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6:30 PM ET, May 20, 2014

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Ron Fournier / NationalJournal.com:
Quiz: How Dumb Does Obama Think We Are?  —  The Veterans Affairs policy fiasco is magnified by an insulting-public relations strategy.  —  News quiz: President Obama and his communications team hope that Americans are: 1) Dumb; 2) Distracted; 3) Numb to government inefficiency; 4) All of above.
RELATED:
Ron Christie / The Daily Beast:
The Scandal at the VA Is Real, and Obama Is Ducking It
Jeremy Herb / Politico:
Can Eric Shinseki survive the VA scandal?
Discussion: CNN
Chris Geidner / BuzzFeed:
Federal Judge Strikes Down Pennsylvania Same-Sex Marriage Ban  —  “We now join the twelve federal district courts across the country [that] ... have concluded that all couples deserve equal dignity in the realm of civil marriage.”  —  Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett delivers an address …
RELATED:
Sahil Kapur / Talking Points Memo:
Bush-Appointed Judge Cites Scalia In Axing Pennsylania Gay Marriage Ban  —  Upon striking down Pennsylvania's gay marriage ban Tuesday, a federal judge cited Justice Antonin Scalia's “cogen[t]” argument that the Supreme Court had essentially paved the way for nationwide marriage equality last year.
David Weigel / Slate:
Rick Santorum Endorsed the Judge Who Just Legalized Gay Marriage in Pennsylvania
Maryclaire Dale / Associated Press:
Pennsylvania Gay Marriage Ban Overturned By Judge
Joseph Ax / Reuters:
D'Souza pleads guilty to U.S. campaign finance law violation  —  (Reuters) - The conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a campaign finance law violation, averting a trial that had been expected to begin the same day in Manhattan federal court.
RELATED:
Nicole Levy / Capital New York:
Jeff Zucker talks CNN's post-plane plans  —  Last night, CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker gave a hint of where the network will go next now thats its two-plus-month coverage of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is subsiding.  —  “I don't think there's any question about our commitment …
RELATED:
Caitlin MacNeal / Talking Points Memo:
CNN President: We Won't Be ‘Shamed’ Into Covering Benghazi  —  CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker on Monday said that the network probably won't be covering the House select committee to investigate Benghazi.  —  “We're not going to be shamed into it by others who have political beliefs …
Discussion: Pat Dollard and Mediaite
Geoff Pender / The Clarion-Ledger:
Wife, attorney say blogger was pawn  —  It's still unclear how a political blogger gained access to the bedridden wife of U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran in her nursing home, but the man's wife and his attorney said he didn't sneak into the facility, and that he appears to be a pawn in a big political game.
RELATED:
Daniel Strauss / Talking Points Memo:   Break-In Blogger's Wife: McDaniel Told Husband To Take Anti-Cochran Video Down
David Folkenflik / NPR:
NPR To End ‘Tell Me More,’ Eliminate 28 Positions  —  NPR announced Wednesday that it would cease broadcast of the weekday program Tell Me More on Aug. 1 and eliminate 28 positions as part of a larger effort to end the company's persistent budget deficits.  —  “These times require …
Charles Levinson / Wall Street Journal:
Comey: FBI ‘Grappling’ With Hiring Policy Concerning Marijuana  —  Monday was a big day for the nation's cyber police.  The Justice Department charged five Chinese military officials with hacking, and brought charges against the creators of powerful hacking software.
Niels Lesniewski / Roll Call:
Reid Hints at ‘Nuclear’ Summer Over Debate Time  —  On the morning of his Republican counterpart's primary back home in Kentucky, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he would not change the chamber's rules in his absence.  —  But Minority Leader Mitch McConnell might well be advised …
Discussion: Booman Tribune
Eli Lake / The Daily Beast:
Exclusive: Al Qaeda's American Fighters Are Coming Home—And U.S. Intelligence Can't Find Them  —  The number of American extremists who have flocked to Syria is higher than previously understood, American intelligence sources say.  And some of the fighters are coming home.
Discussion: CANNONFIRE and Washington Post
Carl Willis / WSB-TV:
School district apologizes over yearbook quote incident  —  Sponsored Links  —  CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. —  UPDATE: Paris Gray and her family met with the school's principal and the area superintendent on Tuesday.  They apologized for the miscommunication and said they would not deny her giving a speech at graduation.
Brett LoGiurato / Business Insider:
The Sequel To Rand Paul's Epic Filibuster Is Happening Tomorrow  —  On Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, will filibuster President Barack Obama's nomination of David Barron to fill a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.  Paul first threatened to filibuster Barron last week.
Discussion: Booman Tribune
Brian Tashman / Right Wing Watch:
As Candidate For Congress, Ted Yoho Suggested Limiting The Right To Vote To Property Owners  —  Recently unearthed footage of Rep. Ted Yoho speaking at Berean Baptist Church in Ocala, Florida, during his candidacy for Congress in the 2012 election cycle shows the Republican politician suggesting …
AL.com:
Convicted former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.: Presidential pardons for all ex-offenders  —  Former Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., who is serving the end of his federal prison term in a Montgomery federal prison.  —  ctoner@al.com By Casey Toner |  ctoner@al.com
Bloomberg:
Businesses Turn Out Workers' Votes to Stomp Tea Party  —  Photographer: Joe Jaszewski/The Idaho Statesman/AP Photo  —  Ben Tarbutton has never worked so hard in a primary election to urge his company's employees to vote early or educate them on a candidate's record.
Discussion: Washington Post
Nate Cohn / New York Times:
How El Niño Might Alter the Political Climate  —  A rise in sea surface temperatures could presage a season of weather extremes, as it did in 2002 when tuna crabs washed ashore north of their usual habitat.  That may make more people believe in global warming.  —  A SURVEY SAYS |
Discussion: NewsBusters and AEIdeas
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
The next big fight over the safety net  —  Word has it that Democrats are set to take a shellacking in the 2014 elections, in part because midterm electorates tends to be older and whiter.  So what if Dems campaigned on expanding Social Security, rather than allowing themselves to get drawn …
Discussion: Washington Monthly and Eschaton
Matt Vespa / CNSNews:
Video: College Students Ace Pop Music Quiz, Bomb Benghazi Question  —  Last week, “Professor” Dan Joseph of MRCTV ventured onto the hallowed grounds of George Mason again to give students their final exam.  Over the course of the semester, these students have struggled miserably with Professor Joseph …
Discussion: Pat Dollard
 
