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5:40 PM ET, December 18, 2013

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Jason Reed / People.com:
President Obama: 'I've Got 3 Opinionated, Strong, Tall Women'  —  Sitting down for their annual interview with PEOPLE Managing Editor Larry Hackett and Washington, D.C., correspondent Sandra Sobieraj Westfall, President and Mrs. Obama reflect on the year's difficulties, both in the political arena …
RELATED:
David E. Sanger / New York Times:
Obama Panel Recommends New Limits on N.S.A. Spying
CNN:
Review: NSA snooping program should stay in place
Washington Post:
Tech executives to Obama: NSA spying revelations are hurting business
Glenn Thrush / Politico:
The Reboot  —  Barack Obama's at the lowest point of his presidency.  Can John Podesta save him?  —  When President Barack Obama's chief of staff, Denis McDonough, approached John Podesta a few weeks ago about taking over the high-aggravation job of White House counselor …
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Brett LoGiurato / Business Insider:
Watch The Moment Mitt Romney Realizes He Is Going To Lose The Election  —  Netflix is out with a trailer for its new Mitt Romney documentary — “MITT” — which provides a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look into some of the most important moments of his failed campaign for president.
Discussion: The Verge, FishbowlDC, Mediaite and The Week
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Paul Waldman / American Prospect:
New Documentary Threatens to Make You Like Mitt Romney  —  During the 2012 campaign, I, like every liberal writer whose job it is to comment on politics every day, wrote many unkind things about Mitt Romney.  Much of the time I found him more sad than despicable; politicians who nearly reach …
Discussion: American Power
Drew Magary / GQ Magazine Online:
What the Duck?  —  How in the world did a family of squirrel-eating, Bible-thumping, catchphrase-spouting duck hunters become the biggest TV stars in America?  And what will they do now that they have 14 million fervent disciples?  Our Drew Magary toured the Louisiana backwater with Phil Robertson and the Duck Dynasty gang to find out
RELATED:
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System:
For immediate release  —  Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in October indicates that economic activity is expanding at a moderate pace.  Labor market conditions have shown further improvement; the unemployment rate has declined but remains elevated.
RELATED:
Peter Schroeder / The Hill:
Fed pulls back on stimulus
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Washington Post:
Obenshain to concede Virginia attorney general's race on Wednesday in Richmond  —  State Sen. Mark D. Obenshain(R) will concede the race for Virginia attorney general to Democrat Mark R. Herring on Wednesday, according to two people familiar with the decision.
Amanda Terkel / The Huffington Post:
Rep. Jack Kingston Proposes That Poor Students Sweep Floors In Exchange For Lunch  —  WASHINGTON — Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) wants kids to learn early in life that there's no such thing as a free lunch.  To make sure they absorb that lesson, he's proposing that low-income children …
Peggy Noonan's Blog:
Incompetence  —  Everyone is doing thoughtful year-end pieces on President Obama.  Writers and reporters agree he's had his worst year ever.  I infer from most of their essays an unstated but broadly held sense of foreboding: There's no particular reason to believe next year will be better …
Mark Leibovich / New York Times:
How John McCain Turned His Clichés Into Meaning  —  When I walk into John McCain's office a week before Thanksgiving, he is not at all happy — and seems to be enjoying it quite a bit.  —  He is sampling none of the usual flavors of upset we tend to associate with the Arizona senator …
David Edwards / The Raw Story:
Birther tea party rep. refuses to stand near Obama photo, moves away U.S. flag  —  A tea party-back Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Missouri this week asked that a flag be moved because she did not want to stand near a photo of President Barack Obama during a press conference.
Discussion: Liberaland
RELATED:
Columbia Daily Tribune:
Hartzler moves flag for press conference to avoid image with Obama
Discussion: Daily Kos
Tal Kopan / Politico:
Larry Klayman in huge CNN smackdown  —  Conservative legal activist Larry Klayman got into an argument on CNN with host Don Lemon and legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin when he was brought on to discuss his victory this week in a lawsuit challenging NSA surveillance, resulting in Lemon cutting …
Discussion: The Week
Chris Cillizza / Washington Post:
This is the ad every Democrat should be scared of in 2014  —  Ending Spending, a conservative outside group dedicated to, well, ending (government)spending, is running an ad in New Hampshire that will be replicated endlessly by Republican candidates and groups in the 2014 midterm election.
