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12:30 PM ET, December 14, 2012

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
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.
Devin Dwyer / ABCNEWS:
Marijuana Not High Obama Priority  —  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,” Obama said of pot users …
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call  —  View Photo Gallery — What you need to know about Susan Rice: The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations has withdrawn from consideration for secretary of state  —  On Thursday I asked that President Obama no longer consider me for the job of secretary of state.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:
Elizabeth Hartfield / ABCNEWS:
Counting Their (Mixed) Blessings. (The Note)
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; saddened by partisan politics
Hartford Courant:
One Confirmed Dead In School Shooting In Newtown  —  State police responding to a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.  —  At least one person is dead after a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dickinson Drive.  —  Police said there are multiple shooting victims.
RELATED:
Christina Ng / ABCNEWS:
Shooting at Newtown, Conn. Elementary School, Gunman Is Dead  —  A shooting at a Connecticut elementary school this morning prompted the town of Newtown to lock down all of its schools and drew SWAT teams to the school, authorities said today.  —  A gunman has been killed and at least …
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.
Reuters:
Obama, Boehner hold “frank” meeting amid “fiscal cliff” frustration  —  (Reuters) - President Barack Obama and House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner held a “frank” face-to-face meeting on Thursday in an effort to break an impasse in talks to avert the “fiscal cliff” of steep tax increases and spending cuts.
Discussion: Associated Press
RELATED:
Chris Frates / NationalJournal.com:
Democrats Declare Checkmate in Fiscal Cliff Debate
Jonathan Weisman / New York Times:
With Gap Wide and Time Short, Obama and Boehner Meet
Megan Ruyle / The Hill:
House Republicans made scarce during ‘fiscal cliff’ talks
Discussion: Politico and The Plum Line
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.
Eli Lake / The Daily Beast:
The Hagel Haters  —  Why Israel's supporters can't stand the man who might be the next secretary of defense.  Eli Lake reports.  —  Chuck Hagel, who is reportedly the frontrunner to be the next Pentagon chief, has made a lot of friends in the U.S. foreign-policy establishment and at the top levels of Obama's inner circle.
RELATED:
Carlo Muñoz / The Hill:
Report: Hagel likely top White House pick for Department of Defense chief
Discussion: Booman Tribune and The Agonist
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.
RELATED:
Elise Viebeck / The Hill:   Analysis: Feds will have outsize role in health exchanges
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, Guardian and Crooked Timber
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 …
Josh Israel / ThinkProgress:
House GOP Secretly Authorized $500,000 To Defend Unconstitutional Anti-Gay Law  —  It has come to light that House Administration Committee Chairman Dan Lungren (R-CA) secretly approved a $500,000 increase to a contract with a private law firm to defend the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in federal court.
Michael McGough / Los Angeles Times:
For Scalia, no gay people, just gay sex?  —  Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia at the Washington Ideas Forum at the Newseum in Washington.  (Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press / October 6, 2011)  —  Is there anything more to be said about Justice Antonin Scalia's sulphurous comments …
Andrew Martin / New York Times:
Building a Showcase Campus, Using an I.O.U.  —  Some call it the Edifice Complex.  Others have named it the Law of More, or the Taj Mahal syndrome.  —  A decade-long spending binge to build academic buildings, dormitories and recreational facilities — some of them inordinately lavish …
Ian Swanson / The Hill:
Obama says he'd be seen as moderate Republican in 1980s  —  President Obama said his economic policies are “so mainstream” he'd be considered a moderate Republican in the 1980s.  —  In a Thursday interview with a Miami-based local television station, Obama said he thinks few people believe he wants to impose socialism on the country.
Daniel Halper / Weekly Standard:
Pelosi Skips Town Amid ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Talks  —  A day after complaining that the “fiscal cliff” negotiations are “getting boring,” Nancy Pelosi was spotted yesterday afternoon skipping town.  —  She was comfortably situated in first class on United Airlines flight 1460 …
Discussion: Daily Kos
 
 
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 More Items: 
Jonah Goldberg / National Review:
Return to Federalism
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Paul Mozur / China Real Time Report:
A Frigid Launch for iPhone 5 in Beijing
Discussion: Mashable! and Business Insider
Suzy Khimm / Wonkblog:
New language, same findings: Tax hikes on the rich won't cripple the economy
Discussion: Firedoglake and Calculated Risk
Watts Up With That?:
IPCC AR5 draft leaked, contains game-changing admission of enhanced solar forcing
Discussion: Hit & Run, Guardian and The PJ Tatler
Jack Shafer:
The best of the year in review!
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Inouye is pressed to give up his gavel
Discussion: Booman Tribune
 Earlier Items: 
CNN:
Knife attack at Chinese school wounds 22 children
Discussion: The Week and The Reaction
Brendan Sasso / The Hill:
Senate panel approves Franken's location privacy bill
Discussion: BBC and The Verge
Joe Romm / ThinkProgress:
Mother Nature Is Just Getting Warmed Up: Record-Smashing Early December Assures 2012 Will Be Hottest In U.S. History
Judy Kurtz / The Hill:
More staffers recount confrontational elevator rides with Rep. Foxx
Mackenzie Weinger / Politico:
Neil Cavuto cuts off Rep. E.B. Johnson
Discussion: Mediaite, Hot Air and Unfair Park