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2:15 PM ET, January 30, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Obama May Seek Republican for Cabinet  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama and his advisers have approached Senator Judd Gregg, Republican of New Hampshire, about becoming commerce secretary, a step that could open the way to significant shift in the balance of power in Congress.
RELATED:
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 …
Discussion: The New Republic
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.
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 …
Washington Post:
GOP Stakes Its Claim With Stimulus Vote
Discussion: Daily Kos and AMERICAblog News
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 …
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:
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
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
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 …
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.
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.
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 …
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.
CNN:
Giuliani: Corporate plums help keep NYC afloat  —  NEW YORK (CNN) — Bonuses for Wall Street fat cats are easy political fodder in uncertain economic times, but former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Friday cutting corporate bonuses means slashing jobs in the Big Apple.
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and MyDD
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.
Jack Healy / New York Times:
Steep Slide in U.S. Economy, but Not as Dire as Forecast  —  The United States economy shrank at its fastest pace in a quarter century from October through December, the government reported on Friday, in the broadest accounting yet of the toll of the credit crisis.
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 …
Damon Linker / The New Republic:
How to End the Culture War  —  This item about whether Obama will bring the culture war to an end has inspired two thoughtful posts — one by Tim Fernholz at Tapped, and another by Ed Kilgore at the Democratic Strategist.  —  Tim's post concludes by posing the following question: “So, Damon, how does one end the culture wars?”
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.
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 …
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
 
 
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 More Items: 
Glenn Kessler / Washington Post:
Writings Offer Look at Administration Debate on Iran
The Daily Beast:
Sticking It to Rahm  —  We Hate Rahm: Inside the GOP's Obama Revolt by John Batchelor
Discussion: The Corner and Blogs and Stories
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Video: Clyburn scoffs at Iraq withdrawal timetables
Portfolio:
Cuts Coming Next Week at ‘The Wall Street Journal’
Michael Gerson / Washington Post:
What Israel Gained in Gaza
Discussion: Commentary and Yourish.com
 Earlier Items: 
Michelle Malkin:
Stimulus slush fund for the housing entitlement mob
Noam Scheiber / The New Republic:
Border War  —  Geithner-Summers psychodrama, Round 1.
David Harsanyi / Denver Post:
Proof that all debate is now over
Discussion: Cold Fury