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4:15 PM ET, November 15, 2010

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell:
McConnell on Earmarks: The People Have Spoken—I'm Listening  —  Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor Monday regarding the united Republican Leadership moratorium on earmarks in the 112th Congress:
RELATED:
The Politico:
Mitch McConnell reverses; backs earmark ban
Discussion: The Page
Gschwarzcnn / CNN:
FIRST ON CNN: Romney to support earmark ban
Discussion: The Politico, Ballot Box and The Hill
Fhardingj / CNN:
In turnaround, McConnell backs ban on earmarks
Discussion: The Politico
RELATED:
Susan Crabtree / The Hill:
A weary Rangel mounts defense in ethics trial
Discussion: USA Today and CNN
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Ethics office not focus of GOP transition, leader says
Discussion: CNN and The Note
Peter Orszag / New York Times:
Safer Social Security  —  Social Security is not the key fiscal problem facing the nation.  Payments to its beneficiaries amount to 5 percent of the economy now; by 2050, they're projected to rise to about 6 percent.  Over the same period, federal health care costs will increase six times as much.
RELATED:
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
The Party of No  —  By offering up their joint recommendation last week for balancing the budget, the co-chairmen of Barack Obama's fiscal commission didn't solve our deficit problem once and for all, or clear a path through the political thickets facing would-be budget cutters.
Digby / Hullabaloo:   DC wisdom — …
Niall Ferguson / Real Time Economics:
Open Letter to Ben Bernanke  —  The following is the text of an open letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke signed by several economists, along with investors and political strategists, most of them close to Republicans:  —  We believe the Federal Reserve's large-scale asset purchase plan …
RELATED:
Liz Capo McCormick / Bloomberg:
Options Showing Quantitative Easing Working Before It Begins
Discussion: Felix Salmon
Manny Gamallo / Tulsa World:
Westboro protesters face jeers and slashed tires  —  Related Story: McAlester soldier mourned  —  McALESTER - Members of a Kansas church that protests at military funerals may have found themselves in the wrong town Saturday.  —  Shortly after finishing their protest at the funeral of Army …
Howard Kurtz / The Daily Beast:
Vicious Infighting at NBC News  —  MSNBC's president vowed to fire Keith Olbermann after he threatened to take his case to other networks.  Howard Kurtz on the civil war that has NBC brass—and his own staff—fuming.  —  Keith Olbermann was having dinner with his manager at an Upper East Side restaurant …
Cubachi:
Sen. Schumer wants a federal investigation and ban of reusable grocery bags  —  How many times have we heard from Al Gore, Hollyweird celebrities, and other environmentalists that the use of reusable bags are not only necessary for the environment, but is also useful for carrying those heavy items …
RELATED:
Shannon Behnken / TBO.com:   Sen. Chuck Schumer calls for federal investigation of reusable grocery bags
Amy Gardner / Washington Post:
Virginia Thomas stepping down as head of Liberty Central  —  Virginia Thomas, political activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, has decided to relinquish control of Liberty Central, the conservative group she founded less than a year ago, so that the organization can escape the …
David Brody / The Brody File:
Newt Gingrich on Brody File: Partially Defends Romney on Massachusetts Healthcare Law  —  Newt Gingrich, who is a strong candidate to run for President in 2012, offered at least a partial defense for Mitt Romney's healthcare initiative that he signed into law as Governor of Massachusetts.
Discussion: GOP 12
RELATED:
Justin Elliott / Salon:
Please stop asking Newt Gingrich if he'll run for president
Discussion: USA Today
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
The World as He Finds It  —  On Wednesday David Axelrod, President Obama's top political adviser, appeared to signal that the White House was ready to cave on tax cuts — to give in to Republican demands that tax cuts be extended for the wealthy as well as the middle class.
James Hibberd / Hollywood Reporter:
'Sarah Palin's Alaska' Breaks TLC Ratings Record  —  Sarah Palin's documentary / travelogue / reality / biopic shattered TLC ratings records Sunday night.  —  The debut of Sarah Palin's Alaska delivered a whopping 5 million viewers.  —  The first episode of the eight-part series was the most-watched program launch in TLC's history.
