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5:35 PM ET, January 5, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
The Caucus:
Panetta to Be Named C.I.A. Director  —  President-elect Barack Obama has selected Leon E. Panetta, the former congressman and White House chief of staff, to take over the Central Intelligence Agency, an organization that Mr. Obama criticized during the campaign for using interrogation methods …
RELATED:
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Obama's impressive new OLC chief  —  The Office of Legal Counsel, inside the Justice Department, is probably the most consequential federal government office that remains relatively obscure.  The legal opinions which it issues become, more or less automatically, the official legal position of the Executive Branch.
Marc Ambinder:
Panetta On Torture  —  Here's Central Intelligence Agency director-designate Leon E. Panetta, writing about torture, in the Washington Monthly.  Actually, no — he's writing in the Washington Monthly about torture:
Brian Faughnan / BrianFaughnan's blog:
Obama's CIA Designee Sought CIA Cuts, Threatened Director
Discussion: The Opinionator
The Politico:
Panetta, Blair land top intel posts
Discussion: Truthdig and TPM Election Central
Wall Street Journal:
Funny Business in Minnesota  —  In which every dubious ruling seems to help Al Franken.  —  Strange things keep happening in Minnesota, where the disputed recount in the Senate race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken may be nearing a dubious outcome.  Thanks to the machinations …
RELATED:
Pat / Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Court rejects Coleman bid to consider rejected absentee ballots  —  The ruling clears the way for election officials to certify results showing Democrat Al Franken in the lead.  —  The Minnesota Supreme Court today rejected a bid by Norm Coleman in the disputed U.S. Senate election …
Discussion: Scorecard's Blogs, MyDD and TIME.com
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Minnesota elections board says Franken won  —  The Minnesota Board of Canvassers certified Democrat Al Franken as winner of the state's Senate race, but incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman's (R) attorneys have vowed to challenge the decision.  —  After two months of political and legal wrangling …
Michelle Malkin:
A real clown takes a Senate seat
Pat Doyle / Minneapolis Star Tribune:   Court rejects Coleman bid to consider rejected absentee ballots
Eric Kleefeld / TPM Election Central:   Minnesota Supremes Reject Coleman Lawsuit, Clearing Way For Franken Win Later Today
CNN:
Secretary of the Senate rejects Burris appointment  —  (CNN) — An aide to Secretary of the Senate Nancy Erickson tells CNN that this morning she rejected Roland Burris' certificate of appointment to the Senate.  —  Robert Baxter says Erickson rejected Burris' appointment because it does …
RELATED:
Chicago Sun Times:
Secretary of the Senate rejects Burris' appointment  —  Judge also grants prosecutors 90-day extension to indict Blagojevich, former chief of staff  —  Firing the first shot in Washington in the fight over the appointment of Roland Burris to the U.S. Senate, Gov. Blagojevich's acting chief …
New York Times:
Restore the Senate's Treaty Power  —  THE Constitution's Treaty Clause has long been seen, rightly, as a bulwark against presidential inclinations to lock the United States into unwise foreign commitments.  The clause will likely be tested by Barack Obama's administration …
RELATED:
John R. Bolton / Washington Post:
The Three-State Option  —  War in the Gaza Strip demonstrates yet again that the current governance paradigm for the Palestinian people has failed.  Terrorists financed and supplied by Iran control Gaza; the Palestinian Authority is broken, probably irretrievably; and economic development is stalled in Gaza and the West Bank.
William Kristol / New York Times:
Why Israel Fights  —  The Israeli assault on Hamas in Gaza is going to be a replay, we're told, of the attempt to subdue Hezbollah in southern Lebanon in the summer of 2006.  And the outcome, it's asserted, will be the same: lots of death and destruction, no strategic victory for Israel …
Change.gov:
President-elect Obama announces key Department of Justice posts  —  WASHINGTON—Today, President-elect Barack Obama announced that he intends to nominate the following individuals for key posts at the United States Department of Justice: David Ogden, Deputy Attorney General; Elena Kagan …
RELATED:
Foon Rhee / Boston Globe:
Kagan nominated for solicitor general
Discussion: The Caucus
Tim Fernholz / American Prospect:
TRANSITION TO JUSTICE.  —  The latest news from the Transition Office …
Connie Hair / Human Events:
Pelosi Erases Gingrich's Long-Standing Fairness Rules  —  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to re-write House rules today to ensure that the Republican minority is unable to have any influence on legislation.  Pelosi's proposals are so draconian, and will so polarize the Capitol …
Discussion: AmSpecBlog and Babalu Blog
RELATED:
Patrick O'Connor / The Politico:   GOP protests term limit change
CNN:
Republican party showdown today  —  WASHINGTON DC (CNN) - Call it a first step in the Republican Party's push to return from the political wilderness.  —  The six candidates running to lead the GOP's national committee face off today at a debate in Washington.
