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5:30 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,” …
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.
RELATED:
Seth / This American Life Updates:
Retracting “Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory”  —  Ira writes:  —  I have difficult news.  We've learned that Mike Daisey's story about Apple in China - which we broadcast in January - contained significant fabrications.  We're retracting the story because we can't vouch for its truth.
This American Life Updates:
RETRACTION  —  Regrettably, we have discovered that one of our most popular episodes was partially fabricated.  This week, we devote the entire hour to detailing the errors in “Mr. Daisey Goes to the Apple Factory,” Mike Daisey's story about visiting Foxconn, an Apple supplier factory in China.
Rob Schmitz / Marketplace from American Public Media:
Marketplace from American Public Media  —  An acclaimed Apple critic made up the details  —  Cathy Lee (Chinese name: Li Guifen) was Mike Daisey's translator during his trip to China to investigate factory conditions for his monolog “The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs.”
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 …
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.
Sarah Grieco / KNSD-TV:
Invisible Children Co-Founder Detained: SDPD  —  SDPD said he was found masturbating in public, vandalizing cars and possibly under the influence of something  —  A co-founder for Invisible Children was detained in Pacific Beach Thursday for being drunk in public and masturbating, according to San Diego Police Department.
RELATED:
Zack Ford / ThinkProgress:
Kony 2012′s Invisible Children Connected To ‘Kill The Gays’ Uganda Pastor Martin Ssempa
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:
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:
Seth McLaughlin / Washington Times:
Cuccinelli fears Romney nomination would neutralize health law as issue
New York Times:
For Santorum, Trying to Tamp Down a Firestorm Over Puerto Rico Remarks
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.
RELATED:
Robchristensen / Raleigh News & Observer:
Obama opposes Amendment One  —  President Barack Obama today came out against the proposed constitutional amendment on North Carolina's May 8th ballot banning same sex marriages and civil unions, weighing into a fight in a key battleground state.  —  His campaign issued a statement saying the amendment was discriminatory.
RELATED:
Pam Spaulding / Firedoglake:
Obama Campaign Releases Statement Opposing NC Amendment One (plus a back story)
Joe Sudbay / Gay Politics:
Obama now on record opposing NC's anti-gay Amendment 1
Discussion: Daily Kos and Towleroad News #gay
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
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.
RELATED:
Carolyn Jones / The Texas Observer:
‘We Have No Choice’: One Woman's Ordeal with Texas' New Sonogram Law  —  The painful decision to terminate a pregnancy is now—thanks to Texas' harsh new law—just the beginning of the torment.  —  Halfway through my pregnancy, I learned that my baby was ill. Profoundly so.
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 …
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: Daily Kos and The Raw Story
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.
Naftali Bendavid / Washington Wire:
Sen. Hatch's Team Claims Good Night in Fight to Keep His Seat  —  Sen. Orrin Hatch, targeted by primary challengers and tea party-aligned groups, has apparently won a healthy share of delegates to the Utah Republican convention.  That gives him a good shot at avoiding the ignominy of being ousted …
Discussion: National Review
Ssumner / TheMoneyIllusion:
How are Swiss workers able to steal so many American jobs?  —  Many people believe that the Chinese steal lots of American jobs because they have low wages, low environmental standards, and various unfair subsidies.  As far as I know no serious economist holds that view.
Discussion: EconLog
myfoxdc WTTG FOX 5:
Bad Smell Blanketing the DC Metro Area  —  WASHINGTON - Reports of a really bad odor blanketing the metro area have been reported from downtown D.C. to Fairfax County to Oxon Hill!  —  You may have smelled it Thursday night or Friday morning - and lots of people are talking about it.
Discussion: The Jawa Report
 
 
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 More Items: 
Lizette Alvarez / New York Times:
Spring Break Gets Tamer as World Watches Online
Mark Vanhoenacker / New York Times:
Op-Ed Contributor: The Unwelcome Mat
Penny Starr / CNSNews:
After Film Warning Kids Not to Call Others ‘Jerks,’ Sebelius Tells Kids to Say: 'You're Being a Jerk'
Kenneth P. Vogel / Politico:
Rick Santorum turns to secretive group for money muscle
Discussion: CNN and Algemeiner.com
Charlie Savage / New York Times:
Democratic Senators Issue Strong Warning About Use of the Patriot Act
Candace Jackson / Wall Street Journal:
The Trophy Basement  —  From London to Los Angeles …
Discussion: The Maddow Blog and DealBook
Janet Tavakoli / The Huffington Post:
Today's Most Important Finance Story: Lan T. Pham, Ph.D., Told the CBO the Truth About Mortgage …
Discussion: Firedoglake
Erik Wasson / The Hill:
CBO: Obama budget adds $3.5 trillion in deficits through 2022
Discussion: protein wisdom
 Earlier Items: 
Sharyl Attkisson / CBS News:
GOP freshmen, big-bucks donors hobnob at resort
Discussion: Metro and The Hill
Ronald Brownstein / NationalJournal.com:
Stronger, but Not Secure  —  President Obama's approval rating …
Discussion: Hot Air
Investor's Business Daily:
Bigot Chris Matthews' War On Catholics And Mormons
Discussion: The POH Diaries