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10:15 AM ET, December 14, 2012

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Susan Rice / Washington Post:
Why I made the right call  —  View Photo Gallery — What you need to know about Susan Rice: The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations has withdrawn from consideration for secretary of state  —  On Thursday I asked that President Obama no longer consider me for the job of secretary of state.
RELATED:
Tracy Connor / Rock Center with Brian Williams:
EXCLUSIVE: Susan Rice drops out of running for secretary of state; saddened by partisan politics  —  Embattled U.N. envoy Susan Rice is dropping out of the running to be the next secretary of state after months of criticism over her Benghazi comments, she told NBC News on Thursday.
Reid J. Epstein / Politico:
Barack Obama avoids fight over Susan Rice  —  President Barack Obama was prepared to battle for Susan Rice, but her withdrawal from consideration to be the next secretary of state means he won't get a fight — over this.  —  Rice's decision pre-empts what was expected to be an intense confirmation battle …
Washington Post:
Susan Rice withdraws as candidate for secretary of state
Tracy Connor / Rock Center with Brian Williams:
EXCLUSIVE: Susan Rice drops out of running for secretary of state, cites ‘very politicized’ confirmation process
Hans Nichols / Bloomberg:
Hagel Said to Top Obama's List to Take Over at Pentagon
Devin Dwyer / ABCNEWS:
Marijuana Users Not High Priority for President Obama  —  President Obama says recreational users of marijuana in states that have legalized the substance should not be a “top priority” of federal law enforcement officials prosecuting the war on drugs.  —  “We've got bigger fish to fry,” …
Bobby Jindal / Wall Street Journal:
The End of Birth-Control Politics  —  Over-the-counter sales of oral contraceptives will cut off a disingenuous attack line.  —  The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists announced its support last month for selling oral contraceptives over the counter without a prescription in the United States.
Jonathan Weisman / New York Times:
With Gap Wide and Time Short, Obama and Boehner Meet  —  WASHINGTON — With time running short to work out a deal to avert a year-end fiscal crisis, Speaker John A. Boehner met with President Obama at the White House on Thursday evening to try to bridge a vast gap between the parties on taxes …
RELATED:
Megan Ruyle / The Hill:   House Republicans made scarce during ‘fiscal cliff’ talks
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Sen. Durbin: White House has taken Medicare eligibility age hike off the table
Discussion: Daily Kos
John Gramlich / Roll Call:
House GOP Boosts Funds for DOMA Legal Defense
Wall Street Journal:
Debate Grows in GOP Over Tax Stance
Discussion: Eschaton and Firedoglake
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
The G.O.P.'s Existential Crisis  —  We are not having a debt crisis.  —  It's important to make this point, because I keep seeing articles about the “fiscal cliff” that do, in fact, describe it — often in the headline — as a debt crisis.  But it isn't.  The U.S. government is having no trouble borrowing to cover its deficit.
Jennifer Martinez / The Hill:
US says it won't ratify UN telecom treaty  —  The United States said Thursday that it will not sign a United Nations telecommunications treaty that U.S. technology companies warn would disrupt governance of the Internet and open the door to online censorship.
RELATED:
Kieren McCarthy / news.dot-nxt.com:
Internet humbles UN telecoms agency
Discussion: BBC, Crooked Timber and Guardian
David Morgan / CNBC:
Only 15 States Opt to Run Obamacare Exchanges  —  Only 15 states have told the federal government they plan to operate health insurance exchanges under President Barack Obama's reform law, leaving Washington with the daunting task of creating online marketplaces for two-thirds of the country.
Carlo Muñoz / The Hill:
Report: Hagel likely top White House pick for Department of Defense chief  —  Former Nebraska Republican senator and Vietnam veteran Chuck Hagel has taken the top spot on the Obama administration's shortlist of candidates to replace Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at the Pentagon, according to news reports.
Discussion: Booman Tribune and The Agonist
RELATED:
Judy Kurtz / The Hill:
More staffers recount confrontational elevator rides with Rep. Foxx  —  More House staffers are coming forward with cautionary tales of their members-only elevator rides with Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.).  —  ITK last week brought you one tipster's claims of Foxx laying the verbal smackdown …
Kate Zernike / New York Times:
Promise vs. Reality in Newark on Mayor's Watch  —  NEWARK — When snow blanketed this city two Christmases ago, Mayor Cory A. Booker was celebrated around the nation for personally shoveling out residents who had appealed for help on Twitter.  But here, his administration was scorned …
BuzzFeed:
Other Media Provocateurs Pan Steven Crowder's Performance  —  “It's important not to instigate the person you're interviewing,” Fields says.  —  Video of conservative activist Steven Crowder's tussle with a union member in Michigan this week, which led to the Fox News contributor being punched …
Discussion: AMERICAblog and The Dana Show
CNN:
Knife attack at Chinese school wounds 22 children  —  Beijing (CNN) — Twenty-two primary school children were wounded in a knife attack Friday in central China, authorities said.  —  The attack took place at the entrance to the Chenpeng Village Primary School in Henan province …
Discussion: The Reaction
Pat Collins / nbcwashington.com:
Man in Apparent Mitt Romney Mask Robs Sterling Bank  —  Robber took cash from all five tellers  —  A man who appeared to be wearing a Mitt Romney mask held up a bank in Sterling, Va., Thursday morning, and that's not all that had the FBI calling the robbery “unusual.”  News4's Pat Collins reports.
Discussion: Politico and The Raw Story
Travis Waldron / ThinkProgress:
Virginia GOP Official Calls Union Members ‘Terrorists’  —  Union workers who were protesting the passage of so-called “right-to-work” laws outside the state capitol in Lansing, Michigan are “terrorists,” according to a former high-ranking official in the Republican Party of Virginia who now serves in a county-level elected office.
David Sherfinski / Washington Times:
King: Benghazi 10 times bigger than Watergate, Iran-Contra combined  —  Rep. Steve King, Iowa Republican, said Wednesday that the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, is 10 times bigger than the Watergate and Iran-Contra scandals put together.
RELATED:
Hamed Aleaziz / ThinkProgress:
Steve King: I Don't Know What Happened In Benghazi But It's Worse Than Watergate
 
 
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 More Items: 
Angela Charlton / MiamiHerald.com:
European court condemns CIA in landmark ruling
Discussion: Guardian, Lawfare and emptywheel
Judson Berger / Fox News:
Medical companies brace for ‘devastating’ ObamaCare tax, prepare for layoffs
Discussion: protein wisdom and Right Turn
Brendan Sasso / The Hill:
Senate panel approves Franken's location privacy bill
Discussion: BBC and The Verge
Jim Hoft / The Gateway Pundit:
Belafonte's Advice to Obama: Imprison Opposition “Like a Third World Dictator” (Video)
Mick Brown / Telegraph:
In truth, Ravi Shankar couldn't stand the hippies
Discussion: Hit & Run
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Obama displays menorah rescued from Sandy destruction in Hanukkah ceremony
Discussion: Politico
 Earlier Items: 
Joe Romm / ThinkProgress:
Mother Nature Is Just Getting Warmed Up: Record-Smashing Early December Assures 2012 Will Be Hottest In U.S. History
Mackenzie Weinger / Politico:
Neil Cavuto cuts off Rep. E.B. Johnson
Discussion: Hot Air and Unfair Park
Richard Hall / The Independent:
‘Gangnam Style’ death prompts warning to middle-aged men not to attempt the vigorous dance
Discussion: TheFW, The Daily Caller, Mediaite and Gawker
Cal Fussman / Esquire:
Arnold Schwarzenegger: What I've Learned