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11:35 AM ET, February 22, 2013

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Reuters:
Is Obama overplaying sequester hand?  —  President Barack Obama's greatest adversary in the latest budget battle isn't the Republican leadership in Congress — it's his confidence in his own ability to force a win.  —  He has been so certain of his campaign skills that he didn't open a line …
RELATED:
David Brooks / New York Times:
The D.C. Dubstep  —  On July 26, 2011, Jack Lew, then the White House budget director, went to Harry Reid's office for a budget strategy session.  According to Bob Woodward's book, “The Price of Politics,” Lew told the Senate majority leader that they had come up with a trigger idea to force a budget deal.
White House Memo / New York Times:
For Obama and Team, Calm, Not Crisis, in Latest Fiscal Battle  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama is just seven days away from the first significant test of his second term as deep spending cuts loom, yet inside the White House a clear sense of confidence stands in contrast to the air of crisis …
New York Times:
Why Taxes Have to Go Up  —  Democrats and Republicans remain …
Discussion: JustOneMinute and AEIdeas
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Sequester of Fools
Rush Limbaugh:
For the First Time in My Life, I Am Ashamed of My Country  —  RUSH: To be watching all of this, to be treated like this, to have our common sense and intelligence insulted the way it's being insulted?  It just makes me ashamed... Panic here, fear there: Crisis, destruction, no meat inspection …
RELATED:
Charlie Spiering / Washington Examiner:
Did Rush Limbaugh just launch a Tea Party revival effort? … Rush Limbaugh opened his show this afternoon proclaiming that for the first time in his career, he was ashamed of his country.  —  Why?  Limbaugh explained that both political parties in Washington refused to stop spending …
Dorsey Shaw / BuzzFeed:
Rush Limbaugh Is “Ashamed” Of His Country For The First Time In His Life
Discussion: Scared Monkeys
John Hooper / Guardian:
Papal resignation linked to inquiry into ‘Vatican gay officials’, says paper  —  Pope's staff decline to confirm or deny La Repubblica claims linking ‘Vatileaks’ affair and discovery of ‘blackmailed gay clergy’  —  A potentially explosive report has linked the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI …
Jason Kurtz / Piers Morgan:
Jimmy Carter on “Argo”: “It's a great drama, and I hope it gets the Academy Award for best film because I think it deserves it”  —  Coming up tonight at 9, Piers Morgan welcomes Jimmy Carter for an engaging, and entertaining, face to face interview.  —  Seated together in San Diego …
Discussion: Politico and Taegan Goddard's …
RELATED:
Charles P. Pierce / Esquire:
A BAD IDEA GETS WORSE  —  Ed Kilgore is a good man.  He's been very kind to the blog since its toddlerhood.  Which makes it something of a surprise that he's trying so very hard to kill me.  He calls attention to this horror in the New York Times and then steps back, as if to distance himself …
New York Times:
Magistrate Grants Bail for Pistorius  —  PRETORIA, South Africa — After four days of combative hearings, a South African magistrate on Friday granted bail for Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee track star accused of murdering his girlfriend, in a case that has horrified and fascinated the nation and much of the world.
Scott Conroy / Real Clear Politics:
Can Democrats Mess With Texas in 2016?  —  AUSTIN, Texas — From its modest headquarters on the first floor of a local union building about five miles from the State Capitol, the Democratic Party of Texas is trying to turn demographics into destiny.  —  With white, non-Hispanic voters …
Henry J. Gomez / Plain Dealer:
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tells Cuyahoga County GOP it's time for new generation of leaders  —  INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, a rising star in national politics, presented himself here Thursday as a fresh face for Republicans “demoralized” after last year's elections.
Peggy Noonan / Wall Street Journal:
Noonan: Government by Freakout  —  Obama's scare tactics aren't much of a long-term strategy.  —  The president's sequester strategy is like Howard Beale in “Network”: “Woe is us. . . . And woe is us!  We're in a lot of trouble!”  —  It is always cliffs, ceilings and looming catastrophes with Barack Obama.
