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5:40 AM ET, March 20, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Michael James / Political Punch:
President Obama Jokes About Being a Bad Bowler: 'It's Like the Special Olympics'  —  The first appearance by a sitting president on “The Tonight Show” may well end up being the last.  —  President Obama, in his taping with Jay Leno Thursday afternoon, attempted to yuk it up with the funnyman, and ended up insulting the disabled.
RELATED:
Michelle Malkin:
Obama's “Special Olympics” joke: The teleprompter made him do it!  —  Jake Tapper reports that Barack Obama pulled a Joe Biden (or a Barack Obama, for that matter) and ended up mocking the Special Olympics in a lame attempt to make fun of his weak bowling skills.
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Obama insults Special Olympics?  Update: Obama thinks Special Olympics are “wonderful”  —  You know how you can tell when a President has a bad day?  When his comparison of an American corporation to terrorists is the second-stupidest thing he said: … Maybe he should have brought his Teleprompter with him.
The Politico:
Obama struggles as communicator  —  Of all the pitfalls Barack Obama might face in the presidency, here is one not many people predicted: He is struggling as a public communicator.  —  The sluggish and unsteady response to the uproar over AIG bonuses highlights a larger problem of his White House …
The Politico:
VIDEO: Obama defends Geithner  —  President Obama offered an ardent defense of his embattled Treasury Secretary Thursday in a “Tonight Show” appearance that concluded his economy-focused two-day swing through California.  —  With Timothy Geithner facing fire over bailed …
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Obama to Leno: Dog ‘campaign promise’  —  by Mark Silva and updated at broadcast with transcript  —  The economy, his first few months as commander-in-chief and that promise that he made to his daughters about a dog - President Barack Obama talked about all of that in his taped appearance …
Discussion: The Politico and Gawker
New York Times:
President Barack Obama on ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno’  —  The following is a transcript of President Obama's interview on NBC's “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” as provided by the White House.  —  JAY LENO The 44th President of the United States, please welcome President Barack Obama.
Discussion: TalkLeft and Riehl World View
Edward Wyatt / The Caucus:
Heeeere's Barack...  Jay Leno, who's hosting President Obama …
William M. Welch / USA Today:   Presidential chat is late-night coup for Leno
Helene Cooper / New York Times:
For Obama, Talk About Economy Goes Into Late Night
Discussion: Clusterstock
Laura Meckler / Wall Street Journal:
Obama Seeks to Lower Expectations
CNN:
Geithner: Treasury pushed for bonus loophole  —  (CNN) — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told CNN Thursday his department asked Sen. Chris Dodd to include a loophole in the stimulus bill that allowed bailed-out insurance giant American International Group to keep its bonuses.
RELATED:
Tom Bevan / Real Clear Politics:
Dodd's Deep Doo-Doo
Alaska_Politics / Anchorage Daily News:
Palin rejecting federal stimulus money  —  From Sean Cockerham in Juneau -  —  Gov. Sarah Palin just told reporters that she's accepting only 55 percent of the federal economic stimulus money being offered to Alaska.  The governor said that she will accept only about $514 million of the $930 million headed to the state.
RELATED:
Tim Walker / Telegraph:
Gordon Brown is frustrated by ‘Psycho’ in No 10  —  While not exactly a film buff, Gordon Brown was touched when Barack Obama gave him a set of 25 classic American movies - including Psycho, starring Anthony Perkins on his recent visit to Washington.  —  Alas, when the PM settled …
RELATED:
John / Power Line:
THEY COULDN'T BE THAT DUMB.  COULD THEY?  —  This is absolutely unbelievable.  You recall the embarrassment over the Obama administration's incompetent treatment of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown during his state visit to the U.S. The last link in that chain of ineptitude …
Mark Steyn / The Corner:
Regional power  —  Mark (Hemingway), re that Gordon Brown box set …
Marian Burros / New York Times:
Obamas to Plant White House Vegetable Garden  —  WASHINGTON — On Friday, Michelle Obama will begin digging up a patch of White House lawn to plant a vegetable garden, the first since Eleanor Roosevelt's victory garden in World War II.  There will be no beets (the president doesn't like them) but arugula will make the cut.
Ben Smith / The Politico:
A message to Iran  —  Featured Topics: - Barack Obama - Presidential Transition  —  Here's some unusual direct diplomacy: A video message to the people of Iran on the Iranian new year.  —  “I would like to speak directly to the people and leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Obama says, before addressing the government.
RELATED:
Laura Rozen / The Cable:
In New Year's message, Obama reaches out to Iran
Jean H. Lee / Associated Press:
NKorea reportedly detains 2 US journalists  —  SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Two American journalists were missing Friday after they reportedly were detained by North Korea for ignoring warnings to stop shooting footage of the reclusive country.  —  Journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee …
RELATED:
Alexander G. Higgins / Associated Press:
Report: Iranian defector tipped Syrian nuke plans
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Carol Baum: Welfare CEOs are Just Like John Galt  —  Bloomberg columnist Carol Baum puts together a baffling analogy: … Atlas Shrugged is a stupid book, Ayn Rand is a stupid woman, and John Galt's ideas are stupid.  That said, none of them are nearly this stupid.
Carol E. Lee / The Politico:
AUDIO: Arnold on Obama: ‘Beautiful’  —  LOS ANGELES - “When have you ever seen a president be that out there?”  —  That was a mesmerized Arnold Schwarzenegger after Obama's town hall meeting.  —  “I've never seen that,” Schwarzenegger said to a couple reporters as he and his wife, Maria Shriver, tried to make an exit.
Discussion: CBS News
Newsday:
Why President Obama skipped ‘Meet the Press’  —  Moderator David Gregory, center, of “Meet the Press,” hasn't lived up to the Tim Russert legacy.  (Getty Images)  —  THE SHOW “Meet the Press,” hosted by David Gregory.  —  REASON TO WATCH That is the question, and one President Barack …
Erik Eckholm / New York Times:
'07 U.S. Births Break Baby Boom Record  —  More babies were born in the United States in 2007 than in any other year in American history, according to preliminary data reported Wednesday by the National Center for Health Statistics.  —  The 4,317,000 births in 2007 just edged out the figure for 1957, at the height of the baby boom.
RELATED:
Megan McArdle:
Helicopter Ben fires up the engine
Discussion: The Bellows
Lynnley Browning / New York Times:
A.I.G. Sues U.S. for Return of $306 Million in Tax Payments  —  While the American International Group comes under fire from Congress over executive bonuses, it is quietly fighting the federal government for the return of $306 million in tax payments, some related to deals that were conducted through offshore tax havens.
Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute:
Who Doesn't Love The JournoList?  —  How great is the JournoList, that off-the-record electronic salon where liberal journalists and policy gurus can exchange views, and which is emphatically *not* an echo chamber?  —  Let's see - Matt Yglesias of JL on the AIG furor - it's a distraction:
Lucinda Franks / Blogs and Stories:
Madoff Employee Breaks Silence  —  The Shocking Teen Rape Double Standard by Constantino Diaz-Duran  —  Blogs and Stories  —  In a Daily Beast exclusive, one of the fraudster's employees tells Lucinda Franks that the supposedly legitimate brokerage operations were in fact just money-losing fronts for the fraudster's scheme.
Discussion: Clusterstock
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
FRANKENSTEIN  —  I had heard this AIG bonus bill described as being more or less narrowly tailored to claw back AIG's bonuses.  That in fact was why some people were saying it might amount to some sort of unconstitutional action since it focused on a narrow class of individuals.
 
