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2:30 PM ET, January 5, 2011

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Reuters:
Anti-Nancy Pelosi vote looms  —  House Democrats are closely watching who votes against Rep. Nancy Pelosi during the floor session that officially taps the next speaker of the House — a roll call that may show some lingering anti-Pelosi sentiment among a handful of Democrats.
RELATED:
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.
Carl Hulse / New York Times:
As Boehner Ascends, His Power Comes With Caveats  —  WASHINGTON — Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio is set to complete a remarkable political revival Wednesday when he becomes the 61st speaker of the House, placing him squarely at the crossroads between the desires of conservative activists …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
HOUSE REPUBLICANS TO BREAK KEY PROMISE ON DAY 1.... When House Republican leaders unveiled their Pledge to America in September, it included a pretty striking promise to voters — if elected, the GOP majority would “roll back government spending” by “at least $100 billion in the first year alone.”
Discussion: Salon, CNN and AOL News
Political Correction RSS:
GOP Budget Chairman Paul Ryan: “I Can't Tell You The Answer” To Specific Spending Cuts  —  3 hours and 30 minutes ago — Matt Finkelstein  —  This morning on NBC, incoming House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) discussed the spending cuts that Republicans plan to enact in the new Congress.
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
Jon Ward / The Daily Caller:   Democratic staff passed out a press release to reporters …
Erik Wasson / The Hill:
House Republicans back away from pledge to cut $100 billion from budget
Discussion: Yglesias and National Review
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
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Robert Gibbs will leave job as White House press secretary
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
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Boehner, congressional leaders change Twitter titles in web change-of-power
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 …
Ezra Klein:
Repealing health-care reform would cost hundreds of billions of dollars — and Eric Cantor knows it  —  House Republicans are in a pickle: One of their new rules says that new legislation must be paid for.  But the health-care bill reduces the federal deficit by more than $100 billion over the next 10 years.
RELATED:
Kathleen Hennessey / Los Angeles Times:
‘Tea party’ freshmen embrace status quo
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
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:
Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar / Associated Press:
Administration reverses on end-of-life counseling
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.
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.
RELATED:
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
111th Congress Averaged 25% Approval, Among Recent Lowest
Discussion: Politics Daily and National Review
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]
Discussion: Hot Air
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
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
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 …
Wall Street Journal:
Facebook Deal Spurs Inquiry  —  SEC Launches Review of 1960s-Era Disclosure Regulations for Private Firms  —  The Securities and Exchange Commission has begun examining whether disclosure rules for privately held firms need to be rewritten as a result of recent deals allowing investors …
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 …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Jason Millman / Ballot Box:
Dem senator: Congress should pursue alternatives to individual health mandate
Discussion: HotAirPundit
Aharding / CNN:
Gingrich and Santorum heading to South Carolina
Discussion: GOP 12
Jason Horowitz / Washington Post:
Reading between Constitution's lines
Jacqui Cheng / Ars Technica:
Warrantless cell phone search gets a green light in California
Ed Payne / CNN:
Is Alec Baldwin interested in political office? The answer is ‘yes’
Discussion: New York Magazine
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 …
 Earlier Items: 
The Huffington Post:
Fed Moves To Gut Predatory Lending Regulation
City Journal:
The Benefits Storm  —  Why New York can't afford enough …
Greg Jaffe / Washington Post:
Navy fires Capt. Owen Honors over raunchy videos
Jennifer Rubin / Right Turn:
Morning Bits  —  In other words, he drives the left batty.
Jennifer Epstein / The Politico:
‘Speaker’ Pelosi finally gives up title on Twitter
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Big Tent Democrat / TalkLeft:
Norquist Triumphant  —  Digby: … The problem is not the deficit sez the Beltway.
Discussion: Hullabaloo