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4:15 PM ET, February 4, 2010

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
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)  —  At this morning's national prayer breakfast in Washington D.C., President Obama made a birther joke.  —  Calling once again for a return to civility in politics, the president declared that civility is “not a sign of weakness” …
Discussion: Newsalert
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Tough talk comes after Obama exits  —  Senate Democrats held back from asking President Barack Obama about healthcare reform during a carefully scripted question-and-answer session in front of television cameras.  —  With the cameras rolling, a group of senators selected in advance …
RELATED:
David Dayen / Firedoglake:
Senate Dem Leadership Announces Jobs Agenda, Without Jobs Details
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 …
RELATED:
Chicago Sun Times:
Lt. gov. nominee: I won't drop out of race over abuse history
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog and RedState
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 …
RELATED:
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
Justice Defends Ruling on Finance  —  WASHINGTON — In expansive remarks at a law school in Florida, Justice Clarence Thomas on Tuesday vigorously defended the Supreme Court's recent campaign finance decision.  —  And Justice Thomas explained that he did not attend State of the Union addresses …
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.
RELATED:
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.
RELATED:
E.J. Dionne Jr / Washington Post:
Off-message, Biden recasts the Obama agenda  —  Vice President Biden is tired of seeing the Obama administration's economic stimulus plan demeaned, derided and dismissed, and he wanted to talk about it.  —  But a funny thing happened in the course of an interview at Biden's White House office on Tuesday afternoon.
RELATED:
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
AMERICAN GREATNESS LIBERALISM.... One of the more robust applause lines …
Discussion: democracyarsenal.org
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Charlie Baker: Scott Brown, part deux?  —  Sen. Scott Brown's (R) special election victory last month in Massachusetts was cast by many political operatives — of both parties — as a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence, the result of the confluence of factors that would be almost impossible to replicate in a future contest.
Discussion: AmSpecBlog and Washington Post
RELATED:
Jules Crittenden:
Enough With The Idol-Worship Sopfest Already
Discussion: Boston Globe and msnbc.com
Lee Fang / Think Progress:
Flashback: In 2009, Scott Brown Said The Senate Health Bill 'Mirrors …
Discussion: The New Republic
Eric Kleefeld / TPMDC:
Poll: Republians 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 …
RELATED:
Rasmussen Reports:
41% Fine With Budget Deficit If Taxes Are Cut
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias and YID With LID
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
On the claimed “war exception” to the Constitution  —  Last week, I wrote about a revelation buried in a Washington Post article by Dana Priest which described how the Obama administration has adopted the Bush policy of targeting selected American citizens for assassination if they are deemed (by the Executive Branch) to be Terrorists.
RELATED:
Matea Gold / Los Angeles Times:
Comedian Jon Stewart takes the hot seat with Bill O'Reilly  —  In a vigorous, policy-laden debate, ‘The Daily Show’ host blasts Fox's ‘panic attack’ coverage of Obama and the economy.  O'Reilly says ‘the narrative of a couple of guys’ doesn't represent the whole network.
RELATED:
David Neiwert / Crooks and Liars:   Jon Stewart to O'Reilly: Fox foments 'full-fledged panic attack …
Dana Bash / CNN:
Brown to get Kennedy's office space  —  Washington (CNN) — After Scott Brown gets sworn in Thursday afternoon, he won't just be taking Ted Kennedy's Senate seat, he will also be taking over his plush office space in the Senate Russell building.  —  Several Senate sources tell CNN …
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 …
RELATED:
Carrie Budoff Brown / The Politico:   Landrieu offers a defiant defense of deal
Ariane De Vogue / ABCNEWS:
White House Prepares for Possibility of 2 Supreme Court Vacancies  —  SCOTUS Watchers Believe Justices Stevens and Ginsburg Could Decide to Step Aside  —  Lawyers for President Obama have been working behind the scenes to prepare for the possibility of one, and maybe two Supreme Court vacancies this spring.
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 …
Megan McArdle:
How Unions Work  —  In a valiant attempt to defuse the ideological conflicts between the reformist and traditionalist wings of the liberal education wonketariat, Matthew Yglesias argues that this disagreement is not not ideological at all.  Rather, it is an artifact of past decisions about educational structure:
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
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 getting worse.
Kbh / KeithHennessey.com:
Ten years ago?  Seriously?  —  On Monday when releasing his budget the President said: … This is a common refrain from the President and his team.  —  Argument: The previous administration and previous Congresses created an expensive new drug program ... without paying for any of it.
Discussion: Outside The Beltway
Kate Hoit / The Huffington Post:
The Hurt Locker Doesn't Get This Vet's Vote  —  Military personnel everywhere should be celebrating: the war flick The Hurt Locker has been nominated for nine Oscar's.  American's were so curious about the war and the soldiers who fight in it they bought 10 dollar movie tickets.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Kevin Bogardus / The Hill:
Obama nominee's fate in flux as labor lawyer loses GOP support
Discussion: Commentary
Eric Zimmermann / The Hill:
GOP senators propose earmark freeze, balanced budget amendment
Discussion: Naked Politics
 Earlier Items: 
Tyler Cowen / Marginal Revolution:
Medicare vouchers  —  Ross Douthat surveys and evaluates …
Gail Collins / New York Times:
Florida, We Have a Problem
Discussion: JustOneMinute