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9:45 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.
Agence France Presse:
Two ex-Guantanamo inmates appear in Al-Qaeda video  —  WASHINGTON (AFP) — Two men released from the US “war on terror” prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba have appeared in a video posted on a jihadist website, the SITE monitoring service reported.  —  One of the two former inmates …
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.
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
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 …
Stephen Labaton / New York Times:
Obama Plans Fast Action to Tighten Financial Rules  —  WASHINGTON — The Obama administration plans to move quickly to tighten the nation's financial regulatory system.  —  Officials say they will make wide-ranging changes, including stricter federal rules for hedge funds …
Mark Leibovich / New York Times:
Dolls Resembling Daughters Displease First Lady  —  WASHINGTON — The company that makes Beanie Babies has introduced two new dolls, named Sweet Sasha and Marvelous Malia.  —  Hey, wait a minute, aren't Sasha and Malia the names of the Obama daughters?  Yes.  —  Coincidence?
Mickey Edwards / Los Angeles Times:
Reagan wouldn't recognize this GOP  —  The Gipper may be the patron saint of Limbaugh and Coulter, but he'd be amazed at what's been done in his name.  —  In my mind's eye, I can see Ronald Reagan, wearing wings and a Stetson, perched on a cloud and watching all the goings-on down here in his old earthly home.
 
 
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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
Robert H. Reid / Associated Press:
Elections are test for al-Maliki, Iraq
 Earlier Items: 
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