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4:50 PM ET, February 22, 2013

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
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.
RELATED:
Ezra Klein / Wonkblog:
Does Obama have a plan?  A conversation with David Brooks  —  David Brooks (David Burnett/Random House) … Ezra Klein: In the column, you said that the Obama administration doesn't have a plan to replace the sequester.  I feel like I've had to spend a substantial portion of my life reading …
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 …
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.
White House Memo / New York Times:
For Obama and Team, Calm, Not Crisis, in Latest Fiscal Battle
Patrick O'Connor / Wall Street Journal:
The GOP Splits Over Pressure to Slash Defense Budget
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.
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 …
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Sequester of Fools
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:
First Read / NBCNews.com:
First Thoughts: Hagel appears to have the votes for confirmation
Discussion: Firedoglake and The Hill
Henry J. Gomez / Plain Dealer:
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tells Cuyahoga County GOP it's time for new generation of leaders
Discussion: The Hill
Andrew Kirell / Mediaite:
Ann Coulter Battles Stossel, Calls Libertarians ‘Pussies,’ And Gets Booed By Room Full Of Students  —  What do you get when you invite outspoken conservative firebrand Ann Coulter to debate outspoken libertarian John Stossel in front of an audience of 1,000+ libertarian students?  —  Fireworks, that's what.
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 …
Jen Wieczner / MarketWatch:
Why your boss is dumping your wife  —  Companies are dropping health coverage for spouses to cut costs … Companies have a new solution to rising health-insurance costs: Break up their employees' marriages.  —  By denying coverage to spouses, employers not only save the annual premiums …
Discussion: Hit & Run and “The Lid”
Michael Gerson / Washington Post:
The Republican Party needs a reality check  —  In the summer of 1999, George W. Bush chose the first major policy speech of his presidential campaign to pick a fight with Grover Norquist.  Bush flatly rejected the “destructive” view “that if government would only get out of our way …
Greg Hinz / Chicago Business:
Emanuel's poll rating turns negative  —  Burdened by a wave of murders, dissension over proposed school closings and perhaps his own hard-ball image, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's job-approval rating has taken a big hit in recent months, according to a new Crain's/Ipsos Illinois Poll.
RELATED:
Edward McClelland / nbcchicago.com:
Mayor Emanuel's Approval Rating In The Tank
RedFlagNews.com:
DISTURBING REPORT: VETERANS ARE RECEIVING LETTERS FROM VA PROHIBITING THE OWNERSHIP OR PURCHASE OF FIREARMS... DEVELOPING...  Written By Constitutional Attorney Michael Connelly, J.D.  —  How would you feel if you received a letter from the U.S. Government informing you that because of a physical …
Joe Romm / ThinkProgress:
In First Big Speech, Kerry Sounds Like A Climate Hawk With The Courage To Reject Keystone XL Pipeline  —  A month ago I wrote that the “confirmation of climate hawk Kerry as Secretary Of State may doom dirty Keystone XL Pipeline.”  —  Now John Kerry has delivered his first big foreign policy speech …
Discussion: Daily Kos
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 …
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
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: CNN and Politico
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.
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 …
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
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 …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Washington Examiner:
Video* Keystone Pipeline protester: The sooner we get rid of cars, the better this planet will be
Tom Jackman / Washington Post:
Today is ‘Gun Owners Support Starbucks Day,’ for Virginians who openly carry guns in public
Discussion: Politico, CBS DC and The Week
Kimi Yoshino / Los Angeles Times:
Oakland rapper ‘Kenny Clutch’ killed in Las Vegas Strip shooting
Matea Gold / Los Angeles Times:
Organizing for Action targets GOP lawmakers in first ad buy
Discussion: Daily Kos
Kim Russell / WXYZ-TV:
FBI: Armed Neo-Nazi supporter put metro-Detroit Jewish and civil rights leaders on a hit list
Niki Kitsantonis / New York Times:
Torrential Rains Flood Athens and Strand Motorists
Discussion: Washington Monthly and WorldViews
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Obama administration joins lawsuit against Lance Armstrong
Discussion: U.S. News and Politico
 Earlier Items: 
Keith Laing / The Hill:
White House warns sequester will produce chaos at nation's airports
Donovan Slack / Politico:
Obama meets with African American leaders
Discussion: Weekly Standard and Weasel Zippers
Avik Roy / Forbes:
Holtz-Eakin and Roy: The Critics Are Wrong About the Future of Free-Market Health Care Reform
Benjamin Weinthal / Fox News:
Saudi religious police arrest Ethiopian workers for practicing Christianity
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Jihad Watch
 

 
From Mediagazer:

New York Times:
Pakistani Protesters Briefly Take Over State TV Building

Angèle Christin / Nieman Lab:
Metrics a key factor in editorial and management decisions; journalists respond inconsistently

David Carr / New York Times:
Amazon Bets on Content in Deal for Twitch

 
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