Brian Stelter / Media Decoder:
Soledad O'Brien to Take on New Role at CNN  —  Soledad O'Brien will leave CNN's morning show in the spring, but she won't be leaving the cable news channel altogether.  —  Ms. O'Brien, who is well-known for CNN documentaries like “Black in America,” said Thursday that she would form …
Megan McArdle / Asymmetrical Information:
America's New Mandarins  —  The paths to power and success are narrowing.  So is the worldview of the powerful.  —  Yesterday, I wrote about the silliness of requiring a file clerk to have a college degree.  This morning, a friend sent me the following note about the narrowing of opportunity in modern America:
Discussion: Mother Jones
James Kanter / New York Times:
European Commission Offers Grim Prediction for Economy  —  BRUSSELS — A top European Union official warned Friday that worse-than-expected growth last year and weak prospects for 2013 will lead countries like France to miss deficit-reduction targets designed to ensure the stability of the euro.
David Taintor / Talking Points Memo:
Crowd Cheers After McCain Tells Aurora Victim's Mother She Needs ‘Straight Talk’ (VIDEO)  —  Constituents at a town hall hosted by Sen. John McCain Wednesday in Phoenix cheered after the Arizona Republican told the mother of an Aurora, Colo. shooting victim that an assault weapons ban could not get through Congress.
Benjamin Weinthal / Fox News:
Saudi religious police arrest Ethiopian workers for practicing Christianity  —  Saudi Arabia's notorious religious police, known as the mutawa, swooped in on a private gathering of at least 53 Ethiopian Christians this month, shutting down their private prayer, and arresting the peaceful group …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Jihad Watch
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Budget hawks question Pentagon's doomsday scenarios … There's no doubt President Obama is using the so-called Washington Monument maneuver in the fight with Republicans over sequestration budget cuts.  It's a time-honored tactic of bureaucratic warfare: When faced with cuts …
Discussion: Right Turn, Hit & Run and Betsy's Page
Joshua Miller / Roll Call:
DSCC Raised Millions More Than NRSC in January  —  Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran is chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)  —  The National Republican Senatorial Committee raised just $1.5 million in January, according to its most recent fundraising report.
Discussion: Daily Kos and Ballot Box
Jon Huntsman / The American Conservative:
Marriage Equality Is a Conservative Cause  —  The party of Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan has now lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections.  The marketplace of ideas will render us irrelevant, and soon, if we are not honest about our time and place in history.
Washington Post:
Military service chiefs warn budget cuts will undermine readiness  —  After staying largely on the sidelines of the debate over deficit reduction, the U.S. military's service leaders have begun painting a stark picture of the toll a congressionally mandated budget cut could take on the readiness of the world's largest armed forces.
Discussion: The Atlantic Online
Telegraph:
Revealed: al-Qaeda's 22 tips for dodging drones  —  Al-Qaeda's list of 22 tips for dodging drone attacks - including at least one believed to originate with Osama bin Laden - has been found hidden inside a manila envelope in a building abandoned by Islamists in Mali.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Gregory Meyer / Financial Times:
Intrade traffic plummets after CFTC action
Patrick Goodenough / CNSNews:
State Dept. Still Downplaying Religious Element in Terrorist Threat Advisory
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Atlas Shrugs
Martin Feldstein / Wall Street Journal:
A Simple Route to Major Deficit Reduction
New York Times:
In Gun Debate, a Bigger Role Seen for Insurers
Ari Shapiro / NPR:
Republicans Make ‘Benghazi’ A Frequent Refrain
Discussion: Washington Monthly and First Read
Lisa Daftari / Fox News:
Islam or death? Egypt's Christians targeted by new terror group
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Atlas Shrugs
 Earlier Items: 
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
Biden says lawmakers need to ‘show some courage’ on gun control
Discussion: Politico
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
Congressman Says Americans Need Guns To Protect The Nation From Sharia Law