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12:40 PM ET, October 28, 2013

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
Obama unaware as U.S. spied on world leaders: officials.  —  The National Security Agency ended a program used to spy on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and a number of other world leaders after an internal Obama administration review started this summer revealed to the White House the existence of the operations, U.S. officials said.
RELATED:
Tal Kopan / Politico:
Report: President Obama unaware of spying  —  President Barack Obama didn't know about the NSA spying on foreign leaders for years, and he put an end to it when the administration found out about the program, according to a new report.  —  The monitoring of 35 world leaders' communications …
Alison Smale / New York Times:
Data Suggests Push to Spy on Merkel Dates to '02
Discussion: The Week
David Simpson / CNN:
Report: White House stopped phone tapping of foreign leaders this summer
Discussion: Global Public Square and Gawker
Martha T. Moore / USA Today:
NSA denies Obama knew of spying on German leader
Discussion: Informed Comment and Liberaland
CBS News:
60 Minutes: Benghazi  —  The following script is from “Benghazi” which aired on Oct. 27, 2013.  The correspondent is Lara Logan.  Max McClellan, producer.  —  When Chris Stevens was killed in Benghazi, Libya, on the anniversary of September 11th last year, it was only the sixth …
RELATED:
ThinkProgress:   Graham Promises To Block All Senate Nominations Over Benghazi
John McCormick / Political Capital:
McCain: Clinton ‘Very Strong Candidate’  —  Senator John McCain, a Republican from Arizona, right, and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talk prior to a Senate Foreign Relations Committee nomination hearing in Washington, D.C.  —  Sen. John McCain knows a few things about presidential elections …
RELATED:
Mike Lillis / The Hill:
Pelosi: We can win
Discussion: Weekly Standard and Weasel Zippers
Maggie Haberman / Politico:
A model for Hillary Clinton 2016: Hillary Clinton 2000
Discussion: The Hill and Taegan Goddard's …
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
Dems demand refund from ObamaCare website contractors  —  Five House Democrats are asking the Obama administration to seek a refund from the companies who built the ObamaCare website, which has so far failed to work for most people trying to sign up for health insurance.
RELATED:
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
The Big Kludge  —  The good news about HealthCare.gov, the portal to Obamacare's health exchange, is that the administration is no longer minimizing its problems.  That's the first step toward fixing the mess — and it will get fixed, although it's anyone's guess whether the new promise …
RELATED:
Michael Lind / Salon:
Here's how GOP Obamacare hypocrisy backfires
Discussion: Eschaton and Firedoglake
Annie Lowrey / New York Times:
Health Site's Woes Could Dissuade Vital Enrollee: the Young and Healthy
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Steve Coll / New Yorker:
PARTY CRASHERS  —  In the late nineteen-sixties, Mitch McConnell came to Washington to work as an aide to Senator Marlow Cook, a Kentucky Republican.  Cook backed clean-air standards and limits on strip mining.  It was a time of political diversity among Republicans: in 1970 …
Discussion: The New Republic and The Reaction
RELATED:
Yahoo! News:
Ann Coulter's political crush on Ted Cruz
Discussion: ABC News
Bill Keller / New York Times:
Is Glenn Greenwald the Future of News?  —  Much of the speculation about the future of news focuses on the business model: How will we generate the revenues to pay the people who gather and disseminate the news?  But the disruptive power of the Internet raises other profound questions …
Politico:
House leaders plot new fall GOP strategy  —  For the first time in months, House Republicans are facing no immediate cataclysmic deadlines, and GOP leaders are struggling to come up with an agenda to fill the 19 legislative days that are left in 2013.  —  Need evidence?
Tom Geoghegan / BBC:
Why is broadband more expensive in the US?  —  Home broadband in the US costs far more than elsewhere.  At high speeds, it costs nearly three times as much as in the UK and France, and more than five times as much as in South Korea.  Why?  —  Men's haircuts, loaves of bread …
Dylan Scott / Talking Points Memo:
How Kentucky Built The Country's Best Obamacare Website  —  Kentucky did it right.  The state's online health insurance marketplace has become Obamacare's city on a hill while the federal HealthCare.gov has been flummoxed by a month of glitches and bad press.
Discussion: Liberaland and Firedoglake
Austin Frakt / The Incidental Economist:
More on Senator Cruz's health insurance  —  When I posted about Senator Cruz's health insurance last week, I did not have all the relevant information, something I admitted in the post.  Since then, some readers and Adrianna have brought some of the missing information to my attention.  This is an update.
Discussion: Booman Tribune
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Graham threatens to block all nominations over Benghazi survivors  —  Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Monday he would block confirmation of every presidential nomination until U.S. personnel who witnessed the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi were made available to congressional investigators.
Discussion: Liberaland
Juan Williams / The Hill:
GOP is deluding itself on spending  —  In Playboy magazine's current issue, Sen. Bernie Sanders offers an “Emperor Has No Clothes” view of Washington's current budget talks.  —  Later he added: “You would think that before you cut health care, education, nutrition or Social Security, you might want to take a hard look at that issue.
Washington Post:
After troops leave, U.S. to lose access to Afghan reconstruction projects worth billions  —  As coalition forces withdraw from Afghanistan, U.S.-funded reconstruction projects worth billions of dollars in far-flung regions of the country will soon be impossible for American officials to safely visit and directly inspect.
Discussion: Liberaland and POGOBlog
 
 
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 More Items: 
Bill Briggs / NBCNews:
Terrible tally: 500 children dead from gunshots every year, 7,500 hurt, analysis finds
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Leonard Greene / New York Post:
Banksy rips New York Times for rejected op-ed
Discussion: Politico and Talking Points Memo
Yaakov Lappin / Jerusalem Post:
IAF strikes underground rocket launchers in Gaza following rocket attacks on Israel
Discussion: Israel Matzav and The Jawa Report
Cara Buckley / New York Times:
Gay Couples, Choosing to Say 'I Don't'
Bloomberg:
Reagan Revolution Misses Tax Fiefdoms Flourishing in U.S.
Discussion: Hit & Run
Bob Cusack / The Hill:
Pelosi: Redskins should change name
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Weasel Zippers
 Earlier Items: 
Walter Russell Mead / Via Meadia:
A New Grand Strategy in the Middle East
Discussion: Daniel W. Drezner
New York Post:
ObamaCare website might have to be rebuilt
Glenn Harlan Reynolds / USA Today:
Big government project, big failure: Column
Discussion: Hit & Run and The Other McCain
David Rohde / The Atlantic Online:
Our Fear of Al-Qaeda Hurts Us More Than Al-Qaeda Does
Discussion: AllGov and Daily Kos