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3:25 PM ET, January 5, 2011

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Jeff Zeleny / The Caucus:
Gibbs to Leave as White House Press Secretary  —  Updated Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary and close confidante to President Obama, said Wednesday that he will step down and become an outside political adviser to the president and his re-election campaign.
RELATED:
Sam Youngman / The Hill:
Howard Dean endorses Daley for chief of staff, rips White House  —  Former DNC chairman and Vermont Gov. Howard Dean said Wednesday that William Daley would be a “huge plus” for the Obama administration if he is tapped to be the president's new chief of staff.
Discussion: The Politico, Weasel Zippers and TPMDC
Robert Pear / New York Times:
U.S. Alters Rule on Paying for End-of-Life Planning  —  WASHINGTON — The Obama administration, reversing course, will revise a Medicare regulation to delete references to end-of-life planning as part of the annual physical examinations covered under the new health care law, administration officials said Tuesday.
RELATED:
Reuters:
19 Democrats vote against Nancy Pelosi  —  Nearly 20 Democrats abandoned their party's pick for speaker of the House, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), a sign of their concerns about supporting the unpopular former speaker and of the difficulty she will have in marshaling her forces …
Carl Hulse / New York Times:
As Boehner Ascends, His Power Comes With Caveats
Jon Ward / The Daily Caller:   Democratic staff passed out a press release to reporters …
The Note:
John Boehner Poised to be Speaker With His Entire Extended Family Watching
Discussion: CNN, The Caucus and Online NewsHour
Jackie Calmes / New York Times:
Republicans Lower Goal for Cuts to Budget  —  WASHINGTON — Many people knowledgeable about the federal budget said House Republicans could not keep their campaign promise to cut $100 billion from domestic spending in a single year.  Now it appears that Republicans agree.
RELATED:
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
HOUSE REPUBLICANS TO BREAK KEY PROMISE ON DAY 1. …
Discussion: Salon, CNN and AOL News
Political Correction RSS:
GOP Budget Chairman Paul Ryan: “I Can't Tell You The Answer” …
Erik Wasson / The Hill:
House Republicans back away from pledge to cut $100 billion from budget
John R. Parkinson / ABCNEWS:
Exclusive: President Michele Bachmann?  —  Sources: Tea Party Favorite Is Mulling a Presidential Bid in 2012  —  Forget the fervent chatter speculating that Tea Party favorite Rep. Michele Bachmann is considering launching a campaign to challenge Sen. Amy Klobuchar for the Minnesota U.S. Senate seat …
CNN:
Tea Party leaders not swayed by Lugar meeting  —  Washington (CNN) - Hoping to head off a primary challenge from the right, Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Indiana, sat down with Tea Party leaders last month but did little to persuade them of his conservative credentials.
Discussion: Ballot Box and National Review
RELATED:
Sean Higgins / Investor's Business Daily:
Hoyer: Tea Party People Come From Unhappy Families  —  On the eve of his demotion by voters from House Majority Leader to House Minority Whip, Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., Hoyer offered this insight into the psychology of the Tea Party movement: … So, there you have it.
Discussion: Right Pundits and National Review
Myglesias / Yglesias:
Biting the Bullet on Majority Rule  —  Ruth Marcus says filibuster reformers should watch what we wish for: … This is the most frequent objection I hear to Senator Udall's proposal, but I don't think it makes sense.  The 113th Senate will change the rules to adopt a majority voting procedure …
RELATED:
Warren P. Strobel / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
WikiLeaks: ‘Voluptuous’ nurse cable costs diplomat his job  —  WASHINGTON — In what appears to be the first diplomatic casualty from the latest WikiLeaks revelations, the U.S. ambassador to Libya has returned to Washington and is likely to leave his post, U.S. officials said Tuesday.