 
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 More Items: 
David Brooks / New York Times:
The Big Debate  —  It's now clear that the end of the Soviet …
Joe Miller / Salon:
Alaska's climate denial fiasco: Joe Miller's battle to be the state's biggest kook
Discussion: Daily Kos, Hullabaloo and ThinkProgress
A. J. Delgado / National Review:
Crying Rape
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Bloomberg:
Russia Close to $400 Billion Gas Pipeline Deal in Pivot to China
Discussion: Bloomberg View and The Diplomat
Andrew Cohen / The Atlantic Online:
Will Russell Bucklew's Execution Be the Next Death-Penalty Disaster?
Discussion: Guardian and TalkLeft
Jeryl Bier / Weekly Standard:
Kerry: If We're Wrong on Climate Change, 'What's the Worst That Can Happen?'
 Earlier Items: 
Jonah Goldberg / National Review:
The VA and the Limits of Liberalism
Adam Kredo / Washington Free Beacon:
Dems Kill Key Pro-Israel bill to Appease White House on Iran
Discussion: Hot Air and Pat Dollard
Daniel D'Addario / Salon:
Adam Carolla: The gay mafia is real
Discussion: Towleroad News #gay and Mediaite
Megan Garber / The Atlantic Online:
Thomas Piketty and the End of Our Peaceful Coexistence With Inequality
 

 
From Mediagazer:

Brooks Barnes / New York Times:
Hollywood has worst summer since 1997 as US summer ticket sales decline 15% from 2013

Nate Hoffelder / The Digital Reader:
Some Japanese publishers call Amazon's linking book promotion to commission fees “blackmail”

Alexis Sobel Fitts / Columbia Journalism Review:
Michael Brown shooting and the crimes journalists choose as newsworthy

 
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