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11:55 PM ET, February 4, 2009


 Top Items: 
Laura Rozen / The Cable:
General Zinni gets undiplomatic treatment from Obama team  —  When retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni told the Washington Times that he was offered the job of U.S. ambassador to Iraq before being passed over in favor of diplomat Christopher Hill, he did not say that one of the outrages …
Michael Goldfarb / Weekly Standard:
Some Speculation on Zinni  —  I just had a conversation with one Republican who speculated that Richard Holbrooke may have been at the center of the current mess over who will serve as U.S. ambassador in Iraq.  According to the scenario he laid out, despite Jones having offered the job to Zinni …
Discussion: Riehl World View
Barbara Slavin / Washington Times:
EXCLUSIVE: Obama backs out on Iraq appointment
Rasmussen Reports:
Support for Stimulus Package Falls to 37%  —  Support for the economic recovery plan working its way through Congress has fallen again this week.  For the first time, a plurality of voters nationwide oppose the $800-billion-plus plan.  —  The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found …
Chris Bowers / Open Left:
Stimulus Setback: Which Side Is Obama On?  —  Sorry for my absence today—I was on jury duty (not selected though)  —  The stimulus bill has suffered a major setback.  Lacking the 60 votes to pass the bill, Senate Democrats have moved to a conference off-site, delayed the vote …
David M. Herszenhorn / New York Times:
Senate Advances Tax Break for Homebuyers  —  WASHINGTON — The Senate on Wednesday voted to expand the economic stimulus package with a tax credit for homebuyers of up to $15,000, a provision championed by Republicans as addressing a root cause of the recession.
Discussion: Calculated Risk
Washington Post:
Senate Lacks Votes to Pass Stimulus
Michael Hirsh / Newsweek:
Losing Control  —  Obama needs to reassert command of the agenda in Washington  —  Barack Obama began making his comeback on Wednesday, apparently aware that he has all but lost control of the agenda in Washington at a time when he simply can't afford to do so.
Glenn R. Simpson / Wall Street Journal:
Panetta Earned $700,000 in Fees  —  WASHINGTON — The White House's nominee for Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Leon Panetta, has earned more than $700,000 in speaking and consulting fees since the beginning of 2008, with some of the payments coming from troubled financial firms …
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
CIA Panetta's fees: Defense, banking
Discussion: Top of the Ticket and Bloomberg
Carrie Budoff Brown / The Politico:
Obama could break 5-day rule  —  Obama appears poised to break his campaign pledge to give the public five days to review a bill before he signs it.  —  Obama scheduled a bill signing for 4:35 p.m. Wednesday, even though the House has yet to vote on the legislation expanding a children's health insurance program.
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Obama's five-day rule: Broken again  —  Hey, what about Obama's five-day rule?  —  Congress today passed a bill expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP, allocating an additional $32.8 billion in funding for the program over the next four and a half years.
Discussion: The Politico
Tony Mauro / The BLT:
Florida Student Asks Scalia a Question — and Gets Scolded  —  Where others fear to tread, a 20-year-old college student from Tequesta, Fla.,boldly stepped forward Tuesday to ask Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia a question he did not like during a public appearance in West Palm Beach.
George Bennett / Palm Beach Post:   Scalia on 2000: ‘Get over it’  —  WEST PALM BEACH …
The Politico:
Cheney warns of new attacks  —  Former Vice President Dick Cheney warned that there is a “high probability” that terrorists will attempt a catastrophic nuclear or biological attack in coming years, and said he fears the Obama administration's policies will make it more likely the attempt will succeed.
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
DICK.... Former Vice President Dick Cheney was a national disgrace …
Discussion: Hot Air
Media Research Center:
Bozell to ABC President: You Must Publicly Address Stephanopoulos' Apparent Conflict of Interest  —  Open Letter Demands Public Resolution to Daily Strategy Calls  —  Alexandria, VA - Media Research Center (MRC) President L. Brent Bozell, III has written a letter to ABC News President David Westin calling …
Patrick O'Connor / The Politico:
Carter tries to push Rangel out  —  Republican Rep. John R. Carter of Texas offered legislation Wednesday that would require Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles B. Rangel to relinquish his gavel until the ethics committee completes an investigation into Rangel's finances.
Discussion: Spin Cycle
Bill Allison / Real Time Investigations …:
Ethics Panel to Clear Rangel?
Discussion: QandO and Glenn Thrush's Blogs
Ezra Klein / American Prospect:
PHIL BREDESEN AS DASCHLE'S REPLACEMENT?  —  He's not the only candidate.  But an array of sources say he's a serious candidate.  And he'd be a very risky choice.  —  Phil Bredesen is the governor of Tennessee.  Before he was the governor of Tennessee, he made his money in the managed care revolution …
Discussion: AMERICAblog News
Jonathan Cohn / The Treatment:
Bredesen for Health Reform?! (Updated With Alarm Bells)
Pat G. / Think Progress:
The Right Wing's Next Target: Hilda Solis?  »  —  Yesterday, President Obama's nominee for Health and Human Services Secretary, Tom Daschle, withdrew after it was revealed he failed to pay over $100,000 in taxes.  In the wake of Daschle's departure, the right-wing is gunning …
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
Solis Lingers; Acting Secretary Appointed
Discussion: The Hill and Political Machine
New York Times:
Uncovering Lost Path of the Most Wanted Nazi  —  CAIRO — Even in old age the imposingly tall, athletic German known to locals as Tarek Hussein Farid maintained the discipline to walk some 15 miles each day through the busy streets of Egypt's capital.  He walked to the world-renowned Al Azhar mosque here …
Max Blumenthal / Blogs and Stories:
Rush Limbaugh Loses a Popularity Contest  —  America to Rush: Drop Dead by Max Blumenthal  —  Blogs and Stories  —  Congressional Republicans have turned to Rush Limbaugh to lead the battle against Obama.  One problem: A poll says he's less popular than Jeremiah Wright.
