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9:20 AM ET, February 18, 2014

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Robert Costa / Washington Post:
Congressional Republicans are focused on calming their divided ranks  —  After a tumultuous week of party infighting and leadership stumbles, congressional Republicans are focused on calming their divided ranks in the months ahead, mostly by touting proposals that have wide backing within …
RELATED:
Russell Berman / The Hill:
Shifting the focus back to Obama  —  House Republican leaders, having dispensed with the debt limit and put immigration reform on the back burner, will return to their political comfort zone with a legislative agenda focused on attacking the Obama administration and government excess.
Discussion: The Plum Line and New York Times
Eli Lake / The Daily Beast:
Spy Chief: We Should've Told You We Track Your Calls  —  The U.S. government long considered its collection of Americans' call records to be a state secret.  Now the Director of National Intelligence admits it would have been better if Washington had acknowledged the surveillance in the first place.
Ben Geman / NationalJournal.com:
‘Meet the Press’ Host: Climate Segment Meant as Debate on ‘Policies’  —  After excoriating “Meet the Press” in advance for its planned climate change “debate,” environmentalists came away with a mixed bag.  —  They feared the “debate” format would cast undue doubt on the scientific consensus …
RELATED:
Bret Stephens / Wall Street Journal:   Stephens: Climate Prophets and Profiteers
ABC News:
John Kerry Calls Climate Change a ‘Weapon of Mass Destruction’
Nicholas Confessore / New York Times:
Financier Plans Big Ad Campaign on Climate Change  —  A billionaire retired investor is forging plans to spend as much as $100 million during the 2014 election, seeking to pressure federal and state officials to enact climate change measures through a hard-edge campaign of attack ads against governors and lawmakers.
Zeke J Miller / TIME:
Obama Plays Water Guzzling Desert Golf Courses Amid California Drought  —  After preaching shared sacrifice to assuage the California water shortage, Obama has played some of the country's thirstiest golf courses.  —  President Barack Obama traveled to California Friday to highlight …
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Republicans open investigations into ObamaCare's disaster sites  —  Republicans are launching investigations into three state-run ObamaCare exchanges that are failing disastrously.  —  Lawmakers are setting their sites on exchanges in Oregon, Maryland and Massachusetts where Democratic governors embraced …
Rebecca Riffkin / Gallup:
Unemployment Rises to Top Problem in the U.S.  —  Fewer Americans name the government as the most important problem in February  —  WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans have a new No. 1 problem.  Nearly one in four Americans mention jobs and unemployment as the most important problem facing the country, up from 16% in January.
James Freeman / Wall Street Journal:
Obama's Stimulus, Five Years Later  —  Not much growth, but a new costume for Bobber the Water Safety Dog.  —  THE STIMULUS ANNIVERSARY  —  Five years ago today, President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law.  The $830 billion spending blowout was sold …
Discussion: RedState
RELATED:
Mitch McConnell / The Great Debate:
Despite stimulus, middle class still struggles
Discussion: Post Politics
Lindsay Kalter / Politico:
Kathleen Sebelius: No job loss under Obamacare  —  Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says there is “absolutely no evidence” that the Affordable Care Act will drive down employment, despite a report from the Congressional Budget Office released Feb. 4 predicting fewer people would be working.
Discussion: National Review
Michael E. Miller / Riptide 2.0:
Miami Artist Destroyed $1M Ai Weiwei Vase Because PAMM “Only Displays International Artists”  —  Yesterday, art lovers around the world were shocked when someone strolled into the Pérez Art Museum Miami and destroyed a $1 million vase by Ai Weiwei.  —  Well, the story gets even more shocking.
Politico:
Exclusive: Mega-donors plan GOP war council  —  A group of major GOP donors, led by New York billionaire Paul Singer, is quietly expanding its political footprint ahead of the midterm elections in an increasingly assertive effort to shape the direction of the Republican Party.
Tom Troy / Toledo Blade:
