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1:30 PM ET, January 23, 2014

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Charlie Savage / New York Times:
Watchdog Report Says N.S.A. Program Is Illegal and Should End  —  WASHINGTON — An independent federal privacy watchdog has concluded that the National Security Agency's program to collect bulk phone call records has provided only “minimal” benefits in counterterrorism efforts, is illegal and should be shut down.
RELATED:
Ellen Nakashima / Washington Post:
Independent review board says NSA phone data program is illegal and should end  —  An independent executive branch board has concluded that the National Security Agency's long-running program to collect billions of Americans' phone records is illegal and should end.
Discussion: Guardian, Mashable, emptywheel and The Verge
Robert Barnes / Washington Post:
Virginia to fight same-sex marriage ban  —  Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring will announce Thursday that he believes the state's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and that Virginia will join two same-sex couples in asking a federal court to strike it down …
RELATED:
Tal Kopan / Politico:
Mark Herring explains gay marriage shift  —  New Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring says his decision to challenge his state's ban on gay marriage, rather than defend it on behalf of the state, is part of an evolution in his views on the subject.  —  Herring announced his decision to side …
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Schumer seeks to poison Tea Party  —  Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), the Senate Democrats' political guru, has a plan to poison the Tea Party by driving a wedge between its rich funders and its blue-collar rank and file.  —  Schumer, one of the Democrats' most influential strategists …
RELATED:
Cameron Joseph / The Hill:
Cochran's Tea Party challenger raises $500K in 10 weeks
Nicholas Confessore / New York Times:
Biggest Liberal ‘Super PAC’ to Fund Possible Clinton Bid  —  The largest liberal “super PAC” in the country has begun raising money to elect Hillary Rodham Clinton president, formally aligning itself with Mrs. Clinton's undeclared presidential ambitions more than two years away from the election.
Discussion: Liberaland and Balloon Juice
RELATED:
James A. Barnes / The Atlantic Online:
Can Anyone Stop Hillary? Absolutely
Discussion: Shakesville and Taylor Marsh
The Hill:
Obama State of the Union to focus on income inequality  —  President Obama will try to pump some vitality into a lackluster second term on Tuesday when he delivers his State of the Union address.  —  The address will include a “healthy dose” of the income inequality message the White House …
Discussion: CNN
RELATED:
Matthew Garrahan / Financial Times:
CNN lays off more than 40 journalists  —  CNN has laid off more than 40 senior journalists in its newsgathering operation - including a pregnant producer who was two weeks away from giving birth to twins - as part of a reorganisation of the business under Jeff Zucker.
Dylan Scott / Talking Points Memo:
The Heritage Foundation Might Be Shedding Some Of Its Crazy Soon  —  2013 wasn't exactly been a banner year for the Heritage Foundation, Washington's most well-known and influential conservative think tank.  —  In its first year under former senator and tea party godfather Jim DeMint …
Christopher Flavelle / Bloomberg:
Guns Make Voting Even Harder  —  If you want to feel truly dispirited about the health of U.S. democracy, skip the stories about Chris Christie and Bob McDonnell and go straight to today's report on the American voting experience.  —  The report, by a presidentially appointed commission …
New York Times:
Leaning Right in Hollywood, Under a Lens  —  LOS ANGELES — In a famously left-leaning Hollywood, where Democratic fund-raisers fill the social calendar, Friends of Abe stands out as a conservative group that bucks the prevailing political winds.  —  A collection of perhaps 1,500 right-leaning players …
MiamiHerald.com:
Justin Bieber arrested in Miami Beach over DUI, drag-racing  —  After allegedly smoking pot all day, drinking beer and popping anti-depressants, bad-boy pop star Justin Bieber went on a wild pre-dawn drag race in Miami Beach that landed him in jail Thursday morning, police said.
Gregory N. Hicks / Wall Street Journal:
Gregory Hicks: Benghazi and the Smearing of Chris Stevens  —  Shifting blame to our dead ambassador is wrong on the facts.  I know—I was there.  —  Last week the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence issued its report on the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya.
NY Daily News:
