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3:45 PM ET, February 16, 2013

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Paul Krugman:
Gratifying Signs of Desperation  —  On both sides of the Atlantic, the austerians seem to be freaking out.  And that has to be good news, an indication that they realize, at some level, that they're losing the debate.  —  First up, the sad story of Joe Scarborough, whose response …
Washington Post:
FBI investigating allegations Sen. Menendez patronized prostitutes in Dominican Republic  —  A team of FBI agents has been conducting interviews in recent weeks in the Dominican Republic and the United States, looking into allegations that Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) patronized prostitutes …
Jonathan Bernstein / Salon:
Think Hagel's bad?  Just wait until there's a Supreme Court opening  —  The Hagel battle is actually a dry run for the next justice fight — and it's clear that the GOP will filibuster  —  Compare that Russian meteor hit earlier this week to the one that wiped out the dinosaurs.  Got that?
Joe Scarborough / Politico:
Paul Krugman is wrong - but don't take my word for it  —  America's fiscal predicament is serious.  The problem has become obvious in the last few years, but it has been building for decades, largely the result of promises of extensive social benefits without a corresponding willingness to pay for them.
Discussion: Washington Monthly and Hot Air
Jonathan Weisman / New York Times:
Ted Cruz Runs Counter to the Senate's Courtly Ways  —  WASHINGTON — As the Senate edged toward a divisive filibuster vote on Chuck Hagel's nomination to be defense secretary, Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, sat silent and satisfied in the corner of the chamber — his voice lost to laryngitis …
RELATED:
Frank Bruni / New York Times:
The G.O.P.'s Nasty Newcomer
Tony Lee / BREITBART.COM:
JEB BUSH: I WOULD GOVERN LIKE LYNDON JOHNSON AS PRESIDENT  —  Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush said he would strive to be like Lyndon Johnson, the Democrat famous for expanding the U.S. welfare state through the “Great Society,” if he were elected president.
Discussion: LewRockwell.com Blog
E.J. Dionne Jr / Washington Post:
The best choice for pope?  A nun.  —  In giving up the papacy, Pope Benedict XVI was brave and bold.  He did the unexpected for the good of the Catholic Church.  And when it selects a new pope next month, the College of Cardinals should be equally brave and bold.  It is time to elect a nun as the next pontiff.
Discussion: Booman Tribune and Daily Kos
Annie Lowrey / New York Times:
Incomes Flat in Recovery, but Not for the 1%  —  WASHINGTON — Incomes rose more than 11 percent for the top 1 percent of earners during the economic recovery, but barely at all for everybody else, according to new data.  —  The numbers, produced by Emmanuel Saez, an economist at the University …
Discussion: Taylor Marsh and JustOneMinute
Erik Wasson / The Hill:
Rubio embarks on trip to Israel and Jordan  —  Republican rising star Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) departed for the Middle East on Saturday, beginning a journey that could do much to burnish the possible 2016 presidential candidate's foreign policy credentials.
Discussion: Politico and CNN
Chicago Tribune:
1 dead, 3 wounded in 90 minutes Friday night  —  Woman dies in West Side shooting  —  Chicago police were flagged down by a man on the street as they responded to the sound of gunfire Friday night and found a woman lying on the ground, bleeding from gunshot wounds to her upper body.
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Politico
Renee Dudley / Bloomberg:
Wal-Mart Executives Sweat Slow February Start in E-Mails  —  Wal-Mart Stores Inc. had the worst sales start to a month in seven years as payroll-tax increases hit shoppers already battling a slow economy, according to internal e-mails obtained by Bloomberg News.
Zack Colman / The Hill:
Obama in Florida for golf getaway  —  President Obama is in Florida until Monday to golf and lounge with friends.  —  Obama is staying at the Floridian Yacht and Golf Club in Palm City, Fla., while first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia are “out West” on a ski trip.
Discussion: CNN and Associated Press
Voice of Russia, News:
Russian MP blames meteor shower on US secret arms test  —  Russia's controversial Liberal leader, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, has blamed Americans for today's meteorite scare, local media report.  —  “Those were not meteorites, it was Americans testing their new weapons,” Mr. Zhirinovsky confessed to journalists.
RELATED:
Associated Press:   NASA: Meteor exploded with force of 20 Hiroshima bombs
 
 
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 More Items: 
Jake Sherman / Politico:
Behind closed doors, GOP tries to find its way
Discussion: Balloon Juice and The Right Scoop
 Earlier Items: 
Associated Press:
Facebook says it was hacked, no data compromised
David Taintor / Talking Points Memo:
Controversial Preacher Bradlee Dean Kicked Off High School Campus In Florida
Discussion: The Raw Story
 

 
From Mediagazer:

Ravi Somaiya / New York Times:
NYT response to plagiarism claim acknowledges improper use of language, details from Wikipedia

Bill Glauber / JSOnline:
Journal Communications of Milwaukee and E.W. Scripps announce merger, spinning off newspapers

Bloomberg:
AMC Networks in talks to acquire almost 50% of BBC America

 
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