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11:10 AM ET, December 26, 2008

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Joby Warrick / Washington Post:
Little Blue Pills Among the Ways CIA Wins Friends in Afghanistan  —  The Afghan chieftain looked older than his 60-odd years, and his bearded face bore the creases of a man burdened with duties as tribal patriarch and husband to four younger women.  His visitor, a CIA officer, saw an opportunity …
RELATED:
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
WINNING HEARTS AND MINDS.... Conditions in Afghanistan have been deteriorating, and the pressure on U.S. troops and officials is increasing.  Apparently, in some cases, there's been a diplomatic breakthrough thanks to a little blue pill. … U.S intelligence officials use “novel incentives,” but this is not limited to Viagra.
Spencer Ackerman / ATTACKERMAN:
She Said You Couldn't Stay Up  —  The portrait of 2009's passel …
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Susan Page / USA Today:
Poll: Obama is man Americans admire most  —  WASHINGTON — A month before his inauguration, Americans choose Barack Obama as the man they admire most in the world, according to a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll.  It's the first time a president-elect has topped the annual survey in more than a half-century.
RELATED:
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
Obama, Hillary Clinton Share “Most Admired” Billing  —  Palin makes impressive showing as second most admired woman  —  PRINCETON, NJ — A remarkable 32% of Americans choose Barack Obama as the man they most admire living anywhere in the world today, putting him in the No. 1 position on Gallup's annual Most Admired Man list.
RELATED:
Ilaina Jonas / Reuters:
Retailers' holiday sales plummet: Spending Pulse
Discussion: 24/7 Wall St.
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Barack Be Good  —  Times have changed.  In 1996, President Bill Clinton, under siege from the right, declared that “the era of big government is over.”  But President-elect Barack Obama, riding a wave of revulsion over what conservatism has wrought, has said that he wants to “make government cool again.”
Ann Scott Tyson / Washington Post:
Study Criticizes Bush Approach to War Funding, Calls for Changes  —  President-elect Barack Obama's administration needs to monitor war spending much more closely than the current White House has, according to a new study that criticizes President Bush's approach to funding the Iraq and Afghanistan wars …
Discussion: Think Progress and Time
RELATED:
Philip Rucker / Washington Post:
White House Press Corps Faces Unique Challenges in Hawaii  —  It's prime time and CNN's Ed Henry is standing on the white sand of Waikiki Beach, reporting live on President-elect Barack Obama's holiday vacation in Hawaii.  With the volcanic mountain Diamond Head in the distance …
Zachary A. Goldfarb / Washington Post:
New Board Named at Fannie Mae  —  Regulator Picks Members; No Stock Awards for New Directors  —  Fannie Mae, the District mortgage-finance giant taken over by the government in early September, yesterday announced the members of its newly constituted board of directors.
Turki al-Faisal / Washington Post:
Peace for the Mideast  —  How Our Plan Could Aid Barack Obama's Efforts  —  RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — President-elect Barack Obama is about to inherit not just a nation entrenched in two wars but a world of instability and an entire Middle East that is sick with discord.
Discussion: Commentary, Yourish.com and Soccer Dad
Associated Press:
Blagojevich Attorney Asks Illinois Panel to Subpoena Emanuel and Others  —  An attorney for Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) has asked the legislative panel considering impeachment of the governor to subpoena more than a dozen witnesses, including President-elect Barack Obama's incoming chief of staff.
Discussion: Don Surber, Hot Air, TIME.com and RBO
Rick Klein / ABCNEWS:
Clinton Helping Clinton Retire Debt  —  Clinton Foundation Business Helps Reduce Hillary Clinton's Remaining Campaign Debt  —  Sen. Hillary Clinton's in-the-red campaign committee has found an innovative way to pay down a slice of its debt — and is getting help from President Clinton's foundation …
Discussion: Top of the Ticket
Michael Saul / NY Daily News:
Caroline has stiffed N.Y. Dems for years  —  Caroline Kennedy's supporters say she could raise tons of money as a senator, but when it comes to writing checks to New York Democrats, she's been largely AWOL.  —  This decade, other than a $1,000 donation to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn …
Discussion: TIME.com and JammieWearingFool
 
 
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 More Items: 
Military.com:
Police Say Vet Made, Sold IEDs to Gangs
Discussion: Booman Tribune
Mike Glenn / Houston Chronicle:
Naked man fights Harris deputies; dies after Taser shocks
Discussion: Hullabaloo
 Earlier Items: 
Nicholas D. Kristof / New York Times:
The Sin in Doing Good Deeds
Discussion: LewRockwell.com Blog
 

 
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Ax Sharma / BleepingComputer:
An India-based content farm impersonates 60+ major media outlets, including the BBC and CNN, reposting articles and selling advertorial slots for press releases

Reece Rogers / Wired:
As music from Universal Music Group artists disappears from TikTok, creators turn to royalty-free, almost-contextless sound clips

Scott Nover / Slate:
Semafor media reporter Maxwell Tani talks about cord-cutting, the importance of niches for digital media, threats from AI, and how it feels to break bad news

 
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