Monday morning news and notes: 12.22.14

Selected items of news and notes from the media, our in box and other LA Observed sources. Posted some days, often in the morning.

Top stories

Politico has been in talks to hire the Hollywood journalist Nikki Finke to write about Washington as a political columnist, people familiar with the discussions said Friday. She has also been in talks with other publications, including the New York Observer. NYT

Hollywood secretly loves that President Obama rebuked Sony over dropping "The Interview" from a Christmas Day release in theaters, says Todd Purdum. Politico

Ace Smith has been mentioned as a possible campaign manager for Hillary Clinton. Politico

Los Angeles police wore black bands over their badges "in honor of our fallen brothers," the two NYPD officers murdered in New York. LA Weekly

The same sort of demographically driven acceptance of a position that has pushed the country toward acceptance of same-sex marriage can be seen in President Obama's new Cuba policy. LAT

Meet Alfreda Frances Bikowsky, senior CIA officer at the center of the fortune scandals, and the basis for Jessica Chastian's character in "Zero Dark Thirty." The Intercept

The Intercept is naming Bikowsky over CIA objections because of her key role in misleading Congress about the agency’s use of torture, and her active participation in the torture program (including playing a direct part in the torture of at least one innocent detainee).

Notes on a Native Daughter: Joan Didion at 80 by Emmett Rensin. LA Review of Books

Thumbnail image for philippe-sign-lit-lao.jpgPhilippe's in Chinatown joins the credit card era, starts to take plastic. KPCC

“The Valley clearly has been shortchanged by Measure R,” says City Councilman Paul Krekorian, noting the lack of rail projects on his side of the hill. DN

A look back at the 2008 killing for which the son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez is spending time in prison. LAT

Unspecified whispers about Assemblywoman Patty Lopez, more Police Protective League politics and more. DN/Orlov

The LA Area Chamber of Commerce and the political committee of the LA County Federation of Labor both endorsed Councilman Jose Huizar over Gloria Molina. KPCC

Handwringing about the proliferation of large, discarded items on Los Angeles streets and sidewalks. LAT

Some Hollywood Hills residents are unhappy about plans to close the Barham Boulevard offramp on the southbound Hollywood Freeway to make way for a Universal Studios ramp. LAT

Justine Sacco Is Good at Her Job, and How I Came To Peace With Her: An Internet snarker reflects. Gawker

A checklist from Jay Rosen on "when to quit your journalism job." Press Think

The owner of Paradise Cove in Malibu has agreed to stop charging a $20 walk-in fee, remove all signs banning surfing and unlock a gate to the beach's pier. LAT

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told the San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Rams that there will not be a team that moves to Los Angeles for next season, according to league sources. ESPN

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