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4:00 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:
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 …
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.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Illinois Secretary of State backs Burris, downplays own role
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:
Michael Calderone / Michael Calderone's Blogs:
Matthews: Todd ‘just lost his virginity’  —  After a record-setting number of transition press conferences in Chicago, Obama answered questions from reporters in Washington for the first time as President-Elect.  On hand were several new members of the White House press corps.
Discussion: The Swamp and TVNewser
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:
Glenn Kessler / Washington Post:
Unintended Consequences Pose Risks for Mideast Policy
Discussion: Guardian, Time and TIME.com
Reuel Marc Gerecht / Wall Street Journal:
Iran's Hamas Strategy
Discussion: Commentary
Associated Press:
Joe the Plumber to become war correspondent  —  TOLEDO, Ohio - Joe The Plumber is putting down his wrenches and picking up a reporter's notebook.  —  The Ohio man who became a household name during the presidential campaign says he is heading to Israel as a war correspondent for the conservative Web site pjtv.com.
RELATED:
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.
Thomas E. Ricks / Foreign Policy:
Fiasco at the Army War College  —  Did faculty members at the Army War College curtail their criticism of the Iraq war for fear of institutional retaliation?  —  That seems to be the bottom line in a situation I stumbled across just a few days ago.  A friend passed along a 2005 e-mail note …
RELATED:
Ezra Klein / American Prospect:
THE CASE FOR TENURE.  —  In 2005, the Army War College's …
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
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:
Andy Barr / The Politico:
Kemp diagnosed with cancer  —  Former GOP vice presidential nominee Jack Kemp, 73, has been diagnosed with cancer.  —  According to a statement from his consulting firm, Kemp Partners, doctors are still testing Kemp before determining a course of treatment.
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.
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: Washington Times and Flopping Aces
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.”
David Harsanyi / Denver Post:
Get out of the way, you old fogies  —  Warning: This column is replete with ageism — a hazardous prejudice to have in a nation growing progressively older.  —  The average American's life expectancy (or, as it's referred to in Washington, the “junior senator") is now a crusty 77 years.
Discussion: Reason
Ron Kampeas / The Telegraph:
The best reporter in Gaza  —  Ibrahim Barzak is one of the best reporters I know.  —  We got to know each other back in 1992, when he was about 16; I had just started with AP, and he had inherited his father's correspondency.  Hikmet Barzak, who married late in life, had died after reporting Gaza for the AP since the 1950s.
Ezra Klein / American Prospect:
PARTISAN SELF-DECEPTION.  —  Matt Yglesias notes that left-of-center commentary has been notably more pessimistic on the state of the economy than right-of-center commentary.  He offers three hypotheses (left-wing positions are psychologically correlated to pessimism, pessimism was correct …
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias and TigerHawk
Little Green Footballs:
IDF Kills Giant Jew-Eating Rabbit  —  Last Friday on Hamas TV, Gaza's children learned that the IDF had killed Assud, the giant Jew-eating rabbit.  —  Very sad, but at least the bunny didn't have to undergo amputation.  —  FurryOldGuyJeans ::  49 seconds ago
Discussion: Seraphic Secret
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.
Max Blumenthal / Blogs and Stories:
Rick Warren's Africa Problem  —  The Truth About Rick Warren's AIDS in Africa Work by Max Blumenthal  —  Blogs and Stories  —  Team Obama likes to cite Warren's work on AIDS in Africa to combat criticism about the controversial pastor.  But how does burning condoms in the name of Jesus save lives?
Discussion: Towleroad and Joe. My. God.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Jared Allen / The Hill:
Both sides wonder what Pelosi means by ‘center’
Discussion: RedState
Tony Mauro / The BLT:
The Kagan File  —  The praise coming from Harvard Law School colleagues …
Discussion: The Volokh Conspiracy
Michael Falcone / The Caucus:
McCain Starts ‘Country First’ PAC
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Optimism Inversion  —  One noteworthy trend over the past five years …
 Earlier Items: 
David M. Dickson / Washington Times:
House to vote on fair pay bills
Discussion: AmSpecBlog
Nat Hentoff / Village Voice:
Nat Hentoff's Last Column: The 50-Year Veteran Says Goodbye
Discussion: Runnin' Scared and City Room
Paul J. Gough / Reuters:
HBO lands rights to inaugural ceremony
Discussion: RedState
Martin Kramer / Sandbox:
ABC: Anything But Cole
Discussion: Michael J. Totten
Ynetnews:
‘Hamas has nothing left but rockets’
Nick Perry / Seattle Times:
11 gay bars get letters threatening ricin attacks
Discussion: Shakesville