Discussion: The Politico
RELATED:
Alexander Burns / The Politico:   RNC chair race: ‘Everyone is ... pissed’
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:   RNC Chair: Iraq conduct Bush's biggest failure
Paul Krugman:
Is Obama relying too much on tax cuts?  —  I don't know yet.  But news reports this morning certainly raise questions.  —  Let's lay out the basics here.  Other things equal, public investment is a much better way to provide economic stimulus than tax cuts, for two reasons.
RELATED:
Right Wing News:
The 7th Annual “20 Most Annoying Liberals Of 2008”  —  Honorable Mentions: Bill Ayers, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Juan Cole, Kent Conrad, The Daily Kos, Bill Delahunt, Glenn Greenwald, Alcee Hastings, Christopher Hitchens, The Huffington Post, Jesse Jackson, Jesse Jackson Jr. Caroline Kennedy …
Discussion: Newshoggers.com
Eric Kleefeld / TPM Election Central:
Poll: Caroline Kennedy's Support Collapses  —  The last month's publicity hasn't been kind to Caroline Kennedy, with a new survey from Public Policy Polling (D) showing that she's now being trounced by state Atty. Gen. Andrew Cuomo as the choice of New York voters.
Discussion: Firedoglake
Kara Scannell / Wall Street Journal:
Madoff Chasers Dug for Years, to No Avail  —  Regulators Probed at Least 8 Times Over 16 Years; Congress Starts Review of SEC Today  —  Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC was examined at least eight times in 16 years by the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulators, who often came armed with suspicions.
nsnetwork.org:
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY - BUSH'S BOMBS: A NATIONAL SECURITY LEGACY OF FAILURE  —  EXECUTIVE SUMMARY  —  The sorry national security legacy of the Bush administration can be measured in in the President's failure to meet his own rhetorical objectives: “victory” in Iraq, an Afghanistan cleansed of terrorists …
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
The Cuteness Stimulus  —  Obama transition team acts to counter national cuteness deficit by posting photos of Sasha and Malia getting ready for their first day at school"  —  Aww ...  Since we're c (4) educatin' with this post, why not throw in a policy angle?
Discussion: The Debatable Land
Patrick J. Lyons / New York Times:
Griffin Bell, Ex-Attorney General, Dies  —  Griffin B. Bell, the dean of Georgia lawyers and the United States Attorney General during most of the presidency of his childhood neighbor Jimmy Carter, died at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta on Monday morning.  He was 90.
Discussion: Law Blog
 
 
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 More Items: 
Fred Barnes / Weekly Standard:
The End of the Line  —  Lunch with President George W. Bush.
Discussion: Think Progress
Janice Lloyd / USA Today:
Home schooling grows
Ross Douthat:
Just War and Modern Warfare
Discussion: The Daily Dish and Eunomia
Washington Wire:
Meg Whitman Considers Run for California Governor
Bob Barr / Los Angeles Times:
No defending the Defense of Marriage Act
Discussion: Opinion L.A.
Al Kamen / Washington Post:
For NASA Administrator, This Mission Is a Tad Personal
Discussion: Think Progress
 Earlier Items: 
David J. Lynch / USA Today:
Investors dump $89B in U.S. securities in historic fire sale
Pajamas Media:
Is Iran in Trouble?  —  After years of refusing to see Iran's …
Discussion: Hot Air
Charles V. Bagli / New York Times:
As Vacant Office Space Grows, So Does Lenders' Crisis
George Selgin / Wall Street Journal:
Argentina Is Short of Cash - Literally
Discussion: Reason
Kathryn Jean Lopez / The Corner:
‘Like Son Jeb as President’
Discussion: MSNBC and Washington Monthly
Maria Recio / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Bush first ex-prez to face limit on Secret Service protection
Discussion: Political Machine