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2:30 PM ET, June 13, 2014

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Fareed Zakaria / Washington Post:
Who lost Iraq?  The Iraqis did, with an assist from George W. Bush  —  It is becoming increasingly likely that Iraq has reached a turning point.  The forces hostile to the government have grown stronger, better equipped and more organized.  And having now secured arms …
RELATED:
Reihan Salam / Slate:
We Never Should Have Left Iraq  —  A U.S. military presence could have mollified Sunnis and prevented the new civil war.  —  The United States made a grave mistake by invading Iraq in 2003.  Yet it also made a grave mistake by withdrawing its military forces in 2011.
CNN:
Obama: ‘We will not be sending U.S. troops to Iraq’  —  [Adds breaking news update 12:05 p.m.]  —  President Barack Obama said Friday that the United States “will not be sending U.S. troops back into combat in Iraq,” but that he would be reviewing a range of other options to support …
New York Times:
Prime Minister Maliki Panics as Insurgents Gain  —  What's happening in Iraq is a disaster and it is astonishing that the Iraqis and the Americans, who have been sharing intelligence, seem to have been caught flat-footed by the speed of the insurgent victories and the army defections.
Parisa Hafezi / Reuters:
Exclusive: Alarmed by Iraq, Iran open to shared role with U.S. - Iran official  —  (Reuters) - Shi'te Muslim Iran is so alarmed by Sunni insurgent gains in Iraq that it may be willing to cooperate with Washington in helping Baghdad fight back, a senior Iranian official told Reuters.
New York Times:
Iraqi Shiite Cleric Issues Call to Arms Against Sunni Militants
Discussion: Outside the Beltway and Gawker
Leslie H. Gelb / The Daily Beast:
Iraq Is Vietnam 2.0 And U.S. Drones Won't Solve The Problem
Discussion: New York Times, National Review and CNN
New York Times:
U.S. Scrambles to Help Iraq Fight Off Militants as Baghdad Is Threatened
Philip Klein / Washington Examiner:
The absurdity of electing Kevin McCarthy to replace Eric Cantor as House majority leader  —  HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 2014 ELECTIONS ERIC CANTOR KEVIN MCCARTHY DAVE BRAT  —  If House Republicans respond to the shocking primary defeat of Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va. …
RELATED:
Kyle Rothenberg / Fox News:
Embattled GOP Sen. Cochran says he was unaware of Cantor's loss  —  Two days after Eric Cantor's primary loss received national attention, Mississippi GOP Sen. Thad Cochran — who's caught in a tight primary race of his own — claimed he had no idea what happened in Virginia.
Brian Umana / Washington Post:
I'm a Democrat and I helped the tea party unseat Eric Cantor  —  People are baffled today that Rep. Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, lost his job when he lost his GOP primary Tuesday night.  A common refrain is, how could this have happened?  (Sample headline: “Why Did Cantor Lose?
New York Times:
David Brat and Jack Trammell show unease in the spotlight  —  ASHLAND, Va. — Before the two professors became overnight political rivals in one of the most improbable, high-profile races in memory, they knew each other best as basketball teammates.  —  David Brat, the economics professor …
Discussion: Daily Kos and Washington Post
ABC News:
House GOP Conservative in Long-Shot Leadership Bid
Discussion: Politico
Peter Baker / New York Times:   Obama's Odds With Congress: Bad to Worse
JSOnline:
Scott Walker declines to define stand on gay marriage today  —  For years, Gov. Scott Walker has been a rock-solid proponent of traditional marriage between one man and one woman.  —  As Milwaukee County executive, he opposed efforts to provide health care benefits to the gay partners of county employees.
RELATED:
Conor Friedersdorf / The Atlantic Online:
Hillary Clinton's Gay-Marriage Problem
Jonathan Allen / Bloomberg:
Clinton's Popularity Drops to 52% as 2016 Edge Shrinks
Politico:
Hillary Clinton gets testy over gay marriage
Discussion: CNN and Poynter
Tim / America Rising:
Hillary Clinton Snaps At Radio Host In Defensive, Testy Gay Marriage Interview
Politico:
Chelsea Clinton paid $600K by NBC  —  Chelsea Clinton earned an annual salary of $600,000 at NBC News before switching to a month-to-month contract earlier this year, sources with knowledge of the agreement told POLITICO.  —  Clinton, who joined NBC News as a “special correspondent” …
Jonathan Topaz / Politico:
McCain Iraq interview gets heated  —  Sen. John McCain continued his blistering attack on President Barack Obama's handling of Iraq on Friday, again calling for his entire national security team to be replaced and saying his decisions have been very costly.  —  “The president wanted …
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Wrongness, OK and Not  —  USA!  USA!  NYC!  Back from Oxford, but still — as you can see from the posting time — jet-lagged.  I have a steakhouse dinner tonight with some business economists; we'll see if I end up face down in my tenderloin.  —  One of the people I expect to see is Barry Ritholtz …
Discussion: The Big Picture
Tyler Cowen / New York Times:
The Pitfalls of Peace: The Lack of Major Wars May Be Hurting Economic Growth  —  It's not because war spending itself is so good.  It's because the threat of war can inspire countries to do great things.  —  Mexico, the World Cup's Luckiest Country  —  Mexico finished far behind …
Discussion: Althouse and Marginal REVOLUTION
Fazel Hawramy / Guardian:
Kurdish peshmerga seize a chaotic victory in Kirkuk  —  Police loyal to Nouri al-Maliki are powerless to stop looting after Iraqi Kurds gain control of the oil-rich north-eastern city of Kirkuk  —  Looting at K1 Iraqi army base near the city of Kirkuk, which is under the control of Kurdish Peshmerga forces.
RELATED:
Peter Beaumont / Guardian:
How effective is Isis compared with the Iraqi army and Kurdish peshmerga?
Discussion: The Dish and Firedoglake
Economist:
Two Arab countries fall apart
 
 
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 More Items: 
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Americans' Ratings of President Obama's Image at New Lows
William Kristol / Weekly Standard:
Our ‘Dead Broke’ Leaders
Discussion: The Hugh Hewitt Show
Kimberly Dozier / The Daily Beast:
Exclusive: Bergdahl Explains in Prison Letters Why He Vanished
Patrick Howley / The Daily Caller:
Obama Administration Knew About VA's Secret Wait Lists For Years
Chris Christie / CNN:
Chris Christie, Jimmy Fallon dance around testy issues
Discussion: Politico
 Earlier Items: 
Kevin Sieff / Washington Post:
The U.S. spent $3 million on boats for landlocked Afghanistan
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Politico:
Pete Sessions exits leadership race
Miles O'Brien / New York Magazine:
Life, After  —  An accident in February cost the TV reporter Miles O'Brien his left arm.