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3:25 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.
RELATED:
Damian Paletta / Washington Wire:
Ryan Says GOP to Make Debt-Ceiling Demands in Early '14
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Packed Senate schedule to test bipartisan relations in final week
Discussion: Daily Kos
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Durbin: GOP presidential ambitions and Tea Party challengers imperil budget deal
Discussion: First Read and CNN
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
Judge: NSA phone program likely unconstitutional  —  A federal judge ruled Monday that the National Security Agency program which collects information on nearly all telephone calls made to, from or within the United States is likely to be unconstitutional.  —  U.S. District Court Judge …
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 …
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.
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:
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.
RELATED:
Rebecca Shabad / The Hill:
Report: House panel blasts Navigators
Camille Paglia / TIME:
It's a Man's World, And It Always Will Be  —  The modern economy is a male epic, in which women have found a productive role—but women were not its author  —  If men are obsolete, then women will soon be extinct—unless we rush down that ominous Brave New World path where females …
Discussion: AEIdeas
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
Stern Words for Wall Street's Watchdogs, From a Judge  —  WASHINGTON — It used to be common for the federal government to prosecute prominent people responsible for debacles that rattled the financial system.  Michael R. Milken, the junk bond artist, went to prison in 1991; Charles H. Keating Jr. …
Discussion: Prairie Weather and DealBook
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: TheBlaze.com and The PJ Tatler
Sen. Dianne Feinstein / SCVNews.com:
Hillary Now More Than Ever  —  The following commentary, originally published by POLITICO, is part of a series in which dozens of women will reveal what women they most admire.  The series is part of “Women Rule,” a unique effort this fall by POLITICO, Google and The Tory Burch Foundation exploring …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Politico
RELATED:
USA Today:
Hillary Clinton may affect campaigns far ahead of 2016
Discussion: Politico and Taylor Marsh
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 …
Matthew Keys / The Desk:
Exclusive: Twitter working on “edit” feature for tweets  —  Twitter is working on a new feature that would allow users to edit tweets once they are published, three sources close to the project have confirmed to The Desk.  —  Twitter's logo featuring “Larry the Bird.”
Discussion: Politico and Red Alert Politics
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.
Molly Redden / Mother Jones:
Rand Paul-Backed GOP Senate Candidate Held Rally with Secessionist Group  —  Of all the tea party Senate contenders of 2014, Greg Bannon, who's running in North Carolina, is one of the most extreme.  —  gregbrannon.com  —  Of all the tea partiers running for Senate in 2014, Greg Brannon …
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
Michael J. Boskin / Wall Street Journal:
ObamaCare's Troubles Are Only Beginning  —  Be prepared for eligibility, payment and information protection debacles—and longer waits for care.  —  The White House is claiming that the Healthcare.gov website is mostly fixed, that the millions of Americans whose health plans were canceled thanks …
Discussion: Power Line
Alex Pareene / Salon:
Hack List No. 9: Thomas Friedman  —  Our annual list is here!  This time, we channeled each hack's unique voice — and let them “write” their own entries  —  A Visit to Friedman World  —  I was at a conference in Brussels last week and having trouble with my column.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Noah Rothman / Mediaite:
MSNBC's Thomas Roberts: So Many Consider Obama the ‘First Gay President’
Discussion: National Review and Weasel Zippers
Jonathan Amos / BBC:
Esa's Cryosat sees Arctic sea-ice volume bounce back
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Jeremy W. Peters / New York Times:
Senate Prepares to Wrap Up Sluggish 2013
Discussion: Daily Kos
Julian Zelizer / CNN:
Obama's 2013: A very tough year
Lawrence Summers / Washington Post:
Stagflation is not our fate — unless we let it be
 Earlier Items: 
Timothy W. Martin / Wall Street Journal:
Health Insurers Crank Up Ad Spending
Discussion: Hot Air and Talking Points Memo
Justin Wingerter / CBS St. Louis:
‘Tuffy The Clown’ Leads Sedalia Person of the Year Voting
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
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
The Hill:
Podesta: Climate game changer