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2:15 PM ET, January 7, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
I want to play poker with Harry Reid.  Really I do.  —  Rather than call for a special election in Illinois, Reid sends a letter to Blagojevich signed by everyone in the Democratic caucus asking him to step down.  They assert that they will not seat anyone he appoints.  —  Harumph.
RELATED:
The Huffington Post:
Dem Aide: Obama Team Pushed To Seat Burris  —  The apparent decision to seat Roland Burris came after aides to President-elect Barack Obama contacted senior Senate Democrats and suggested that they reverse course and accept Gov. Rod Blagojevich's controversial appointment, according to a senior Dem congressional aide.
Chicago Breaking News:
Senate leader leaves door ajar for Burris  —  WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid opened a potential path to seating Roland Burris in the Senate after a 45-minute meeting with the former Illinois attorney general at the Capitol this morning.  —  After days in which Senate leaders …
John Bresnahan / The Politico:
Reid vows to lead till at least 2015  —  Harry Reid vowed Tuesday that he'll lead the Senate until 2015 and beyond, taunting Republicans who'd like to unseat him and dashing the hopes of Democrats who'd like to succeed him.  —  The Nevada Democrat, who is up for reelection in 2010 …
Brian Montopoli / CBS News:
Report: Burris Will Get Obama Senate Seat  —  Roland Burris, the man appointed to Barack Obama's Senate seat by embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, will be allowed to take the seat, according to the Associated Press.  —  Spokespersons for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin are denying the report.
Jacob Sullum / Reason:
Reid Is Backing Down As Fast As He Can  —  The Washington Post and The Boston Globe are both reporting that the Senate's Democratic leaders, after insisting that no one appointed by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich would be allowed to replace Barack Obama, are getting ready to let Roland Burris take his seat after all.
Walter Dellinger / New York Times:
City of Cold Shoulders
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Illinois Secretary of State backs Burris, downplays own role
Discussion: The Fix, CBS News and Daily Kos
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Reid aide denies Senate seating Burris
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blogs:
Reid: Give Stevens a Get-of-Jail Card
Washington Post:
Blair House Mystery Solved: It's John Howard  —  The veil is lifted.  We now know who is booked at Blair House, kicking President-elect Barack Obama and his family to the waiting list and across Lafayette Park to the Hay-Adams Hotel.  —  The only overnight visitor at the presidential guest manse …
RELATED:
Ali Frick / Think Progress:
White House Asked Howard To Stay In Blair House To Give ‘Some Plausible Reason’ For Refusing Obama  —  In December, President-elect Obama asked the White House if he and his family could move into Blair House — the White House's guest house — a week early, so that his daughters Malia and Sasha could start school.
Thomas L. Friedman / New York Times:
The Mideast's Ground Zero  —  The fighting, death and destruction in Gaza is painful to watch.  But it's all too familiar.  It's the latest version of the longest-running play in the modern Middle East, which, if I were to give it a title, would be called: “Who owns this hotel?  Can the Jews have a room?
RELATED:
Marc Ambinder:
Ross, Holbrooke, Haass To Serve As Envoys  —  Transition officials confirm that President-elect Obama has asked Dennis Ross, Richard Haass, and Richard Holbrooke, to serve as his chief emissaries to world hot spots.  —  It's expected that Ross will get the Iran portfolio, that Holbrooke …
Reuel Marc Gerecht / Wall Street Journal:   Iran's Hamas Strategy
New York Times:
Obama Warns of Prospect for Trillion-Dollar Deficits  —  WASHINGTON — President-elect Barack Obama on Tuesday braced Americans for the unparalleled prospect of “trillion-dollar deficits for years to come,” a stark assessment of the budgetary outlook that he said would force his administration …
RELATED:
New York Times:
$1.2 Trillion Deficit Forecast as Obama Weighs Options  —  WASHINGTON — Changes in Social Security and Medicare will be central to efforts to bring federal spending in line, President-elect Barack Obama said Wednesday, as the Congressional Budget Office projected a $1.2 trillion budget deficit for the fiscal year.
Discussion: The Economic Populist
Washington Wire:
Obama's Remarks on His Pick for Chief Performance Officer
Discussion: GayPatriot and Change.gov
Lori Montgomery / Washington Post:
Obama Predicts Years of Deficits Over $1 Trillion
Kevin Vance / Weekly Standard:
Team Sarah Infiltrated  —  Administrators of Team Sarah have uncovered evidence on a left-wing online thread that some Internet trolls sought to discredit the organization by posing as conservative racists on Team Sarah's forums.  —  Team Sarah, an online community supportive of Gov. Sarah Palin …
Discussion: Flopping Aces and Washington Times
A Soldier's Mother:
The Images they Show...  There are images that break your heart.  The news is filled with them today and they can easily sway you to think that all of the situation in the Middle East comes down to a picture.  How horrible, truly tragic, unacceptable and wrong it is to have a child die.
RELATED:
Maureen Dowd / New York Times:
Sweet on Caroline  —  Ask not, you know, what your country can, like, do for you.  Ask what you, um, can, you know, do for your country.  —  After a lifetime of shying away from the public spotlight, Caroline Kennedy asked herself what she could do for her country.
Jeff Stein / SpyTalk:
CIA Man: Spies' Reaction to Panetta ‘Overwhelmingly Negative’  —  A retired senior CIA operations officer who quit last summer after 20 years tracking terrorists says the rank-and-file reaction to President-elect Obama's choice of Leon E.Panetta to run the spy agency has been “overwhelmingly negative.”
Associated Press:
Joe the Plumber named war correspondent in Israel for conservative Web site  —  Joe the Plumber is taking on a new job.  —  The Ohio man, who became famous during the U.S. presidential campaign after asking Barack Obama about his tax plan, is heading to Israel as a war correspondent for a conservative Web site called pjtv.com.
Martin Kramer / Sandbox:
ABC: Anything But Cole  —  Juan Cole is running two campaigns on his blog.  One is against Israel—business as usual for Cole.  The other is promoting his blog in the 2008 Weblog Awards competition (Middle East category), where there are ten finalists (I am one).
Washington Post:
Obama Is Under Fire Over Panetta Selection  —  Current, Ex-CIA Officials Criticize ‘Opaque’ Process  —  President-elect Barack Obama said yesterday that he has selected a “top-notch intelligence team” that would provide the “unvarnished” information his administration needs, rather than “what they think the president wants to hear.”
 
