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3:55 PM ET, February 24, 2015

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
GOP gets bad news on ObamaCare repeal plan  —  The Senate's chief referee has dealt a significant setback to conservatives who want to send an ObamaCare repeal bill to the president's desk this year.  —  GOP sources say Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough has raised red flags …
RELATED:
Gallup:
Story Highlights  — Medicaid expansion, state exchanges linked to greater reductions  — No state reported a statistically significant increase in uninsured  — Nationwide, full-year uninsured rate drops 3.5 points from 2013 to 2014  —  This story is part of Gallup's annual …
Laura Barron-Lopez / The Hill:
Obama will quickly veto Keystone bill  —  President Obama is poised to reject GOP-backed legislation approving the Keystone XL pipeline with a swift veto designed to minimize any distraction from a looming shutdown within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Discussion: ABC News, Forbes, Daily Kos and PoliticusUSA
Sarah Kliff / Vox:
If SCOTUS kills Obamacare subsidies, Republicans don't have an exit strategy
Discussion: US News and Washington Monthly
ABC News:
Trayvon Martin: DOJ Set to Announce No Charges Against George Zimmerman … While the public waits for a Justice Department announcement over two separate investigations spurred by the summer shooting of an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, the department is going to first announce its findings in the killing of Trayvon Martin.
RELATED:
U.S. Department of Justice:
Federal Officials Close Investigation Into Death of Trayvon Martin  —  The Justice Department announced today that the independent federal investigation found insufficient evidence to pursue federal criminal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman for the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, 2012, in Sanford, Florida.
Discussion: New York Times, TalkLeft and Mashable
Spencer Ackerman / Guardian:
The disappeared: Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden ‘black site’  —  The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site.
New York Times:
Bill O'Reilly and Fox News Redouble Defense of His Falklands Reporting  —  The Fox News host Bill O'Reilly on Monday stepped up his defense against reports that he embellished stories about his war reporting earlier in his career, while some former colleagues continued to say he had exaggerated his experiences.
RELATED:
Mother Jones:
CBS Has Released The Falklands Protest Footage Bill O'Reilly Asked For.  It Doesn't Support His Claims.
New York Post:
Eric Garner's daughter on Al Sharpton: 'He's all about the money'  —  Al Sharpton (left) and Erica Snipes.  —  Al Sharpton is all about the Benjamins, a daughter of police chokehold victim Eric Garner claims in a bombshell videotape.  —  Erica Snipes tees off on the reverend as interested primarily …
David Wood / The Huffington Post:
VA Secretary Robert McDonald Falsely Claimed He Served In ‘Special Forces’  —  WASHINGTON — Robert McDonald, the secretary of veterans affairs, wrongly claimed in a videotaped comment earlier this year that he served in the Army's elite special forces, when his military service of five years …
RELATED:
MilitaryTimes:
VA secretary sorry for false special forces claim
Nick Gass / Politico:
Hugh Hewitt to moderate first GOP presidential debate  —  Radio talk-show host Hugh Hewitt will moderate the first Republican presidential debate as part of a partnership between Salem Media Group and CNN.  The debate will take place Sept. 16 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
RELATED:
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Walker breaks out in national GOP race  —  PPP's newest national Republican poll finds a clear leader in the race for the first time: Scott Walker is at 25% to 18% for Ben Carson, 17% for Jeb Bush, and 10% for Mike Huckabee.  Rounding out the field of contenders are Chris Christie and Ted Cruz at 5% …
Anchorage Daily News:
Wasilla enacts strict new marijuana rules as legalization dawns  —  WASILLA — On in the eve of marijuana legalization in Alaska, Wasilla's city council on Monday banned making pot brownies at home.  —  Fewer than three hours before recreational marijuana use became legal across the state …
RELATED:
Steve Quinn / Reuters:
Alaska allows recreational marijuana as campaign spreads
Carol Felsenthal / Politico:
The humbling of Rahm  —  All signs point to a second term for the Chicago mayor.  But at what cost?  —  It ought to be a coronation, Rahm Emanuel must figure.  But as he nears what might or might not be the end of his exhausting race for a second term as Chicago's mayor …
Discussion: Betsy's Page and Moe Lane
RELATED:
Sophia Tareen / Associated Press:
Chicago Deciding Mayor Emanuel's Re-Election Fate
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Ben Kamisar / The Hill:
Black conservatives seek to draft Condoleezza Rice for Senate race  —  The Black Conservatives Fund wants to draft former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for a Senate bid in 2016, as they argue she represents the GOP's best chance to win a Senate seat in deep-blue California.
