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5:55 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:
The Politico:
Panetta, Blair land top intel posts
Discussion: Truthdig
Brian Faughnan / BrianFaughnan's blog:
Obama's CIA Designee Sought CIA Cuts, Threatened Director
Discussion: The Opinionator
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:
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 …
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 …
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
MN-Senate: Coleman's Window Closing  —  The Minnesota state Supreme Court has turned down Sen. Norm Coleman's plea to include 654 rejected absentee ballots in the final vote count in his race against entertainer Al Franken, a major setback for the GOP incumbent who is seeking to make up a 225-vote deficit.
Eric Kleefeld / TPM Election Central:   Minnesota Supremes Reject Coleman Lawsuit, Clearing Way For Franken Win Later Today
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:
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 …
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 …
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 …
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:
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: Balloon Juice and AmSpecBlog
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:
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:   RNC Chair: Iraq conduct Bush's biggest failure
Alexander Burns / The Politico:   RNC chair race: ‘Everyone is ... pissed’
BIZ / Twitter Blog:
Gone Phishing  —  If you receive a direct message or a direct message email notification that redirects to what looks like Twitter.com—don't sign in.  Look closely at the URL because it could be a scam.  —  What Is Phishing?  —  Wikipedia defines phishing as “the criminally fraudulent process …
RELATED:
William Beutler / Blog P.I.:
Obama's Twitter Account Hacked
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
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
Fred Barnes / Weekly Standard:
The End of the Line  —  Lunch with President George W. Bush.  —  NOW WE KNOW how President Bush reads so many books.  It's a “discipline deal,” the president says.  “I don't watch TV,” he says.  And he reads every morning while doing an hour of exercise and on the many long flights aboard Air Force One.
Discussion: Think Progress
 
 
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 More Items: 
Pete Donohue / NY Daily News:
TLC wants cabbie cams
Patrick J. Lyons / New York Times:
Griffin Bell, Ex-Attorney General, Dies
Discussion: Law Blog
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.
 Earlier Items: 
Michael Goldfarb / Weekly Standard:
The Unserious Left  —  The ground invasion of Gaza has begun.
Discussion: Pajamas Media and American Power
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
The Cuteness Stimulus  —  Obama transition team acts …
David J. Lynch / USA Today:
Investors dump $89B in U.S. securities in historic fire sale
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