jaffe / Ballot Box:
Mass. governor's former chief of staff to be appointed to Kerry's Senate seat  —  Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) has appointed William “Mo” Cowen, his former chief of staff, to fill former Sen. John Kerry's (D) seat until a special election is held this summer.
Discussion: CNN
RELATED:
Frank Phillips / Boston Globe:
William ‘Mo’ Cowan is Governor Deval Patrick's pick to serve as interim US senator  —  William “Mo” Cowan is Governor Deval Patrick's choice to serve as the interim US senator until the successor to John F. Kerry is chosen by the voters June 25, according to a source in the governor's office.
Hillary Chabot / Boston Herald:
Gov. Deval Patrick to name interim senator tomorrow
RELATED:
Jerusalem Post:
Israel strikes at Syria-Lebanon border, sources say  —  Alleged airstrike comes day after Lebanon reported three separate overflights by IAF jets; Israel increasingly concerned over fate of Syrian chemical weapons.  —  A western diplomat and three regional security sources said Wednesday …
RELATED:
Myra MacDonald / Reuters:
Israel hits target in Syria border area: sources
Laura Rozen / The Back Channel:
Israeli jets said to have struck target near Syria border
Discussion: Weekly Standard and Weasel Zippers
Kate Nocera / Politico:
Schumer: My heart went pitter patter  —  Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that President Barack Obama was playing a “constructive role” in the immigration debate and called the idea he was jockeying with the Senate group “not true.”  —  “[Obama] cares about it, he knows how important …
Discussion: The Raw Story
RELATED:
Mary McGuire / ABCNEWS:
Who Are the Gang Of 8 in Senate Immigration Debate?
Benjy Sarlin / Talking Points Memo:
GOP's Electoral Vote Scheme Already On Life Support  —  Four states down, and just two remain.  —  Key Republican officials in Virginia, Ohio, Florida, and Michigan are coming out against a RNC-backed scheme to rig the electoral vote in Democratic-leaning states in order to boost Republican presidential candidates.
RELATED:
Washington Post:
Va. Senate panel votes to kill bill on electoral college change
Josh Israel / ThinkProgress:
BREAKING: Virginia Senate Committee Overwhelmingly Kills Electoral Vote Rigging Scheme
Hayes Brown / ThinkProgress:
Graham Says ‘Clinton Got Away With Murder’ On Benghazi, Will Hold Hagel Unless Panetta Testifies  —  Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is still searching for the silver bullet, that one piece of testimony that will prove once and for all that the Obama administration lied during the aftermath of the Benghazi attack.
RELATED:
Roll Call:
Hagel Vote Complicated for Democrats and Republicans
Erik Wemple:
MSNBC ‘reviewing’ Newtown ‘heckled’ video  —  Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy  —  MSNBC is reviewing its portrayal of the testimony of Neil Heslin, the father of a Sandy Hook victim, at a legislative hearing in Hartford on Monday.
RELATED:
Monica Davey / New York Times:
Strict Gun Laws in Chicago Can't Stem Fatal Shots  —  CHICAGO — Not a single gun shop can be found in this city because they are outlawed.  Handguns were banned in Chicago for decades, too, until 2010, when the United States Supreme Court ruled that was going too far, leading city leaders …
Lori Montgomery / Washington Post:
Deep spending cuts are likely, lawmakers say, with no deal on sequester in sight  —  Alex Wong/Getty Images - “I think [the cuts are] more likely to happen.  And I'm ashamed of the Congress, I'm ashamed of the president, and I'm ashamed of being in this body, quite frankly,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham …
Kevin Bogardus / The Hill:
Unions, Hollywood open to bankrolling Obama's advocacy arm  —  Labor unions and Hollywood donors are open to bankrolling Organizing for Action, the outside group that has been formed in support of President Obama's second-term agenda.  —  Traditionally one of the biggest donors to Democrats …
Discussion: Prairie Weather
Jennifer Delgado / Chicago Tribune:
Girl who performed at Obama inaugural events slain on South Side  —  A 15-year-old girl who got the chance to perform in Washington for the President's inauguration was shot to death after leaving school yesterday.  —  After taking their exams Tuesday, Hadiya Pendleton and a group …
Kevin Kiley / Inside Higher Ed:
North Carolina governor joins chorus of Republicans critical of liberal arts  —  By  —  North Carolinians might have seen this coming when they elected Patrick McCrory governor in November.  He's a Republican and the second half of his name is “Rick,” and these days …
Discussion: Unqualified Offerings
Natalie Angier / New York Times:
That Cuddly Kitty Is Deadlier Than You Think  —  For all the adorable images of cats that play the piano, flush the toilet, mew melodiously and find their way back home over hundreds of miles, scientists have identified a shocking new truth: cats are far deadlier than anyone realized.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Andrew O'Shea / Viral Read:
Exclusive: Rep. Paul Broun Announces Candidacy for US Senate, Steals Karen Handel's Thunder
Greg Holyk / ABCNEWS:
Obama's Favorability Best Since '09; 2-1 Approval for Inaugural Address
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Adam Sherwin / The Independent:
Behzti playwright accuses BBC of ‘extraordinary’ censorship of ‘honour killings’ episode
Matthew Yglesias / Slate:
Amazon Profits Fall 45 Percent, Still the Most Amazing Company in the World
Steve Peoples / Associated Press:
Scott Brown ‘leaning strongly’ toward Senate bid
Discussion: First Read
Tara Culp-Ressler / ThinkProgress:
FDA Allows College Campus To Make Contraception More Accessible With Plan B Vending Machine
Discussion: The Raw Story
nbcchicago.com:
George Ryan Enters Halfway House After Years In Prison
Discussion: First Read
 Earlier Items: 
Glenn Harlan Reynolds / Wall Street Journal:
Al Gore Dreams of Electric Jeeps
Discussion: Althouse
Mark Hosenball / Reuters:
Exclusive: CIA nominee had detailed knowledge of “enhanced interrogation techniques”
Discussion: First Read
The Week:
Why I hate Twitter  —  The social sharing tool was once a vision.
Alex Weprin / TVNewser:
January 2013 Ratings: Fox News Down Compared To Last Year
The Conference Board:
Consumer Confidence Survey® … The Conference Board …
Discussion: The Huffington Post and Economix
Sy Mukherjee / ThinkProgress:
Louisiana Will Eliminate Health Benefits For HIV Patients, Poor Children, And First Time Moms This Week
The Christian / Christian Science Monitor:
Egypt's protests reveal deficit of trust in Muslim Brotherhood
Discussion: Pat Dollard