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6:20 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  —  Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg donated $2.5 million to a super PAC aimed at helping Senate Democrats maintain their majority, a potentially significant development that could have a big impact in 2014.
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Morning Plum: Republicans reframing fight over unemployment benefits
Jonathan Weisman / New York Times:
Jobless Benefits Extension Clears One Hurdle, but More Remain
Reid J. Epstein / Politico:
Obama hits House GOP on unemployment benefits
Discussion: The Hill, ThinkProgress and CNN
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) — Dennis Rodman defended his visit to North Korea with a team of fellow former NBA players in a combative exchange Tuesday, saying the trip was a “great idea for the world.”  —  In an exclusive interview with Chris Cuomo of CNN's …
RELATED:
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.”
RELATED:
Charlie Cook / NationalJournal.com:   Six-Year Itch Plagues Presidents in Midterms
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.
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 …
Austin Frakt / The Incidental Economist:
What happened to US life expectancy?  —  Here's another chart from the JAMA study “The Anatomy of Health Care in the United States”:  —  Why did the US fall behind the OECD median in the mid-1980s for men and the early 1990s for women?  Note, the answer need not point to the health system.
Katie Pavlich / Townhall.com:
2013 Guns Sales Set New Record  —  The FBI has released new statistics on NICS background checks showing 2013 gun sales hit a new record.  The total number of background checks conducted for gun sales last year add up to 21,093,273, beating the previous 2012 record of 19,592,303 by 1,500,970.
Discussion: protein wisdom
Sean Trende / Real Clear Politics:
4 Million Medicaid Enrollees Under Obamacare?  Doubtful.  —  The White House has propagated numbers regarding sign-ups for the Affordable Care Act, claiming that the program is responsible for 4 million people gaining coverage through Medicaid expansion; 3 million enrollees in their early 20s …
RELATED:
Dylan Scott / Talking Points Memo:
The Price of GOP Obamacare Sabotage In One Chart
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
Tova Dvorin / Arutz Sheva:
Dutch Soccer Team Leaves Star Israeli Player Behind  —  Star Israeli-national soccer player Dan Mori banned from Abu Dhabi due to nationality.  Dutch politician slams ‘cowardly’ decision.  —  The premier Dutch soccer team Vitesse left for training in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) this year …
Discussion: Jihad Watch and Weasel Zippers
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.
James Taranto / Wall Street Journal:
How value judgments cloud social thought.  —  City Journal's Kay Hymowitz weighed in over the holidays with a response to our Dec. 16 column, in which we faulted the premise of her earlier article titled “Boy Trouble.”  She maintains that the main body of the article (which we described as …
Discussion: Shakesville
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.
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 …
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.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Jerusalem Post:
US framework for peace talks will have elements ‘both sides will dislike,’ says Netanyahu
Discussion: Israel Matzav and Power Line
Theresa Vargas / Washington Post:
Agency rejects trademark of ‘Redskins Hog Rinds,’ calling term ‘derogatory’
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Deadspin
Style Hatch / Boston Globe PR:
John Allen, legendary Vatican reporter, to join staff of The Boston Globe
Discussion: Politico
Pew Research Center for the People and the Press:
In New Year, Half Are Looking Forward to Midterm Elections
Discussion: The Fix, Politico and CNN
Adam Kredo / Washington Free Beacon:
Debbie Wasserman Schultz Blocking Bipartisan Iran Sanctions
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Josh Israel / ThinkProgress:
Why A Majority-Minority Congressional District May Go Unrepresented For An Entire Year
Alexandra Jaffe / The Hill:
Dems launch ads attacking GOP on O-Care
Discussion: Prairie Weather and Daily Kos
 Earlier Items: 
Peter Hamby / CNN:
Christie heralds DREAM Act as message to Washington
Discussion: Politico, Hot Air and Riehl World News
Brett Taylor / Twitchy:
Ezra Klein floats weakest global warming analogy ever?
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Hot Air
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
David Freddoso / Conservative Intelligence Briefing:
Ten freshman governors who have shrunk their states' bureaucracies
Karl Bergholz / ABC News:
3 Amtrak Trains With Hundreds of Passengers Stranded Since Monday
Discussion: Hot Air and Politico
Michael Hirsh / NationalJournal.com:
How Janet Yellen's Agenda Could Transform Washington
 

 
From Techmeme:

Felix Gillette / Businessweek:
Behind PayPal-owned mobile payments app Venmo, which processed $700M in payments in Q3 2014

AnandTech:
Full disk encryption on Nexus 6 leads to 62.9% drop in random read performance

Lauren Schwartzberg / Fast Company:
The Oral History of The Poop Emoji (Or, How Google Brought Poop to America)

 
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