Mayor de Blasio admits mistakes in snow removal on New York's Upper East Side  —  ‘I determined more could have been done to serve the Upper East Side,’ a chastened de Blasio said in a statement.  Just hours earlier, the mayor dismissed as flaky reports that the high-priced 'hood got shafted …
RELATED:
Tom Kludt / Talking Points Memo:
Poll Shows Most Republicans Think People Are Poor Because They Don't Work Hard Enough  —  Whether you're rich or poor, Republicans believe that's on you.  —  New findings released Thursday by Pew showed that most Republicans think rich people are largely responsible for their socioeconomic status.
Discussion: susiemadrak.com and Liberaland
Tom Kludt / Talking Points Memo:
GOP House Candidate Says God Created Autism, Dementia And Tornadoes To Punish Gays  —  An Illinois Republican running for Congress believes God unleashed debilitating disorders and destructive natural disorders because he is so upset with the growing support for same-sex rights marriage.
ThinkProgress:
Shell's Arctic Offshore Drilling Ambitions Stymied In Appeals Court  —  Royal Dutch Shell drilling rig Kulluk aground off a small island near Kodiak Island.  —  CREDIT: U.S. Coast Guard  —  Shell's ambitions to drill for oil off the coast of Alaska received another blow Wednesday …
Discussion: Audubon
RELATED:
Steve Quinn / Reuters:   U.S. appeals court throws Arctic drilling into further doubt
William K. Rashbaum / New York Times:
Hoboken Mayor Is Said to Have Told of Threat  —  Federal authorities in New Jersey have interviewed several witnesses who said the mayor of Hoboken told them in May about a state official's threat to withhold hurricane recovery funds if the mayor did not support a development project favored by the governor …
Jenna Levy / Gallup:
In U.S., Uninsured Rate Shows Initial Decline in 2014  —  Uninsured rate drops most among the unemployed and nonwhites  —  WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. uninsured rate is 16.1% so far in January, modestly down from 17.3% in December after the Affordable Care Act's requirement for Americans …
American Prospect:
The Fiscal Reality and its Politics  —  Ever since the election of 1992, fiscal conservatives in both parties—and in third parties—have tried to make the federal deficit a central political and economic issue.  In a series of articles and books beginning in 1982, the billionaire investor …
Discussion: Washington Monthly and Mediaite
David Leonhardt / New York Times:
Upward Mobility Has Not Declined, Study Says  —  The odds of moving up — or down — the income ladder in the United States have not changed appreciably in the last 20 years, according to a large new academic study that contradicts politicians in both parties who have claimed that income mobility is falling.
ThinkProgress:
Congressman: ‘The Wife Is To Voluntarily Submit’ To Her Husband  —  Republican lawmakers can't seem to stop offending women, in spite of the GOP's stated goal to attract women voters.  Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) explains in his recent memoir that it is the wife's role to “voluntarily submit …
Nick Swartsell / Trail Blazers Blog:
Hannity to attend State of the Union with Rep. Gohmert, may run for office in Texas  —  Sean Hannity on Fox News, Jan. 21, 2014  —  WASHINGTON — The guest list for President Obama's upcoming State of the Union address just got more interesting.  —  Yesterday, Sean Hannity said he'd be attending as a guest of Rep. Louie Gohmert.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Cameron Joseph / The Hill:
Cotton outraises Pryor in 4th quarter
Discussion: Weekly Standard
David Remnick / News Desk:
The Obama Tapes  —  This week's issue of the magazine contains …
Discussion: ABC News and Taegan Goddard's …
Adario Strange / Mashable:
Apple Promises to Fix iOS 7 ‘White Screen of Death’
Discussion: The Verge and Outside the Beltway
 Earlier Items: 
Larry J. Sabato / Sabato's Crystal Ball:
Senate 2014: A Coin-Flip  —  Political news in the opening weeks …
Discussion: The Dish and Real Clear Politics
Jerusalem Post:
‘US perceives Israel as encouraging anti-Obama backlash among Jews’
Discussion: Israel Matzav and Weekly Standard
USA Today:
Poll: United we stand on wealth gap
Amanda Marcotte / The Daily Beast:
The GOP's Birth-Control Trojan Horse
Discussion: Fox News
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
Antiabortion movement faces a cold reality
The Atlantic Online:
What Obama's Next Three Years Will Look Like—for Better or Worse
 

 
From Mediagazer:

Cecilia Kang / Washington Post:
Lionsgate and Tribeca film studios are launching a new streaming service

Nate Hoffelder / The Digital Reader:
Adobe updates Digital Edition e-book reader app to stop uploading reading logs in plain text

Robert Mackey / New York Times:
Iranian Photojournalist Reportedly Detained After Covering Protest Against Acid Attacks

 
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