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2:30 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
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 …
Rileyc / CNN:
Brown to take Kennedy's office  —  Sen.-elect Scott Brown will be sworn in Thursday in Washington.  —  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.
RELATED:
Lee Fang / Think Progress:
Flashback: In 2009, Scott Brown Said The Senate Health Bill 'Mirrors …
Discussion: The New Republic
Fox News:
With Signed Certification in Hand, Scott Brown Heads to Washington
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 …
Tyler Cowen / Marginal Revolution:
Medicare vouchers  —  Ross Douthat surveys and evaluates the debate over Paul Ryan's “Medicare vouchers” plan.  Here Ezra interviews Ryan.  —  I am very interested in voucher plans but here is one source of my unease.  Let's say you are given a voucher for a health insurance plan …
RELATED:
Allan Sloan / Yahoo! Finance:
Next in Line for a Bailout: Social Security
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.
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.
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 …
Bloomberg:
Initial Jobless Claims in U.S. Unexpectedly Climbed  —  Feb. 4 (Bloomberg) — More Americans unexpectedly filed first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, indicating companies lack confidence the economic recovery will be sustained.  —  Initial jobless applications increased …
RELATED:
Christopher S. Rugaber / Associated Press:
First-time jobless claims rise unexpectedly
Discussion: Financial Times, Hot Air and Wizbang
Eli Lake / Washington Times:
‘Permission’ needed to kill U.S. terrorists  —  The U.S. intelligence community policy on killing American citizens who have joined al Qaeda requires first obtaining high-level government approval, a senior official disclosed to Congress on Wednesday.  —  Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair …
RELATED:
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
On the claimed “war exception” to the Constitution
David M. Herszenhorn / New York Times:
Details Scarce as Democrats Outline Jobs Plan  —  WASHINGTON — Senate Democratic leaders unveiled a new “jobs agenda” on Thursday morning, and said they hoped to hold a first vote on the legislation early next week.  But they offered no details, and presented only a scant outline of proposals …
RELATED:
David Dayen / Firedoglake:
Senate Dem Leadership Announces Jobs Agenda, Without Jobs Details
Chicago Breaking News:
Emotional Hynes ends Democratic governor campaign  —  Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes concedes to Gov. Pat Quinn at Hynes campaign headquarters in Chicago today.  (José M. Osorio/ Chicago Tribune)  —  Dan Hynes ended his Democratic governor campaign today, calling Gov. Pat Quinn and pledging his support in the fall campaign.
RELATED:
Larry O'Connor / Big Journalism:
James O'Keefe vs. Max Blumenthal: How the Left Distorts, Invents and Lies  —  It started with a blog post at something called One People's Project, in which someone named Daryle Jenkins claimed: … The photograph that One People's Project shows as its proof (above) is cropped and just shows O'Keefe from the shoulders up.
Corey Pein / Santa Fe Reporter:
BORN POOR?  —  SANTA FE ECONOMIST SAMUEL BOWLES SAYS YOU BETTER GET USED TO IT  —  Consider these two numbers.  Don't worry, there won't be a quiz.  —  The first number is 3,500.  —  The second is 32.  —  The first is how many jobs Santa Fe County lost in 2009, according to the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.
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.
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 …
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blog:
NAACP flunks GOP on civil rights  —  The NAACP is out with its annual report card, and Republicans have been awarded F's virtually across the board, thanks to their position on a variety of civil right issues, most notably their killing of the DC voting rights bill.  —  [PDF of the rankings.]
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
Wall Street Journal:
Cuomo Charges BofA, Executives With Fraud  —  New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo filed civil securities fraud charges against former Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis and former Chief Financial Officer Joseph Price, alleging they decided not to disclose mounting losses at Merrill Lynch & Co …
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
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 …
Discussion: Silicon Alley Insider and Engadget
 
 
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 More Items: 
Eric Zimmermann / The Hill:
GOP senators propose earmark freeze, balanced budget amendment
Discussion: Naked Politics
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Asian-Americans Lean Left Politically
Ariane De Vogue / ABCNEWS:
White House Prepares for Possibility of 2 Supreme Court Vacancies
Discussion: Shakesville
 Earlier Items: 
Neil King Jr / Wall Street Journal:
Deficit Hawk Turns Dove at Home
Chris Isidore / CNNMoney.com:
Poof: Another 800,000 jobs disappear
Discussion: Hotline On Call and The Page
Los Angeles Times:
Congressional Democrats are nay-saying Obama's budget
Discussion: Dennis the Peasant
Gail Collins / New York Times:
Florida, We Have a Problem
Discussion: JustOneMinute
Kenneth P. Vogel / The Politico:
GOP cash provides 2012 clues
Discussion: GOP 12