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3:15 PM ET, March 16, 2012

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
David Ignatius / Washington Post:
The bin Laden plot to kill President Obama  —  Before his death, Osama bin Laden boldly commanded his network to organize special cells in Afghanistan and Pakistan to attack the aircraft of President Barack Obama and Gen. David Petraeus.  —  “The reason for concentrating on them,” …
Patrick Gavin / Politico:
Richard Branson: I asked for weed at White House  —  When you go to a White House state dinner and you're lucky enough to get some face time with the president, what do you ask the president?  —  “I asked him if I could have a spliff,” businessman and Virgin Group honcho Richard Branson told …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Mediaite
RELATED:
Judy Kurtz / The Hill:
George Clooney arrested at protest
Discussion: Politico and ABCNEWS
Ryan Devereaux / Guardian:
George Clooney arrested in planned protest at Sudanese embassy
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper / msnbc.com:
George Clooney arrested, handcuffed, outside Sudan embassy in D.C.
Sam Baker / The Hill:
Obama shifts healthcare defense  —  The Obama administration has shifted its legal arguments as it prepares to defend the president's healthcare law before the Supreme Court.  —  Written briefs in the landmark case increasingly have focused on a part of the Constitution that didn't get much attention in lower courts.
RELATED:
Wall Street Journal:
Washington Elites Queue Up to See Nine Justices on Hot Seat  —  Supreme Court Arguments on Health Law Trigger Mad Dash for a Few Dozen Spots  —  WASHINGTON—The hottest ticket of the season isn't for the White House Easter Egg Roll or Opening Day for the Washington Nationals baseball team.
New York Times:
No Way to Choose a Judge  —  In a serious setback for justice in Alabama, primary voters chose Roy Moore to be their candidate for chief justice of the State Supreme Court in November.  He is now the odds-on favorite to win.  You may remember that Mr. Moore lost that job in 2003 …
Discussion: The Birmingham
Sarah Palin / BREITBART.COM:
BREITBART IS HERE  —  There is a new street art poster that's being emailed around and will no doubt eventually be spotted on a street corner near you.  It's a gritty black and white image of Andrew Breitbart looking both battle-worn and ever vigilant with the caption: “BREITBART IS HERE.”
RELATED:
Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
Their Own Alinsky  —  When at the top of an aggregation site I saw the headline ("Breitbart Is Here") and byline (Sarah Palin), I checked the calendar to make sure it wasn't April Fool's Day.  No, that's still two weeks away.  But it's almost too rich for description: … OMG.
Frank Newport / Gallup:
Romney, Santorum Stir Less Enthusiasm Than McCain Did  —  Romney generates same level of enthusiasm now as in early 2008  —  PRINCETON, NJ — A little more than one-third of Republicans say they would vote “enthusiastically” for either Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum if either candidate were to win their party's nomination for president.
RELATED:
New York Times:
For Santorum, Trying to Tamp Down a Firestorm Over Puerto Rico Remarks
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Natural Born Drillers  —  To be a modern Republican in good standing, you have to believe — or pretend to believe — in two miracle cures for whatever ails the economy: more tax cuts for the rich and more drilling for oil.  And with prices at the pump on the rise, so is the chant of “Drill, baby, drill.”
RELATED:
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
Obama's oil flimflam
Kathleen Arberg / Supreme Court of the United States:
For Immediate Release  —  The Court will hear argument in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act cases on March 26, 27, and 28.  Because of the extraordinary public interest in those cases, the Court will provide the audio recordings and transcripts of the oral arguments on an expedited basis through the Court's Website.
Joe Sudbay / Gay Politics:
Obama now on record opposing NC's anti-gay Amendment 1  —  A welcome development - and more momentum — in the battle to defeat Amendment 1 in North Carolina.  (The language of Amendment 1 reads “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.”
Discussion: Daily Kos and Towleroad News #gay
RELATED:
Robchristensen / Raleigh News & Observer:
Obama opposes Amendment One
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Lynn Bonner / Raleigh News & Observer:
Hundreds march against same-sex marriage amendment
Megan DeMarco / New Jersey Online:
Dharun Ravi found guilty in Rutgers webcam spying trial  —  NEW BRUNSWICK — Former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi was found guilty today of a hate crime, evidence tampering and invasion of privacy, for secretly using a webcam to spy on his roommate's liaison with another man in their dorm room.
BuzzFeed:
Please Don't Leak This Email  —  The Democratic National Committee's war with the Daily Caller isn't about ethics, it's about a changing media landscape.  —  BuzzFeed's story yesterday on a hostile email exchange between a Daily Caller reporter and the Democratic National Committee produced yet …
Mike Daisey:
Statement on TAL  —  “This American Life” has raised questions about the adaptation of AGONY/ECSTASY we created for their program.  Here is my response:  —  I stand by my work.  My show is a theatrical piece whose goal is to create a human connection between our gorgeous devices and the brutal circumstances from which they emerge.