Zaid Jilani / ThinkProgress:
GOP Rep. Mulvaney, Against Raising Debt Ceiling, Admits He Doesn't ‘Know’ What Will Happen If It Isn't Raised  —  In recent weeks, a number of high-profile Republicans have stated their intention to vote against any increase to the U.S. debt limit.  From Sen. Mike Lee (UT) to Rep. Michelle Bachmann …
RELATED:
Mary Katharine Ham / The Daily Caller:
Flip Flop Alert: Harry Reid on raising the debt ceiling in 2006 [VIDEO]
David Harsanyi / Denver Post:
The Constitution is dead.  Long live the Constitution.  —  Every patriotic fiber of my body tells me that reading the Constitution aloud at the commencement of congressional sessions is a good idea.  Heck, a pop quiz might even be in order.  It is vital that members of Congress fully immerse themselves …
Discussion: Cold Fury
Michael Barone / Washington Examiner:
Wily old Dems take on whippersnapper Republicans  —  Curious fact, unearthed by Gerald Seib of the Wall Street Journal.  The average age of Republican House members in the new Congress convening today is 54.9, younger than the Republicans' average age in the previous Congress, 56.5.
Discussion: Betsy's Page
David Leonhardt / Economix:
Q.&A. With Gov. Mitch Daniels  —  Following are excerpts of my recent interview with Mitch Daniels, the Republican governor of Indiana:  —  Q. ...  what is it that government essentially does too much of now?  What's the common theme here of things that you can get government to stop doing without adversely affecting people's lives?
Paul Krugman:
Fiscal Shock  —  I see that the Washington Post editorial board is shocked, shocked to discover that the incoming Republicans aren't serious about deficit reduction.  Who could have suspected?  —  I was going to be snarky all the way here, but actually let's be serious …
Keren Blankfeld / Blank Checks:
Donald Trump For President 2012?  A Conversation With The Donald.  —  Rumors have been circling the Web buzzing that real estate billionaire Donald Trump will run for U.S. President on the Republican ticket in 2012.  I spoke with The Apprentice star this morning to find out what he'd do as the United States' 45th President.
Ezra Klein:
The incumbent's advantage  —  In theory, I'm the perfect customer for the Nissan Leaf.  I don't drive frequently.  I don't need a car with much space.  I never need to go farther than 100 miles at a time.  —  But the Nissan Leaf wouldn't work for me at all, as I don't own a garage …
Discussion: Slate
USA Today:
‘Earmarks’ to nowhere: States losing billions  —  WASHINGTON — Almost 13 years ago, Rep. David McIntosh, R-Ind., directed $375,000 in federal funding “to improve State Road 31” in Columbus, Ind., a city at the edge of his district.  —  The McIntosh “earmark” seemed routine at the time …
The Huffington Post:
Fed Moves To Gut Predatory Lending Regulation  —  WHAT'S YOUR REACTION? … The Federal Reserve is pushing a new mortgage regulation that would effectively eliminate the most powerful federal remedy for predatory lending.  —  The regulation would severely limit a practice called “rescission …
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Post-Midterm Approval Ratings Don't Predict Re-Election Chances  —  Barack Obama got some good news to start his new year: his Gallup approval rating ticked up to 50 percent yesterday, against 42 percent disapproval.  That's the first time it has been at the 50 percent threshold since early June.
Darren Samuelsohn / The Politico:
Rockefeller takes aim at EPA  —  Firing the first salvo in what is expected to be a top energy issue in the new Congress, Sen. John Rockefeller said Wednesday that he's rearing to go in his controversial bid to handcuff the Environmental Protection Agency's climate regulations for two years.
Discussion: AmSpecBlog
 
 
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 More Items: 
The Politico:
Priority no. 1: Pass long-term budget plan
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Robin Sidel / Wall Street Journal:
At Banks, New Fees Replacing Old Levies
Brian Fitzpatrick / WorldNetDaily:
Now look who else is infiltrating CPAC
Jason Millman / Ballot Box:
Dem senator: Congress should pursue alternatives to individual health mandate
Discussion: HotAirPundit
Jason Horowitz / Washington Post:
Reading between Constitution's lines
Ed Payne / CNN:
Is Alec Baldwin interested in political office? The answer is ‘yes’
Discussion: New York Magazine
 Earlier Items: 
Chicago Tribune:
Don't repeal health care law
Discussion: The Reid Report and Politics Daily
William D. Cohan / Vanity Fair:
Huffing and Puffing  —  Reminiscent of Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg …
City Journal:
The Benefits Storm  —  Why New York can't afford enough …
Big Tent Democrat / TalkLeft:
Norquist Triumphant  —  Digby: … The problem is not the deficit sez the Beltway.
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Kathleen Hennessey / Los Angeles Times:
‘Tea party’ freshmen embrace status quo
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit