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11:45 AM ET, December 16, 2013

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Erik Wasson / The Hill:
In budget deal, a secret reward for Dems  —  The two-year budget deal approved by the House has hidden political benefits for Senate Democrats, Republicans charge.  —  Because it sets a top-line budget number for 2015, Democrats won't have to write and pass a budget resolution in the midterm election year.
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Damian Paletta / Washington Wire:
Ryan Says GOP to Make Debt-Ceiling Demands in Early '14  —  House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) signaled that Republicans would not raise the debt ceiling next year without some sort of concessions from Democrats, saying lawmakers were still crafting their strategy.
Bernie Becker / The Hill:
Tax reformers see hope in budget deal
Discussion: Politico
CNN:   CNN vote count: Budget deal nearing Senate approval, but not there yet
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Durbin: GOP presidential ambitions and Tea Party challengers imperil budget deal
Discussion: First Read
John Miller / CBS News:
NSA speaks out on Snowden, spying  —  The NSA gives unprecedented access to the agency's HQ and, for the first time, explains what it does and what it says it doesn't do: spy on Americans  —  The following is a script from “Inside the NSA” which aired on Dec. 15, 2013.  John Miller is the correspondent.
RELATED:
Art Swift / Gallup:
Honesty and Ethics Rating of Clergy Slides to New Low  —  Nurses again top list; lobbyists are worst  —  WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans' rating of the honesty and ethics of the clergy has fallen to 47%, the first time this rating has dropped below 50% since Gallup first asked about the clergy in 1977.
RELATED:
Rebecca Shabad / The Hill:
Lobbyists, lawmakers rated dishonest, unethical in poll
Discussion: Booman Tribune
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Why Inequality Matters  —  Rising inequality isn't a new concern.  Oliver Stone's movie “Wall Street,” with its portrayal of a rising plutocracy insisting that greed is good, was released in 1987.  But politicians, intimidated by cries of “class warfare,” have shied away from making …
John Fund / National Review:
Peter O'Toole: He Loved Drink, Feared the Taxman  —  The great British actor Peter O'Toole has died at the age of 81.  —  Starting with the epic Lawrence of Arabia, he was nominated for eight Academy Awards but never won one.  When he was given an honorary Oscar a decade ago …
RELATED:
Mark Steyn / National Review:
Peter O'Toole, R.I.P.
Discussion: Instapundit
USA Today:
Harvard evacuates 4 buildings after report of explosives  —  Four buildings at Harvard University were evacuated and morning final exams were canceled Monday after the school said it had “unconfirmed” reports of explosives.  —  Harvard issued an alert on its website, on Twitter and emails citing …
Discussion: CNN
Erica Goode / New York Times:
Sheriffs Refuse to Enforce Laws on Gun Control  —  GREELEY, Colo. — When Sheriff John Cooke of Weld County explains in speeches why he is not enforcing the state's new gun laws, he holds up two 30-round magazines.  One, he says, he had before July 1, when the law banning the possession …
Tony Lee / BREITBART.COM:
HOUSE REPORT: ILL-TRAINED OBAMACARE NAVIGATORS ENCOURAGING FRAUD, JEOPARDIZING PRIVATE INFO  —  The Obama administration decided that Obamacare Navigators, tasked with helping Americans enroll in a health insurance plan, would not undergo mandatory background checks.
Jennifer Steinhauer / New York Times:
G.O.P. Firebrands Tone Down Their Message and Run Again  —  LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. — “My name is Congressman Bob Dold!” said the fleece-clad man making his way through a popular restaurant here.  —  Well, not exactly.  His name is Bob Dold, but he isn't a current member of Congress.
Discussion: ThinkProgress, Mediaite and Liberaland
Bloomberg:
Secret Inside BofA Office of CEO Stymied Needy Homeowners  —  Photographer: Phelan M. Ebenhack/Bloomberg  —  Isabel Santamaria thought she finally caught a break in her effort to save her Florida home from foreclosure after nine frustrating months: She reached Bank of America Corp.'s Office of the CEO and President.
Annie Karni / NY Daily News:
EXCLUSIVE: Christine Quinn mystified by mayoral defeat, mulls working for Hillary Clinton  —  On losing the election to become New York's next mayor, the outgoing City Council Speaker says: 'I really believe that everything happens for a reason.  It's not my plan, but I really believe this is God's plan.'
Anita Gates / New York Times:
Joan Fontaine, Who Won an Oscar for Hitchcock's ‘Suspicion,’ Dies at 96  —  Joan Fontaine, the patrician blond actress who rose to stardom as a haunted second wife in the Alfred Hitchcock film “Rebecca” in 1940 and won an Academy Award for her portrayal of a terrified newlywed in Hitchcock's …
BBC:
Huge poll win for Chilean left  —  Left-wing candidate Michelle Bachelet has been elected Chilean president for a second time by a wide margin.  —  With almost all the votes counted, Ms Bachelet had 62% against 38% for Evelyn Matthei, a former minister from the governing centre-right coalition.
Discussion: Washington Monthly and The Week
 
 
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 More Items: 
Michael Barbaro / New York Times:
Bloomberg Focuses on Rest (as in Rest of the World)
USA Today:
USA TODAY/Pew poll: Obama struggles with Millennials
Brendan Bordelon / The Daily Caller:
Congressman Trey Gowdy: Obama's disregard of law ‘has reached an unprecedented level’ [VIDEO]
USA Today:
Hillary Clinton may affect campaigns far ahead of 2016
Doyle McManus / Los Angeles Times:
Moonwalking in Syria  —  U.S. efforts there may be giving …
Discussion: Hit & Run
The Hill:
Podesta: Climate game changer
 Earlier Items: 
Steven Zeitchik / Los Angeles Times:
Tom Laughlin, star of ‘Billy Jack’ films, dies at age 82
Discussion: Firedoglake
Associated Press:
AP-GfK poll: Health law seen as eroding coverage
Chris Matyszczyk / CNET:
Apple approves ‘only gay social app for ages 12 and up’
Maureen Callahan / New York Post:
What happened to Lady Gaga?
Discussion: Power Line
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
The Daughter Theory  —  FOR our age of wonks and white papers …
Arthur C. Brooks / New York Times:
A Formula for Happiness