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1:40 PM ET, March 20, 2013

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Jesse Helfrich / The Hill:
Obama honeymoon may be over  —  The second-term honeymoon for President Obama is beginning to look like it is over.  —  Obama, who was riding high after his reelection win in November, has seen his poll numbers take a precipitous fall in recent weeks.  —  A CNN poll released Tuesday showed …
Discussion: neo-neocon and Prairie Weather
RELATED:
Politico:
Robert Menendez donor courted President Obama, Harry Reid  —  Salomon Melgen had a knack for going straight to the top.  —  He posed for pictures with President Barack Obama, flew Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on his private jet and sought advice on a port security deal from an ex-CIA agent …
Zack Beauchamp / ThinkProgress:
Why Harry Reid Must Make Universal Background Checks Part Of Gun Law Reform
McKay Coppins / BuzzFeed:
Religious Right Could Be Left Behind By New Republican Plan  —  Abandoned by the Establishment, beset by libertarians, the base is playing defense.  —  Image by John Gara/Buzzfeed  —  When the great Republican resurrection comes to pass, will conservative Christians be left behind?
ESPN:
Obama takes Indiana over Louisville for title  —  President Barack Obama is favoring the Big Ten in this year's NCAA tournament, ultimately selecting Indiana to win it all.  —  The president predicted that Louisville, Indiana, Ohio State and Florida will reach the Final Four …
RELATED:
Associated Press:
PRESIDENT OBAMA MAKES HIS FINAL FOUR PICKS
Toddstarnes / Fox News:
Family's Home Raided over Facebook Photo of Child's Rifle  —  New Jersey police and Dept. of Children and Families officials raided the home of a firearms instructor and demanded to see his guns after he posted a Facebook photo of his 11-year-old son holding a rifle.  —  FOLLOW TODD ON FACEBOOK FOR CULTURE WAR NEWS.
RELATED:
New Jersey Online:
N.J. family: Facebook photo of boy holding gun brought social workers to home
Discussion: UrbanGrounds
Tara Culp-Ressler / ThinkProgress:
Sugary Drinks Linked To 180,000 Annual Deaths Around The World  —  New research finds that the consumption of sugary drinks and sodas contributes to about 180,000 obesity-related deaths around the world — including the deaths of about 25,000 adult Americans — each year.
RELATED:
Drew Armstrong / Bloomberg:
Sugared Drinks Tied to 180,000 Deaths Worldwide Each Year
The AHA/ASA Newsroom:   180,000 deaths worldwide may be associated with sugary soft drinks
Bruce Smith / Associated Press:
Sanford advances to GOP runoff in SC House race  —  CHARLESTON, S.C. — Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford advanced Tuesday to a runoff in the Republican contest for an open congressional seat, taking a step toward reviving a political career that was derailed by an extramarital affair while he was governor.
RELATED:
CNN:
Breaking: Colbert Busch wins Democratic primary in S.C. special election, CNN projects
Discussion: Politico, ABCNEWS and ViralRead
Andrew Rafferty / NBCNews.com:
Sanford, Colbert sister advance in South Carolina special primary
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
On first visit to Israel as president, Obama vows ‘eternal’ alliance  —  President Obama arrived in Israel on Wednesday and praised the “eternal” alliance between the U.S. and Mideast nation.  —  Obama was greeted at Ben Gurion airport at Tel Aviv by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on his first visit to Israel as president.
Discussion: Politico, CNN, msnbc.com, BuzzFeed and Wonkette
RELATED:
Associated Press:
Obama vows unwavering support for Israel
Discussion: americanthinker.com
Ezra Klein / Bloomberg:
Mistakes, Excuses and Painful Lessons From the Iraq War  —  I supported the Iraq War, and I'm sorry.  —  I have my excuses, of course.  I was a college student, young and dumb.  I thought that if U.S. President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell and former President Bill Clinton …
RELATED:
John Yoo / Ricochet Conversations Feed:
Considering Iraq: Another View
Howard Kurtz / The Daily Beast:
Roger Ailes Couldn't Care Less What You Think About His Obama Comments  —  The Fox News chief tells Howard Kurtz he stands by the laziness charge and says Sarah Palin made ‘mistakes’ and that Dick Morris looked like a ‘jerk’ when he predicted a Romney landslide.  Plus, read the 16 juiciest bits from the new Ailes biography.
Se Young Lee / Reuters:
South Korea raises alert after hackers attack broadcasters, banks  —  (Reuters) - South Korean authorities were investigating a hacking attack that brought down the servers of three broadcasters and two major banks on Wednesday, and the army raised its alert level due to concerns of North Korean involvement.
