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3:09 AM ET, December 18, 2013

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Kelly Whiteside / USA Today:
Obama sends message by naming Sochi Olympic delegation  —  The White House delivered a strong message of opposition to Russia's anti-gay laws Tuesday with the announcement of its delegation to the opening ceremony of the Sochi Olympics.  —  The White House delegation will include an openly gay athlete: tennis great Billie Jean King.
RELATED:
Chris Geidner / BuzzFeed:
Obama, Biden, Top U.S. Officials To Stay Away From Sochi Olympics  —  Neither President or Mrs. Obama nor Vice President or Dr. Biden will be a part of the U.S. delegation to the Sochi Olympics.  Instead, Janet Napolitano, the president of the University of California and former secretary …
Discussion: Advocate, AMERICAblog News and Hot Air
Jennifer Epstein / Reuters:
For U.S. Sochi delegation: Diversity, not diplomacy  —  The Obama administration's delegation to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi includes two openly gay athletes — including tennis legend Billie Jean King — and, in a snub to Russian President Vladimir Putin, does not include the president …
Discussion: CNN and The Daily Caller
RELATED:
Jon Terbush / The Week:
Is Obama really doing worse than Bush and Nixon?
Gary Langer / ABC News:
A Drop in Opposition to Obamacare Helps Stabilize a Struggling Presidency
Rep. Jim Matheson / Facebook:
When I launched my first campaign in 1999, I knew that the arc of my public service would have many chapters.  It has been a tremendous privilege to serve the people of Utah during my time in the United States House of Representatives, but my time in the House should not be the sum total of my service.
Cameron Joseph / The Hill:
Rep. Latham won't run for reelection  —  Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa) won't run for reelection, he announced Tuesday evening, opening up a competitive House seat in southwestern Iowa.  —  “It is never a perfect time or a right time to step aside.  But for me, this is the time,” he said in an email to supporters.
Discussion: Roll Call and CNN
RELATED:
Deirdre Walsh / CNN:
GOP congressman's retirement could put key district in play
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
The Hill:
Rep. Wolf retires after 17 terms
Discussion: Roll Call, Booman Tribune and Politico
David Brooks / New York Times:
The Thought Leader  —  Little boys and girls in ancient Athens grew up wanting to be philosophers.  In Renaissance Florence they dreamed of becoming Humanists.  But now a new phrase and a new intellectual paragon has emerged to command our admiration: The Thought Leader.
RELATED:
Charles P. Pierce / Esquire:
WAS IT SOMETHING WE SAID?  —  Moral Hazard, the Irish setter owned …
Discussion: Balloon Juice and Mediaite
Kckatzman / CBS Boston:
Harvard Student Charged In Bomb Hoax  —  BOSTON (CBS) — A Harvard student has been charged in connection with Monday's bomb threats which shut down four Harvard buildings and canceled finals for many students.  —  The U.S. Attorney's office says Eldo Kim, 20, of Cambridge …
S.A. Miller / New York Post:
Duck penis studies, lifecoaches for Senate staff: $30B in government spending questioned  —  WASHINGTON - While the White House and Congress griped this year about the pain of automatic budget cuts, the federal government still managed to spend billions of dollars on seemingly frivolous projects …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Liberaland
RELATED:
Tom Coburn, M.D., United States Senator from Oklahoma:
Coburn Releases Annual Wastebook Highlighting Most Egregious Spending of 2013
Sherry Jacobson / Dallas Morning News:
Texas congressmen take aim at Affordable Care Act's navigators  —  Dozens of Obamacare supporters attended Monday's congressional hearing at the Eisemann Center in Richardson.  Luis Veloz, 20, of Dallas told the crowd that he and his family do not have health insurance.
Discussion: The Raw Story, Mediaite and NewsBusters
RELATED:
Steve Benen / msnbc.com:
Issa's road trip reaches Texas
Discussion: Daily Kos and The Raw Story
Caitlin MacNeal / Talking Points Memo:
Issa To Texas Health Official: ‘You Need To Watch More Fox News’
Discussion: Daily Kos and Paul Krugman
David Martosko / Daily Mail:
Obama ‘hijacks’ tech executive meeting to make ‘PR pitch’ on Obamacare website fix instead of dealing with NSA surveillance  — The White House telegraphed in advance that the president wanted to talk up his efforts to fix healthcare.gov, but no one in the room was interested
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
After Ruling Critical of N.S.A., Uncertain Terrain for Appeal  —  WASHINGTON — As Judge Richard J. Leon heard arguments last month in a challenge to a National Security Agency program, he said only one thing was certain.  —  “I'm not sure how I'm going to come out,” he said, “but I know it's going upstairs.”
