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11:05 PM ET, February 4, 2010

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
The Politico:
Franken lays into Ax over health bill  —  Sen. Al Franken ripped into White House senior adviser David Axelrod this week during a tense, closed-door session with Senate Democrats.  —  Five sources who were in the room tell POLITICO that Franken criticized Axelrod for the administration's failure …
RELATED:
The Huffington Post:
Obama's Engagement On Health Care Has ‘Dried Up’: Dem Senator  —  WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?  —  Despite urging Democratic senators on Wednesday to forge ahead on health care reform, President Obama and his aides have been largely hands-off in guiding the legislative process, Senate aides tell the Huffington Post.
Carrie Budoff Brown / The Politico:
A slowdown on health care  —  A week ago, Democratic congressional leaders said they hoped to settle on a health care strategy by the end of this week.  —  But they are expected to leave for the weekend without having made any final decisions or tangible progress.
Discussion: CNN
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Palin Camp Rips Limbaugh, Hits His “Retard” Comment As “Crude And Demeaning”  —  Sarah Palin versus Rush Limbaugh!  —  Palin believes Limbaugh's repeated use of the word “retard” yesterday was “crude and demeaning,” her spokesperson emails.  —  In the wake of Palin's demand that Rahm Emanuel …
RELATED:
Jake Gibson / Fox News:
Palin Camp Fires Back at Washington Post
John Cook / Gawker:
There's No Good Reason the National Enquirer Shouldn't Win a Pulitzer Prize  —  The National Enquirer has thrown its hat in the ring for a 2010 Pulitzer Prize, seeking official recognition from the media Brahmins for its ownership of the John Edwards sex scandal.  Said Brahmins are harrumphing, and here's why they're wrong.
Discussion: Majikthise, Mediaite and Romenesko
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Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
My John Edwards Failure  —  I've been thinking about what seems to me a double standard in my treatment of vice-presidential frauds, with respect to Sarah Palin and John Edwards, and trying to figure out where I went wrong.  No, I'm not backtracking on Palin: all I regret is not being able to expose her for real yet.
Chicago Sun Times:
Details surface of Scott Lee Cohen's 2005 domestric violence arrest  —  Scott Lee Cohen — a pawnbroker who shocked state Democratic leaders Tuesday night by winning the party's nomination for lieutenant governor — was arrested about four-and-a-half years ago and accused of holding a knife …
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Jim Treacher / The DC Trawler:
Last night I got hit by a car and broke my knee  —  Sometime between 7 and 7:30, not long after I got home from work, I walked to the CVS on 22nd and M to get some bread, milk, and a SmartTrip card.  I was right across the street from the CVS, and I waited for the crosswalk light to tell me to go before I crossed.
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Laurie Goodstein / New York Times:
National Prayer Breakfast Draws Controversy  —  For more than 50 years, the National Prayer Breakfast has served as a prime networking event in Washington, bringing together the president, members of Congress, foreign diplomats and thousands of religious, business and military leaders for scrambled eggs and supplication.
RELATED:
Ben Frumin / TPM LiveWire:
Obama Makes Birther Joke At Prayer Breakfast (VIDEO)
Discussion: The Caucus, Raw Story and Newsalert
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Our Strange Constitution  —  I'm not even slightly surprised to find out that the Obama administration has some kind of process in place to assassinate American citizens who it's decided are in cahoots with terrorists.  I was always raised to appreciate the “out of control spies” …
Discussion: Ezra Klein and Dennis the Peasant
RELATED:
Steve Krakauer / Mediaite:
NBC Cafeteria Celebrates Black History Month With Fried Chicken Special (Update)  —  So who at NBC thought it would be a good idea for the special today to be, among other things, fried chicken, “in honor of Black History Month”?  —  Because, spoiler alert - it wasn't a good idea at all.
TPMDC:
Boehner Distances Republicans From Ryan Budget...But He Can't Name A Single Objection  —  House Republicans are at pains to point out that a far-reaching budget roadmap unveiled by their top budget guy, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), isn't their budget, but when asked today at a press conference …
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CNN:
Brown to take Kennedy's office
Discussion: The Politico and The Hill
Eric Kleefeld / TPMDC:
Poll: Republicans Prefer Having A Deficit With Tax Cuts, Over A Balanced Budget And Higher Taxes  —  A new Rasmussen poll supplies a very interesting data point in the ongoing debate about the budget deficit: As it turns out, Republican voters would prefer having a deficit if it meant …
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
New Hampshire independents abandoning Obama in droves: Poll  —  The crucial independent voters of notoriously independent New Hampshire, the ones who were so vital to Barack Obama's 2008 victory there and nationally, are fast falling out of love with the Democrat.
