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12:35 PM 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:
Kevin Bohn / CNN:
Obama supporters launch ad campaign to push gun proposals  —  Washington (CNN) - A pro-President Barack Obama advocacy group launched its first ad campaign Friday as it tries to convince Congressional Republicans to support broader gun background checks, one of the White House's major gun control priorities.
Discussion: Politico
White House Memo / New York Times:
For Obama and Team, Calm, Not Crisis, in Latest Fiscal Battle
Numbers / Pew Research Center for the People …:
As Sequester Deadline Looms, Little Support for Cutting Most Programs  —  OVERVIEW  —  As the March 1 deadline for a possible budget sequester approaches, a new national survey finds limited public support for reducing spending for a range of specific programs, including defense, entitlements, education and health care.
Discussion: CNN, Firedoglake, Politico and AMERICAblog
RELATED:
New York Times:
Why Taxes Have to Go Up  —  Democrats and Republicans remain at odds on how to avoid a round of budget cuts so deep and arbitrary that to allow them now could push the economy back into recession.  The cuts, known as a sequester, will kick in March 1 unless Republicans agree to President Obama's demand …
Discussion: JustOneMinute and AEIdeas
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.
Jane Mayer / News Desk:
Is Senator Ted Cruz our new McCarthy?  —  Last week, Texas Senator Ted Cruz's prosecutorial style of questioning Chuck Hagel, President Obama's nominee for Defense Secretary, came so close to innuendo that it raised eyebrows in Congress, even among his Republican colleagues.
RELATED:
Henry J. Gomez / Plain Dealer:
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tells Cuyahoga County GOP it's time for new generation of leaders
Discussion: NBCNews.com and The Hill
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?
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Dorsey Shaw / BuzzFeed:
Rush Limbaugh Is “Ashamed” Of His Country For The First Time In His Life
Discussion: Scared Monkeys
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Oscar Predictions, Election-Style  —  Twice before, in 2009 and 2011, I sought to predict the Academy Award winners in six major categories based on a mix of statistical factors.  My track record?  Nine correct picks in 12 tries, for a 75 percent success rate.
RELATED:
Jason Kurtz / Piers Morgan:
Jimmy Carter on “Argo”: “It's a great drama, and I hope it gets the Academy Award for best film …
Discussion: Politico and Taegan Goddard's …
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Obama calms fears over Supreme Court action on voting rights  —  President Obama said people won't lose the right to vote if the Supreme Court strikes down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act.  —  Speaking Thursday to “The Black Eagle” radio show, Obama said listeners shouldn't worry …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
RELATED:
Sahil Kapur / Talking Points Memo:
How The Voting Rights Act, Now In Danger, Came To Pass And Shaped History
Discussion: msnbc.com
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: The American Mind and Mother Jones
Avik Roy / Forbes:
Holtz-Eakin and Roy: The Critics Are Wrong About the Future of Free-Market Health Care Reform  —  Earlier this week, the two of us—Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Avik Roy—published an op-ed for Reuters in which we outlined a market-based plan for entitlement reform and universal coverage that builds …
RELATED:
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 …
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 …
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Sequester of Fools  —  They're baaack!  Just about two years ago, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, the co-chairmen of the late unlamented debt commission, warned us to expect a terrible fiscal crisis within, um, two years unless we adopted their plan.  The crisis hasn't materialized, but they're nonetheless back with a new version.
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Pelosi to GOP: You oppose minimum wage hike at your peril  —  As I reported here yesterday, Democrats are drawing up plans to run hard on Obama's proposal to raise minimum wage in the 2014 Congressional elections.  What few people remember is that there's precedent for this …
Sam Baker / The Hill:
Hikes in health insurance premiums fall; administration credits healthcare law  —  The number of double-digit hikes to health insurance premiums has fallen dramatically because of President Obama's healthcare law, the Health and Human Services Department said Friday.
Justin Sink / Ballot Box:
Colbert hopes jokes don't ‘sully’ sister's congressional bid  —  Comedian Stephen Colbert said Thursday that he hopes his late-night television persona parodying conservative talk-show hosts doesn't “sully” his sister's congressional bid in South Carolina's first district.
Discussion: Politico
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.
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.
Catherine Herridge / Fox News:
US denied direct access to Benghazi suspect held in Egypt  —  The U.S. has been denied direct access to the only publicly known suspect in custody in connection with the Benghazi terror attack, Fox News has learned, with U.S. interrogators still unable to sit in the same room as the Egypt-held prisoner to ask questions.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Andrew Kirell / Mediaite:
Ann Coulter Battles Stossel, Calls Libertarians ‘Pussies,’ And Gets Booed By Room Full Of Students
Discussion: BuzzFeed and The Raw Story
Ronald Brownstein / NationalJournal.com:
What Unites Obama's Coalition — and What Could Divide It
Discussion: Washington Monthly and First Read
Dylan Matthews / Washington Post:
Former NIH director: The sequester will set back medical science for a generation
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Gregory Meyer / Financial Times:
Intrade traffic plummets after CFTC action
Benjamin Weinthal / Fox News:
Saudi religious police arrest Ethiopian workers for practicing Christianity
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Jihad Watch
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Budget hawks question Pentagon's doomsday scenarios
Discussion: Right Turn, Hit & Run and Betsy's Page
James Kanter / New York Times:
European Commission Offers Grim Prediction for Economy
Joshua Miller / Roll Call:
DSCC Raised Millions More Than NRSC in January
Discussion: Ballot Box and Daily Kos
 Earlier Items: 
Washington Post:
Military service chiefs warn budget cuts will undermine readiness
Telegraph:
Revealed: al-Qaeda's 22 tips for dodging drones
Brian Stelter / Media Decoder:
Soledad O'Brien to Take on New Role at CNN
New York Times:
In Gun Debate, a Bigger Role Seen for Insurers
Jon Huntsman / The American Conservative:
Marriage Equality Is a Conservative Cause
 

 
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