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5:35 PM 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:
BBC:
CIA ‘using Viagra’ to win over Afghan warlords
Discussion: Newshoggers.com
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.
Agence France Presse:   Obama is most admired American: poll
Reid Wilson / The Hill:
RNC candidate distributes controversial Obama song  —  RNC candidate Chip Saltsman's Christmas greeting to committee members includes a music CD with lyrics from a song called “Barack the Magic Negro,” first played on Rush Limbaugh's popular radio show.  —  Saltsman, a personal friend …
Wall Street Journal:
Retail Sales Plummet  —  Price-slashing failed to rescue a bleak holiday season for beleaguered retailers, as sales plunged across most categories on shrinking consumer spending, according to new data released Thursday.  —  Despite a flurry of last-minute shoppers lured by the deep discounts …
RELATED:
Lauren Shepherd / Associated Press:
Stores cut prices to entice post-holiday shoppers
Joel Stein / Los Angeles Times:
Republicans are blinded by love  —  Lefties just don't have the same feeling about America as the hard right does.  —  Idon't love America.  That's what conservatives are always telling liberals like me.  Their love, they insist, is truer, deeper and more complete.
Karl Rove / Wall Street Journal:
Bush Is a Book Lover  —  A glimpse of what the president has been reading.  —  With only five days left, my lead is insurmountable.  The competition can't catch up.  And for the third year in a row, I'll triumph.  In second place will be the president of the United States.
Steve Clemons / The Washington Note:
Send Caroline Kennedy to Court of St. James  —  (UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown receiving bust of John F. Kennedy from Caroline Kennedy)  —  Caroline Kennedy is having a rough time convincing fellow New York-based Dems that she's good for them.  If she really, really wants to be in the rough …
Discussion: The Corner and Washington Post
RELATED:
Michael Saul / NY Daily News:
Caroline has stiffed N.Y. Dems for years
Discussion: TIME.com and JammieWearingFool
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
The Pakistan Shift  —  Rising tensions with India are prompting Pakistan to shift forces away from fighting the Taliban near the Afghan border and toward preparations for a subcontinental standoff.  And of course they are — Pakistan has no choice but to make its situation vis-a-vis India its primary security concern.
RELATED:
Associated Press:
Trooper Says Election Delayed Alaska Drug Case  —  WASILLA, Alaska — The mother of Bristol Palin's boyfriend sent text messages discussing drug transactions less than a month after the young woman's mother, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, was nominated as the Republican vice presidential candidate …
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.”
CNN:
Calendar offers chance to spend 2009 with Sarah Palin  —  We're NOT “your friends”!!!  —  This is just wrong, so wrong.  I do hope she runs again.  She's one of the best things the Dems have going for them, except GWB!  —  Carol  —  December 26th, 2008 11:13 am ET  —  I got one for Christmas and I LOVE IT!
Discussion: Washington Wire
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Now, feds probe Gov. Richardson of Obama Cabinet for ‘pay-to-play’  —  It seems that Illinois' legally challenged Gov. Rod Blagojevich is not the only close Barack Obama associate and Democratic governor being investigated by the feds for possibly selling government business in return for campaign contributions.
Discussion: MoJoBlog
New York Times:
A Parting Shot at Women's Rights  —  Undermining women's reproductive rights and access to health care has been a pervasive theme of the outgoing administration.  On his first full day in office, President Bush imposed the “global gag rule,” which prohibits taxpayer dollars …
Amie Parnes / The Politico:
Jeb Bush poised for Florida Senate run  —  As Caroline Kennedy pursues her bright-lights, big-city bid for the U.S. Senate, another child of dynasty is quietly testing the waters for his own Senate run.  —  Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush - the son of one president and the brother of another …
Discussion: Commentary and The Campaign Spot
Michael Bamberger / Golf.com:
Barack Obama's golf swing reveals he's an athlete, a duffer and fun to play with  —  Golf.com has performed an important service.  It has posted five photographs, taken by AP photographer Gerald Herbert, that shows President-elect Barack Obama on vacation in Hawaii playing golf.
Discussion: Commentary
Lauren Stiller Rikleen / Washington Post:
First Lady: A Job Worth A Paycheck  —  First lady.  First mom.  Mom in chief.  No — none of these titles works.  And therein lies the problem.  —  When Michelle Obama moves into the White House, she will inherit a title with no job description as the world watches to see how she performs.
Discussion: The XX Factor and Right Wing News
 
 
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 More Items: 
Matt Kelley / USA Today:
Third of top aides become lobbyists
Larry Neumeister / Associated Press:
Kennedy Tells AP She'll Have to Work Twice as Hard
Wall Street Journal:
Donor Disclosure Has Its Downsides
Discussion: Betsy's Page and Right Wing News
Michael Janofsky / Bloomberg:
California Crisis May Crunch $3.8 Billion of Jobs in Slowdown
 Earlier Items: 
Philip Rucker / Washington Post:
Far West of Washington, Calm Before the Term
Discussion: The Caucus, TIME.com and The Note
Zachary A. Goldfarb / Washington Post:
New Board Named at Fannie Mae
Rick Klein / ABCNEWS:
Clinton Helping Clinton Retire Debt
Discussion: Top of the Ticket
Philip Rucker / Washington Post:
White House Press Corps Faces Unique Challenges in Hawaii
Mike Glenn / Houston Chronicle:
Naked man fights Harris deputies; dies after Taser shocks
Discussion: The Raw Story and Hullabaloo