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3:40 PM ET, August 28, 2013

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Noah Shachtman / Foreign Policy:
Exclusive: Intercepted Calls Prove Syrian Army Used Nerve Gas, U.S. Spies Say  —  Last Wednesday, in the hours after a horrific chemical attack east of Damascus, an official at the Syrian Ministry of Defense exchanged panicked phone calls with a leader of a chemical weapons unit …
RELATED:
Wall Street Journal:
U.S. leaks tell Assad he can relax.  The bombing will be brief and limited.  —  An American military attack on Syria could begin as early as Thursday and will involve three days of missile strikes, according to “senior U.S. officials” talking to NBC News.  The Washington Post has the bombing at …
Max Fisher / WorldViews:
Here's why Obama is giving up the element of surprise in Syria  —  Military thinkers from Sun Tzu to Napoleon Bonaparte have long emphasized the element of surprise.  So it might seem strange that the Obama administration is not just clearly telegraphing that it likely plans to launch limited strikes …
Los Angeles Times:
Syria chemical weapons response poses major test for Obama  —  Obama, who before taking office vowed to end the foreign policies of Bush, is now wrestling with some of the same moral and legal realities.  —  White House Press Secretary Jay Carney discusses the potential U.S. response to Syria's alleged use of chemical weapons.
Ian Hurd / New York Times:
Bomb Syria, Even if It Is Illegal  —  EVANSTON, Ill. — THE latest atrocities in the Syrian civil war, which has killed more than 100,000 people, demand an urgent response to deter further massacres and to punish President Bashar al-Assad.  But there is widespread confusion over the legal basis …
Lara Seligman / The Hill:
McCain scolds White House for ‘crazy’ leaks on Syria air strikes
Discussion: Politico
kff.org:
Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: August 2013  —  As outreach efforts for enrollment in the health insurance marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) increase over the summer, the August Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that the public's most trusted sources of information on the law …
John Parkinson / ABC News:
Growing Bipartisan Coalition Urges Obama to Seek Congressional Authorization for Syrian Strike  —  A growing bipartisan coalition in Congress is coming together to “strongly urge” President Obama “to consult and receive authorization from Congress before ordering the use of U.S. military force in Syria.”
RELATED:
Robert Fisk / The Independent:
Does Obama know he's fighting on al-Qa'ida's side?
Discussion: Sense of Events
Reuters:
Exclusive: U.S. delays deadline for finalizing Obamacare health plans  —  (Reuters) - The Obama administration has delayed a step crucial to the launch of the new healthcare law, the signing of final agreements with insurance plans to be sold on federal health insurance exchanges starting October 1.
Josh Schiller / Washington Post:
Why you won't see or hear the ‘I have a dream’ speech  —  Josh Schiller is an associate in the New York offices of Boies Schiller & Flexner who has represented plaintiffs and defendants in copyright infringement lawsuits.  —  Fifty years ago this week, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I have a dream” speech.
Zach Carter / The Huffington Post:
Taxpayer Dollars Paid A Third Of Richest Corporate CEOs: Report  —  WASHINGTON — More than one-third of the nation's highest-paid CEOs from the past two decades led companies that were subsidized by American taxpayers, according to a report released Wednesday by the Institute for Policy Studies, a liberal think tank.
Discussion: Firedoglake
RELATED:
Dylan Scott / Talking Points Memo:
In Dramatic Reversal, Michigan Senate Passes Obamacare's Medicaid Expansion  —  The Michigan Senate voted Tuesday to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, extending health coverage to more than 400,000 low-income residents, but not without a little legislative drama first.
Quinnipiac News + Events:
Release Detail  —  August 28, 2013 - De Blasio Close To 40% In New York City Mayoral Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Quinn, Thompson In Battle For Second Place  —  With 13 days until the primary election, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio surges ahead of the Democratic pack …
KNSD-TV:
Former San Diego Mayoral Candidate Carl DeMaio Confronts City Hall Bathroom Rumors  —  Congressional candidate Carl DeMaio called a news report accusing him of masturbating in a San Diego City Hall restroom as “disgusting, humiliating and nothing more than a character assassination attempt.”