 
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 More Items: 
BBC:
Israel accepts truce ‘principles’
Discussion: Firedoglake and Hot Air
David M. Dickson / Washington Times:
House to vote on fair pay bills
Discussion: AmSpecBlog
BBC:
Turkey holds 30 over ‘coup plot’
United States Senator Tom Coburn:
Dr. Coburn Calls Omnibus Lands Package a Return to Business As Usual
Discussion: Michelle Malkin and Moonbattery
Nat Hentoff / Village Voice:
Nat Hentoff's Last Column: The 50-Year Veteran Says Goodbye
Discussion: City Room and Runnin' Scared
Paul J. Gough / Reuters:
HBO lands rights to inaugural ceremony
Discussion: RedState
 Earlier Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
Waiting for Dodd
Discussion: Betsy's Page
Ynetnews:
‘Hamas has nothing left but rockets’
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
The DOJ pursues the “real criminal” in the NSA spying scandal
Discussion: theheretik.us
The Atlantic Online:
The End of White America?
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Nick Perry / Seattle Times:
11 gay bars get letters threatening ricin attacks
Discussion: Shakesville
 

 
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TechCrunch:
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Cristiano Lima-Strong / Washington Post:
Sources detail how Senate Commerce Committee chair Maria Cantwell, who recently proposed a privacy bill, has undermined privacy negotiations for years

Ken Yeung / VentureBeat:
Elon Musk's xAI previews Grok-1.5 Vision, its first multimodal model, and says the AI model will be available soon to “early testers and existing Grok users”

 
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