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12:55 PM ET, January 15, 2010

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
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.
RELATED:
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 …
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 …
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 …
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.
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.
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.
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 and Daily Kos
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.
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Obama Tapes Robocall For Coakley, Hails Her As “My Ally”
Red Mass Group:
Coakley: “You can have religious freedom but you probably …
Scott / Power Line:
Is the Globe getting off Coakley's bus?
Discussion: Boston Globe and wbur.org
Joseph Curl / Washington Times:
Obama keeps his distance from Mass. race
Chris Frates / The Politico:
Dan Pfeiffer: 'It is fairly telling that opponents of reform …
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
New poll shows Brown ahead in Mass. Senate special election
Alex Isenstadt / The Politico:   GOP money, troops pour into Mass.
Ezra Klein:
The idea that would've been better than the excise tax  —  I'm more optimistic than Cato's Thomas Firey that the excise tax will bend the cost curve, but we're in full agreement that it would've been better to stick with Max Baucus's original idea and cap the employer tax exclusion …
Discussion: TalkLeft
RELATED:
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Health Care Paranoia
Ezra Klein:
Cynicism on the excise tax
Marist Poll:
1/15: Dems Duke It Out for U.S. Senate Race In NY State...Gillibrand Leads Ford  —  Since news surfaced that former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford Jr. is thinking about challenging fellow Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand for U.S. Senate in New York, politicos statewide and nationally have been in a frenzy.
RELATED:
David Brooks / New York Times:
The Underlying Tragedy  —  On Oct. 17, 1989, a major earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 struck the Bay Area in Northern California.  Sixty-three people were killed.  This week, a major earthquake, also measuring a magnitude of 7.0, struck near Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
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:
Andy Barr / The Politico:
Rush ‘meant’ what he said about Haiti  —  Rush Limbaugh is not backing down from his claim that President Barack Obama is trying to score political points off the earthquake in Haiti.  —  Challenged by a caller during his show Thursday, Limbaugh said: “If I said it, I meant to say it …
RELATED:
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 …
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.
Kathryn Jean Lopez / The Corner on National …:
Testing the Waters: Santorum Makes It Official — By: Kathryn Jean Lopez  —  In a letter that went in the mail yesterday to his PAC, the America's Foundation, Rick Santorum talks about his concerns about Barack Obama's first year of “Change we can't afford.”
Discussion: The Hill and The Awl
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.
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.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Spencer Ackerman / The Washington Independent:
Analysts Question Al-Qaeda Efforts at Counterterrorism Center
Danny Hakim / New York Times:
Cuomo's War Chest Is Five Times as Big as Paterson's
Discussion: City Room and The Page
Washington Post:
Target of unrelenting criticism, top Metro executive quits
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: 
Eric Kleefeld / TPMDC:
Specter On GOP Caucus: ‘The Pressure Was Tremendous On Everybody Not To Participate’
Discussion: Guardian
Bill Quigley / The Huffington Post:
What the Mainstream Media Will Not Tell You About Haiti …