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11:40 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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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:
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.
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 …
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.
Scott Coltrane / The Atlantic Online:
The Risky Business of Paternity Leave  —  When men take time off to care for family members, their long-term earnings suffer—just as women's do.  Here's why it's worth it.  —  As a family sociologist, I've spent several decades studying how and why men might assume responsibility for childcare and housework.
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
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Robert Mann / Something Like the Truth:
'I can't be gay in northeast Louisiana.' A ULM student's powerful message to Phil Robertson
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 Kirkland / UPI:
Same-sex marriage rolls  —  As the nation enters the 14th year of the 21st century, the fight over same-sex marriage is far from over.  —  Despite pronouncements from a reality TV star — who said they're going straight to hell — gays and lesbians are instead going straight to the courts, where they have met with some success.
Discussion: Online NewsHour, SCOTUSblog and CNN
RELATED:
Jack Healy / New York Times:
Utah Judge Unexpected as a Hero to Gay People
Discussion: Dorf on Law and The Agonist
Chris Cillizza / Washington Post:
Hey, it's an election year!  Here's what 2014 might bring.  —  Our long wait for a packed election year — okay, it was just a 365-day wait — will be over in less than 48 hours when we ring in 2014 and, with it, 36 gubernatorial races, 35 Senate races and dozens of potentially competitive House contests.
Discussion: Washington Monthly and The Fix
Heather / crooksandliars.com/user/91:
Joe Lieberman Predicts Military Action Against Iran Before The End Of 2014  —  The neocons continue to beat the war drums on Iran.  —  As we've already discussed here, the legislation being pushed by a bipartisan group of Senators could very well draw the United States into a war with Iran …
Discussion: Liberaland and Fox News
Fredric U. Dicker / New York Post:
Cuomo pushing to block de Blasio speaker pick Mark-Viverito  —  Gov. Cuomo, in his first major battle with Bill de Blasio, is engaged in a last-ditch effort to block leftist Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito from becoming council speaker, Democratic insiders have told The Post.
Discussion: New York Times and Politicker
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 …
New York Times:
Democrats Turn to Minimum Wage as 2014 Strategy  —  WASHINGTON — Democratic Party leaders, bruised by months of attacks on the new health care program, have found an issue they believe can lift their fortunes both locally and nationally in 2014: an increase in the minimum wage.
Jonathan Cohn / The New Republic:
We Don't Know if Obamacare Is Working Well.  But We Know It's Working.  —  Obamacare got off to a lousy start.  But things are looking a lot better now.  —  Nearly a million people signed up for private health plans via healthcare.gov in December, according to statistics the Obama Administration released on Sunday morning.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Ariadne Massa / timesofmalta.com:
Pope shocked by same-sex adoptions legislation
Josh Barro / Business Insider:
Here's Why I Don't Sweat The Haters
Discussion: Eschaton and Joe. My. God.
Heather Linebaugh / Guardian:
I worked on the US drone program. The public should know what really goes on
Discussion: TIME, susiemadrak.com and Truthdig
Robert J. Samuelson / Washington Post:
The good news about 2014 (maybe)  —  For four and a half years …
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Fiscal Fever Breaks
Mackenzie Weinger / Politico:
Mike Huckabee: My adventures in radio
The Hill:
Regulatory fights loom large in 2014
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
 Earlier Items: 
Jay Michaelson / Forward:
Obamacare ‘Pajama Boy’ Controversy Wrapped in Anti-Semitism
Jerrypournelle / Chaos Manor:
Credentials and a few words for junior officers.
Discussion: Vox Popoli
Emma G. Fitzsimmons / New York Times:
Sotomayor to Lead Countdown to New Year in Times Square
Discussion: BizPac Review and Althouse
Kyle Smith / New York Post:
How political correctness humiliated Navy SEALs who caught Qaeda killer
 

 
From Techmeme:

Liz Gannes / Re/code:
Dropbox acquires two more startups: collaborative document tool Hackpad and photo sync app Loom

Kelton Lynn / The Twitter Blog:
Twitter launches mobile app install ads, integrates MoPub ad-buying

Kim Zetter / Wired:
Grams, a Tor-accessible search engine for contraband, aims to be the Google of Dark Web

 
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