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6:15 PM ET, December 23, 2008

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Change.gov:
Transition Team Releases Review of Contacts  —  Today the Obama Transition Team released the review of Obama Transition staff contacts with Governor Blagojevich and his office.  Download a PDF of the memo.
RELATED:
Mary Katharine Ham / Weekly Standard:
Obama's 4:30 p.m., December 23rd Blago News Drop  —  The time and date dictated by Patrick Fitzgerald for releasing Team Obama's internal investigation just happen to fall at the most convenient time of the year for burying bad news.  Does that mean there necessarily is bad news?
The Huffington Post:
Emanuel Heads To Africa As Blagojevich Report Drops  —  With the Obama transition team set to release an internal report regarding the extent of its interactions with embattled governor Rod Blagojevich, one of the key figures in the mix is heading out of the country.
Michael D. Shear / Washington Post:
Obama Team Releases Report on Contacts with Blagojevich
TMZ.com:
Rick Warren — Out of the Closet!  —  Rick Warren, the pastor who will deliver the invocation next month for Barack Obama, apparently is doing a little image-adjusting in West Hollywood.  —  We got this pic, taken yesterday at Out of the Closet thrift store.
RELATED:
Richard Cohen / Washington Post:
Warren On?  Party Off.  —  Not that he was planning to attend, but Barack Obama should know that my sister's inauguration night party — the one for which she was preparing Obama Punch — has been canceled.  The notice went out over the weekend, by e-mail and word of mouth …
Susan Kelleher / Seattle Times:
Seattle refuses to use salt; roads “snow packed” by design  —  To hear the city's spin, Seattle's road crews are making “great progress” in clearing the ice-caked streets.  —  But it turns out “plowed streets” in Seattle actually means “snow-packed,” as in there's snow and ice left on major arterials by design.
Deb Riechmann / Associated Press:
Bush pardons man who helped Israel during wartime  —  Featured Topics: - Barack Obama - Presidential Transition  —  WASHINGTON - In a gesture of forgiveness for an American considered a hero in Israel, President George W. Bush on Tuesday granted a pardon posthumously to a man who broke …
Discussion: Townhall.com and Israel Matzav
RELATED:
Associated Press:   Bush pardons 19, commutes 1 prison term
Ezra Klein / American Prospect:
THERE IS NOTHING ANYONE CAN DO ABOUT IT.  —  Over at BoingBoing, Clay Shirky engages in a bit of self-congratulatory schadenfreude for predicting the collapse of the newspaper business model back in 1993.  And no doubt: He was prescient.  But like a lot of folks (many of them named Jeff Jarvis) …
Discussion: Don Surber
RELATED:
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
More on What Might Have Been  —  I promised more thoughts …
Discussion: Kevin Drum
John H. Richardson / Esquire:
Why Obama Really Might Decriminalize Marijuana  —  The stoner community is clamoring to say it: “Yes we cannabis!”  Turns out, with several drug-war veterans close to the president-elect's ear, insiders think reform could come in Obama's second term — or sooner.
Tim Graham / NewsBusters.org:
Joe the Plumber Laughs at CNN Anchor Who Insists He's Fair, He's Not Pro-Obama  —  Just before 8 am Eastern time on the Tuesday edition of CNN's American Morning, anchor John Roberts interview Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher, and something unusual happened.  After a battery of questions …
Discussion: Cold Fury and Hot Air
John O'Sullivan / Wall Street Journal:
Conservative Snobs Are Wrong About Palin  —  I know Maggie Thatcher.  The two women have a lot in common.  —  Being listed in fourth place for Time magazine's “Person of the Year,” as Sarah Palin was for 2008, sounds a little like being awarded the Order of Purity (Fourth Class).
