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1:40 PM ET, January 15, 2014

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Carl Hulse / New York Times:
Ads Attacking Health Law Stagger Outspent Democrats  —  WASHINGTON — Democrats are increasingly anxious about an onslaught of television ads hitting vulnerable Senate and House candidates for their support of the new health law, since many lack the resources to fight back in the early stages of the midterm campaign.
RELATED:
Politico:
Obama's plan to save the Senate  —  President Barack Obama has a plan to save the Senate's tenuous Democratic majority: Sell a populist message, try to make Obamacare work better and raise lots of cash.  —  And unlike previous years when Senate Democrats were mostly left to fight on their own …
Discussion: CNN, Capitol Report, WJLA-TV and The Hill
Politico:
The GOP's Obama obsession  —  It's just two weeks into 2014, but House Republicans are already convinced that the key to winning November's elections is to talk about President Barack Obama as much as possible.  —  In both public and private discussions, Obama remains the single-minded obsession of all top House Republicans.
Kathleen Hennessey / Los Angeles Times:
Obama's visit to North Carolina may be awkward for Democratic senator  —  President Obama comes to a struggling North Carolina with an economic message, but the state's Democratic senator, facing reelection, won't be there.  —  President Obama unveiled his jobs bill in Raleigh, N.C., in 2011.
Discussion: The Reaction and Moe Lane
Sam Baker / NationalJournal.com:
White House Moves Obamacare Goalposts Again  —  Another day, another self-imposed standard gets watered down.  —  President Obama speaks at Temple Emanu-El on Nov. 6, 2013 in Dallas, Texas.  (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)  —  The White House is scaling back another self-imposed standard …
The Hill:
Democrats hope Obama meeting means more humility in 2014  —  Frustrated Senate Democrats hope a meeting set to take place on Wednesday with President Obama will help them turn a corner with a White House they see as too distant and insular.  —  Aides say the new faces joining …
Russell Berman / The Hill:
GOP to use economy as weapon
Discussion: First Read
Justin Sink / The Hill:
WH: North Carolina trip 'isn't a campaign event'
Associated Press:
First lady Michelle Obama won't rule out plastic surgery, Botox
Discussion: ThinkProgress, TIME, Politico and CNN
New York Times:
N.S.A. Devises Radio Pathway Into Computers  —  WASHINGTON — The National Security Agency has implanted software in nearly 100,000 computers around the world that allows the United States to conduct surveillance on those machines and can also create a digital highway for launching cyberattacks.
RELATED:
Mario Trujillo / The Hill:
NSA can't say if it collected data on lawmakers, officials
New York Times:
Obama to Place Some Restraints on Surveillance
Washington Post:
Christie faces speculation about aides' real motives in New Jersey bridge scandal  —  TRENTON, N.J. — Embattled New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) struggled Tuesday to regain his footing, giving an address in which he called upon the state to refocus on his agenda.
RELATED:
George Packer / News Desk:
The Trouble with Christie
Hunter Walker / Talking Points Memo:
Christie's Office Blasts ‘Wild-Eyed Conspiracy’ Theories In Bridge Scandal
Discussion: Daily Kos and Taylor Marsh
Politico:
Jim Moran to announce retirement  —  Virginia Democratic Rep. Jim Moran will retire after 23 years in the House, according to multiple Democratic sources.  —  The retirement is the third for Democrats this week: On Monday, California Rep. George Miller said he would leave Congress after 40 years …
Discussion: CNN and Twitchy
RELATED:
Ben Pershing / Washington Post:
Long-time Northern Virginia Democratic congressman Jim Moran to retire
Jessica Taylor / The Hill:   Rep. Jim Moran won't seek reelection
Washington Post:
Senate report: Attack on U.S. compound in Benghazi could have been prevented  —  A long-delayed Senate intelligence committee report released on Wednesday spreads blame among the State Department and intelligence agencies for not preventing attacks on two outposts in Libya that killed four Americans …
Benjy Sarlin / msnbc.com:
This Democrat thinks he can win in 2016 as the anti-Obama  —  Brian Schweitzer, the former two-term Democratic governor of Montana, is rarely speechless.  Once he gets going on a topic, he's almost impossible to stop.  As he builds up steam, he'll slap his knee to emphasize his points.
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
WH delays another ObamaCare deadline  —  The Obama administration announced Tuesday that it was again extending the ObamaCare enrollment deadline for people with pre-existing conditions.  —  The administration said it will extend the Pre-Existing Conditions Insurance Plan (PCIP), slated to end January 31, until March 15.
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
Government Itself Still Cited as Top U.S. Problem  —  Narrowly leads the economy, unemployment, healthcare  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Americans start the new year with a variety of national concerns on their minds.  Although none is dominant, the government, at 21%, leads the list …
Discussion: ABC News, Firedoglake, Politico and CBS DC
Molly Redden / Mother Jones:
GOP Congressional Candidate: Spousal Rape Shouldn't Be a Crime  —  Virginia state Sen. Dick Black fought to block a statue of Lincoln and invited a video crew to film him watching violent rape porn on a library computer.  Now he's looking for a promotion.  —  Republican attorney general …
The Atlantic Online:
What Happens When the President Sits Down Next to You at a Cafe  —  Before  —  Thursday into Friday, my head cold got worse, so on Friday morning I walked down to a bar-cafe-restaurant in my neighborhood.  I had been there for a few hours when youthful, vigorous men and women wearing …
Jacob Fenton / Sunlight Foundation Blog:
FEC lawyers: Reason to believe Crossroads broke law  —  The Federal Election Commission's professional legal staff believes that Crossroads GPS, an innovative fundraising operation that enabled veteran GOP operatives to end-around campaign finance regulations, likely violated election law …
RELATED:
Eliza Newlin Carney / Roll Call:   Super PAC, Outside Spending Chiefs Make Big Bucks
Hunter Walker / Talking Points Memo:
NJ Democrat Swears He Didn't Mean To Fist Bump With Christie  —  New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D) is disavowing a fist bump he gave to Gov. Chris Christie (R) during last year's State of the State address.  —  Sweeney, who has enjoyed an unusually cozy across-the-aisle relationship …
Discussion: Liberaland
Jeryl Bier / Weekly Standard:
Kerry: ‘Root Cause of Terrorism’ Is Poverty  —  Secretary of State John Kerry covered a broad range of topics with his counterpart Pietro Parolin at the Vatican in Rome on Monday.  Besides Syria, the Middle East peace process, Sudan, and Cuba, the subject of poverty came up during their discussions.
RELATED:
John Kerry / US Department of State:   Remarks After Meeting With Secretary of State of the Holy See Pietro Parolin
 
