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12:40 AM ET, January 8, 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 …
Robert M. Gates / Wall Street Journal:
The Quiet Fury of Robert Gates  —  Bush and Obama's secretary of defense had to wage war in Iraq, Afghanistan—and today's Washington … All too often during my 4½ years as secretary of defense, when I found myself sitting yet again at that witness table at yet another congressional hearing …
Discussion: Washington Wire
Evan McMorris-Santoro / BuzzFeed:
White House Defends Joe Biden Against Book By Former Defense Secretary  —  “Joe Biden has been one of the leading statesmen of his time, and has helped advance America's leadership in the world,” says the National Security Council spokesperson.  —  Tim Shaffer / Reuters / Reuters
Greg Jaffe / Washington Post:
Book review: ‘Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War’ by Robert M. Gates  —  Greg Jaffe covered the Pentagon for The Washington Post and is a co-author of “The Fourth Star: Four Generals and the Epic Struggle for the Future of the United States Army.”  —  Maybe it was the time of year, just before the Christmas holidays.
Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute:
Obama Quit In Afghanistan  —  Tear out the front page!  Here is a shocker from former SecDef Gates, as reported by Bob Woodward:  —  In a new memoir, former defense secretary Robert Gates unleashes harsh judgments about President Obama's leadership and his commitment to the Afghanistan war …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Yahoo! News:
Obama backs repeal of law that green-lighted Iraq War
Discussion: emptywheel
Tom Kludt / Talking Points Memo:
McCain Thinks Obama Is The One Who ‘Blew The Whole Thing’ In Iraq
Catherine Taibi / The Huffington Post:
Rush Limbaugh's Polar Vortex ‘Hoax’ Comments Knocked Down By Weatherman (VIDEO)  —  Rush Limbaugh made headlines Monday when he called the “polar vortex” of dangerously cold conditions sweeping across the Midwest a “hoax,” but now an actual weatherman is saying otherwise.
RELATED:
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
Patricia Murphy / The Daily Beast:
The Senate's Last Compassionate Conservative Tries to Help the Jobless
Discussion: NewsBusters and The Plum Line
Kasey Babbitt / fox4kc.com:
Daisy Coleman hospitalized in Kansas City after suicide attempt  —  KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Maryville Mo., teenager, who has been at the center of a rape case which made national headlines, was in a Kansas City hospital on Monday night after attempting to take her own life.
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 …
Robert Costa / Post Politics:
House GOP leaders coach rank-and-file on discussing unemployment  —  House Republican leaders sent a memo this week to the entire GOP conference with talking points designed to help rank-and-file Republicans show compassion for the unemployed and explain the Republican position on unemployment benefits.
New York Times:
Biography Casts Critical Light on Fox News Chief  —  Roger Ailes was so eager to influence national politics that in the run-up to the 2012 presidential election, he told fellow Fox News executives point-blank: “I want to elect the next president.”  —  In the corporate thicket of News Corporation …
Jack Healy / New York Times:
Uncertainty in Utah as Appeals Process Plays Out Over Gay Marriage  —  SALT LAKE CITY — Ever since it was a distant Western territory straining for statehood, Utah has been entwined in battles over what makes a marriage.  —  Before Congress would allow Utah to join the union …
Theresa Vargas / Washington Post:
Agency rejects trademark of ‘Redskins Hog Rinds,’ calling term ‘derogatory’  —  The same federal agency that will determine whether Washington's professional football team gets to keep its trademark registration recently struck down a request for a company to sell pork rinds with the name “Redskins.”
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
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.
Jelani Cobb / News Desk:
Melissa Harris-Perry and the Contrition Complex  —  A glance at the fraying tethers of our civic culture almost invites a nostalgia for the days when we imagined our troubles were a neatly bilateral conflict between red states and blue ones.  These days, we have the civic amity of feuding rappers.
Dan Merica / CNN:
Pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC posts substantial 2013 fundraising haul  —  Washington (CNN) - Who says you need a candidate to raise a bundle of cash?  —  Ready for Hillary, the grassroots Super PAC urging former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to run for president in 2016 …
Discussion: Politico
Kyle Cheney / Politico:
Obamacare ads to hit the Olympic slopes  —  The Obama administration is planning an Olympic-size ad blitz to push health coverage during the Winter Games next month.  —  The Department of Health and Human Services confirmed Tuesday that it has bought advertising time in markets with high rates …
Discussion: CNN and Viking Pundit
Charlie Cook / NationalJournal.com:
Six-Year Itch Plagues Presidents in Midterms  —  History shows that midterm elections are usually bad for the president's party.  —  Second-term blues: Fatigue erodes a president's relationship with the electorate.  (Kent Nishimura-Pool/Getty Images)  —  It is as certain as the sun coming up in the morning.
Discussion: American Power, First Read and Politico
CBS San Francisco:
Google Launches Private SF Bay Ferry Service To Shuttle Workers  —  REDWOOD CITY (CBS SF) - Just as Bay Area high-tech firms such as Google have been using private shuttle buses to transport their workers to their jobs, Google is taking it to another level with its own ferry service on San Francisco Bay.
Discussion: Re/code and The Verge
Simon Brown / au.org:
Wall of Separation  —  Has The ‘Ark Park’ Run Aground?:  Ky. Biblical Theme Park Has Only Weeks To Raise Millions  —  The drama surrounding Kentucky's infamous “Ark Park” may soon be at an end amid reports that the biblical theme park is running out of time to raise the money it needs to get afloat.
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 …
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.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Ina Fried / Re/code:
T-Mobile CEO on Being Thrown Out of AT&T's Party: “I Just Wanted to Hear Macklemore”
Discussion: The Daily Caller and The Switch
Frances Robles / New York Times:
Faulty Websites Confront Needy in Search of Aid
Discussion: Naked Politics
Deirdre Walsh / CNN:
Trey Radel returns to Capitol Hill after cocaine bust, treatment
Discussion: Politico
Katie Pavlich / Townhall.com:
2013 Guns Sales Set New Record
Discussion: protein wisdom
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: Politico, The Fix and CNN
 Earlier Items: 
Bruce Schneier / The Atlantic Online:
How the NSA Threatens National Security
Discussion: Washington Post
CNN:
Angry Dennis Rodman defends North Korea basketball game
Mark Mazzetti / New York Times:
Burglars Who Took On F.B.I. Abandon Shadows