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4:40 PM ET, January 7, 2014

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Bob Woodward / Washington Post:
Robert Gates, former defense secretary, offers harsh critique of Obama's leadership in ‘Duty’  —  In a new memoir, former defense secretary Robert Gates unleashes harsh judgments about President Obama's leadership and his commitment to the Afghanistan war, writing that by early 2010 …
RELATED:
Thom Shanker / New York Times:
In His New Memoir, Robert M. Gates, the Former Defense Secretary, Offers a Critique of the President  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama eventually lost faith in the troop increase he ordered in Afghanistan, his doubts fed by top White House civilian advisers opposed to the strategy …
Yahoo! News:
Obama backs repeal of law that green-lighted Iraq War
Discussion: emptywheel
Burgess Everett / Politico:
In surprise, unemployment benefits advance  —  In a surprise, several Senate Republicans on Tuesday morning joined with Democrats to break the filibuster of a bill to extend unemployment benefits for three months.  —  By 60-37, Senate Democrats secured the votes needed to advance the bill …
RELATED:
John Bresnahan / Politico:
Michael Bloomberg gives $2.5M to Senate Majority PAC
Discussion: Washington Wire and Weasel Zippers
Jonathan Weisman / New York Times:
Jobless Benefits Extension Clears One Hurdle, but More Remain
Speaker.gov:
Boehner Statement on Jobs
Mark Mazzetti / New York Times:
Burglars Who Took On F.B.I. Abandon Shadows  —  Stealing J. Edgar Hoover's Secrets: One night in 1971, files were stolen from an F.B.I. office near Philadelphia.  They proved that the bureau was spying on thousands of Americans.  The case was unsolved, until now.
RELATED:
Michael Isikoff / NBCNews:
After 43 years, activists admit theft at FBI office that exposed domestic spying
Discussion: Yahoo! News
CNN:
Angry Dennis Rodman defends North Korea basketball game  —  (CNN) — Basketball star Dennis Rodman defended his controversial visit to North Korea with a team of former NBA players in a combative exchange Tuesday, saying it was a “great idea for the world.”  —  In an exclusive interview …
RELATED:
Tara Palmeri / New York Post:
Spitzer caught sucking Lis Smith's toes in topless hot tub romp  —  Sleazy Eliot Spitzer turned a resort hot tub into a steamy love cauldron over the weekend — kissing and sucking the toes of his topless mistress, Lis Smith, in front of families with children, mortified witnesses told The Post.
Larry J. Sabato / Politico:
Republicans Really Could Win It All This Year  —  A definitive guide to the 2014 elections from our new columnist. … Another midterm election beckons, and over the next 10 months we'll see headlines about a thousand supposedly critical developments—the “game changers” and the “tipping points.”
Richard Pollock / Washington Examiner:
Surprise!  Walmart health plan is cheaper, offers more coverage than Obamacare  —  WATCHDOG OBAMACARE HEALTH CARE ACCOUNTABILITY WALMART  —  New Obamacare health insurance enrollees may feel a pang of envy when they eye the coverage plans offered by Walmart to its employees.
Discussion: TheBlaze.com
Joshua Stewart / GPB:
Senate Conversations: Paul Broun ‘Fighting For Liberty’  —  The primary race for Georgia's open U.S. Senate seat heats up in the first weeks of 2014 with the election looming May 20.  —  For Rep. Paul Broun (R-Athens), the race is all about liberty.  —  “What I'm fighting for is liberty.
Hadas Gold / Politico:
Navy mistakenly sends FOIA plans to reporter  —  The Unites States Navy inadvertently sent a memo to a local NBC News reporter this week detailing how it intended to try and deter requests he had filed under the Freedom Of Information Act.  —  Scott MacFarlane, a reporter for NBC 4 in Washington …
Style Hatch / Boston Globe PR:
John Allen, legendary Vatican reporter, to join staff of The Boston Globe  —  John Allen, a senior correspondent for the highly respected National Catholic Reporter, will be joining the staff of The Boston Globe in early February.  —  Allen, widely hailed as the best-sourced …
Discussion: Politico
Amanda Hess / Pacific Standard:
Why Women Aren't Welcome on the Internet  —  “Ignore the barrage of violent threats and harassing messages that confront you online every day.”  That's what women are told.  But these relentless messages are an assault on women's careers, their psychological bandwidth, and their freedom to live online.
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
Rachel Maddow Is Crazy, Too  —  MSNBC has had a hard time lately.  The network fired Martin Bashir and Alec Baldwin for craziness, on-air and off-air respectively.  Melissa Harris-Perry was forced to apologize, first on Twitter and then, tearfully, on the air, for making political hay out of Mitt Romney's adopted grandson.
Tampa Bay Times:
Opening campaign against Radel, Paige Kreegel says voters need ‘sober’ representation  —  Paige Kreegel formally began his campaign to defeat fellow Republican Trey Radel, declaring that Southwest Florida voters should expect a “congressman without distractions, a congressman they can trust.”
Pew Research Center for the People and the Press:
In New Year, Half Are Looking Forward to Midterm Elections  —  More Republicans than Democrats Are Anticipating Midterms  —  As 2014 begins and the midterm election campaigns heat up, about half of the public (51%) is especially looking forward to November's congressional elections while 49% are not looking forward to them.
Discussion: Politico, The Fix and CNN
Tom Kludt / Talking Points Memo:
McCain Thinks Obama Is The One Who ‘Blew The Whole Thing’ In Iraq  —  Rising bloodshed in Iraq has Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) convinced that failure of the American military effort there now falls on President Obama's shoulders.  —  McCain went on Fox News on Tuesday morning to once again blast Obama …
Discussion: Daily Kos, Lawfare and Washington Post
Alan Duke / CNN:
What the heck is a polar vortex?  —  (CNN) — Americans in two dozen states from the Midwest to the Southeast and Northeast are shivering this week courtesy of a distorted polar vortex.  The rush of cold air it's sending southward is the biggest visitor from the North Pole since Santa Claus.
Josh Israel / ThinkProgress:
Why A Majority-Minority Congressional District May Go Unrepresented For An Entire Year  —  A quirk of North Carolina's election law may leave voters in the state's 12th Congressional district without representation until 2015.  Though Rep. Mel Watt (D) resigned his seat on the first day of …
David Freddoso / Conservative Intelligence Briefing:
Ten freshman governors who have shrunk their states' bureaucracies  —  In 2010, Americans went to the polls and elected a whole crop of new governors — 26 in all, if you count the election of governors who had previously served non-consecutive terms in Iowa and Oregon.
Michael Hirsh / NationalJournal.com:
How Janet Yellen's Agenda Could Transform Washington  —  The next Fed chair is an old-school progressive economist.  Just wait until she starts sharing her passions.  —  Every Federal Reserve Board chairman comes into office with a secret agenda, a hidden passion.
Discussion: Washington Wire and New York Times
 
