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1:25 PM ET, March 18, 2014

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Mitt Romney / Wall Street Journal:
Romney: The Price of Failed Leadership  —  The President's failure to act when action was possible has diminished respect for the U.S. and made troubles worse.
RELATED:
Tal Kopan / Politico:
Mitt Romney: President Obama, Hillary Clinton ‘failure’
Discussion: Mediaite and Washington Monthly
Chris Goodfellow / Wired:
A Startlingly Simple Theory About the Missing Malaysia Airlines Jet  —  There has been a lot of speculation about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.  Terrorism, hijacking, meteors.  I cannot believe the analysis on CNN; it's almost disturbing.  I tend to look for a simpler explanation …
RELATED:
Gregg Easterbrook / New York Times:
Out of Control  —  WASHINGTON — WHEN mass murderers took over the cockpits of four American airliners on Sept. 11, 2001, one of the first things they did was turn off the transponders, so the planes would not register properly on civilian radar.  —  A few months later …
Discussion: Guardian
James Fallows / The Atlantic Online:   Are Transponders the Main Problem? In a Word, No
New York Times:
Malaysia Backtracks on When Airliner's Communications Were Disabled
Ron Paul / USA Today:
Crimea secedes.  So what?  —  Residents of Crimea voted over the weekend on whether they would remain an autonomous region of Ukraine or join the Russian Federation.  In so doing, they joined a number of countries and regions — including recently Scotland, Catalonia and Venice …
RELATED:
Josh Rogin / The Daily Beast:
Exclusive: Russia Will Sanction U.S. Senators
Politico:
The rich strike back  —  NEW YORK — Just a few months ago, it looked like 2014 would be the year of the populist, with Democrats running on economic inequality, tea party Republicans bashing banks and newly minted New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio pledging to soak the rich with higher taxes.
Washington Post:
NSA surveillance program reaches ‘into the past’ to retrieve, replay phone calls  —  The National Security Agency has built a surveillance system capable of recording “100 percent” of a foreign country's telephone calls, enabling the agency to rewind and review conversations as long as a month …
Discussion: Liberaland, Hit & Run, Lawfare and The Verge
RELATED:
Josh Gerstein / Politico:   Feds confirm Bush-era e-mail surveillance
New York Times:
Defying West, Putin Signs Treaty to Annex Crimea  —  MOSCOW — President Vladimir V. Putin claimed Crimea as a part of Russia on Tuesday, reversing what he described as a historical mistake made by the Soviet Union 60 years ago and brushing aside international condemnation that could leave Russia deeply isolated for years to come.
RELATED:
James Taranto / Wall Street Journal:
The kids are all right.  ObamaCare's not so hot.  —  What's the matter with kids today?  Dana Milbank, a grumpy old man at the Washington Post, would like to know.  He's not literally talking about kids, but about voting age adults—the “army of 15 million voters under 30” who “swept …
Discussion: National Review and VodkaPundit
RELATED:
Jonathan S. Tobin / Commentary Magazine:
March Madness? Fake ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers.
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
ObamaCare enrollments hit 5 million
Discussion: Prairie Weather
Bobby Jindal / New York Post:
Bill de Blasio's war for poverty  —  This year, many on the left are celebrating 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson declared his War on Poverty — an era that saw the creation of massive new government programs that liberals proclaimed would raise living standards for the poor.
Sally Kohn / The Daily Beast:
Wendy Davis Is One Step Closer To Turning Texas Purple  —  A new poll shows Wendy Davis within single digits of her Republican opponent—one more sign that Texas's voters are no longer reliably red.  —  Let's start by stating the obvious: It is hard for a Democrat to win statewide office in Texas today.
RELATED:
Seattle Times blogs:
2 die in news helicopter crash at KOMO-TV  —  Firefighters stand next to the site where a KOMO TV helicopter fell to the ground during take-off this morning (Photo by Brian Rosenthal / The Seattle Times)  —  At least two people died this morning when a KOMO-TV helicopter crashed on the street outside Fisher Plaza.
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Colorado Senate Close, Hickenlooper grows lead  —  PPP's newest Colorado poll finds that the Senate race remains very competitive, although not that much closer with Cory Gardner in the race than it was with Ken Buck.  Our last poll of the state, in early December, found Mark Udall leading Buck by 4 points.
Daniel Strauss / Talking Points Memo:
RNC Chair: ‘Tsunami’ Election Coming, Especially In The Senate  —  The way Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus sees it, 2014 won't be an average election for the party out of power.  It'll be a “tsunami” wave election.  —  At a Christian Science Monitor Breakfast …
Discussion: OnPolitics
Catherine Thompson / Talking Points Memo:
Fred Phelps Reportedly Ousted For Advocating ‘Kinder’ Westboro Baptist Church  —  The ailing founder of the Westboro Baptist Church was excommunicated for encouraging church members to be “kinder” to one another, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported Monday.  —  That approach didn't go over …
Mother Jones:
24 Mind-Blowing Facts About Marijuana Production in America  —  The only thing green about that bud is its chlorophyll.  —  You thought your pot came from environmentally conscious hippies?  Think again.  The way marijuana is grown in America, it turns out, is anything but sustainable and organic.
Christopher Baxter / New Jersey Online:
New bridge scandal emails bring in key Christie political strategist  —  TRENTON — Records released today by a legislative panel investigating the George Washington Bridge lane closings link Gov. Chris Christie's chief political strategist to discussions about fallout from the scandal …
RELATED:
Steve Kastenbaum / CNN:
New set of emails, texts on N.J. bridge scandal turned over to judge
Discussion: Politico and Associated Press
 
 
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 More Items: 
Dorothy Kronick / FiveThirtyEightFiveThirtyEight:
Why Only Half of Venezuelans Are in the Streets
Discussion: The Dish and Outside the Beltway
Nicholas Confessore / New York Times:
A Campaign Inquiry in Utah Is the Watchdogs' Worst Case
Discussion: The Plum Line
Juan Williams / The Hill:
GOP blinders on civil rights
Eleanor Clift / The Daily Beast:
White House Jumps Through Hoops to Increase Obamacare Enrollment
Bret Stephens / Wall Street Journal:
Stephens: How Obama ‘Gets Things Done’
Discussion: Betsy's Page
 Earlier Items: 
George F. Will / Washington Post:
Russia's brutality with Ukraine is nothing new
Variety:
Pope Cancels Tentative ‘Noah’ Meeting With Russell Crowe (EXCLUSIVE)
Discussion: Guardian, The Daily Caller and Mediaite
Noam Cohen / New York Times:
Putative Bitcoin Founder Categorically Denies It
Elad Benari / Arutz Sheva:
Erekat: Israel Must Choose - ‘Settlements’ or Peace
Discussion: Israel Matzav and Israpundit
Michael Wines / New York Times:
West's Drought and Growth Intensify Conflict Over Water Rights
Scott Johnson / Power Line:
The 1930s are calling  —  Commentators with a cruel memory …
Discussion: Politico, ABC News and Hit & Run