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Record High in U.S. Say Big Government Greatest Threat  —  Now 72% say it is greater threat than big business or big labor  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Seventy-two percent of Americans say big government is a greater threat to the U.S. in the future than is big business or big labor …
Matthew Belloni / Hollywood Reporter:
Jay Leno in Demand: CNN's Jeff Zucker Among Suitors  —  The late-night host will be without a TV job in February, with the architect of the “Tonight Show” debacle joining Tribune, “American Idol's” Core Media and even ex-NBC chief Jeff Gaspin among those courting him.  —  How in demand is Jay Leno?
Niels Lesniewski / The World's Greatest …:
Harry Reid Isn't Going Anywhere Anytime Soon (Updated)  —  If Republicans and potential Democratic rivals want Harry Reid's majority leader title, they're going to have to knock him out of the ring because the former boxer has no intention to relinquishing his position anytime soon.
Laura Bennett / The New Republic:
Bloomberg's Favorite Toy  —  Inside the billionaire's quixotic, costly, and strangely milquetoast foray into opinion journalism  —  On a leafy stretch of East 78th Street, behind a locked, unmarked door with wrought-iron detailing, the office that housed Bloomberg View for the past …
Dylan Scott / Talking Points Memo:
The Conservative Media Arms Race Coming To An Internet Near You  —  Last week, with two high-profile acquisitions, a conservative media company catapulted itself from successful but largely below-the-radar company to a player with a portfolio that could make it the next news empire on the right.
Noel Sheppard / NewsBusters:
Barbara Walters on Obama: ‘We Thought He Was Going To Be The Next Messiah’  —  Yes, she really said it.  —  On CNN's Piers Morgan Live Tuesday, in a brief discussion about President Obama, Barbara Walters actually said, “We thought that he was going to be - I shouldn't say this at Christmastime …
AHIP Coverage:
Health Insurers Voluntarily Extend Deadline for Premium Payment  —  New AHIP Infographic: 5 Steps to Ensuring Coverage Begins on January 1, 2014  —  Washington, D.C. - To provide greater peace of mind for consumers purchasing coverage through the new federal and state marketplaces …
Heather Haddon / Metropolis:
Appointees Who Resigned in Wake of Bridge Controversy Retain Attorneys  —  Two appointees of Gov. Chris Christie's who recently resigned amid a controversy over lane closures at the George Washington Bridge have retained private attorneys, according to correspondence from their attorneys viewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Politico
Harris Interactive:
Americans' Belief in God, Miracles and Heaven Declines  —  Belief in Darwin's theory of evolution rises  —  A new Harris Poll finds that while a strong majority (74%) of U.S. adults do believe in God, this belief is in decline when compared to previous years as just over four in five (82%) …
New York Times:
Saudi Arabia Will Go It Alone  —  London — Saudi Arabia has been friends with our Western partners for decades; for some, like the United Kingdom where I serve as ambassador, for almost a century.  These are strategic alliances that benefit us both.  Recently, these relationships have been tested …
CNN:
Arrest, strip-search of Indian diplomat in New York triggers uproar  —  (CNN) — The arrest and detention of an Indian consular official in New York on visa fraud charges has created a diplomatic uproar, with punitive steps taken against State Department officials in New Delhi.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Emma Brown / Washington Post:
J.C. Hayward: A long-time local benefactor and WUSA anchor awaits a legal resolution
Discussion: The Daily Caller and FishbowlDC
AIDS Healthcare Foundation:
Rose Parade Same Sex Wedding: ‘Love is the Best Protection’
Discussion: Advocate and Towleroad News #gay
Katie Glueck / Politico:
NRA backs John Cornyn over Steve Stockman in Texas
Discussion: TheBlaze.com
Adam Kredo / Washington Free Beacon:
Obama Poses with Controversial Separatist Leader
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Israel Matzav
James Poulos / The Daily Beast:
The Next President Won't Save Us
Megan R. Wilson / The Hill:
K Street mints money from regs surge
Discussion: Weekly Standard and Hot Air
 Earlier Items: 
ncronline.org:
Pope Francis' Vatican reforms may prompt curial pushback
Alex Pappas / The Daily Caller:
Boehner rents Capitol Hill apartment from tanning bed lobbyist
Alex Pareene / Salon:
Hack List No. 4: David Brooks
Discussion: Slate