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1:55 PM 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.
Associated Press:
Obama performance chief Killefer out, citing taxes  —  Featured Topics: - Barack Obama - Presidential Transition  —  WASHINGTON - Nancy Killefer withdrew her candidacy to be the first chief performance officer for the federal government on Tuesday, saying she didn't want her bungling …
Mark Murray / MSNBC:
ANOTHER TAX PROBLEM FOR OBAMA?  —  From NBC's Lisa Myers, Chuck Todd, Savannah Guthrie, and Ken Strickland  —  NBC News has learned that the president's choice for “chief performance officer” — technically a deputy OMB director post — could end up having to withdraw over a number of issues, including tax problems.
Daschle withdraws Obama nomination  —  He follows withdrawal earlier Tuesday of chief performance nominee  —  Former Senate Majority leader Tom Daschle has withdrawn his nomination to be secretary of Health and Human Services.  —  Killefer withdraws  —  Feb. 3: Nancy Killefer withdrew …
Fox News:
Daschle Withdraws Nomination for Health and Human Services Secretary  —  Tom Daschle has withdrawn his nomination for health and human services secretary, and President Obama has accepted.  —  —  Tom Daschle has withdrawn his nomination for health and human services secretary …
Washington Post:
Obama's Choice for Chief Performance Officer Withdraws Name  —  Nancy Killefer, the management consultant and former Treasury official who had been picked by President Obama to serve as the country's chief performance officer, has withdrawn from consideration for the post, White House officials confirmed this morning.
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.”
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
How Killefer Hurts Daschle  —  President Obama's choice for government performance officer Nancy Killefer withdrew her name from consideration, possibly causing problems for HHS nominee Tom Daschle.  (Linda Davidson / staff/ The Washington Post)  —  UPDATE 12:48 p.m.: Tom Daschle has withdrawn …
George Packer In / New Yorker:
Discussion: marbury
Mark Silva / The Swamp:   Tom Daschle withdraws: ‘Distraction’
Jennifer Loven / Associated Press:
Daschle withdraws nomination
Discussion: Bloomberg
BREAKING: Daschle withdraws
Discussion: Washington Monthly and Wonk Room
Emily Yoffe / Washington Post:
Taxes?  Too Busy, Busy, Busy!  —  Like many Americans whose steady …
Discussion: Wizbang
John / Power Line:
Discussion: Gateway Pundit
Jeff Zeleny / The Caucus:
Citing Tax Troubles, an Obama Appointee Withdraws
CNN:   Tax issues prompt Obama nominee to withdraw
David S. Cloud / The Politico:
Secret report urges new Afghan 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, rather …
Discussion: MoJoBlog, and
Robert Kagan / Washington Post:   No Time To Cut Defense  —  Pentagon officials have leaked word …
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
The “defense cut” falsehood from The Washington Post and Robert Kagan
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?
Jonathan Allen / CQ Politics:
Gregg Voted to Kill Commerce Before He Agreed to Lead It  —  President Obama's new candidate to run the Commerce Department voted in favor of abolishing the agency as a member of the Budget Committee and on the Senate floor in 1995.  —  Sen. Judd Gregg , R-N.H., whose nomination was expected …
Tony Halpin / Times of London:
Passengers stop flight after ‘drunk’ pilot sparks panic  —  It is normally a moment of cheery reassurance when an airline pilot greets passengers during preparations for take-off.  But Alexander Cheplevsky sparked panic on flight Aeroflot 315 when he began to speak.
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
JOE THE REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST.... Once in a while, I get the sense Republicans on Capitol Hill want to be made fun of. … This is what it's come to for Republican staffers in Congress.  In the midst of an economic crisis, and after balking at a stimulus package, the GOP is turning …
John Distaso /
In 2010, Rep. Hodes will run for U.S. Senate  —  CONCORD - Democratic U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes will announce his candidacy for the U.S. Senate “within the week,” a source close to Hodes told this morning shortly before Judd Gregg's nomination as commerce secretary became official.
David Brooks / New York Times:
Ward Three Morality  —  I've become increasingly concerned about the rising number of rich people who are being caught unawares by shifts in the sumptuary code.  First, there were those auto executives who didn't realize that it is no longer socially acceptable to use private jets for lobbying trips to Washington.
Jared Allen / The Hill:
Dems warn leaders to resume regular order  —  A group of more than 50 House Democrats has penned a letter to Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) imploring him to “restore this institution” and see that the House returns to a “regular order” process of legislating.
Discussion: Hot Air and Congress Matters
Matthew Lee / Associated Press:
US Mideast envoy wants regional office  —  Featured Topics: - Barack Obama - Presidential Transition  —  WASHINGTON - The special U.S. envoy for Middle East peace, George Mitchell, has asked to open his own office in the region to deal with day-to-day developments between Israel …
Discussion: and Reuters
Desmond Butler / Associated Press:
EU warns Obama on protectionism in stimulus bill
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%) …
David Neiwert / Crooks and Liars:
O'Reilly declares war on New York Times after it calls him out on immigration  —  Bill O'Reilly is outraged, outraged we tell you, over Sunday's superb New York Times editorial calling out Republicans — and particularly movement conservatives who have thoroughly embraced the nativist wing of the party …
Discussion: IMAGINE 2050 and News Hounds
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 More Items: 
GOP leaders list ‘waste’ in Senate stimulus bill
Discussion: Angry Bear
Fox News:
John Edwards' Wife: New Book Will Address Affair
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blogs and The Plank
Russell Roberts / Boston Globe:
Stimulus just digs debt hole deeper
Discussion: Reason and EconLog
Glenn Church / Foolocracy:
Texans Want Bush's Name Added To Courthouse
Robert Sanchez / Daily Herald:
Ex-Speaker Hastert: Americans can't stomach long-term conflicts
Discussion: The Daily Dish
 Earlier Items: 
Calculated Risk:
Q4: Homeownership Rate Declines to 2000 Level
Paris rejects ‘Obama-style’ stimulus program
Discussion: Don Surber
Glenn Kessler / Washington Post:
Hill Tapped as Ambassador to Iraq
Megan McArdle / The Atlantic Business Channel:
The burden of proof  —  If you pray hard enough, water will run uphill.