RELATED:
BBC:
South Korea network attack ‘a computer virus’
Discussion: VentureBeat and Gawker
Mike Lupica / NY Daily News:
Spineless pols spit on the graves of Newtown victims by not pushing for assault weapons ban  —  The words of a teary-eyed President and other politicians meant nothing, because they didn't turn into action, as a ban on assault weapons won't be included in gun legislation that's shaping up in the U.S. Senate.
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Americans Widely Back Government Job Creation Proposals  —  Seven in 10 favor business tax breaks and infrastructure repair programs  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Americans widely support each of three job creation proposals, including offering tax breaks to businesses that create jobs in the U.S …
Reuters:
Cyprus seeks Russian bailout aid, EU threatens cutoff  —  (Reuters) - Cyprus pleaded for a new loan from Russia on Wednesday to avert a financial meltdown, but won no immediate relief after the island's parliament rejected the terms of a European bailout, raising the risk of default and a bank crash.
RELATED:
Daniel Klaidman / The Daily Beast:
Exclusive: No More Drones for CIA  —  Three senior officials tell Daniel Klaidman that the Obama administration is poised to shift the CIA's drone program to the Pentagon.  —  At a time when controversy over the Obama administration's drone program seems to be cresting …
Ian Deitch / ABCNEWS:
Israeli Official: Chemical Weapons Used in Syria  —  A senior Israeli official said Wednesday that it is “apparently clear” that chemical weapons were recently used in Syria, and that the alleged attack will be a main topic of conversation with visiting President Barack Obama.
RELATED:
Christine Haughney / New York Times:
Journalism Professor Sues Columbia, Claiming Misuse of Endowment Funds  —  A tenured professor at Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism and co-director of that school's business program filed a lawsuit on Tuesday accusing the university of misdirecting $4.5 million in funds over the last decade.
Washington Post:
Ken Cuccinelli's airbrushed policies  —  VIRGINIA ATTORNEY General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) casts himself as a no-apologies conservative.  But when it comes to his campaign for governor, Mr. Cuccinelli isn't beyond a little airbrushing.  —  As recently as November, Mr. Cuccinelli's campaign Web site boasted …
RELATED:
Associated Press:
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signs gun control bills  —  DENVER — Gov. John Hickenlooper signed bills Wednesday that place new restrictions on firearms and signaled a change for Democrats who traditionally shied away from gun control debate in Colorado - a state with a moderate streak …
Discussion: CNN and Business Insider
James Hohmann / Politico:
No, wait — could Rand Paul actually win?  —  A few weeks ago, Rand Paul was far down the list of 2016 GOP presidential prospects — a freshman senator with a devoted but mostly marginal following of young libertarians.  —  Now he's being mentioned in the same breath as Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush.
Discussion: Hit & Run and New Republic
Erik Wasson / The Hill:
Durbin: Grand bargain odds less than 50-50  —  A debt-ceiling hike could be a “catalyst” for a deal, but the Senate majority whip isn't terribly optimistic.  —  Durbin said that the need to raise the nation's $16.6 trillion debt ceiling this summer will provide an “opportunity” …
Discussion: Firedoglake
TMZ.com:
Octomom — Authorites Probing for Possible Welfare Fraud  —  Possible Welfare Fraud  —  EXCLUSIVE  —  Octomom Nadya Suleman is under the microscope after a complaint was lodged that she committed welfare fraud ... and if it's true Octo could go to prison.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Sharon Begley / Reuters:
Test of anthrax vaccine in children gets tentative OK
Discussion: LifeNews.com and The Jawa Report
Noah Berlatsky / The Atlantic Online:
Spouses Probably Shouldn't Try to Split Household Tasks Exactly Evenly
Discussion: Althouse
Steven Levingston / Washington Post:
Jane Goodall's ‘Seeds of Hope’ book contains borrowed passages without attribution
Discussion: Media Decoder, Guardian and Poynter
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Issa video slams Obama over canceled White House tours
Discussion: Politico
New York Times:
Pope Francis' Old Colleagues Recall Pragmatic Streak
Discussion: msnbc.com, The Week and Althouse
 Earlier Items: 
Peter Orszag / Bloomberg:
Medicare Cost Slowdown Could Close U.S. Budget Gap
Frank Konkel / Federal Computer Week:
Sources: Amazon and CIA ink cloud deal
Lynn Horsley / Kansas City Star:
Angry man takes microphone from KC mayor at speech
Discussion: The Raw Story, Mediaite and ABCNEWS
Glenn Kessler / Washington Post:
Bachmann's claim that 70 percent of food stamps go to ‘bureaucrats’
Manu Raju / Politico:
Clinton courts alternative to Judd
Discussion: The Fix, Hot Air and The Reaction