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3:00 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.
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—  He follows withdrawal earlier Tuesday of chief performance nominee  —  Former Senate Majority leader Tom Daschle has withdrawn his nomination to be secretary of Health and Human Services.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 …
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.
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Daschle Withdraws Nomination for Health and Human Services Secretary  —  Tom Daschle has withdrawn his nomination for health and human services secretary, and President Obama has accepted.  —  —  Tom Daschle has withdrawn his nomination for health and human services secretary …
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.”
Ezra Klein / American Prospect:
DASCHLE WITHDRAWS.  —  According to The New York Times, Tom Daschle has withdrawn his nomination to be Secretary of Health and Human Services and director of the White House Office of Health Reform.  —  Instant reaction: This is good for the cause of ethics in government.
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  (Linda Davidson / staff/ The Washington Post)  —  UPDATE 12:48 p.m.: Tom Daschle has withdrawn …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:
OBAMA CAN'T AFFORD HYPOCRISY  —  It's more than a little disappointing that, just two weeks into President Obama's “new era of responsibility,” a second major cabinet appointee turns out to have underpaid his taxes by tens of thousands of dollars.  Maybe a better word for it is “cheated.”
Discussion: marbury
BREAKING: Daschle withdraws
The Politico:
Daschle pushed Hindery for Obama job
Discussion: Commentary and Wonkette
Josh Gerstein / The Politico:
Daschle withdraws nomination
Discussion: The Swamp and USA Today
Fox News:
Sen. DeMint Calls on Obama to Withdraw Daschle Nomination
Emily Yoffe / Washington Post:
Taxes?  Too Busy, Busy, Busy!  —  Like many Americans whose steady …
Discussion: Wizbang and The Corner
Mark Silva / The Swamp:   Tom Daschle withdraws: ‘Distraction’
Mark Murray / MSNBC:
Discussion: Hot Air and
Daschle withdraws as HHS nominee
Discussion: Time and ABCNEWS
John / Power Line:
Discussion: Gateway Pundit
CNN:   Tax issues prompt Obama nominee to withdraw
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.
John Distaso /
J. Bonnie Newman called tough, smart
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.
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
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 …
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?
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.
Andrew Taylor / Associated Press:
Senate GOP blocks extra $25B in stimulus package  —  Featured Topics: - Barack Obama - Presidential Transition  —  WASHINGTON - Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked Democrats from adding $25 billion for highways, mass transit, and water projects to President Barack Obama's economic recovery program.
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
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 …
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 More Items: 
Frank Gaffney / Washington Times:
Discussion: Power Line and JammieWearingFool
Fox News:
Obama Getting Heat for Turning Up the Oval Office Thermostat
Chris Isidore /
GM offers buyouts to all hourly workers
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
PAINFULLY STUPID  —  Sen. Thune (R-SD) explains Republican thinking …
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
“The Cabinet”  —  Update: NBC is reporting that Tom Daschle …
Discussion: Weekly Standard
GOP leaders list ‘waste’ in Senate stimulus bill
Discussion: The Daily Dish and Angry Bear
Matthew Lee / Associated Press:
US Mideast envoy wants regional office
Discussion: Reuters
 Earlier Items: 
Fox News:
John Edwards' Wife: New Book Will Address Affair
Discussion: protein wisdom and The Plank
Paris rejects ‘Obama-style’ stimulus program
Megan McArdle / The Atlantic Business Channel:
The burden of proof  —  If you pray hard enough, water will run uphill.
Discussion: The Daily Dish