RELATED:
Emily Bazelon / Slate:
Snap Out of It  —  If this judge doesn't buy the legal basis …
Edward Snowden / folha.uol.com.br:
An Open Letter to the People of Brazil  —  Atualizado em 17/12/2013 às 08h11.  —  Six months ago, I stepped out from the shadows of the United States Government's National Security Agency to stand in front of a journalist's camera.  —  Espionage Whistleblower Edward Snowden to Seek Asylum in Brazil
RELATED:
Wesley Pruden / Washington Times:
The global warming scam that will not die  —  We were all supposed to be dead by now, fried to a toasty potatolike chip.  Or doomed to die with the polar bears.  It was to be a soggy end for the most beautiful planet in the cosmos and for all the passengers riding on it.
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
The Morning Plum: The consequences of GOP opposition to Obamacare  —  As of now, over two dozen states are not opting in to Obamacare's Medicaid expansion, thanks largely to hostility to the law among GOP governors who are turning down huge sums of federal money that could otherwise …
RELATED:
kff.org:
The Impact of the Coverage Gap in States not Expanding Medicaid by Race and Ethnicity
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Seung Min Kim / Politico:
White House to tap Microsoft exec to fix HealthCare.gov  —  The White House is tapping the private sector for its next point man to oversee the troubled Obamacare website.  —  The administration is set to announce that Kurt DelBene, a former executive at Microsoft, will succeed Jeff Zients …
RELATED:
KASW-TV:
Brewer weighs in on ‘white’ Santa controversy  —  PHOENIX — Governor Jan Brewer got caught up in the controversy surrounding the ethnicity of Santa Claus on Tuesday.  —  Watch the video above to hear her response when asked by 3TV Political Editor Dennis Welch if she believes Santa Clause is white.
Discussion: Politico and Talking Points Memo
Eric Lach / Talking Points Memo:
Exclusive: Inside Steve Stockman's Disgusting, Condemned Campaign Office (PHOTOS)  —  Those looking for dirt on Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) need look no further.  TPM has obtained photographs taken by the local officials who recently shut down Stockman's campaign office in Webster, Texas.
Discussion: Mediaite
New York Times:
Pope Replaces Conservative U.S. Cardinal on Influential Vatican Committee  —  ROME — Pope Francis moved on Monday against a conservative American cardinal who has been an outspoken critic of abortion and same-sex marriage, by replacing him on a powerful Vatican committee with another American …
RELATED:
Jorge Saenz / Associated Press:
Francis Dumps U.S. Cardinal Who Is Outspoken Critic Of Abortion, Gay Marriage
Mark Z. Barabak / Los Angeles Times:
Jerry Brown, urged to run for president, won't rule out 2016 bid  —  Some are urging California Gov. Jerry Brown to run a fourth time for president, in part to stop the front-runner, Hillary Rodham Clinton.  (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images / May 23, 2013)  —  If he weren't the nation's oldest governor …
Bloomberg:
Accidental Tax Break Saves Wealthiest Americans $100 Billion  —  Sheldon Adelson makes no secret of his disdain for the estate tax.  —  “How many times do you have to pay taxes on money?” the casino magnate asks, leaning on a blue cane on the cobblestones of Wall Street on a crisp October morning.
Discussion: The Raw Story, Gawker and ThinkProgress
 
 
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 More Items: 
Shelby Sebens / Watchdog.org:
Fewer shiny, happy people: Cover Oregon pulls hipster ads
Discussion: Instapundit and The Gateway Pundit
Fox News:
Senators fight cuts to veteran benefits ahead of key budget test vote
Discussion: The Reaction and The Agonist
TIME:
Obama Wishes Washington Really Was Like ‘House of Cards’
Discussion: Mediaite, Hot Air and Ed Driscoll
Sarah Anne Hughes / DCist:
D.C. Council Approves Minimum Wage Increase
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Daily Kos
 Earlier Items: 
Damian Paletta / Washington Wire:
Rep. Ryan Floats Tying Keystone XL to Raising Debt Ceiling
ABC News:
Navy Vet Scammer ‘Bobby Thompson’ Gets 28 Years
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
WisPolitics.com:
Walker says administration will evaluate eliminating income tax
Discussion: Mediaite
Isaac Chotiner / The New Republic:
Q&A: The Top North Korean Expert Explains What Happened to Kim Jong Un's Uncle
Discussion: New York Times and The Week
Elizabeth Stoker / The Week:
Why conservatives just don't get Pope Francis' anti-poverty crusade
Nathan Allen / Grist:
Reddit's science forum banned climate deniers. Why don't all newspapers do the same?