RELATED:
Lucy Madison / CBS News:
Sarah Palin's Alaska: Politics Lurk Beneath the Surface in TLC Show
E.J. Dionne Jr / Washington Post:
A lame and spineless duck?  —  The lame-duck session of Congress that kicks off this week will test whether Democrats have spines made of Play-Doh and whether President Obama has decided to pretend that capitulation is conciliation.  —  Congress faces an enormous amount of unfinished business …
Jonathan Cohn / The New Republic:
Bringing the Pain  —  Washington pundits love to bash politicians because they won't make “painful choices” about the budget.  But what happens when politicians actually do it?  The pundits bash them anyway.  And that's not just unfair to the politicians.  It actually makes solving the country's fiscal problems more difficult.
RELATED:
Michael Steele / msnbc.com:
Meet the Press Netcast
Fhardingj / CNN:
CNN Poll: Election not a mandate for GOP  —  Washington (CNN) - Americans approve of the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives in the midterms, but only one in six say the election results were a mandate for the GOP, according to a new national poll.
Myglesias / Yglesias:
Medicare After Obama  —  Playing around with the NYT's deficit calculator I came up with a plan that involves raising the eligibility age for Medicare.  —  I'm a bleeding heart, at heart, and don't like the idea of any kind of cut on social welfare expenditures.
Celeste Katz / NY Daily News:
Gov-elect Andrew Cuomo taps former Mayor Rudy Giuliani to keep New Yorkers safe  —  How's this for strange bedfellows: Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani will co-chair Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo's transition committee on public safety, the Daily News has learned.  —  Sources in the Cuomo transition say Giuliani …
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's … and Gothamist
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard / Telegraph:
Europe stumbles blindly towards its 1931 moment  —  It is the European Central Bank that should be printing money on a mass scale to purchase government debt, not the US Federal Reserve.  —  Unless the ECB takes fast and dramatic action, it risks destroying the currency it is paid to manage …
Becky Bohrer / Associated Press:
Murkowski maintains election write-in lead  —  COUNTING: About 89 percent of ballots for senator unchallenged.  —  JUNEAU — Sen. Lisa Murkowski retained 89 percent of the undisputed write-in votes in Alaska's still-undecided Senate race, as the fifth day of the ballot hand count ended.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Bob Minzesheimer / USA Today:
Obama shares dreams for his kids in book on 13 Americans
Discussion: Washington Wire and Gawker
Andy Kroll / Mother Jones:
Foreclosure King Defaults on Rent, $15 Million Loan
Discussion: Emptywheel
Lexington / Lexington's notebook:
Is America bribing Bibi or blackmailing him?
Shailagh Murray / Washington Post:
Junior Democrats in Senate seek to change the way chamber does business
Patrick O'Connor / Washington Wire:
More Cameras in the House?  —  House Republican Leader John Boehner …
Discussion: MyFox Philadelphia
Kenneth P. Vogel / The Politico:
DeMint: Steele botched ground game, needs to be replaced
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Top Republican: Hoyer is ‘the only one we really talk to’
Discussion: The Politico and Taylor Marsh
Michael D. Shear / The Caucus:
Obama Blames Himself for Tone in Washington
Discussion: The Atlantic Online and Daily Kos
 Earlier Items: 
Aaron Blake / The Fix:
Kay Bailey Hutchison weighs reelection, could face real primary
Discussion: Associated Press
Lee Fang / ThinkProgress:
Exclusive: Ensign Privately Lobbied Obama Admin For Nearly $1 Million …
Discussion: Raw Story and The Reaction
Marin Cogan / The Politico:
Allen West: Congressional Black Caucus is ‘monolithic’
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Times of India:
Talaq uttered by Muslim man on cellphone valid: Deoband
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Jihad Watch
Steve Peoples / Roll Call:
Lieberman's 2012 Race Calculus Is Big Mystery
Discussion: New York Magazine