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2:50 PM ET, February 9, 2011

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Webb won't seek reelection  —  Virginia Democratic Senator Jim Webb plans to announce today that he won't seek reelection, the Senator confirmed Wednesday.  —  Webb appeared likely to face a rematch with former Senator George Allen, whom he beat in a bruising 2006 contest.
RELATED:
Ben Pershing / Virginia Politics Blog:
Sen. James Webb won't run for reelection in 2012  —  Sen. James Webb (D-Va.) has announced that he will not run for reelection in 2012.  —  Webb's decision, long anticipated by many in Virginia politics, will make his seat more difficult to hold for his party.
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Jim Webb's retirement (and what it means)  —  Virginia Sen. Jim Webb's decision not to seek re-election creates an open seat in traditionally Republican territory that could further tilt the map in the GOP's favor as they aim to win back the Senate in 2012.  —  Webb's announcement …
RELATED:
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
The Tea Party and civil liberties  —  It's long been clear that the best (and perhaps only) political hope for civil liberties in the U.S. is an alliance that transcends the standard Democrat v. GOP or left v. right dichotomies.  Last night's surprising (and temporary) failure of the House …
Adam Serwer / The Plum Line:
Newsflash: Tea Party didn't kill Patriot Act  —  Yesterday, a vote on reauthorizing three expiring provisions of the Patriot Act failed after most Democrats and a few Republicans voted against it.  So does the vote represent a new Tea Party revolt against big government?  Hardly.
Discussion: Firedoglake, Weigel and Examiner
David Rogers / The Politico:
GOP cuts target EPA, high speed rail
Discussion: appropriations.house.gov and CNN
Russell Berman / The Hill:
After defeat on Patriot Act, Boehner says GOP ‘not perfect every day’
Discussion: The Politico
Felicia Sonmez / Washington Post:
House rejects measure that would extend key Patriot Act provisions through December
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
Obama's Approval Rating on Deficit Sinks to New Low  —  Egypt ranks among issues on which Obama is best rated  —  PRINCETON, NJ — President Barack Obama's approval rating for handling the federal budget deficit has gone from bad to worse in recent months, even as his ratings …
RELATED:
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Just as things looked brighter for Obama, Americans' approval …
Discussion: Gallup
Quinnipiac University:
New Jersey Voters Say Christie's First Year A Success, Quinnipiac …
Discussion: The Hill, CNN and GOP 12
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
Arianna Huffington's ideological transformation  —  Did Arianna Huffington just sell out her fellow progressives?  —  In the literal sense, she undoubtedly has: The sale of Huffington Post to AOL for $315 million (including a large pile of cash going to Huffington herself) …
RELATED:
Tim Rutten / Los Angeles Times:
AOL ♥ HuffPo. The loser? Journalism
Simmi Aujla / The Politico:
West: AOL-HuffPo merger threatens tea party groups
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Democrats: Justice Thomas should recuse himself in healthcare reform case  —  A group of 73 House Democrats on Wednesday demanded U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas recuse himself from any case examining the constitutionality of healthcare reform.  —  Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) …
Discussion: The Politico, The Note and The Fix
RELATED:
Felicia Sonmez / Washington Post:
House Democrats say Justice Thomas should recuse himself in health-care case  —  Seventy-four House Democrats have signed a letter to Clarence Thomas asking the Supreme Court justice to recuse himself from any deliberations on the constitutionality of the national health care overhaul …
Ta-Nehisi Coates / The Atlantic Online:
Labor  —  Surveying the GOP's latest efforts to usher forth a particular species of fiscal responsibility, I was recalled to a bit of personal history, which I try to not to think about.  Like a lot of couples, the notice that our family would increase by a half was greeted with great joy.
RELATED:
Nicholas Ballasy / CNSNews:
Lautenberg to Pro-Life Republicans: 'Don't Go Near My Daughters'
Mike / Rortybomb:
Monetary Policy Hearing Today, or: Ron Paul Versus the Kochtopus.  —  Ron Paul is holding one of his first monetary policy hearings today, and he hasn't sold out.  Ron Paul is from the school of libertarians that hates D.C. libertarians, which is weird since Ron Paul is one of the most well-known libertarians …
Discussion: Yglesias, RedState and Paul Krugman
RELATED:
Michelle Malkin / Townhall.com:
Who's Policing Amtrak Joe Biden's Rail Boondoggles?  —  At Philadelphia's 30th Street Station on Tuesday, lifelong government rail promoter Vice President Joe Biden unveiled a $53 billion high-speed train initiative and half-joked: “I'm like the ombudsman for Amtrak.”
