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5:50 AM ET, January 20, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Alex West / The Sun:
Deadliest weapon so far... the plague  —  Terrorists train ... but they face invisible killer  —  At least 40 al-Qaeda fanatics died horribly after being struck down with the disease that devastated Europe in the Middle Ages.  —  The killer bug, also known as the plague …
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Eli Lake / Washington Times:
Al Qaeda bungles arms experiment  —  Biological or chemical weapons  —  An al Qaeda affiliate in Algeria closed a base earlier this month after an experiment with unconventional weapons went awry, a senior U.S. intelligence official said Monday.  —  The official, who spoke on the condition …
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
On Moving Day for 2 First Families, a Bit of Magic by 93 Pairs of Hands  —  WASHINGTON — The peaceful transfer of power that will take place at the Capitol on Inauguration Day is, to many, a miracle of American democracy.  But down at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, another sort of miracle will occur: Moving Day.
Discussion: The Politico, TIME.com, TalkLeft and Salon
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Washington Post:
On First Full Day, Obama Will Dive Into Foreign Policy  —  President-elect Barack Obama will plunge into foreign policy on his first full day in office tomorrow, finally freed from the constraints of tradition that has forced him and his staff to remain muzzled about world affairs during the 78-day transition.
Discussion: Wall Street Journal
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Obama Web-site imitation bears virus
Michael Isikoff / Newsweek:
No Pardon For Libby  —  Bush uses clemency powers sparingly to the end  —  I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby was convicted of lying and obstructing a leak investigation over the run-up to the Iraq war.  —  In a move that has keenly disappointed some of his strongest conservative allies …
RELATED:
Deb Riechmann / Associated Press:
Bush commutes sentences of former US border agents
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
VERY POOR CHOICE  —  As most of you likely know, the inauguration committee sold HBO the exclusive rights to broadcast yesterday's inaugural concert festivities.  I don't think that was a good idea since certainly not every American subscribes or can subscribe to HBO.
Discussion: Balloon Juice
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Andrew Breitbart / Big Hollywood:
I Pledge to Ridicule Celebrities Who Refuse to Recognize We Are At War With People Who Want to Kill Them, Too  —  Many of the celebrities that were central to demonizing and making life impossible for President Bush for eight loathsome years NOW want to help with the heavy lifting of bringing America …
Christopher Hitchens / Slate:
Why I'm not sorry that George W. Bush beat Al Gore and John Kerry.  —  Yes, yes, I was on the downtown streets of Washington bright and early, mingling with the bright-eyed and the wide-eyed.  Yes, by all means I was there on the Mall Sunday afternoon, feeling no more moist than the next person …
Khaled Abu Toameh / Jerusalem Post:
‘Hamas torturing Fatah members in Gaza’  —  Hamas militiamen have rounded up hundreds of Fatah activists on suspicion of “collaboration” with Israel during Operation Cast Lead, Fatah members in the Gaza Strip told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.  —  They said the Hamas crackdown on Fatah intensified …
John / Power Line:
PRESIDENT BUSH: AN ASSESSMENT  —  President Bush leaves office mostly unloved, with some poll respondents saying that they consider him one of our worst presidents ever.  This in itself is odd.  Generally, our worst Presidents have been one-termers, for obvious reasons: James Buchanan …
John Collins Rudolf / New York Times:
Banks Foreclose on Builders With Perfect Records  —  TEMPE, Ariz. — Dave Brown, one of this city's best-known home builders, had kept his head above water through the housing downturn, not missing a single interest payment on his loans.  So he was confounded a few months back when one of his banks …
Discussion: The Big Picture
Eric Dash / New York Times:
Mexican Billionaire Invests in Times Company  —  The New York Times Company said Monday it had reached an agreement with the Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helú for a $250 million loan intended to help the newspaper company finance its businesses.  —  Under the terms of the deal …
Discussion: Grasping Reality …
Barton Gellman / Washington Post:
Obama's Moment Arrives  —  Historians Say He Could Redefine the Presidency  —  Barack Obama takes office today with a realistic prospect of joining the ranks of history's most powerful presidents.  —  The more familiar observation, that he confronts daunting trials, enhances that prospect.