Tina Daunt / Hollywood Reporter:
Matt Damon, Ben Affleck to Co-Host Cory Booker Fundraiser (Exclusive)  —  JJ Abrams, Michael Eisner and Ted Sarandos will also co-host the event at Ron Burkle's house, marking the second major Hollywood fundraiser in the New Jersey Democrat's run for the U.S. Senate.
RELATED:
Tracy Connor / NBCNews:
Suspect in WWII vet slay: We were buying crack from victim  —  One of the teens charged with beating to death a World War II veteran allegedly claimed he was buying crack cocaine from the 88-year-old and the transaction turned violent — but cops said there is no evidence to support that.
Groupthink:
Solidarity is For Miley Cyrus: The Racial Implications of her VMA Performance  —  As a black woman, I feel like I owe a debt of gratitude to Mikki Kendall, of Solidarity Is For White Women fame for managing to so perfectly encapsulate years of subjugation of black women by white women.
The United States Department of Justice:
Bank Chairman Pleads Guilty To Using Public Funds To Purchase Luxury Vacation Condo  —  JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Columbia, Mo., bank chairman pleaded guilty in federal court today to misleading federal investigators …
RELATED:
Isolde Raftery / NBCNews:
Feds: Bank chairman used bailout money to buy luxury condo
Kaitlyn Schallhorn / Red Alert Politics:
Rep. Steve King calls on unemployed Americans to get off their butts and start working  —  Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is making no excuses for unemployed Americans, urging them to get off their butts and start working, and criticizing the unemployed for failing to contribute to the standard of living.
Discussion: Right Wing Watch and The Raw Story
Patrick O'Connor / Washington Wire:
At 50th Anniversary of March, No GOP Speakers  —  No elected Republicans will speak at today's event marking the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, but that hasn't stopped GOP officials from honoring the occasion.  —  A parade of current and former elected officials issued remarks calling …
Discussion: Post Politics
Cameron Joseph / Ballot Box:
Pryor won't attend Clinton's ObamaCare speech in Arkansas  —  Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) won't attend President Clinton's speech on ObamaCare in his home state of Arkansas, a sign of how problematic the law is for the embattled senator.  —  “Sen. Pryor has a previously scheduled engagement …
Discussion: The Reaction and msnbc.com
Wall Street Journal:
Leaker's Security Check Faulted  —  Review of Former NSA Contractor Snowden Found to be Inadequate  —  WASHINGTON—The most recent background check of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden was so inadequate that too few people were interviewed and potential concerns weren't pursued …
David Leonhardt / Economix:
‘The Great Shift’: Americans Not Working  —  Looking at these two charts together is a quick way to become demoralized about the American economy:  —  Yes, the unemployment rate has fallen.  But almost the entire reason it has fallen is the drop in the number of people in the labor force — either working or actively looking.
Discussion: Via Meadia
Garance Franke-Ruta / The Atlantic Online:
People Who Need to Retire: Pat Robertson Edition  —  The 700 Club host falsely asserted that gay men in San Francisco use special rings to give AIDS to unsuspecting people who shake their hands.  What year is it?  —  Dear people in public life: When you love your job …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Alyssa Abkowitz / Developments:
Rupert Murdoch Closing on L.A. Winery Purchase for $28.8 Million
Mariah Blake / Mother Jones:
Internal Documents Reveal How the FBI Blew Fort Hood
Discussion: The PJ Tatler, Hot Air and Instapundit
Walter Russell Mead / Via Meadia:
Fed-Up Saudis Look to Russia
Discussion: Sense of Events
Jason Hancock / Kansas City Star:
Missouri chamber is under fire for hosting Texas governor's job hunting visit
Rick Pearson / Chicago Tribune:
Ousted Illinois Republican chairman hired to lobby on gay marriage bill
 Earlier Items: 
Ben S. Carson / Washington Times:
MLK would be alarmed by black-on-black violence, lack of family values
Elizabeth Warren / Boston Herald:
Battenfeld: Outspoken Liz Warren stays silent on Syria
Discussion: New York Times
Stevengoddard / Real Science:
Mildest US Summer In A Century
Discussion: Power Line