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12:30 PM ET, December 15, 2010

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
DeMint will force readings of START Treaty and omnibus bill  —  Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) will force readings of both a nuclear arms treaty and $1.1 trillion spending bill that could eat up hours of the remaining lame-duck Congress.  —  DeMint will invoke a senatorial privilege to ask …
RELATED:
Wall Street Journal:
Harry Reid's Holiday Jam  —  What the Senate wants to pass while you're not paying attention.  —  In the famous formulation often attributed to George Washington, the U.S. Senate is the saucer designed to cool the drink before it becomes law.  In Majority Leader Harry Reid's rush to beat …
Discussion: Right Turn and Betsy's Page
David M. Herszenhorn / The Caucus:
Dreaming of a Post-Christmas Congress  —  The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, said on Tuesday that Democrats were not prepared to give up any of their priorities and would work as long as it takes - right up until the end of the 111th Congress on Jan. 4 - to deal with their punch list …
Manu Raju / The Politico:
DeMint threatens to force a reading of omnibus bill
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Myglesias / Yglesias:
The Christmas Session  —  Jon Kyl, rather preposterously …
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Congress' Job Approval Rating Worst in Gallup History  —  Thirteen percent approve of the way Congress is handling its job  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Americans' assessment of Congress has hit a new low, with 13% saying they approve of the way Congress is handling its job.
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Washington Post:
Post-ABC Poll: Public not yet sold on GOP  —  Republicans made major gains in the November elections, but they have yet to win the hearts and minds of the American people, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.  —  The midterm elections - where Republicans gained 63 seats …
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Poll finds voters not impressed with Republicans' House takeover that hasn't happened yet  —  Premature Emasculation  —  With Republicans still 20 days away from taking control of one chamber of Congress, the House of Representatives, the Washington Post could no longer resist delivering …
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Approval of Congress hits all-time low in Gallup poll
Discussion: Gallup and FrumForum
Ben Dimiero / Media Matters for America:
FOXLEAKS: Fox boss ordered staff to cast doubt on climate science  —  In the midst of global climate change talks last December, a top Fox News official sent an email questioning the “veracity of climate change data” and ordering the network's journalists to “refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed …
RELATED:
Keach Hagey / The Politico:   Fox editor urged climate skepticism
Lev Grossman / Time:
Mark Zuckerberg  —  On the afternoon of Nov. 16, 2010, Mark Zuckerberg was leading a meeting in the Aquarium, one of Facebook's conference rooms, so named because it's in the middle of a huge work space and has glass walls on three sides so everybody can see in.
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Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Time's POTY: Facebook founder?
RELATED:
Sewell Chan / New York Times:
G.O.P. Panelists Dissent on Cause of Crisis  —  WASHINGTON — The Republican members of the commission appointed by Congress to investigate the causes of the financial crisis plan to release on Wednesday a document that assigns government housing policies substantial blame for the origins of the 2008 financial crisis.
The Politico:
Obama plans 2011 staff makeover  —  President Barack Obama has delayed the most significant staff shuffle of his presidency until after New Year's — but the changes may be more sweeping than anticipated and could include the hiring of high-profile Democrats defeated in the midterms.
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog, Hot Air and FrumForum
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Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
The inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning's detention  —  (updated below)  —  Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old U.S. Army Private accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, has never been convicted of that crime, nor of any other crime.  Despite that, he has been detained …
Lori Montgomery / Washington Post:
House Democrats consider amendments to estate tax  —  As the Senate prepared Tuesday to push through a sweeping tax package negotiated by the White House and congressional Republicans, House leaders were looking to amend the measure to satisfy the concerns of angry liberals without unraveling the deal altogether.