Discussion: Moonbattery and The Foundry
RELATED:
Michelle Malkin:
Culture of corruption: Who's policing Amtrak Joe Biden's $53 …
Charles Thomas / WLS-TV:
ABC7 poll: Emanuel leading mayor's race  —  ABC7's exclusive poll on the Chicago mayor's race provides a snapshot of how the candidates are doing as we head into the final two weeks of the campaign.  —  Rahm Emanuel's 54 percent share in the survey suggests an overwhelming lead …
Discussion: The Hill
RELATED:
Jennifer Epstein / The Politico:
Rahm Emanuel captures enormous polling lead
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
At CPAC, the race for second place as Paul goes all out  —  The Conservative Political Action Conference's annual straw poll typically indicates three things: Whom CPAC's segment of the conservative base prefers for president; who bought tickets for their supporters; and whether Ron Paul is really trying.
Discussion: GOP 12 and Wonkette
Marin Cogan / The Politico:
Insurance reality hits House GOP  —  Ask any House Republican about repealing President Barack Obama's health care law, and you'll get the same fiery, self-assured talking points about tearing down what Speaker John Boehner has called a “monstrosity.”  —  But talk to some of the 16 freshman lawmakers …
Christian M. Wade / TBO Politics:
RNC's former Tampa convention team spent $1 million  —  TAMPA - They rented an exclusive waterfront mansion, wined and dined at five-star restaurants and hired family members and friends, all on the taxpayers' dime.  —  Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele's 2012 convention team based …
Discussion: Mother Jones and National Review
Suzi Parker / Politics Daily:
Breaking the Sarah Palin Trademark Story: A Lesson in Journalism Ethics … Sometimes a light bulb goes off.  —  One night at 2 a.m. I was reading a story by Matt Lewis about Herman Cain, a possible 2012 presidential candidate from Georgia.  Pursuing the Cain story further …
Discussion: Firedoglake and Poynter
Mark Bittman / Opinionator:
Is ‘Eat Real Food’ Unthinkable?  —  In recent weeks we've seen a big, powerful government agency, a big, powerful person and a big, powerful corporation telling us what to eat.  Even with all this big, powerful input, we know nothing that we didn't know last year.
John Vidal / Guardian:
Saudi oil reserves ‘overstated by 40%’  —  US diplomat convinced by Saudi expert that reserves of world's biggest oil exporter have been overstated by nearly 40%  —  • Peak oil alarm revealed by secret official talks  —  • Datablog: Are we running out of oil?
 
 
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 More Items: 
Ben Smith / The Politico:
Susan Rice warns GOP against U.N. cuts
Stephen Dinan / Washington Times:
CPAC fissure over gays deepens
Jeff Zeleny / New York Times:
A Conservative Gathering Will Test G.O.P. Hopefuls
Discussion: LGBT | POV and Indecision Forever
Erik Wasson / The Hill:
Senators see presidential support for ‘line-item veto’ bill
Discussion: Michelle Malkin
James Fallows / The Atlantic Online:
1968-1975: How ‘X-Rated’ Became Synonymous With ‘Porn’
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
Jackson Lee blasts ‘demeaning’ Pepsi Super Bowl ad
Barry Eichengreen / Project Syndicate:
Why Egypt Should Worry China
 Earlier Items: 
Lee Fang / ThinkProgress:
Republicans Call For Defunding Half-Finished Stimulus Projects …
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Jennifer Yachnin / Roll Call:
Former Members Get Millions From Pensions
Discussion: USA Today
Reginald Fields / Plain Dealer:
Ohio Republican lawmakers introduce slew of bills aimed at …
Discussion: Mother Jones
David D. Kirkpatrick / New York Times:
Protest in Egypt Takes a Turn as Workers Go on Strike
Discussion: hrw.org, Guardian, Wonkette and The Nation
Noel Sheppard / NewsBusters.org blogs:
Chris Matthews Calls Palin ‘A Cuckoo Clock’ …