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11:55 AM ET, January 15, 2010

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Jessica Van Sack / Boston Herald:
Poll shocker: Scott Brown surges ahead in Senate race  —  + Recent Articles + Recent Blog Entries + Email + Bio  —  Riding a wave of opposition to Democratic health-care reform, GOP upstart Scott Brown is leading in the U.S. Senate race, raising the odds of a historic upset that would reverberate …
RELATED:
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Massachusetts: ‘Bottom has fallen out’ of Coakley's polls; Dems prepare to explain defeat, protect Obama  —  Here in Massachusetts, as well as in Washington, a growing sense of gloom is setting in among Democrats about the fortunes of Democratic Senate candidate Martha Coakley.
Mickey Kaus / Kausfiles:
How Health Care Reform Could Crash  —  Poll watcher Sean Trende (if that really is his name) thinks Massachusetts GOP challenger Scott Brown may have peaked too soon.  Hmm.  Doesn't necessarily look like it. ....  Mark Blumenthal has some guidance for reading and reconciling all the Mass. polls …
Brian McGrory / Boston Globe:
Race is in a spinout  —  Martha Coakley made a jaw-dropping declaration earlier this week at the only live televised debate in Boston that she has deigned to do.  She said, and I quote, “I've traveled the state and met tremendous people.”  —  If she did, it was under the cover of darkness, with an assumed name.
Discussion: protein wisdom and Clusterstock
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
OK, It's a Toss-Up  —  Earlier today I tweeted about how there wasn't enough evidence to describe the Massachusetts special election as a “toss-up”, as some other forecasters have done, based on the information available to us at that time.  —  Well, now there's some new evidence.
Discussion: Democrats.com, Daily Kos and MyDD
Dorothy Rabinowitz / Wall Street Journal:
Martha Coakley's Convictions  —  The role played by the U.S. Senate candidate in a notorious sex case raises questions about her judgment.  —  The story of the Amiraults of Massachusetts, and of the prosecution that had turned the lives of this thriving American family to dust, was well known to the world by the year 2001.
Washington Post:
White House nears deal on health care  —  Gripped by a building sense that its window of opportunity could be closing, the White House on Thursday broke the last major logjam blocking enactment of far-reaching health-care legislation, cutting a deal with organized labor on how to tax high-cost insurance policies.
Red Mass Group:
Coakley: “You can have religious freedom but you probably shouldn't work in the emergency room”  —  Last evening, while on Broadside with Jim Braude, I told Jim that Scott Brown was trying to prevent Nuns like the Sisters of Charity that taught me from performing medical procedures contrary to their religious beliefs.
Roger L Simon / Pajamas Media:
Massachusetts shocker: Brown Up 15% in Pajamas Media/CrossTarget Poll  —  A new poll taken Thursday evening for Pajamas Media by CrossTarget - an Alexandria VA survey research firm - shows Scott Brown, a Republican, leading Martha Coakley, a Democrat, by 15.4% in Tuesday's special election for the open Massachusetts US Senate seat.
Scott / Power Line:
Is the Globe getting off Coakley's bus?
Discussion: wbur.org
Joseph Curl / Washington Times:
Obama keeps his distance from Mass. race
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
New poll shows Brown ahead in Mass. Senate special election
Chris Frates / The Politico:
Dan Pfeiffer: 'It is fairly telling that opponents of reform …
Alex Isenstadt / The Politico:
GOP money, troops pour into Mass.
Discussion: Scorecard's Blog
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Bankers Without a Clue  —  The official Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission — the group that aims to hold a modern version of the Pecora hearings of the 1930s, whose investigations set the stage for New Deal bank regulation — began taking testimony on Wednesday.
RELATED:
David Axelrod / Washington Post:
What Karl Rove got wrong on the U.S. deficit  —  For its Topic A feature last Sunday, The Post invited a panel of political operatives to offer their advice to the Democratic Party on strategy for 2010 [Sunday Opinion, Jan. 10].  Improbably, one of the operatives asked was Karl Rove …
Ezra Klein:
Cynicism on the excise tax  —  “Unions get a special two-year exclusion from the [excise] tax,” comments Megan McArdle.  “Presumably, the unions plan to go back and get their exclusion extended every few years.”  Tyler Cowen agrees with her, commenting that this will “increase the rate of unionization …
RELATED:
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Health Care Paranoia
Amanda Terkel / Think Progress:
Limbaugh stands by his Haiti remarks, tells critical caller she's a ‘bigot’ with ‘tampons in her ears.’  —  Yesterday, hate radio host Rush Limbaugh controversially said that President Obama was going to try to use the devastating Haitian earthquake to boost his credibility with the …
RELATED:
Andy Barr / The Politico:   Rush ‘meant’ what he said about Haiti
The Politico:
‘Very angry’ Dem sounds alarm  —  Democrats moved closer to a final deal on health care reform Thursday — and for some vulnerable members, the end can't come soon enough.  —  In an emotional talk with other Democrats on the Ways and Means Committee this week, North Dakota Rep. Earl Pomeroy …
New York Times:
Pentagon Report on Fort Hood Shooting Details Failures  —  WASHINGTON — The military's defenses against threats from inside its own ranks are outdated and ineffective, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said on Monday as he described the findings of an Army review of the Nov. 5 shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas.
Kim Masters / The Daily Beast:
Conan's Exit Confirmed  —  Blogs and Stories  —  The late-night nightmare is almost over.  Conan O'Brien is leaving NBC and receiving a payout—and he'll be free to appear on another network before his contract expires, Kim Masters reports.  —  The NBC-Leno-Conan war is close to ending, according to a knowledgeable source.
Discussion: Company Town, Mediaite and Gawker
RELATED:
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
One year out: President Obama's fall  —  What went wrong?  A year ago, he was king of the world.  Now President Obama's approval rating, according to CBS, has dropped to 46 percent — and his disapproval rating is the highest ever recorded by Gallup at the beginning of an (elected) president's second year.
Laura Myers / Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Black activists sing Reid's praises  —  Senator's re-election event scheduled before brouhaha over ‘Negro dialect’ comment  —  It felt more like a religious revival than a political rally, with shouts of “Amen” filling the air.  A choir of third-graders raised their voices in song before a Baptist preacher led a prayer.
Jason Horowitz / Washington Post:
Former Tennessee congressman Harold Ford Jr.  —  Harold Ford Jr. has gone viral.  —  “You can judge from the editorials in the city, and just the response in the city and in the state that people don't want party bosses telling anyone that you can't run,” Ford said in a phone interview between meetings …
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
 
 
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 More Items: 
Washington Post:
Target of unrelenting criticism, top Metro executive quits
Kathryn Jean Lopez / The Corner on National …:
Testing the Waters: Santorum Makes It Official — By: Kathryn Jean Lopez
Discussion: The Awl
Charlie Cook / National Journal Online:
Colossal Miscalculation On Health Care
Discussion: QandO
WSYR-TV:
Local students upset over letter from President Obama
Discussion: Politics Daily and Weasel Zippers
CNN:
Powell: ‘Very impressed’ with Obama administration
 Earlier Items: 
Jon Walker / Firedoglake:
Exclusive: Arkansas Democrat Vic Snyder Trailing Tim Griffin 39% …
Discussion: FiveThirtyEight and RedState
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Israel's Attitude  —  The Netanyahu government has all but declared war …
Bill Quigley / The Huffington Post:
What the Mainstream Media Will Not Tell You About Haiti …
Discussion: Dennis the Peasant
Ian Swanson / The Hill:
White House budget director blames old computers for ineffective government