CNN:
Biden ponders filibuster reform  —  Washington - Moments after swearing in Sen. Scott Brown, R-Massachusetts, whose presence in the Senate means Democrats no longer have their 60-vote filibuster-proof supermajority, Vice President Joe Biden told reporters he thinks filibusters have been abused …
Tony Romm / The Hill:
Gibbs to Sen. Bond: Apologize to law enforcement, White House for leak claim  —  Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is calling on Republican Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) to apologize “to the law enforcement community and those that work in this building” for alleging the White House had leaked classified information …
Discussion: Political Punch and Raw Story
Peterhamby / CNN:
Club for Growth targets Gingrich  —  Newt Gingrich is being attacked by the conservative Club for Growth.  —  Washington (CNN) - The conservative Club for Growth is hitting back at former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for criticizing the small government group during an appearance in Utah for Republican Sen. Bob Bennett.
Discussion: American Power
Marc Lacey / New York Times:
10 Americans in Haiti Are Charged With Abduction  —  PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Ten Americans detained after trying to take 33 Haitian children across the border last week were charged Thursday with abduction and criminal association, according to prosecutors.
Thom Shanker / New York Times:
U.S. General Offers Upbeat Views on Afghan War  —  ISTANBUL — The senior commander of American and allied forces in Afghanistan offered a guarded but unexpectedly upbeat assessment of the war effort on Thursday, saying that while the situation remained dangerous it was no longer deteriorating …
James Hohmann / The Politico:
Pelosi may wait on 'Don't Ask' vote  —  Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi suggested Thursday that Democrats may wait on voting to repeal the ban on gays in the military until after the midterm elections and after the Pentagon has completed a full review of its “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy.
The Note:
Landrieu says Republicans should ‘shut their mouth’  —  ABC News' Z. Byron Wolf reports: Don't mess with Mary Landrieu.  —  The Democratic Senator from Louisiana has had about enough of people criticizing the clause she helped put into the Senate version of health care reform and she took …
Retracto / Big Journalism:
Correction Request: Max Blumenthal, Salon.com  —  In Max Blumenthal's article “James O'Keefe's race problem” for Salon.com of February 3, 2010, Mr. Blumenthal makes a number of unverifiable and provably false claims regarding James O'Keefe's attendance at a 2006 conference called “Race and Conservatism.”
Dick Brass / New York Times:
Microsoft's Creative Destruction  —  AS they marvel at Apple's new iPad tablet computer, the technorati seem to be focusing on where this leaves Amazon's popular e-book business.  But the much more important question is why Microsoft, America's most famous and prosperous technology company …
Amanda Terkel / Think Progress:
Chris Wallace on whether Palin will sit on his lap during their interview: ‘One can only hope.’  —  This week, former Alaska governor and Fox News contributor Sarah Palin will be on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, in his first Sunday show appearance ever.
Bloomberg:
Ken Lewis, Bank of America Sued by Cuomo for Fraud  —  Feb. 4 (Bloomberg) — Former Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Lewis was sued by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo for defrauding investors and the government when buying Merrill Lynch & Co. The bank agreed …
Discussion: CNNMoney.com, The Hill and Hullabaloo
Philip Terzian / Weekly Standard:
Clarence Thomas on Why He Skips the State of the Union  —  I don't go because it has become so partisan.  —  One final contribution to the post-mortem on the State of the Union address.  —  In a question-and-answer session at Stetson University College of Law in Florida this week …
Joan E. Darrah / CNN:
My secret life under 'don't ask, don't tell'  —  Editor's note: Retired Navy Capt. Joan E. Darrah served 29½ years as a naval intelligence officer and was chief of staff and deputy commander at the Office of Naval Intelligence.  She has received several awards: three Legion of Merits …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Alex Leary / The Buzz:
Crist, Rubio oppose changing 'don't ask, don't tell' policy …
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Sherrod Brown: Senate should use 50-vote tactic on more than healthcare
NY Post: Knickerbocker:
Dispute over Paterson, Ford dinner grows
Daniel Stone / Newsweek Blogs:
The Revolution Kicks Off—In Style
Discussion: Nashville Scene
Molly K. Hooper / The Hill:
Conyers wants Haiti relief official demoted over diversity deficit
Discussion: Townhall.com
Kevin Bogardus / The Hill:
Obama nominee's fate in flux as labor lawyer loses GOP support
Discussion: Commentary
 Earlier Items: 
Kbh / KeithHennessey.com:
Ten years ago? Seriously?
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Charlie Baker: Scott Brown, part deux?
Discussion: AmSpecBlog and Washington Post
Megan McArdle:
How Unions Work  —  In a valiant attempt to defuse …
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Ariane De Vogue / ABCNEWS:
Obama Prepares for 2 Supreme Vacancies