 
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 More Items: 
Chicago Tribune:
Judge scraps Chicago's ban on retail gun shops
Austin Frakt / The Incidental Economist:
What happened to US life expectancy?
Adam Kredo / Washington Free Beacon:
Debbie Wasserman Schultz Blocking Bipartisan Iran Sanctions
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Weekly Standard
Dylan Scott / Talking Points Memo:
The Price of GOP Obamacare Sabotage In One Chart
Alexandra Jaffe / The Hill:
Dems launch ads attacking GOP on O-Care
Discussion: Daily Kos and Prairie Weather
Peter Hamby / CNN:
Christie heralds DREAM Act as message to Washington
Discussion: Riehl World News
Brett Taylor / Twitchy:
Ezra Klein floats weakest global warming analogy ever?
Discussion: Hot Air and Weasel Zippers
 Earlier Items: 
Bruce Schneier / The Atlantic Online:
How the NSA Threatens National Security
Discussion: Washington Post
The Roanoke Times:
State Sen. Creigh Deeds to push for mental health reform
Discussion: CNN, Politico and Talking Points Memo
Stuart Jeffries / Guardian:
Blackadder - your country needs you
Discussion: War Is A Crime .org
ThinkProgress:
New York City Murders Are Twice As Likely To Be Solved When The Victim Is White Instead Of Black
Discussion: Liberaland
Bloomberg:
Ghosts of Burke and Paine Still Haunt U.S. Politics
Jonathan Cohn / The New Republic:
If You Can't Go to Cedars-Sinai Anymore, Is It Obamacare's Fault?
Karl Bergholz / ABC News:
3 Amtrak Trains With Hundreds of Passengers Stranded Since Monday
Discussion: Hot Air and Politico
Dylan Byers / Politico:
NBC's ‘Meet The Press’ hits historic lows in the final quarter of 2013
Discussion: NewsBusters and Althouse
 

 
From Mediagazer:

Ravi Somaiya / New York Times:
NYT response to plagiarism claim acknowledges improper use of language, details from Wikipedia

Bill Glauber / JSOnline:
Journal Communications of Milwaukee and E.W. Scripps announce merger, spinning off newspapers

Bloomberg:
AMC Networks in talks to acquire almost 50% of BBC America

 
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