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1:35 PM ET, January 30, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Health Care Now  —  The whole world is in recession.  But the United States is the only wealthy country in which the economic catastrophe will also be a health care catastrophe — in which millions of people will lose their health insurance along with their jobs, and therefore lose access to essential care.
RELATED:
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
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.
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:
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Obama: Middle class ‘American moment’
Discussion: TPMCafe
Monica Langley / Wall Street Journal:
After Jabs at Cheney, Biden Pursues an Activist Role
Discussion: TIME.com
RELATED:
The Politico:
Gregg confirms he's in Commerce mix  —  President Barack Obama is considering New Hampshire Republican Judd Gregg for the still-open Commerce secretary slot — a possibility that could give Democrats the 60-vote margin in the Senate that they weren't able to win at the polls in November.
Ben Smith / The Politico:
Hardball politics stay in the Oval  —  Despite his past denunciations of the “perpetual campaign” — and “political hacks like Karl Rove” — President Barack Obama's version of change doesn't include banishing hardball politics from the environs of the Oval Office.
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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.
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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 …
Washington Post:
GOP Stakes Its Claim With Stimulus Vote
Discussion: AMERICAblog News and Daily Kos
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Alice Rivlin: “Now Is An Excellent Time To Fix Social Security And Medicare”  —  Pete Davis reports on a lunch talk by former OMB Director Alice Rivlin (she was CBO Director, too, the Peter Orszag of her day) about the economic situation: … Very little about the conservative movement's reaction …
RELATED:
Ramesh Ponnuru / New York Times:
Social Security on the First Date
Pete Davis / Capital Gains and Games:
Alice Rivlin: “Now Is An Excellent Time To Fix Social Security And Medicare”
Discussion: Kevin Drum
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.
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 …
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.
Eric Schmitt / New York Times:
Obama Taps a General as the Envoy to Kabul  —  WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has picked Lt. Gen. Karl W. Eikenberry, a former top military commander in Afghanistan, to be the next United States ambassador to Kabul, an administration official said Thursday.
Ruth Simon / Wall Street Journal:
Option ARMs See Rising Defaults  —  Woes Mount in $750 Billion Home-Loan Market; Analysts' Dim Views  —  Defaults on a popular form of mortgage that gave home buyers a choice of how much to pay each month are rising and could rival those on subprime loans, potentially causing more trouble for investors and banks.
Lynnley Browning / New York Times:
A Rich Income in '06 Was $263 Million  —  The income of the 400 wealthiest Americans swelled in 2006, soaring nearly 23 percent from the previous year, to an average of $263 million, according to data released Thursday by the Internal Revenue Service.  Since 1996, this group has nearly doubled …
Elisabeth Rosenthal / New York Times:
New Jungles Prompt a Debate on Rain Forests  —  CHILIBRE, Panama — The land where Marta Ortega de Wing raised hundreds of pigs until 10 years ago is being overtaken by galloping jungle — palms, lizards and ants.  —  Instead of farming, she now shops at the supermarket and her grown children …
Discussion: Reason and Pajamas Media
Kos / Daily Kos:
IL-Sen: The GOP's best lag behind  —  Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 1/26-28.  Likely voters.  MoE 4%, 5% for primary samples (No trendlines) … What can you say?  It's early and people aren't ready to make any calls.  Given that Rep. Jan Schakowsky and State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias …
Discussion: Swing State Project and Lynn Sweet
Monica Davey / New York Times:
Blagojevich Makes a Day of It on Way Out  —  CHICAGO — As the nine-seat airplane raced through the skies on Thursday somewhere between Springfield and here, an onboard telephone began to ring.  —  Rod R. Blagojevich, the soon-to-be ex-governor of Illinois, instructed his aides not to answer.
Discussion: Time and Washington Post
Noam Scheiber / The New Republic:
Border War  —  Geithner-Summers psychodrama, Round 1.  —  Larry Summers has a cutting sense of humor.  For example, when he thinks a proposal calls for government heavy-handedness, he will dismiss it as “Putinesque,” a reference to the statist Russian leader.
Discussion: The Daily Dish
David Harsanyi / Denver Post:
Proof that all debate is now over  —  Imagine that.  The most expensive social experiment in American history — one that will cost taxpayers more than both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined — was allotted less than a single day of debate in Congress.
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 …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Damon Linker / The New Republic:
How to End the Culture War
Portfolio:
Cuts Coming Next Week at ‘The Wall Street Journal’
Michael Gerson / Washington Post:
What Israel Gained in Gaza
Discussion: Commentary and Yourish.com
Matthew Lee / Associated Press:
US puts up $20 million for Gaza relief
Discussion: Reuters, TIME.com and JammieWearingFool
 Earlier Items: 
Michelle Malkin:
Stimulus slush fund for the housing entitlement mob
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Best bipartisan buddies: Sarah Palin and Barack Obama
Discussion: The Swamp
Raphael Ahren / Haaretz:
For first time, U.S. professors call for academic and cultural boycott of Israel
Discussion: Atlas Shrugs and normblog