Discussion: MSNBC and TIME.com
Matthew Cooper / TPMDC:
The Racial Thaw  —  It's a cliche that people who came of age after the civil rights movement, can't imagine the world of Jim Crow and segregation that preceded them.  To a lesser extent, at 45—I turn 46 on Wednesday—I find it slightly hard to explain what America's racial environment …
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Will-be President Obama lauds would-be president McCain  —  It was a tough, nearly 2-year-long battle that cost Americans upward of $1 billion just between the last two men left standing.  —  And tonight at a special D.C. dinner, on the eve of becoming the nation's 44th president at Tuesday's inauguration …
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Christopher Beam / Slate:
Slate crashes Bush's farewell party.  —  You can often tell a party by its parties.  This week, Democrats are feting the incoming chief with top-shelf DJs, valet parking, and more coat checks than coats.  Republicans, on the other hand, seem to be partying on a tight budget, if at all.
Jonn Lilyea / This ain't Hell …:
BDS rages in DuPont Circle  —  This morning, in DuPont Circle, eight blocks from the White House, Bush Derangement Syndrome raged among the old coots of VFP, VVAW, IVAW, Code Pink, World Can't Wait and who knows who else was there.  Their main attraction was throwing shoes at this thirty-foot blow …
Debra Black / Toronto Star:
William Ayers turned back at Canadian border  —  An American education professor, one of the founders of a radical 1960s group known as the Weather Underground, which was responsible for a number of bombings in the United States in the early 1970s, was turned back at the Canadian border last night.
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
NOT SO MUCH  —  Theda Skocpol responds to Rep. Frank ...  I have to say, my read is very, very similar to Theda's.  I hope Frank was speaking in a more general sense rather than one of literal grand bargains or broad political economic quid pro quos.  In fact, I agree so much I think I'm …
Discussion: Corrente and Lance Mannion
Ann Althouse / Althouse:
Here's the post where you can say good-bye to George Bush.  —  The sun has set on the last night of the Bush presidency.  Now, tired old George can retreat to Texas and not be kicked around anymore.  He can wait for that history he's always talking about to do its curative work.
Discussion: Hot Air
Andy Borowitz / The Huffington Post:
In Last Official Act, Bush Repeals English Language  —  In what he hoped would be the capstone to his eight years as President, George W. Bush today signed an executive order repealing the English language.  —  Scrawling his name on the official document, Mr. Bush said that in abolishing English …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Greg Mankiw / Greg Mankiw's Blog:
Krugman on Stimulus Skeptics
Jon Henke / The Next Right:
The Cost of the Inauguration: A Cold Wind Blows
Discussion: Firedoglake and Reason
Ethan Bronner / New York Times:
Israel Speeds Withdrawal From Gaza
Discussion: Room for Debate, Gothamist, Truthdig and BBC
Associated Press:
Saudi Arabia pledges $1 billion to rebuild Gaza
Discussion: AMERICAblog News
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Anti-torture lawyer Lederman joining administration
Discussion: The Anonymous Liberal
Jill Treanor / Guardian:
Sharp drop in bank shares raises nationalisation fears
Discussion: The Sideshow
RealClearWorld:
Bush's Foreign Policy Successes
 Earlier Items: 
Cnaan Liphshiz / Haaretz:
Israel recruits ‘army of bloggers’ to combat anti-Zionist Web sites
Discussion: Global Guerrillas
Gary Becker / The Becker-Posner Blog:
Infrastructure in a Stimulus Package-Becker
Luigi Zingales / voxeu.org:
Yes we can, Mr Geithner
Discussion: EconLog
Jacque Wilson / CNN:
Chris Rock on making fun of Barack Obama
Discussion: The Moderate Voice