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10:30 AM ET, January 6, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
REALLY A MYSTERY  —  From an observer up on the Hill ...  And from a career intel professional ...  I used to do a lot of intelligence reporting.  But I haven't really done any to speak of in a few years.  So I'm coming at this cold.  But I feel instinctively suspicious of the congressional reaction to this appointment.
RELATED:
Thomas Ferraro / Reuters:
Senate Democrats put off plans to seat Franken  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid yielded to Republican threats and agreed on Monday not to immediately seat fellow Democrat Al Franken, whose razor-close victory in Minnesota faces legal challenges.
RELATED:
TwinCities.com:   It's Franken, officially
New York Times:
Death Toll Mounts as Israel Expands Gaza Offensive  —  JERUSALEM — As Israel's military onslaught in Gaza unfolded into its 11th day on Tuesday, Israeli troops were reported to be broadening their offensive, while France sought to enlist Syria, a key backer of Hamas, in maneuvers toward a cease-fire.
Discussion: Salon, War in Context and Gothamist
RELATED:
Molly K. Hooper / The Hill:
Pelosi's power move leaves House Republicans fuming  —  House Democrats are poised to approve new rules that will significantly increase their authority while taking the bullets out of the few legislative weapons Republicans have in the lower chamber.  —  Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) …
Discussion: The Note
RELATED:
Ralph Z. Hallow / Washington Times:
Steele, Blackwell take limelight at RNC forum  —  Members to vote for new chairman  —  Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele, an accomplished speaker, and former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, not well known for dazzling performances, each repeatedly drew sustained applause …
RELATED:
Washington Post:
Richardson, Obama Teams Trade Blame  —  Weeks before President-elect Barack Obama chose New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson to head the Commerce Department, a small group of volunteers with ethics, tax and investigative expertise — most of them lawyers — scoured his background looking for embarrassing facts or political problems.
RELATED:
Roger Simon / The Politico:
Team Obama dabbles in drama
Discussion: The Politico
Washington Post:
Obama Pitches Stimulus Plan  —  GOP Asked to Help Design Bill; $300 Billion in Tax Cuts Sought  —  President-elect Barack Obama arrived on Capitol Hill yesterday and immediately set to work reassuring skeptical Republicans about his massive economic stimulus package …
RELATED:
Wesley Loy / Anchorage Daily News:
Levi Johnston quits oil field job  —  PUBLIC SCRUTINY: Rules say he needs diploma for apprenticeship.  —  wloy@adn.com  —  Levi Johnston, the boyfriend of Gov. Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol, has quit his North Slope oil field job over questions about his eligibility to work …
Adam C. Smith / St. Petersburg Times:
Senate bid by Jeb Bush iffy, friends say  —  Republican excitement over the prospect of Jeb Bush running for U.S. Senate has given way to increasing speculation that the former governor will stay out of the race.  —  Bush declined to comment for this article but was expected to make an announcement perhaps as early as this week.
Drudge Report:
NBC BANS COULTER FOR LIFE; CUT FROM ‘TODAY’ SHOW OVER BOOK'S CLAIMS, NO MORE CABLE  —  The nation's top selling conservative author has been banned from appearing on NBC, insiders tell the DRUDGE REPORT.  —  Banned for life!  —  “We are just not going to have her on any more, it's over,” a top network source explains.
New York Times:
Ex-Detainee of U.S. Describes a 6-Year Ordeal  —  LAHORE, Pakistan — When Muhammad Saad Iqbal arrived home here in August after more than six years in American custody, including five at the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, he had difficulty walking, his left ear was severely infected …
Natan Sharansky / Wall Street Journal:
How the U.N. Perpetuates the ‘Refugee’ Problem  —  Nowhere on earth do terrorists get so much help from the Free World.  —  Israel's assault on Hamas is just the latest in a long chain of military clashes, the scripts of which are always the same.  On one side, there is the Israeli army.
Discussion: Betsy's Page and Fresh Bilge
Kelly Evans / Wall Street Journal:
Hard-Hit Families Finally Start Saving, Aggravating Nation's Economic Woes  —  BOISE, Idaho — Rick and Noreen Capp recently reduced their credit-card debt, opened a savings account and stopped taking their two children to restaurants.  Jessica and Alan Muir have started buying children's clothes …
The Straits Times:
Cars launched at synagogue  —  TOULOUSE - ATTACKERS launched two cars packed with petrol bombs at a synagogue in France's south-western city of Toulouse on Monday night, causing damage but no casualties, officials said.  —  One car was set on fire and pushed by the other until it hit the door …
Discussion: Fausta's Blog and Gateway Pundit
Forbes:
Five Reasons Why India Can't ‘Do A Gaza’ On Pakistan  —  Israel has far fewer restrictions.  —  Over the last week, many Americans (and not a few Indians) have asked me why India does not “do a Gaza” on Pakistan, referring, of course, to an emulation of Israel's punitive use of force …
Discussion: PoliBlog, Daled Amos and Commentary
Greta Van Susteren / Fox News:
What is with CNN ?  KEEPING THEM (CNN) honest: guess what CNN did!  CNN put Gov Sarah Palin in same category as John Edwards, Elliott Spitzer, Gov Blago and more!!  —  Wait until you read this one about CNN!! (and yes, I will continue to defend women who are gratuitously insulted!  I hope you will, too.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Kristen Wyatt / Associated Press:
COLO.'S NEW SENATOR RELATIVELY UNKNOWN TO VOTERS
Discussion: MSNBC
Alex Roarty / PolitickerPA:
Brother would be ‘stunned beyond words’ if Chris Matthews ran for Senate
Dan / GayPolitics.com:
Obama names gay man as director of Office of Management and Administration
Reid Wilson / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:
Gov. Gregoire's D.C. Trip Fuels Commerce Speculation
Discussion: TPM Election Central
BBC:
Ebola alert shuts Angolan border
Discussion: New York Times
Yaakov Katz / Jerusalem Post:
Hamas opens hospital for gunmen
Discussion: Israel Matzav
Kate Connolly / Guardian:
German lovers - aged six and five - try to elope to Africa
Discussion: Big Brass Blog
 Earlier Items: 
Associated Press:
Palestinians say 2nd UN school hit by airstrike
Discussion: Gateway Pundit and Israel Matzav
Helen Rittelmeyer / Ladyblog:
If She Says She Wants “Equality, Not Sameness,” She's Lying.
Wall Street Journal:
Like a Virgin: The Press Take On Teenage Sex
Bloomberg:
Italian Pensions Sapped by Private Funds Bush Backed
Discussion: Donklephant
Robert D. Kaplan / The Atlantic Online:
Iran's Postmodern Beast in Gaza