 
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 More Items: 
Sunlight Foundation Blog:
Most likely to exceed: Who's poised to double down post-McCutcheon
BBC:
Syria says West talks to Damascus about Islamist rebels
Discussion: New York Times and Guardian
Mark Landler / New York Times:
Obama to Announce Program to Create Jobs
Discussion: Weekly Standard and AEIdeas
Seema Mehta / Los Angeles Times:
Brown rules out presidential bid
Lyle Denniston / SCOTUSblog:
Oklahoma same-sex marriage ban struck down
Discussion: Religion Dispatches and Hot Air
Barbara Ehrenreich / The Atlantic Online:
It Is Expensive to Be Poor  —  Minimum-wage jobs are physically …
Discussion: PolicyShop and BillMoyers.com
 Earlier Items: 
The White House:
Insurance That's High Quality and Affordable? Now That's a Slam Dunk.
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Post Politics
Tim Alberta / NationalJournal.com:
Conservatives Form Their Own Caucus Because the RSC Isn't ‘Hard-Core’ Enough
Discussion: Mediaite
The Hill:
House set to pass spending bill
The Hill:
Monsieur le Président plus one for White House state dinner
Discussion: Taylor Marsh
 

 
From Mediagazer:

Jon Swaine / Guardian:
News Corp mulls senior US post for former editor Rebekah Brooks

Alyssa Rosenberg / Washington Post:
Gamergate and how Internet users think about gaming and harassment

John Plunkett / Guardian:
Guardian Media CEO calls on BBC to share breaking news video feed, open archives; criticizes Australia expansion

 
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