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5:30 PM ET, January 30, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Steele's victory  —  Michael Steele makes history as the first black chairman of the Republican National Committee, and as a rare winner — at least in part — of an outside game in what is usually an insider's contest.  He won with 91 votes, 6 more than he needed, over South Carolina GOP Chairman Katon Dawson.
RELATED:
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Steele Elected RNC Chair  —  The Republican National Committee elected Michael Steele as its first African American chairman today in Washington, a decision that came after an excruciating series of ballots that displayed a level of drama rarely seen in national politics.
Peter Hamby / CNN:
BREAKING: Steele picked to lead RNC  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — Members of the Republican National Committee elected their first-ever African-American party chief on Friday, choosing former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele to chair the organization after six rounds of tumultuous balloting.
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:   CLARITY  —  So we've just had a third vote in the RNC chairmanship race.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Why Limbaugh is the new Bush  —  I've been hunting around for polling data to explain why Democrats are so eager to make Rush Limbaugh the face of the Republican Party, and lo, Mark Blumenthal finds some.  —  The numbers are pretty clear.  When this poll was taken last fall …
RELATED:
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Obama vs Limbaugh: ‘Adult beverages’  —  President Barack Obama should think twice before making too much of the criticism of radio's Rush Limbaugh, Republican Sen. John McCain suggests.  —  While Limbaugh slams the Obama administration for the “pork” of the president's economic stimulus plan …
Brian Maloney / The Radio Equalizer:
New Anti-Limbaugh Radio Attack Ad To Air Beginning Tomorrow
Discussion: Riehl World View and Video
Adriel Bettelheim / Balance of Power:
Will Opposing the Stimulus Makes Voters See Blue?
Discussion: DCCC
Erik Larson / Bloomberg:
Cuomo Said to Eye Return of $4 Billion in Early Merrill Bonuses  —  Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) — New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo may demand the return of $4 billion in bonuses paid by Merrill Lynch & Co. just before it was acquired by Bank of America Corp., a person familiar with the matter said.
RELATED:
Bloomberg:
Obama Calls Bonuses ‘Shameful’ as Dodd Vows to Reclaim Money  —  Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama fed a swelling populist revolt against Wall Street bonuses, calling it “shameful” that banks doled out $18.4 billion as taxpayers bail out companies and the U.S. remains mired in a recession.
CNN:
Giuliani: Corporate plums help keep NYC afloat
Portfolio:
Cuts Coming Next Week at ‘The Wall Street Journal’
Discussion: FishBowlNY, Gawker and MediaMemo
Matt Corley / Think Progress:
Nelson ‘Undecided’ On Recovery Plan: 'I Don't Even Know How Many Democrats Will Vote For It As It Stands'  —  On Wednesday, when the House voted 244 - 188 to approve the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, 11 Democrats joined with the entire Republican caucus in voting against the bill.
RELATED:
Trish Turner / Fox News:
Influential Senate Dem Questions Party Support for Stimulus Bill  —  Sen. Ben Nelson told FOX News he is unsure how many Democrats will support President Obama's $819 billion economic stimulus bill.  —  FOXNews.com  —  An influential Senate Democrat said Friday that it's unclear whether …
Satyam Khanna / Think Progress:   Sen. Conrad: 'I'd have a very hard time voting' for recovery package …
Charles Hurt / New York Post:
CHANGE FOR THE WORSE  —  WASHINGTON - Buried deep inside the massive spending orgy that Democrats jammed through the House this week lie five words that could drastically undo two decades of welfare reforms.  —  The very heart of the widely applauded Welfare Reform Act of 1996 is a cap …
Discussion: Weekly Standard and Townhall.com
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Wall Street Journal:
Democratic Stealth Care  —  With the nation preoccupied by the financial crisis, Democrats have been quietly working to nationalize health care.  —  Tom Daschle is still waiting to be confirmed as secretary of health and human services, not that he's in any rush.
The Politico:
GOP fights to keep Gregg in the Senate  —  Republicans in Washington and New Hampshire are mounting a full-court press to keep Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) in the Senate and out of the Obama administration, aides and senators said Friday.  —  But if he does take the commerce secretary job …
RELATED:
Joe Biden / USA Today:
Time to put middle class front and center  —  For years, we had a White House that failed to put the middle class front and center in its economic policies.  —  President Obama has made it clear that is going to change.  And it's why he has asked me to lead a task force on the middle class.
RELATED:
David Brooks / New York Times:
Cleaner and Faster  —  Throughout 2008, Larry Summers, the Harvard economist, built the case for a big but surgical stimulus package.  Summers warned that a “poorly provided fiscal stimulus can have worse side effects than the disease that is to be cured.”  So his proposal had three clear guidelines.
RELATED:
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
What “Belongs” In the Stimulus?  —  I saw Senator Ben Nelson …
Discussion: Ross Douthat
Emily Wax / Washington Post:
U.S. Removes Kashmir From Envoy's Mandate; India Exults  —  Inside a chandeliered ballroom Thursday, Indian diplomats and business leaders and American officials held forth about a new “Cooperation Triangle” for the United States, China and India.  But little mention was made at the Asia …
RELATED:
The New Republic:   India's Empty Holbrooke Power Play
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
Obama Distorts America's Stance on Muslims  —  Every new president flatters himself that he, kinder and gentler, is beginning the world anew.  Yet, when Barack Obama in his inaugural address reached out to Muslims by saying “to the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward …
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Power's back  —  In quietly hiring Samantha Power at the NSC, Barack Obama has brought back from an exile yet another adviser known for speaking her mind.  —  Power's exile was a matter of political convenience: She wasn't some political operative who had played a dirty trick …
Discussion: Washington Monthly
RELATED:
CNN:
Monument to Bush shoe-throwing shines at Iraqi orphanage  —  BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — For the war-beaten orphans of the northern Iraqi city of Tikrit, this big old shoe fits.  —  A huge sculpture of the footwear hurled at President Bush in December during a trip to Iraq has been unveiled in a ceremony at the Tikrit Orphanage complex.
RELATED:
Ben Armbruster / Think Progress:   Iraqis construct shoe sculpture to honor Bush shoe-throwing incident.»
Carol Rosenberg / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Former USS Cole commander slams Obama on Guantanamo  —  The former commander of the USS Cole, the American war ship that was struck by a suicide boat in Yemeni waters more than eight years ago, on Thursday slammed President Barack Obama's orders to close the Guantanamo detention center and reassess the prisoners being held there.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Donald G. McNeil Jr / New York Times:
AIDS Coordinator Is Dismissed
Discussion: Pajamas Media
Hugh Hewitt / Townhall.com:
Romney's Remarks To House GOP Retreat
Ann Althouse / Althouse:
If it turns out teenagers aren't having that much sex, does …
Discussion: New York Times and JustOneMinute
Jared Polis / CNN:
Commentary: Congress is like going back to college
 Earlier Items: 
Damon Linker / The New Republic:
How to End the Culture War
Elisabeth Rosenthal / New York Times:
New Jungles Prompt a Debate on Rain Forests
Michael Gerson / Washington Post:
What Israel Gained in Gaza
Discussion: Commentary and Yourish.com
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Alice Rivlin: “Now Is An Excellent Time To Fix Social Security And Medicare”
David Harsanyi / Denver Post:
Proof that all debate is now over