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11:25 AM ET, November 15, 2010

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
John Bresnahan / The Politico:
Charlie Rangel walks out of ethics trial  —  Complaining bitterly that he was denied the right to have an attorney present, an emotional Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) walked out of his highly publicized public ethics trial Monday morning, an unexpected twist in the ethics inquiry has tarnished Rangel's four-decade congressional career.
RELATED:
Susan Crabtree / The Hill:
A weary Rangel mounts defense in ethics trial  —  Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) plans to defend himself before a jury of his Congressional peers Monday without the assistance of an attorney in a fight for his personal reputation and possibly his career.  —  Few believe Rangel's job is on the line …
Alexander Mooney / CNN:
Rangel walks out of ethics hearing  —  Washington (CNN) - Embattled Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-New York, walked out of his House ethics subcommittee hearing Monday morning, complaining that he has not had sufficient time to hire a new legal team to respond to corruption allegations.
David Kocieniewski / New York Times:
Rangel's Hearing Set to Begin, but Details Are Few
Discussion: USA Today and msnbc.com
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
Wall Street Journal:
Fresh Attack on Fed Move
Economics Policies for the 21st Century:
An Open Letter to Ben Bernanke
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.
RELATED:
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 …
Discussion: Mario Piperni dot Com
New York Times:
Obama Returns, Facing Unpredictable Congress in a Lame-Duck Session
Discussion: msnbc.com and Associated Press
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 …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
MCCAIN MOVES THE GOAL POSTS.... A couple of months ago, when Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) led the charge to kill “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” repeal, he specifically relied on a Pentagon survey on the issue.  How, McCain said, could Congress possibly act before lawmakers know the results?
RELATED:
Josh Gerstein / The Politico:
McCain call for 'don't ask, don't tell' hearings dims repeal chances
Discussion: Wonk Room and Towleroad News #gay
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 …
The Politico:
GOP is urged to avoid social issues  —  A gay conservative group and some Tea Party leaders are campaigning to keep social issues off the Republican agenda.  —  In a letter to be released Monday, the group GOProud and leaders from groups like the Tea Party Patriots and the New American Patriots …
RELATED:
Molly K. Hooper / The Hill:
Tea Party irks new members with tactic to promote its event
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.
RELATED:
James Surowiecki / New Yorker:
GREEDY GEEZERS?  —  As shellackings go, the 2010 election was as comprehensive as it gets.
Discussion: Prairie Weather
RELATED:
Myglesias / Yglesias:
Uncertainty and Aggregate Demand
Discussion: Dennis the Peasant
Patrick Gavin / The Politico:
BUSH: ‘CLINTON AND I ARE BUDDIES’  —  Despite their political differences, the Bush family has really taken to Bill Clinton.  (Clinton has worked with both the 41st and 43rd presidents on humanitarian efforts.)  —  And CNN's Candy Crowley, during her Sunday interview with George W. Bush and his brother …
RELATED:
People.com:
Bill Clinton Joins Cast of The Hangover 2
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.
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.
New York Times:
U.S. Plan Envisions Path to Ending Afghan Combat  —  WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has developed a plan to begin transferring security duties in select areas of Afghanistan to that country's forces over the next 18 to 24 months, with an eye toward ending the American combat mission there by 2014, officials said Sunday.
Jeffrey Goldberg / The Atlantic Online:
TSA Opt-Out Day, Now with a Superfantastic New Twist!  —  November 24th, as many of you already know, is National Opt-Out Day, when airline passengers should refuse to submit themselves to those privacy-invading, genital-picture-taking, radiation-delivering back-scatter imaging machines now installed at many American airports.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Coburn: Earmark ban opponents will get primary challengers
Ben Farmer / Telegraph:
Taliban prisoners 'would be freed from Guantánamo to join …
Discussion: Emptywheel and Atlas Shrugs
Mike Lux / Open Left:
A Party for the Middle Class
Discussion: Crooks and Liars
Jim Hoft / The Gateway Pundit:
Unreal.  SEIU Local 25 and 12 Other Union Groups Receive Obamacare Waivers
Wall Street Journal:
America's Broadband Opportunity
Discussion: Federal Eye
 Earlier Items: 
Binyamin Appelbaum / New York Times:
Putting Money on Lawsuits, Investors Share in the Payouts
Discussion: The Awl, The BLT and PointOfLaw Forum
Brian Stelter / Media Decoder:
NBC Ad Urges Recording News