Tennessean.com:
Flood of sludge breaks TVA dike  —  Collapse poses risk of toxic ash  —  HARRIMAN, Tenn. — Millions of yards of ashy sludge broke through a dike at TVA's Kingston coal-fired plant Monday, covering hundreds of acres, knocking one home off its foundation and putting environmentalists on edge …
RELATED:
Brian Angliss / Scholars and Rogues:
“Clean” coal ash flood may make new Superfund site (Update #3)
Discussion: Wonk Room
NY1:
Top Clinton Advisor Wolfson Joining Team Bloomberg  —  In an exclusive interview with NY1, top Democratic strategist Howard Wolfson announced today that he will be joining Mayor Michael Bloomberg's re-election campaign as a senior communications advisor.  —  “Around the time of the term limits extension …
RELATED:
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Wolfson to Bloomberg  —  Hillary Clinton's former chief strategist …
Discussion: TIME.com and City Room
Bill Gertz / Washington Times:
EXCLUSIVE: Obama wants Bush war team to stay  —  Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is asking many of the Bush administration's 250 Pentagon political appointees to remain on the job until the incoming Obama administration finds replacements — a move designed to prevent a leadership vacuum …
Discussion: Fox News, ATTACKERMAN and Open Left
RELATED:
Dennis Prager / Townhall.com:
When a Woman Isnt in the Mood: Part I  —  Given our preoccupation with politics and economics, it is easy to forget that for most of us micro issues still play a greater role in our lives.  So here are some thoughts that, as heretical as they might sound, have been found extremely helpful …
Discussion: Firedoglake, ATTACKERMAN and The RBC
CNN:
Child porn investigation catches California lawyer  —  (CNN) — A lawyer who served in the Clinton administration and more recently was an adviser to California's lieutenant governor pleaded guilty to a child porn charge in a San Diego federal court Monday.  —  Wade Rowland Sanders admitted …
Discussion: Tabloid Edition
James H. Burnett III / MiamiHerald.com:
Quirky Festivus holiday gains followers  —  Those who celebrate Festivus display a pole instead of a tree and air grievances instead of exchanging gifts.  —  JBURNETT@MIAMIHERALD.COM  —  Alexandra Casuso was only 11 years old when Festivus made its TV debut on Seinfeld in 1997 …
Maggie Haberman / New York Post:
O, MY BOD!  IT'S BEACH BARACK  —  NEXT PREZ HEATS UP HAWAII  —  Just call him “Ab"-bama.  —  Buff-bodied President-elect Barack Obama put his chiseled frame on full display - as seen on Page 1 - during a stroll in Hawaii while on vacation with his family.
John Lippert / Bloomberg:
Friedman Would Be Roiled as Chicago Disciples Rue Repudiation  —  A A A  —  Dec. 23 (Bloomberg) — John Cochrane was steaming as word of U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's plan to buy $700 billion in troubled mortgage assets rippled across the University of Chicago in September.
Discussion: The Big Picture and D-Day
Little Green Footballs:
NPR Rewrites Rathergate History to Cover Up Fraud  —  National Public Radio does their best to rewrite history in this shockingly disingenuous piece on the Rathergate affair, told from Dan Rather's perspective as he openly states (and NPR doesn't challenge) that the memos in his infamous 60 Minutes II piece …
Discussion: NPR
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
The Blago report  —  Greg Craig's report (.pdf) on the Obama camp's contact with Governor Rod Blagojevich backs up his boss's contention that nobody on his staff came anywhere close to a quid pro quo, though it details two approaches to members of Obama's team by Blagojevich's circle.
Discussion: The New Republic
 
 
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 More Items: 
Washington Wire:
Obama Transition Names More National Security Staff
Suzanne Sataline / Wall Street Journal:
In Hard Times, Houses of God Turn to Chapter 11 in Book of Bankruptcy
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
A housing scammer, pardoned
Discussion: The Raw Story, Salon and The RBC
Philip Rucker / Washington Post:
Obama to Attend Memorial for Grandmother
Discussion: TIME.com
Amanda Terkel / Think Progress:
White House: Expect more pardons from Bush.»
Discussion: Washington Monthly
 Earlier Items: 
Xinhua News Agency:
Zimbabwe asks Bush to leave office quietly
Discussion: Democracy in America
Ezra Klein / American Prospect:
APPLY ECONOMICS TO ECONOMISTS.
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias and Kevin Drum
Amanda Terkel / Think Progress:
Shuster Pushes Inhofe On Global Warming Skepticism: 'If There Is …
Discussion: Washington Monthly