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1:35 PM 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.
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Packed Senate schedule to test bipartisan relations in final week
Discussion: Daily Kos
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.
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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: Politico and Booman Tribune
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.
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Rebecca Shabad / The Hill:
Report: House panel blasts Navigators  —  People responsible for helping consumers enroll in ObamaCare, known as navigators, were not required to undergo background checks, according to a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee report obtained by Breitbart News.
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 …
Sen. Dianne Feinstein / SCVNews.com:
Hillary Now More Than Ever |  Sen. Dianne Feinstein  —  In 2000, shortly after Hillary Clinton was elected to represent New York in the Senate, I was honored when she called seeking my advice.  —  When I first met Hillary in 1992 during Bill Clinton's run for the White House …
Discussion: Politico
RELATED:
USA Today:
Hillary Clinton may affect campaigns far ahead of 2016
Discussion: Politico and Taylor Marsh
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.
Betsy Rothstein / The Daily Caller:
Vice President Joe Biden gropes White House reporter  —  Sure, he likely didn't mean anything overtly sexual by it.  But Vice President Joe Biden is a folksy kind of guy who has officially entered dirty old man territory and done something sure to elicit laughs within the White House Press Corps.
Discussion: The PJ Tatler and TheBlaze.com
Michael Isikoff / NBCNews:
Climate change expert's fraud was ‘crime of massive proportion,’ say feds  —  The EPA's highest-paid employee and top expert on climate change engaged in “crime of massive proportions” by pretending to be working as an undercover agent for the CIA so he could avoid doing his real job for years …
Dallas Morning News:
Kathleen Sebelius: The importance of health care navigators to Texas  —  Affordable Care Act navigator Andrew Moura helps Debbie Sands sign up for coverage in Irving.  A U.S. House committee is holding a field hearing Monday in Richardson on the navigators' role and training.
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
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 and Shakesville
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 …
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 More Items: 
Timothy W. Martin / Wall Street Journal:
Health Insurers Crank Up Ad Spending
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Hot Air
Michael J. Boskin / Wall Street Journal:
ObamaCare's Troubles Are Only Beginning
Discussion: Power Line
Justin Wingerter / CBS St. Louis:
‘Tuffy The Clown’ Leads Sedalia Person of the Year Voting
Discussion: Politico and The Gateway Pundit
Molly Redden / Mother Jones:
Rand Paul-Backed GOP Senate Candidate Held Rally with Secessionist Group
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Liberaland
Jon Ralston / Politico:
Machiavelli with malaprops  —  A quarter-century of covering Harry Reid.
Annie Karni / NY Daily News:
EXCLUSIVE: Christine Quinn mystified by mayoral defeat, mulls working for Hillary Clinton
 Earlier Items: 
USA Today:
USA TODAY/Pew poll: Obama struggles with Millennials
BBC:
Huge poll win for Chilean left
Discussion: Washington Monthly and The Week
Anita Gates / New York Times:
Joan Fontaine, Who Won an Oscar for Hitchcock's ‘Suspicion,’ Dies at 96
Brendan Bordelon / The Daily Caller:
Congressman Trey Gowdy: Obama's disregard of law ‘has reached an unprecedented level’ [VIDEO]
The Hill:
Podesta: Climate game changer
Steven Zeitchik / Los Angeles Times:
Tom Laughlin, star of ‘Billy Jack’ films, dies at age 82
Discussion: Firedoglake
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
The Daughter Theory  —  FOR our age of wonks and white papers …