‘Joe the Plumber’ Wurzelbacher gets union job with Chrysler Group  —  Samuel Wurzelbacher he was recently hired at Chrysler.  —  Samuel “Joe” Wurzelbacher - a.k.a., “Joe the Plumber” - announced today on Facebook and earlier on his Web site that he has landed a union job with Chrysler Group LLC.
Paul Bond / Hollywood Reporter:
‘Bible’ Producers Cut Satan Scenes From ‘Son of God’ Following Obama Controversy (Video)  —  Eager to avoid a controversy about the devil looking like the president, Roma Downey and Mark Burnett decided to leave the character out of their film, which is based on “The Bible” miniseries.
Discussion: americanthinker.com and Guardian
Andrea Peyser / New York Post:
Al Gore's global-warming rhetoric is put on ice  —  It's time to chill on global warming.  —  Has the polar vortex got you down?  Are you feeling sympathy for friends in Atlanta who've endured temperatures frigid enough to drive southerners into the warm embrace of Johnnie Walker Scotch …
Discussion: his vorpal sword
Rebecca Leber / ThinkProgress:
Man Allegedly Shoots And Kills 15-Year-Old Girl For Egging A Car  —  Adrian Broadway.  —  CREDIT: Fox 16  —  An Arkansas man faces a murder charge for allegedly gunning down a car filled with teenagers who had wanted to play a prank on his son.  One of the passengers, 15-year-old Adrian Broadway …
RELATED:
David Edwards / The Raw Story:
Arkansas man guns down 15-year-old girl for egging son's car as a prank
Naomi Schaefer Riley / New York Post:
The economics of sex: Has the price gotten too cheap?  —  With the romantic haze of Valentine's Day behind us, can we return to the reality of relations between the sexes?  —  Start with a new film short, “The Economics of Sex,” from the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture.
Discussion: The Big Picture and Althouse
Adam Aigner-Treworgy / CNN:
Obama to take next step in fuel efficiency for trucks  —  Washington (CNN) - The Obama administration will take the next step on Tuesday in its multi-year effort to cut emissions and reduce oil use by getting better fuel economy from trucks.  —  President Barack Obama is set to announce …
Discussion: Politico
Keli Goff / The Daily Beast:
How Wendy Davis Became America's Conscience on Abortion  —  The Texas gubernatorial candidate didn't flip-flop, she just voiced what a large percentage of Americans already think of this hot button issue.  —  Wendy Davis, Texas gubernatorial candidate, and feminist icon in the making …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Peter Walker / Guardian:
North Korean human rights abuses systematic and unparalleled, says UN
Discussion: The Verge and The Daily Banter
James Hohmann / Politico:
NRSC raised $4.62 million in January
Discussion: Real Clear Politics
Mia De Graaf / Daily Mail:
Iranian mullah revives death fatwa against Salman Rushdie over Satanic Verses 25 years after it was issued
Discussion: JONATHAN TURLEY and Jihad Watch
Mike Gonzalez / The Federalist:
The New Contras: Understanding The Left's Grip On Media
Discussion: Vox Popoli
George Monbiot / Guardian:
How we ended up paying farmers to flood our homes
Discussion: Spectator
Eliana Johnson / National Review:
Proposed IRS Rule Change Fractures the Left
Paul Caron / TaxProf Blog:
Rutgers Prof Suspended for Telling Students He Was Made to Teach a Course in Which He Had Zero Expertise
Sarah Jean Seman / Townhall.com:
Pelosi: the Founding Fathers Would Totally Support Obamacare
Discussion: Right Wing News
 Earlier Items: 
Noah Rothman / Mediaite:
George Zimmerman Refuses to Say Whether He Regrets Killing Trayvon Martin
Kyle Balluck / The Hill:
Chelsea Clinton sees progress on LGBT rights
Discussion: Liberaland
Al Gore / New York Times:
‘The Sixth Extinction,’ by Elizabeth Kolbert
Rich Calder / New York Post:
GOP operative asks judge to delay trial until after elections
Discussion: Daily Kos and Talking Points Memo
Natalie Musumeci / NY Daily News:
EXCLUSIVE: National clown shortage may be approaching, trade organizations fear
Kurt Schlichter / Townhall.com:
Failing Liberals Turn To Oppression To Hold On To Power
 

 
From Techmeme:

Jason Koebler / Motherboard:
Sony Threatens to Sue Twitter Unless It Removes Tweets Containing Hacked Emails

Emil Protalinski / VentureBeat:
Google completes first fully-functional prototype self-driving car of the design it unveiled in May

Benjamin Mayo / 9to5Mac:
Apple expands its social presence with new iTunes Tumblr blog

 
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