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2:20 PM ET, December 30, 2013

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
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.
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 …
RELATED:
Numbers / Pew Research Center's Religion …:
Public's Views on Human Evolution  —  According to a new Pew Research Center analysis, six-in-ten Americans (60%) say that “humans and other living things have evolved over time,” while a third (33%) reject the idea of evolution, saying that “humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.”
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.
Caleb Howe / The Right Scoop:
Melissa Harris-Perry Panel Mocks Black Romney Grandchild As Token  —  On MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry on Sunday, the panel was discussing several topics of the “of the year” variety.  In the below clip, panelists are shown photos 'of the year" and asked to offer humorous captions.
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:
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.
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 …
RELATED:
E.J. Dionne Jr / Washington Post:
2013 wasn't as bad as you might think
Discussion: TheBlaze.com and Pirate's Cove
Steve Benen / msnbc.com:
The Great 2013 Sunday Show Race  —  The general impression is rooted in fact: the Sunday shows love Republicans.  “Meet the Press,” “Face the Nation,” “This Week,” “State of the Union,” and “Fox News Sunday,” hoping to reflect and help shape the conventional wisdom for the political world …
Discussion: Politico, PoliticusUSA and Gawker
FAA:
FAA Selects Six Sites for Unmanned Aircraft Research … After a rigorous 10-month selection process involving 25 proposals from 24 states, the Federal Aviation Administration has chosen six unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) research and test site operators across the country.
Discussion: New York Times, GovBeat and Mashable
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 …
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.
Josh Barro / Business Insider:
Here's Why I Don't Sweat The Haters  —  I've gotten a number of messages in the last few days — from both supporters and opponents of gay rights — expressing sympathy over the rude and hateful messages I've been getting (and publishing) ever since I started writing about Phil Robertson.
Discussion: Eschaton and Joe. My. God.
Agoldberg / The Smoking Gun:
Woman Busted For Attacking Live-In Boyfriend When He Refused To “Cuddle” In Bed  —  Buster  —  A Florida woman was arrested early Saturday for battering her live-in boyfriend after he refused to “cuddle” with her when they went to bed, police report.  —  Shavonna Rumph, 31, and Henry Price …
Discussion: Liberaland
Jack Healy / New York Times:
Utah Judge Unexpected as a Hero to Gay People  —  DENVER — For a judge who would go on to make same-sex marriage legal in Utah, a deep-red state where streets in the capital are numbered by their distance from the Mormon temple, Robert J. Shelby arrived on the bench with enthusiastic praise from Republican leaders.
Discussion: Dorf on Law and The Agonist
RELATED:
Michael Kirkland / UPI:
Same-sex marriage rolls
Discussion: Online NewsHour, SCOTUSblog and CNN
Rebecca Shabad / The Hill:
McCain: Don't count Obama out  —  Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) says people shouldn't underestimate President Obama as he heads into his sixth year in the White House.  —  He discounted Obama's low approval ratings and said a sitting president always has influence.
James Nye / Daily Mail:
‘Christmas Cop Killer’ suspected of bank heist spree across the country was a former veteran who was arrested for threatening to 'blow President Obama's brains out' in 2010  — Authorities today identified the suspect, who was killed Saturday in a shootout with police outside a Phoenix, Arizona bank, as Mario Edward Garnett, 40
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
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.
Discussion: Prairie Weather and Daily Kos
Lisa Myers / Investigations:
Workers at auto dealership come face to face with Obamacare trade-offs  —  Before the new health care law, a Michigan car dealership offered employees a company health insurance plan.  Things are different now.  Lisa Myers reports.  —  By Lisa Myers, Senior Investigative Correspondent, NBC News
Discussion: Clayton Cramer and Hot Air
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.
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.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Andrew Johnson / National Review:
Dem. Rep.: Obamacare Enrollment Low Because People Think Law Is Repealed
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
Laws Deserve More Than Cute Names
Wall Street Journal:
A Large New Tax on Small Business
Associated Press:
Pot, guns and paparazzi: New laws run gamut in U.S.
Discussion: Liberaland
Ariadne Massa / timesofmalta.com:
Pope shocked by same-sex adoptions legislation
Heather / crooksandliars.com/user/91:
Joe Lieberman Predicts Military Action Against Iran Before The End Of 2014
Discussion: Liberaland and Fox News
 Earlier Items: 
Heather Linebaugh / Guardian:
I worked on the US drone program. The public should know what really goes on
Robert J. Samuelson / Washington Post:
The good news about 2014 (maybe)  —  For four and a half years …
Mackenzie Weinger / Politico:
Mike Huckabee: My adventures in radio
The Hill:
Regulatory fights loom large in 2014
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Emma G. Fitzsimmons / New York Times:
Sotomayor to Lead Countdown to New Year in Times Square
Discussion: Gothamist, BizPac Review and Althouse