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1:10 PM 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 …
City Room:
Live-Blogging the Rangel Hearing: Rangel Walks Out
Discussion: Gothamist and The Maddow Blog
John Bresnahan / The Politico:
Rangel ‘spectacle’ set to begin
Discussion: New York Magazine
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:
Wall Street Journal:
Fresh Attack on Fed Move  —  GOP Economists, Lawmakers Call for Abandoning $600 Billion Bond Purchase  —  WASHINGTON—The Federal Reserve's latest attempt to boost the U.S. economy is coming under fire from Republican economists and politicians, threatening to yank the central bank deeper into partisan politics.
Liz Capo McCormick / Bloomberg:
Options Showing Quantitative Easing Working Before It Begins
Discussion: Felix Salmon
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 …
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:
Lee Fang / ThinkProgress:
Exclusive: Ensign Privately Lobbied Obama Admin For Nearly $1 Million …
Discussion: The Reaction and Raw Story
James Surowiecki / New Yorker:
GREEDY GEEZERS?  —  As shellackings go, the 2010 election was as comprehensive as it gets.
Discussion: Prairie Weather
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 …
RELATED:
HotAirPundit:
Westboro Baptist Protesters Get Tires Slashed Following Protest Saturday
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
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.
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.
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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
RELATED:
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
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.
Wall Street Journal:
The GOP's Spending Tests  —  Republicans can demonstrate their fiscal sincerity by banning earmarks and appointing reformers to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.  —  Republicans return to Washington this week to organize themselves for the new Congress, and voters will be looking …
RELATED:
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Coburn: Earmark ban opponents will get primary challengers
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.
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 …
Discussion: Politics Daily and The Caucus
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?
Kenneth P. Vogel / The Politico:
DeMint: Steele botched ground game, needs to be replaced  —  The lack of a well-organized voter mobilization effort by the Republican National Committee could have cost the GOP “a few Senate seats,” Sen. Jim DeMint suggested Sunday.  —  Partly as a result, the South Carolina Republican suggested …
Discussion: Daily Kos and FrumForum
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Republican, Democratic Party Images Stable After Midterms  —  Americans' views of both parties more negative than positive  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Americans' opinions of the Republican Party are no better, and their opinions of the Democratic Party are no worse, after the recent midterm elections …
Discussion: Hot Air and CNN
 
 
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 More Items: 
Patrick O'Connor / Washington Wire:
More Cameras in the House?  —  House Republican Leader John Boehner …
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Top Republican: Hoyer is ‘the only one we really talk to’
Nathaniel Popper / Los Angeles Times:
Financial reform law offers look at lobbyists' efforts to shape it
Discussion: Politics Daily and ProPublica
Michael D. Shear / The Caucus:
Obama Blames Himself for Tone in Washington
Discussion: The Atlantic Online and Daily Kos
Aaron Blake / The Fix:
Kay Bailey Hutchison weighs reelection, could face real primary
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
 Earlier Items: 
Jim Hoft / The Gateway Pundit:
Unreal.  SEIU Local 25 and 12 Other Union Groups Receive Obamacare Waivers
Brian Stelter / Media Decoder:
NBC Ad Urges Recording News
Jeffrey Goldberg / The Atlantic Online:
TSA Opt-Out Day, Now with a Superfantastic New Twist!
Patrick Gavin / The Politico:
BUSH: ‘CLINTON AND I ARE BUDDIES’