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10:10 AM ET, January 25, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Guantanamo Case Files in Disarray  —  President Obama's plans to expeditiously determine the fates of about 245 terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and quickly close the military prison there were set back last week when incoming legal and national security officials …
RELATED:
Tdog / the talking dog:
Backsliding will NOT be acceptable  —  I cannot emphasize that strongly enough: we MUST hold The President's feet to the fire with respect to what he has made one of the signal aims of his Administration, to wit, the closure of Guantanamo Bay and related illegal facilities.
Joby Warrick / Washington Post:
To Combat Obama, Al-Qaeda Hurls Insults  —  Soon after the November election, al-Qaeda's No. 2 leader took stock of America's new president-elect and dismissed him with an insulting epithet.  “A house Negro,” Ayman al-Zawahiri said.  —  That was just a warm-up.
Ron Rosenbaum / Slate:
The Worst Pop Singer Ever  —  Why, exactly, is Billy Joel so bad?  —  This may seem an odd moment to bring up the subject of Billy Joel.  But the recent death of the painter Andrew Wyeth revived a long-standing debate over whether his art is respectable or merely sentimental schlock.
Maureen Dowd / New York Times:
Which Governor Is Wackier?  —  I love Blago.  —  I love his beady little eyes.  I love his Serbian shock of hair.  I love his flaring nostrils.  I love the way he jogs through the snow under indictment, like a stork in spandex trying to gallop.  I love the way he compares himself …
RELATED:
Alan S. Blinder / New York Times:
Six Errors on the Path to the Financial Crisis  —  WHAT'S a nice economy like ours doing in a place like this?  As the country descends into what is likely to be its worst postwar recession, Americans are distressed, bewildered and asking serious questions: Didn't we learn how to avoid such catastrophes decades ago?
Discussion: The Big Picture
Mark Hosenball / Newsweek:
A Loophole In the Rules  —  From the magazine issue dated Feb 2, 2009  —  Publicly at least, President Obama has made a clean break with his predecessor's controversial counterterrorism policies, but in private the new administration is leaving itself some wiggle room.
Discussion: Emptywheel
Dave Kopel / Rocky Mountain News:
Rocky, Post go all out for inaugural  —  Has there ever been such a frenzy of Denver newspaper attention to a presidential inauguration?  —  To find out, I surveyed the archives of the Rocky Mountain News and The Denver Post.  I counted staff-written articles (not articles from wire services …
Discussion: The Volokh Conspiracy
Ethan Bronner / New York Times:
A Play About Shells for Gaza Children  —  GAZA — The boys clapped and sang to pulsating music.  They played games and shouted.  It could have been a group activity at any school in any place, but this was the middle school in the Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza, near where the United Nations …
Discussion: Obsidian Wings and Commentary
Isabel Vincent / New York Post:
RANGEL PROBERS AWOL  —  ETHICS INQUIRY STALLS AS POLS LEAVE PANEL  —  Nobody's home at the House ethics committee that's supposed to be investigating Rep. Charles Rangel.  —  The panel created on Sept. 24 to probe the Harlem Democrat's alleged ethical lapses has been virtually disbanded …
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
West Wing on steroids in Obama W.H.  —  President Barack Obama is taking far-reaching steps to centralize decision-making inside the White House, surrounding himself with influential counselors, overseas envoys and policy “czars” that shift power from traditional Cabinet posts.
Anthony Shadid / Washington Post:
Iraq Election Highlights Ascendancy of Tribes  —  In Anbar, Clans Are Coddled, Cultivated  —  RAMADI, Iraq — In rugged western Iraq, once the bastion of the insurgency against the American occupation and now a freewheeling arena of electoral politics steeped in payola …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Andrew Higgins / Wall Street Journal:
How Israel Helped to Spawn Hamas
Discussion: Harry's Place
Los Angeles Times:
Google ready to pursue its agenda in Washington
Discussion: RedState and Pajamas Media
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Obama gets his opening grade
Discussion: Don Surber
Mark Leibovich / New York Times:
Dolls Resembling Daughters Displease First Lady
Discussion: The Swamp
 Earlier Items: 
Robert H. Reid / Associated Press:
Elections are test for al-Maliki, Iraq
Wall Street Journal:
Detroit Bets Its Future on Washington
Discussion: Reason
The Huffington Post:
House Stimulus Bill (FULL TEXT)
Discussion: D-Day and MyDD
Mark Steyn / Orange County Register:
Obama raises heart rates, lowers expectations