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10:00 AM ET, December 30, 2013

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Eli Lake / The Daily Beast:
Yes, There IS Evidence Linking al Qaeda to Benghazi  —  Libyan militants tell the New York Times that al Qaeda is not behind the 2012 Benghazi attack.  Some members of Congress have intelligence that says otherwise.  —  On Sunday, The New York Times published an investigation …
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Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Obama, Clinton Continue Reign as Most Admired  —  Sixth year in a row for Obama, 12th straight year for Clinton  —  PRINCETON, NJ — For the sixth consecutive year, Barack Obama ranks as the Most Admired Man among Americans, and Hillary Clinton is again the Most Admired Woman.  Both won by comfortable margins.
Discussion: CNN, Reuters and Talking Points Memo
New York Times:
Cost of Being Mayor?  $650 Million, if He's Rich  —  Michael R. Bloomberg loves tropical fish.  So when he was elected mayor, he installed two giant aquariums in City Hall.  —  The cost to him for having the tanks cleaned out every week for the past 12 years: around $62,400.  —  The mayor likes to nosh, too.
Discussion: Politicker and Associated Press
Jethro Mullen / CNN:
2nd deadly blast hits Russian city of Volgograd ahead of 2014 Sochi Olympics  —  (CNN) — Another deadly blast has struck the southern Russian city of Volgograd, killing at least 14 people and further highlighting Russia's security challenges as it readies to host the Winter Olympics in less than six weeks.
RELATED:
RT:   Suicide bombing kills at least 17 in Russia's Volgograd (VIDEO)
Juan Williams / The Hill:
Republicans to blame for the public's disgust with Congress  —  As the year ends, Gallup reports that public approval of Congress averaged 14 percent during 2013.  This, the polling firm points out, is “the lowest annual average in Gallup's history.”  —  The pollsters added …
John Prager / Americans Against the Tea Party:
Watch Phil Robertson's Tips On Finding The Perfect Underage Girl To Marry!  (Video)  —  As we've already established, Chris Hansen might enjoy it very much if Phil Robertson “took a seat over there,” based on some comments made at the Sportsmen's Ministry in Georgia in 2009.
Discussion: Joe. My. God. and The Dish
RELATED:
CNN:
CNN Poll: Afghanistan war arguably most unpopular in U.S. history  —  Washington (CNN) - Support for the war in Afghanistan has dipped below 20%, according to a new national poll, making the country's longest military conflict arguably its most unpopular one as well.
Michael D. Shear / New York Times:
Obama's TV Picks: Anything Edgy, With Hints of Reality  —  WASHINGTON — War, terrorism, economic struggle, mass shootings — such is life in the Oval Office for President Obama.  —  Yet in his few quiet moments, this president seeks not to escape to the delicious back-stabbing of the …
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Fiscal Fever Breaks  —  In 2012 President Obama, ever hopeful that reason would prevail, predicted that his re-election would finally break the G.O.P.'s “fever.”  It didn't.  —  But the intransigence of the right wasn't the only disease troubling America's body politic in 2012.
Mackenzie Weinger / Politico:
Mike Huckabee: My adventures in radio  —  Huckabee said he got through the interview on air, but after it wrapped he remembered telling the producer, “Look, I don't mind doing fun stuff, I don't mind doing some stuff that's off the wall, but this is the kind of topic — this isn't going to happen again.”
Robert J. Samuelson / Washington Post:
The good news about 2014 (maybe)  —  For four and a half years, we have waited for a powerful and self-sustaining economic recovery.  More than once it seemed imminent.  Then, for various reasons, it vanished, and we returned to a plodding expansion with too much unemployment and too little confidence.
Jay Michaelson / Forward:
Obamacare ‘Pajama Boy’ Controversy Wrapped in Anti-Semitism  —  Right Wing Anger at ‘Jewish’ Star of Viral Health Care Ad  —  Surely the silliest kerfluffle of a political year that contained much silliness was the recent conservative hand-wringing over “Pajama Boy.”
The Hill:
Regulatory fights loom large in 2014  —  Battles lines are being drawn for a series of upcoming clashes over new regulations on the horizon in 2014.  —  The year promises to be chock full of contentious fights over scores of new rules stemming from ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank and a host of other laws.
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Emma G. Fitzsimmons / New York Times:
Sotomayor to Lead Countdown to New Year in Times Square  —  Justice Sonia Sotomayor will return to her hometown for New Year's Eve to help lead one of New York City's best known rituals: the ball drop in Times Square.  She will press the crystal button on Tuesday night to lower the ball …
Discussion: BizPac Review and Althouse
 
 
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 More Items: 
Jonathan Cohn / The New Republic:
We Don't Know if Obamacare Is Working Well. But We Know It's Working.
Heather Linebaugh / Guardian:
I worked on the US drone program. The public should know what really goes on
Discussion: TIME, susiemadrak.com and Truthdig
Jerrypournelle / Chaos Manor:
Credentials and a few words for junior officers.
Discussion: Vox Popoli
Kyle Smith / New York Post:
How political correctness humiliated Navy SEALs who caught Qaeda killer
 Earlier Items: 
Robert Mann / Something Like the Truth:
'I can't be gay in northeast Louisiana.' A ULM student's powerful message to Phil Robertson
Austin Wright / Politico:
Franklin Graham: The pope is ‘not the judge’
Discussion: AMERICAblog News and Mediaite
Philip Klein / Washington Examiner:
Massachusetts, the model for Obamacare, has highest health costs in the United States
 

 
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Joe Mullin / Ars Technica:
Court rules Apple-backed Rockstar must fight case against Google in California, not Texas

 
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