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4:15 PM ET, December 16, 2008

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System:
For immediate release  —  The Federal Open Market Committee decided today to establish a target range for the federal funds rate of 0 to 1/4 percent.  —  Since the Committee's last meeting, labor market conditions have deteriorated, and the available data indicate that consumer spending …
Discussion: Portfolio and The Washington Note
RELATED:
Edmund L. Andrews / New York Times:
Fed Cuts Benchmark Rate to Near Zero  —  WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve entered a new era on Tuesday, setting its benchmark interest rate so low that it will have to reach for new and untested tools in fighting both the recession and downward pressure on consumer prices.
The Huffington Post:
Hale “Bonddad” Stewart: The Fed's Kitchen Sink Interest Rate Policy
Discussion: The Big Picture
New York Post:
BUNGLING ON BLAGO  —  TEAM BAM MISMANAGES MEDIA  —  Barack Obama is experiencing the first “scandal” of his presidency before he's taken office - or so sayeth the media.  —  Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is accused of (among much else) conspiring to sell or trade Obama's Senate seat for personal benefit.
RELATED:
Joe Carroll / Bloomberg:
Illinois Democrats Let Blagojevich Keep Naming Power  —  Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) — Democrats in the Illinois House of Representatives postponed stripping Governor Rod Blagojevich's power to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama that prosecutors say Blagojevich tried to sell.
Bob Cusack / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:   Rove Blasts Obama On Senate Seat Scandal
Michael Sneed / Chicago Sun Times:
Rahm's calls on tape  —  The Blago scandal . . .  Sneed hears rumbles President-elect Barack Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, is reportedly on 21 different taped conversations by the feds — dealing with his boss' vacant Senate seat!  —  A lot of chit-chat?  —  Hot air?  —  Or trouble?
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Clinton chides supporters on Kennedy  —  Hillary Clinton has told her supporters not to impede Caroline Kennedy's path to the U.S. Senate on her behalf, a person familiar with replacement discussions said.  —  The move clears a major obstacle between Kennedy and the seat.
RELATED:
The Politico:
Madoff bought influence in Washington  —  Within a day of the Dec. 11 arrest of Wall Street financier Bernard L. Madoff, his Washington lobbyists were scrambling to sever all ties to a man who's been accused of a $50 billion fraud and who may go down in history as the largest financial scam artist ever.
RELATED:
Jill Drew / Washington Post:   Frenzy  —  It was Wall Street's version of an inside joke …
Stephanie Strom / New York Times:
Wall St. Fraud Leaves Charities Reeling
Discussion: Balloon Juice
BBC:
Shoe thrower ‘beaten in custody’  —  The brother of the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at US President George W Bush has said that the reporter has been beaten in custody.  —  Muntadar al-Zaidi has suffered a broken hand, broken ribs and internal bleeding, as well as an eye injury, his older brother, Dargham, told the BBC.
RELATED:
Jonathan Karl / ABCNEWS:
Exclusive: Cheney Says He's Changed  —  Vice President Reflects on Time in Office, Assesses Obama's Team  —  In an exclusive interview with ABC News, a reflective Vice President Dick Cheney praised President-elect Barack Obama's national security team and admitted he's changed during his time in office.
RELATED:
John Bresnahan / The Politico:
Pelosi lays down the law with Rahm  —  In a recent conversation with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rahm Emanuel offered some advice on a Democratic House leadership race.  Pelosi's response, according to several Democratic sources: It is “an internal House Democratic Caucus matter, and we'll handle it.”
E. M. Zanotti / American Princess:
So, I'm a Little Concerned  —  Whenever I do “investigative reporting,” by which I mean “conduct a Google search for information before actually sitting down and writing something,” it usually comes back to bite me in the ass, but here goes nothing.  —  This Arne Duncan guy that everyone …
RELATED:
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Newt denounces Blago attacks  —  Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is denouncing Republican attempts to link President-elect Barack Obama and disgraced Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.  —  Senator John McCain Sunday distanced himself from Republican National Committee attacks on Obama …
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
An Empire of Sentimentality  —  I think this kind of sentiment from Dave Dilegge at the COIN hotspot Small Wars Journal reflects some dangerous trends in American culture: … Americans love and respect the men and women who volunteer for military service under our flag.
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
The War's End  —  I keep hearing vague rumors that Obama may not deliver on his campaign promise to swiftly withdraw US forces from Iraq.  My guess would be that such rumors are wrong, primarily because not doing so would be crazy.  It's a campaign pledge.  It's the right thing to do.
RELATED:
Washington Post:
Poll Finds Support for Obama's War Views
Discussion: Daily Kos
Charles Thomas / WLS-TV:
Jackson, Jr. may have been working with feds to investigate gov.  —  Jackson has been fighting for his reputation since the federal complaint revealed his supporters were willing to raise money for the governor, if Jackson was appointed to the Senate.  —  The new information appears …
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Caroline Kennedy Hires Joe Lieberman's “Fixer,” Josh Isay  —  In her first move after announcing that she would like to be appointed to the New York Senate seat, Caroline Kennedy has hired “major Democratic fixer Josh Isay.”  —  Isay did the honors for Joe Lieberman during his general election race …
RELATED:
Pajamas Media:   The Banana Republic of New York
Natasha Korecki / Chicago Sun Times:
Former Blagojevich adviser Christopher Kelly to plead guilty  —  Another card may have fallen in the governor's house of cards.  Christopher Kelly - one of Gov. Blagojevich's closest advisers, fund-raisers and friends - is set to plead guilty in his federal criminal case, according to a court filing.
Pat Doyle / Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Senate recount: Battle of ballot disputes begins  —  A state board begins to rule on ballots where voter intent was in question in the hotly contested Senate race.  —  With thousands of frivolous challenges discarded, the state Canvassing Board today began the serious business of ruling …
Washington Post:
Majority of Public Opposes Auto Rescue  —  Poll Finds Most Blame Industry for Problems, Believe Failure Won't Hurt Economy  —  Most Americans continue to oppose a government-backed rescue plan for Detroit's Big Three automakers as majorities blame the industry for its own problems …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Marc Ambinder:
Where Republicans Can Pick A Fight
Max Boot / Los Angeles Times:
Bush's bluster  —  The president's actual foreign policy has not matched his rhetoric.
Discussion: Wonk Room, Commentary and The Mahablog
Erik D. Prince / Wall Street Journal:
How Blackwater Serves America
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Reynolds Keeps Flailing
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
In Defense Of Torture  —  Reuel Marc Gerecht responds to my postings yesterday:
Discussion: Kevin Drum
Sarah Posner / American Prospect:
The Truth About Abortion Reduction
Discussion: Democratic Strategist
THE WEEK - Online:
The GOP's “Hoover time”  —  I never agree with Dick Cheney.
 Earlier Items: 
Richard Cohen / Washington Post:
How to Burst a Bubble  —  Barack Obama seems to have a recurring nightmare.
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias and Wonkette
Ali Frick / Think Progress:
Juan Williams: Iraqi Protesters Are ‘Ingrate[s]’ Who Should Appreciate U.S. Invasion
BBC:
Serious security flaw found in IE
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Time's Jay Carney will be Biden aide
Discussion: Donklephant and Open Left