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11:15 AM ET, January 8, 2014

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Shawn Boburg / NorthJersey.com:
Emails link top Christie aide to GWB lane-closing controversy  —  Private messages between Governor's Christie's deputy chief of staff and two of his top executives at the Port Authority reveal a vindictive effort to create “traffic problems in Fort Lee” by shutting lanes to the George Washington Bridge …
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:
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 …
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 …
Kristina Wong / The Hill:
White House rejects criticisms in Gates' memoir
Discussion: CNN and Politico
Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute:
Obama Quit In Afghanistan
Greg Jaffe / Washington Post:
Book review: ‘Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War’ by Robert M. Gates
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Record-High 42% of Americans Identify as Independents  —  Republican identification lowest in at least 25 years  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Forty-two percent of Americans, on average, identified as political independents in 2013, the highest Gallup has measured since it began conducting interviews by telephone 25 years ago.
RELATED:
Ruth Rosen / In These Times:
Republicans (Still) Have a ‘Female Problem’  —  Now that it's 2014, American political analysts, strategists, and operatives are revving up for the November midterm elections.  High on the Republican agenda is the goal of convincing women to counter President Obama and vote for their congressional and gubernatorial candidates.
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.
RELATED:
Caitlin MacNeal / Talking Points Memo:
GOP Memo Coaches Members To Show Empathy Toward Unemployed
Discussion: New York Magazine and Liberaland
Patricia Murphy / The Daily Beast:
The Senate's Last Compassionate Conservative Tries to Help the Jobless
Discussion: NewsBusters
Gabrielle Giffords / New York Times:
The Lessons of Physical Therapy  —  TODAY, the anniversary of the shooting in Tucson that put a bullet through my head and killed six of my constituents, is when I make my annual resolutions.  —  Many may look at me and see mostly what I have lost.  I struggle to speak, my eyesight's not great …
RELATED:
Meena Duerson / Today:
TODAY exclusive: Gabby Giffords will sky-dive to mark shooting anniversary  —  Gabby Giffords will achieve an important milestone on her road to recovery this week, sky-diving to mark three years since the Tucson, Ariz. shooting that injured her.  —  “Today, Gabby Giffords is going to do something …
Discussion: Liberaland and Mashable
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 …
Mey / Autostraddle:
Flawless Trans Women Carmen Carrera and Laverne Cox Respond Flawlessly To Katie Couric's Invasive Questions  —  On Monday, transgender model Carmen Carrera and Orange is the New Black actress Laverne Cox made a daytime TV talk show appearance on the ABC show Katie hosted by Katie Couric.
Alexandra Jaffe / The Hill:
Drama roils race to replace Rep. Bill Young  —  The GOP race to replace the late Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.) has become a political soap opera that could jeopardize Republicans' hold on the seat.  —  It has all the makings of a daytime drama: a widow disavowing her son due to opposing primary allegiances …
Alexandra Jaffe / The Hill:
RNC spends little on ObamaCare attacks  —  Republicans aren't yet willing to put their money where their mouths are on ObamaCare attacks, it seems.  —  The Republican National Committee backed its new New Year's-themed radio ads with as little as $15 dollars in some districts.
RELATED:
Noah Rothman / Mediaite:
At Democrats' Request, Even Mike Bloomberg Is Giving up on Gun Control
Discussion: CNN, Hot Air and Politico
Matt Daily / Politico:
Polar freeze: It's weather, not climate  —  Tuesday's polar vortex has set off a new round in one of the world's most predictable disputes: Does Extreme Weather Event X prove or disprove climate change?  —  In short: No.  —  The crazy weather that plunged almost all of the U.S …
RELATED:
Catherine Taibi / The Huffington Post:
Rush Limbaugh's Polar Vortex ‘Hoax’ Comments Knocked Down By Weatherman (VIDEO)
Adam Goldman / Washington Post:
Former Guantanamo detainee implicated in Benghazi attack  —  U.S. officials suspect that a former Guantanamo Bay detainee played a role in the attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and are planning to designate the group he leads as a foreign terrorist organization …
Keith Edwards / Portland Press-Herald:
LePage says children should have work option  —  Not allowing children to work is ‘causing damage to our economy,’ the governor says.  —  AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage told attendees of the 73rd annual Maine Agricultural Trades Show on Tuesday that 12-year-olds should be allowed to work in Maine.
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Robert Rector / Wall Street Journal:
Robert Rector: How the War on Poverty Was Lost  —  Fifty years and $20 trillion later, LBJ's goal to help the poor become self-supporting has failed.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Paul Krugman:
On Fighting the Last War (On Poverty)
Discussion: Hullabaloo and Daily Kos
Jamie Weinstein / The Daily Caller:
MSNBC host: Rubio blocked judicial nomination because he was ‘openly gay black trial judge’
Discussion: National Review and Weasel Zippers
National Review:
The Fifty-Year War  —  This year marks the 50th anniversary …
Jonathan Kaiman / Guardian:
China blocks the Guardian, censorship-tracking website says
Cheryl K. Chumley / Washington Times:
Satanists' statue design for Oklahoma Capitol: ‘Sit on the lap of Satan’
Discussion: The Right Scoop
Maayana Miskin / Arutz Sheva:
Harrowing Testimony: Arab Mob Abducts, Beats Israeli Civilians
Discussion: Jihad Watch and Israel Matzav
NY Daily News:
Pot could put progressives in a tough spot
Josh Rogin / The Daily Beast:
Congress to Iraq's Maliki: Be a Good Boy to Get Guns
Discussion: Reuters and Yahoo! News
 Earlier Items: 
New York Times:
Charges for 106 in Huge Fraud Over Disability
Discussion: Liberaland, Gothamist and Hit & Run
Steven Swinford / Telegraph:
Half of sex attackers, violent criminals and burglars avoid jail
Discussion: BBC and Press Association
CBS San Francisco:
Google Launches Private SF Bay Ferry Service To Shuttle Workers
Discussion: bizjournals, Mashable and The Verge
Simon Brown / au.org:
Wall of Separation  —  Has The ‘Ark Park’ Run Aground?:
Jelani Cobb / News Desk:
Melissa Harris-Perry and the Contrition Complex
 

 
From Techmeme:

Nick Statt / CNET:
Exclusive: Nike fires majority of FuelBand team, will stop making wearable hardware

Ellis Hamburger / The Verge:
Facebook's dedicated unfollow button triples unfollows as users tire of original friend model

Rod Boshart / Quad City Times:
Microsoft brings $1.13 billion data center to Iowa

 
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