Agence France-Presse:
UN climate panel head resigns amid sex claims  —  Tristan McConnell with Mariette Le Roux in Paris  —  Nairobi (AFP) - The head of the UN's climate science panel, Rajendra Pachauri, stepped down Tuesday in the wake of sexual harassment claims against him that have surfaced at a crucial time on the climate agenda.
RELATED:
Nick Gass / Politico:
U.N. climate chief steps down amid sexual harassment charges
Ryan Lucas / Associated Press:
IS militants abduct dozens of Christians in Syria  —  2 photos  —  BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State militants have abducted at least 70 Christians, including women and children, after overrunning a string of villages in northeastern Syria, activists and relatives said Tuesday.
RELATED:
BuzzFeed:
Ron Paul: Black Caucus Only Against War Because They Want That Money For Food Stamps  —  “They are really against war because they want all of that money to go to food stamps for people here.”  —  w.soundcloud.com  —  Former Republican Rep. Ron Paul, the father of potential presidential candidate Rand Paul …
Discussion: Raw Story and FreakOutNation
Julian Hattem / The Hill:
Democratic FCC commissioner balks at net neutrality rules  —  A Democrat on the Federal Communications Commission wants to narrow the scope of new net neutrality rules that are set for a vote on Thursday, The Hill has learned.  —  Mignon Clyburn, one of three Democrats on the FCC …
Discussion: The Daily Caller and RedState
David Weigel / Bloomberg Business:
Durbin: Selma Anniversary Should Give GOP Pause About Opposing Loretta Lynch  —  Race and a top nomination for the Obama cabinet.  —  The nomination of Loretta Lynch for attorney general has not moved through the Senate quite as quickly as Democrats had hoped.
Discussion: Political Wire
 
 
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 More Items: 
Federal Trade Commission:
FTC Cracks Down on Marketers of “Melanoma Detection” Apps
Ian Millhiser / Slate:
In Defense of Court-Packing  —  When the Supreme Court willfully …
Rasmussen Reports:
Do Voters Believe Obama Loves America?
Emily Schultheis / National Journal:
Clinton's 2016 Gender Play
Randal C. Archibold / New York Times:
As Cuba Shifts Toward Capitalism, Inequality Grows More Visible
Discussion: Hit & Run
Dave Boucher / Tennessean.com:
Muslim advocacy group skeptical of ‘no-go zone’ bill
Wilson / Glenn Beck:
“Genius”: Glenn was blown away by Lady Gaga's Oscar performance
Discussion: TheBlaze.com, Mediaite and TVNewser
Numbers / Pew Research Center for the People …:
Growing Support for Campaign Against ISIS - and Possible Use of U.S. Ground Troops
 Earlier Items: 
Maggie Ybarra / Washington Times:
Jordan furious over Pentagon leak on secret anti-terror traning camp
Discussion: The PJ Tatler and BizPac Review
Kathleen Hunter / Bloomberg Business:
Two Senate Democrats Invite Netanyahu to Separate Meeting
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Carimah Townes / ThinkProgress:
Video Shows Cop Making Unprovoked Attack On Homeless Man
Jay Cost / Weekly Standard:
Jeb and the ‘Immortal 306’  —  Today, the Republican nomination process is a muddle.
Steve Schmadeke / Chicago Tribune:
Sex assault charges tied to ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ movie