 
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 More Items: 
David Ingram / The BLT:
Kagan Confirmed as First Female Solicitor General
Discussion: Overruled and SCOTUSblog
Stephen M. Walt:
A realistic approach to Iran's nuclear program
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias and ATTACKERMAN
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Full text of Pres. Obama's Los Angeles Town Hall meeting
Rachel L. Swarns / New York Times:
First Lady Leads Famous Women to Schools
Discussion: The Politico
Carol E. Lee / The Politico:
Stand-up guy: Obama tries to be funny
Joe Weisenthal / Clusterstock:
More Press Than Protesters Show Up At Goldman HQ
 Earlier Items: 
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
BIGGER THAN THE BOTH OF US  —  There's no end of puffed …
Jeremy Gaunt / Reuters:
U.N. panel says world should ditch dollar
Discussion: Don Surber and Donklephant
Media Matters for America:
CNBC's Kudlow lights dollar bill on fire, says “This is the value of our money”
Forbes:
The United States Of Ponzi
 

 
From Mediagazer:

David Sessions / Patrol:
To keep up with the demands of the Web, online news sites are overproducing worthless content

Chris Ariens / TVNewser:
Diane Sawyer Signs Off ‘World News:’ 'I'll See You Right Back Here on ABC News, Very Soon'

Lene Sillesen / Columbia Journalism Review:
The Guardian partners with more local news outlets to tell under-reported stories

 
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