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10:40 AM ET, February 3, 2009


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
The Travails of Tom Daschle  —  When President Obama nominated former Senator Tom Daschle to be his secretary of health and human services, it seemed to be a good choice.  Mr. Daschle, as the co-author of a book on health care reform, knew a lot about one of the president's signature issues.
Peter Baker / New York Times:
Obama's Pledge to Reform Ethics Faces an Early Test  —  WASHINGTON — During almost two years on the campaign trail, Barack Obama vowed to slay the demons of Washington, bar lobbyists from his administration and usher in what he would later call in his Inaugural Address a “new era of responsibility.”
Jason Mazzone / Concurring Opinions:
Audit them all  —  Tom Daschle, former Senator and nominee …
Discussion: The Hill
Wall Street Journal:
Daniel Pearl and the Normalization of Evil  —  When will our luminaries stop making excuses for terror?  —  This week marks the seventh anniversary of the murder of our son, former Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.  My wife Ruth and I wonder: Would Danny have believed that today's world emerged after his tragedy?
Alex Isenstadt / The Politico:
Joe the Plumber advises GOP-ers  —  Fresh off his stint as a war correspondent in Gaza, Joe the Plumber is now doing political strategy with Republicans.  —  When GOP congressional aides gather Tuesday morning for a meeting of the Conservative Working Group, Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher …
Faiz Shakir / Think Progress:   Joe the Economist.»  —  The ubiquitous Samuel Joseph …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:   JOE THE REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST.... Once in a while, I get the …
David Rogers / The Politico:
Obama picks Gregg for Commerce  —  Sen. Judd Gregg will be nominated as the new Commerce secretary Tuesday morning, giving President Obama a fresh independent voice in his Cabinet but at a huge cost to Republicans and the larger Senate.  —  The run-up to the nomination has focused on backroom deals …
David M. Drucker / Roll Call:
Martinez Eyeing Early Exit as Crist Looks at Senate Seat  —  In what could be a Sunshine State one-two punch, multiple Republican sources are confirming that Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) is giving serious consideration to running for Senate — and that Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) …
David S. Cloud / The Politico:
Secret report urges new Afganistan plan  —  The Pentagon's top military officers are recommending to President Barack Obama that he shift U.S. strategy in Afghanistan — to focus on ensuring regional stability and eliminating Taliban and al-Qaida safe havens in Pakistan …
Discussion: and Riehl World View
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
The “defense cut” falsehood from The Washington Post and Robert Kagan  —  (updated below - Update II)  —  Even for the standard-less Washington Post Op-Ed page, which will publish any version of neocon claptrap regardless of how factually false it is, this is rather striking:
The Politico:
Daschle pushed Hindery for Obama job  —  Tom Daschle backed the patron who paid him a million-dollar salary and supplied him with a free car and driver for a job inside the Obama administration, two Democrats said Monday.  —  Leo Hindery, whose InterMedia Partners employed the former Senate majority leader …
Discussion: Riehl World View
Frank Newport / Gallup:
Americans Support Stimulus, but Many Want Major Changes  —  Most say plan will not have major impact this year  — USA - Business and Economy - Congress - Credit Crisis - Personal Finances - Taxes - Americas - Northern America  —  PRINCETON, NJ — A strong majority of Americans (75%) …
Discussion: Hot Air and Political Machine
Mesh / Middle East Strategy at Harvard:
Behind the blow-out at Davos  —  From Michael Reynolds  —  Origins of cooperation.  For the past two decades, cooperative relations between Turkey and Israel had been one of the constants of international relations in the Middle East.  While it would be incorrect to describe those ties …
Discussion: Moe_Lane's blog and Israel Matzav
The Huffington Post:
Stimulus Spin War: Obama To Go On Media Offensive  —  Barack Obama is slated to sit down with the five major television news networks tomorrow, a media play that is almost certain to be part of a broader effort to sell his stimulus package to the American public.
Simon Romero / New York Times:
In Bolivia, Untapped Bounty Meets Nationalism  —  UYUNI, Bolivia — In the rush to build the next generation of hybrid or electric cars, a sobering fact confronts both automakers and governments seeking to lower their reliance on foreign oil: almost half of the world's lithium …
Discussion: Fausta's Blog
Jim Rutenberg / New York Times:
Ex-Journalists' New Jobs Fuel Debate on Favoritism  —  WASHINGTON — Republicans have long accused mainstream journalists of being on the payroll of President Obama and the Democratic Party, a common refrain of favoritism especially from those on the losing end of an election (see Bush vs. Gore, Clinton vs. Bush and Bush vs. Dukakis).
Wall Street Journal:
What Other Financial Crises Tell Us  —  The lesson of history is grim: Expect a prolonged slump.  —  Perhaps the Obama administration will be able to bring a surprisingly early end to the ongoing U.S. financial crisis.  We hope so, but it is not going to be easy.
Discussion: The Big Picture and EconLog
Binyamin Appelbaum / Washington Post:
Despite Federal Aid, Many Banks Fail to Revive Lending  —  The federal government has invested almost $200 billion in U.S. banks over the last three months to spark new lending to consumers and businesses.  —  So far, it hasn't worked.  Lending has declined, and banks that got government money …
Discussion: Associated Press and
Iran launches first homegrown satellite  —  Iran says it has launched its first domestically made satellite into orbit.  —  President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the launch had been successful and that with it Iran had “officially achieved a presence in space”.
Richard Lloyd Parry / Times of London:
North Korea ‘prepares to test long range missile’  —  North Korea is preparing to test fire a long range missile capable of striking the United States, according to media reports in South Korea and Japan this morning.  —  The Yonhap News Agency in Seoul quoted South Korean officials …
Discussion: Flopping Aces
Rasmussen Reports:
42% Say Obama Governing on Bipartisan Basis, Only 22% Say Congress Doing the Same  —  Forty-two percent (42%) of U.S. voters say President Barack Obama is governing on a bipartisan basis while 39% say he is governing as a partisan Democrat.  —  But the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows …
Discussion: Commentary and The Plum Line
Los Angeles Times:
Michael Steele's GOP  —  The party's first black national chairman says things will change, but how much?  —  Hurting and in disarray after a devastating election — their second in a row — that put a Democrat in the White House and widened the opposing party's control of Congress …
Wayne Slater / Dallas Morning News:
Sarah Palin endorses Texas Gov. Rick Perry for re-election  —  —  AUSTIN - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has endorsed Rick Perry for re-election, calling him the “true conservative” in a primary election showdown with fellow Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison.
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 More Items: 
William Shawcross / Guardian:
Democratic dawn in Iraq
Groundhog bites Bloomberg at ceremony
Discussion: Political Machine and Don Surber
The Politico:
Unions to hit Capitol for card check
Discussion: Shopfloor
Mike Dorning / Chicago Tribune:
How the stimulus might help Illinois
Discussion: Publius' Forum
Tami Luhby /
California delays $3.5B in payments
Discussion: Donklephant and The Raw Story
Bryan Bender / Boston Globe:
Obama seeks assessment on gays in military
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Gardiner Harris / New York Times:
Peanut Product Recall Took Company Approval
 Earlier Items: 
Randeep Ramesh / Guardian:
India to launch credit crunch £7 laptop, world's cheapest computer
Nat Hentoff / Washington Times:
A free speech killer
Discussion: Soccer Dad, The Corner and Jihad Watch
John / Power Line:
Discussion: Vox Popoli