RELATED:
Russell Berman / The Hill:
For House Democrats, fight over tax cuts is now about saving face
Discussion: The Politico, USA Today and TPMDC
Chris Van Hollen / Washington Post:
First, fix the estate tax giveaway
David Cay Johnston / Nieman Reports:
It's Scary Out There in Reporting Land  —  ‘Beats are fundamental to journalism, but our foundation is crumbling.’  —  To understand how badly we're doing the most basic work of journalism in covering the law enforcement beat, try sitting in a barbershop.  When I was getting my last haircut …
Brad Phillips / Mr. Media Training:
2012 Election Preview: The Final Rankings  —  Editor's Note: This morning, we issued a press release on the national wires that ranks the 18 most likely 2012 Republican contenders - and President Obama - on their communications skills.  Below, you'll find the full text of that release.
Radley Balko / The Agitator:
An Honest Question for Lefties  —  First, read Julian Sanchez on the health care mandate and the Commerce Clause.  —  Next, I posed this question to Chris Hayes on Twitter, so I'll pose to those of you who read this site who are outraged by the Hudson ruling: Putting aside what's codified Bill of Rights …
Discussion: Bottom-up
RELATED:
Megan McArdle / The Atlantic Online:
The Preposterousness of the Commerce Clause
Discussion: Viking Pundit
National Review:
Anybody but Steele  —  Say what you will about him — Michael Steele plays by nobody else's rules.  He shocked the political world on Monday night by announcing he'd run for reelection as chairman of the Republican National Committee.  We admire his pluck, but not his judgment.
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog and USA Today
RELATED:
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
GOP donors: We'll leave if Steele stays
Discussion: FrumForum and The Gateway Pundit
Melissa Bell / BlogPost:
School board shooting (Video)  —  A school board meeting went from discussing head lice to members pleading for their life Tuesday in Florida when an ex-convict, Clay Duke, interrupted the Bay District School Board meeting, brandishing a gun and mumbling about how the school board had fired his wife …
RELATED:
Jonathon M. Seidl / The Blaze:
FL SCHOOL BOARD SHOOTER POSTED SUICIDE NOTE RAILING AGAINST THE RICH, LINKING TO MEDIA MATTERS  —  Clay Duke, the man who opened fire on a Florida school board Tuesday, posted a “last testament” on Facebook decrying the wealthy and linking to a slew of progressive sites including theprogressivemind.info and MediaMatters.org.
Christian Heinze / Ballot Box:
In shift, Sarah Palin stresses electability as a reason to run for president  —  Over the past month, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) has quietly altered her case for the presidency in a savvy shift of rhetoric.  —  The lofty goal?  Turning the main reason a Republican might oppose her into the primary reason for voting for her.
Discussion: Classical Values
Donna Leinwand / USA Today:
Kids write Santa this year for basic needs instead of toys  —  Santa Claus and his elves are seeing more heartbreaking letters this year as children cite their parents' economic troubles in their wish lists.  —  U.S. Postal Service workers who handle letters addressed to Santa at the North Pole …
Discussion: Left Coast Rebel and FrumForum
 
 
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 More Items: 
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
The political problem with the deficit
Discussion: The Hill and Hotline On Call
Myglesias / Yglesias:
Deficit-Talk
Discussion: Ezra Klein
Hal Dardick / Chicago Tribune:
Emanuel takes early lead in race for Chicago mayor
Discussion: Ballot Box, NBC Chicago and FrumForum
Keith Bradsher / New York Times:
U.S. Called Vulnerable to Rare Earth Shortages
Discussion: Pundits Blog
Kevin Sessums / The Daily Beast:
Kevin Spacey on Casino Jack
Discussion: Towleroad News #gay and Advocate
David Leonhardt / New York Times:
Opposition to Health Law Is Steeped in Tradition
MNN:
Is oil and gas production causing earthquakes in Arkansas?
 Earlier Items: 
Yuval Levin / National Review:
The Democrats' Capstone  —  The proposed Senate omnibus bill makes …
Discussion: Cold Fury
Elisabeth Bumiller / New York Times:
Intelligence Reports Offer Dim View of Afghan War
Martin Indyk / The New Republic:
How We Can Honor Richard Holbrooke's Memory
Theodore H. Frank / Washington Examiner:
Manhattan Moment: Courts shouldn't ignore due process to create class actions
Discussion: Betsy's Page
Electronic Frontier Foundation:
Breaking News on EFF Victory: Appeals Court Holds that Email …