Alex Kowalski / Bloomberg:
Consumer Prices in U.S. Rose in February as Gasoline Jumped  —  U.S. Consumer Prices Rose in February on Gasoline  —  The cost of living in the U.S. rose in February by the most in 10 months, reflecting a jump in gasoline that failed to spread to other goods and services.
Patrick Marley / JSOnline:
State Sen. Galloway to resign, leaving Senate split  —  By Patrick Marley of the Journal Sentinel  —  Madison - State Sen. Pam Galloway, who faces a recall election this summer, plans to resign from the Senate shortly, leaving an even split between Republicans and Democrats.
Discussion: The Raw Story and Daily Kos
Sharyl Attkisson / CBS News:
GOP freshmen, big-bucks donors hobnob at resort  —  PLAY CBS NEWS VIDEO  —  (CBS News) There are 468 congressional campaigns going on right now.  —  That means a lot of serious fundraising.  —  Much of it is behind closed doors, except on a recent weekend at a South Florida resort …
Discussion: The Hill and Metro
Charlie Savage / New York Times:
Democratic Senators Issue Strong Warning About Use of the Patriot Act  —  WASHINGTON — For more than two years, a handful of Democrats on the Senate intelligence committee have warned that the government is secretly interpreting its surveillance powers under the Patriot Act in a way that would be alarming …
Candace Jackson / Wall Street Journal:
The Trophy Basement  —  From London to Los Angeles, some homeowners are burying their most opulent spaces underground.  The rise of the subterranean mansion.  —  Wealthy home builders around the globe are digging deep.  —  In Los Angeles, builder Mauricio Oberfeld has buried about a third …
Discussion: The Maddow Blog and DealBook
Erik Wasson / The Hill:
CBO: Obama budget adds $3.5 trillion in deficits through 2022  —  President Obama's 2013 budget would add $3.5 trillion to annual deficits through 2022, according to a new estimate from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).  —  It also would raise the deficit next year by $365 billion, according to the nonpartisan office.
Discussion: protein wisdom
Janet Tavakoli / The Huffington Post:
Today's Most Important Finance Story: Lan T. Pham, Ph.D., Told the CBO the Truth About Mortgage “Securities” and Was Fired for It  —  Every day I read the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the New York Times and Handelsblatt.  Then I skim other finance papers online.  I also read several finance blogs.
Discussion: Firedoglake
Associated Press:
Marine killed by Afghan soldier last month, officials say  —  WASHINGTON - An Afghan soldier shot to death a 22-year-old Marine at an outpost in southwestern Afghanistan last month in a previously undisclosed case of apparent Afghan treachery that marked at least the seventh killing …
Anna M. Tinsley / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
GOP candidates for Senate defend voter ID law  —  Have more to add?  News tip?  Tell us  —  atinsley@star-telegram.com  —  DALLAS — It's time to do away with the nearly 50-year-old federal rule that let U.S. officials block a new state law requiring Texans to show photo ID to vote.
James Bamford / Wired:
The NSA Is Building the Country's Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)  —  The spring air in the small, sand-dusted town has a soft haze to it, and clumps of green-gray sagebrush rustle in the breeze.  Bluffdale sits in a bowl-shaped valley in the shadow of Utah's Wasatch Range to the east and the Oquirrh Mountains to the west.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Michelangelo Signorile / The Huffington Post:
Will Comcast Make This the Last St. Patrick's Day Parade to Exclude Gays?
Discussion: Gay Politics and Guardian
New York Times:
A U.S. Tie to Surveillance Push in Chinese Cities
Matthew Rosenberg / New York Times:
U.S. Rebukes Afghan Jail Over Searches of Female Visitors
Robert Pear / New York Times:
House G.O.P. Hesitates on Birth Control Fight
Bill Morlin / Hatewatch:
‘God Hates Fags’ Church Preparing Ad for Limbaugh Show
Dave Levinthal / Politico:
Obama's 2012 campaign is watching you
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Haaretz:
Top Iran official: All options on the table if nuclear facilities attacked
Discussion: The Agonist and normblog
Bloomberg:
Italy Said to Pay Morgan Stanley $3.4 Billion
Discussion: Dealbreaker
 Earlier Items: 
Ronald Brownstein / NationalJournal.com:
Stronger, but Not Secure  —  President Obama's approval rating …
Discussion: Hot Air
Alicia M. Cohn / The Hill:
Gingrich: I'm not dependent on Sheldon Adelson to stay in race
Discussion: Washington Monthly, Mediaite and CNN
Investor's Business Daily:
Bigot Chris Matthews' War On Catholics And Mormons
Discussion: The POH Diaries
New Orleans Times-Picayune:
Dismissal of gun-rights suit upheld by 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel
Discussion: americanthinker.com and Law Blog
Matt Kibbe / Politico:
Orrin Hatch is no conservative
Josh Barro / The Barrometer:
Santorum Promises Broad War on Porn