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12:30 PM ET, December 26, 2014

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Rachael Bade / Politico:
GOP learns lessons from Sam Brownback's tax scare  —  Republicans once idolized the tax-cutting superstar; now they look askance at him.  —  Ohio Gov. John Kasich will roll out “responsible” tax plans that protect against revenue gaps.  Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Arizona's …
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Tidings of Comfort  —  Maybe I'm just projecting, but Christmas seemed unusually subdued this year.  The malls seemed less crowded than usual, the people glummer.  There was even less Muzak in the air.  And, in a way, that's not surprising: All year Americans have been bombarded …
Discussion: AlterNet and Daily Kos
Ian Swanson / The Hill:
Critics hate ‘The Interview’  —  Movie critics say the controversy surrounding “The Interview” is much more interesting than the movie itself  —  The movie is scoring just a 50 percent positive review from critics on the Rotten Tomatoes website.  —  It's fairing even more poorly with top critics …
Discussion: Slate and Liberaland
RELATED:
Nicole Perlroth / New York Times:
New Study Adds to Skepticism Among Security Experts That North Korea Was Behind Sony Hack  —  A number of private security researchers are increasingly voicing doubts that the hack of Sony's computer systems was the work of North Korea.  —  President Obama and the F.B.I. last week accused North Korea …
Discussion: JustOneMinute, Businessweek and Twitchy
David Lerman / Bloomberg:
U.S. Spy Agency Reports Improper Surveillance of Americans  —  The National Security Agency today released reports on intelligence collection that may have violated the law or U.S. policy over more than a decade, including unauthorized surveillance of Americans' overseas communications.
RELATED:
Wall Street Journal:
NSA Forced to Spell Out Violations After Suit  —  Heavily Redacted Reports Detail Violations of Individual Americans' Privacy  —  WASHINGTON—The National Security Agency, responding to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, has released heavily redacted reports detailing its employees' violations …
Liz Sly / Washington Post:
The Islamic State is failing at being a state  —  GAZIANTEP, Turkey — The Islamic State's vaunted exercise in state-building appears to be crumbling as living conditions deteriorate across the territories under its control, exposing the shortcomings of a group that devotes most of its energies …
Discussion: The Jawa Report, Hot Air and Althouse
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Team Rubio: Jeb won't push us out of 2016 presidential race  —  Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is planning to take a more active role on the national political stage next month, undeterred by his former mentor Jeb Bush's moves toward running for president.  —  Republican strategists predicted months ago …
RELATED:
Joseph Tanfani / Los Angeles Times:
Jeb Bush eases out of some businesses, such as firm helped by Obamacare
Discussion: Liberaland
Michael Grunwald / Politico:
Jeb Bush leaving health-care company
Discussion: Hot Air
T. M. Luhrmann / New York Times:
Religion Without God  —  THIS Christmas our family will go to church.  The service is held in a beautiful old church in the charming town of Walpole, N.H., just over the border from Vermont.  The Lord's Prayer hangs on the wall behind the sanctuary.  A lectern rises above the nave to let the pastor look down on his flock.
Discussion: TheBlaze.com and Althouse
Politico:
Race and the race  —  The GOP's 2016 slate may be its most diverse ever, but don't expect the candidates to talk much about it.  —  Bobby Jindal is Indian-American, but you'll never hear him describe himself that way.  Marco Rubio insists he's an “American of Hispanic descent.”
Alex Byers / Politico:
Rock stars amp up in digital music copyright war  —  Platforms like Spotify, Pandora have raised the stakes in debate as Congress moves toward a comprehensive look at reform.  —  There are a lot of policy meetings on Capitol Hill — and they pretty much never end in song.
Brent Budowsky / The Hill:
Ready for Pope Francis  —  What better time than Christmas to turn our thoughts to Pope Francis, a voice for our generation and all generations who teaches, as all great faiths teach, that those who have the most should extend their hands to those who have the least and that those who have power should serve those who do not.
Wynton Hall / BREITBART.COM:
Mega Rich Overwhelmingly Donated to Democrats in 2014  —  Democrats bagged the bulk of big dollar donations in the 2014 midterm elections according to an analysis by the Associated Press.  —  Out of the $128 million spent by the top 10 individual donors to outside groups, Democrats hauled in $91 million or 71% of donations.
Discussion: Power Line
 
 
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 More Items: 
Moira Shaw / Agence France-Presse:
Asian Tsunami Anniversary: LIVE REPORT
Discussion: Mashable
Kevin Randall / New York Times:
Teams Turn to a Face Reader, Looking for That Winning Smile
Discussion: ABC News
Michael S. Schmidt / New York Times:
Driver Wanted for Obama Motorcade. Novice Welcome.
Discussion: Fox News and BizPac Review
CBS News:
JetBlue offers to fly police to NYPD officer funerals
Discussion: TIME and Slantpoint
Joseph Curl / Washington Times:
At Christmastime, George W. Bush was Santa, Obama is Scrooge
Discussion: BizPac Review and TheBlaze.com
 Earlier Items: 
Associated Press:
Spain premier announces modest minimum wage raise
Anne Gearan / Washington Post:
Hillary Clinton looks to shore up support on the left
Discussion: Liberaland and NewsMax.com
Reno Gazette-Journal:
Goats will help you recycle your Christmas tree
Discussion: Mashable
Associated Press:
Man shot with stun gun dies at border crossing
Meghan Keneally / ABC News:
Look at the Obamas' Throwback Christmas Snap
Discussion: 7online.com