Discussion: Don Surber
Associated Press:
Obama signs bill extending kids' health insurance  —  Featured Topics: - Barack Obama - Presidential Transition  —  WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama on Wednesday signed a bill extending health coverage to 4 million uninsured children, a move he called a first step toward fulfilling …
Kevin Freking / Associated Press:   Obama signs kids' health insurance bill
Peter Wehner / The Corner:
Have Mercy on This Spinner  —  Yesterday I was thinking that Robert Gibbs, President Obama's press secretary, reminds me of another recent one: Scott McClellan.  I was reassured, then, to read this comment by Victor Davis Hanson: … It's possible, of course, that Gibbs gets better as time goes on.
Murray Waas / TPMMuckraker:
U.S. Attorney Scandal: Feds Probe Domenici for Obstruction of Justice In Iglesias Firing  —  A federal grand jury probe of the firings of nine U.S. attorneys during the Bush administration is focusing on the role played by recently retired Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) and former senior Bush White House aides …
Discussion: DownWithTyranny! and Emptywheel
Peter Hamby / CNN:
Palin takes on Ashley Judd's ‘extreme fringe group’  —  (CNN) - Alaska governor Sarah Palin's support for aerial wolf-hunting has sparked a heated cross-country war of words between the governor and an environmental ad campaign fronted by the actress Ashley Judd, with Palin calling …
Discussion: RedState and The Politico
‘Mum’ had 80 women raped for suicide missions  —  A WOMAN suspected of recruiting more than 80 female suicide bombers has confessed to organising their rapes so she could later convince them that martyrdom was the only way to escape the shame.  —  Samira Jassam, 51, was arrested by Iraqi police …
Steven Pearlstein / Washington Post:
Stumbling on Their Sense of Entitlement  —  Tom Daschle still doesn't get it.  —  John Thain never did.  —  Barack Obama gets it sometimes, Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner not so much.  —  Corporate executives think they get it but aren't even close.  —  College presidents …
Byron York / The Corner:
Republican Momentum  —  On Capitol Hill, you can feel the Republicans' growing sense of confidence.  They've scored a lot of hits on the stimulus bill, and now they're aiming higher.  “We'll try to make the bill better,” Sen. Jim DeMint said a few moments ago, “but this bill is so bad …
Discussion: Rasmussen Reports
David Leonhardt / Economix:
Do Tax Rebates Work?  —  The conventional wisdom is that the tax rebate signed by President Bush last year failed to stimulate the economy.  But there is now pretty good reason to question that wisdom.  —  The argument that the rebate didn't work is based on the notion that it didn't lift consumer spending very much.
The Politico:
The Karl Rove of the Commode?  —  Call it a pipe dream come true: When members of the Conservative Working Group held their weekly strategy meeting on the Hill on Tuesday morning, they were joined by none other than Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher, who had come to offer his thoughts on the economic recovery bill.
Discussion: Donklephant
Ed Morrissey / New York Post:
DODD'S NEW DODGE  —  SEN. Chris Dodd is hoping to make his sweetheart deals with Country wide Mortgage - which saved him tens of thousands of dollars on two mortgages - disappear.  —  Dodd, the chairman of the Banking Committee, announced this week that he'll have the mortgages refinanced …
Discussion: Hot Air
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 More Items: 
Susan Crabtree / The Hill:
$500K spent on Dem caucus retreats
Associated Press:
UN says Hamas seized Gaza food aid and blankets
Fox News:
Conservative Groups Declare Obama's Stimulus Bill a War on Prayer
Discussion: The Hill, TalkLeft and Salon
Doctor who slammed Gaza violence supported 9/11 attacks
Discussion: Commentary
United States Senator Tom Coburn:
Coburn Fights Generational Theft Act, AKA Senate Stimulus Bill
Discussion: Michelle Malkin
Bold Action by Department of Interior Halts Leasing of Utah Wilderness
Discussion: The Huffington Post and Daily Kos
 Earlier Items: 
Norman Geras / normblog:
One-Eyed in Gaza  —  This is a post about war crimes in Gaza …
Chris / TVNewser:
Obama to Wallace: “I Think It's Fair to Say That I Don't Always …
Discussion: Gateway Pundit
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias and TPMDC
Joe Gandelman / The Moderate Voice:
Death Of A Blogger  —  A prolific blogger is dead.He wroter diaries …
Discussion: Daily Kos
Arianna Huffington / The Huffington Post:
CNBC's Clueless Mark Haines Calls Me “Clueless” on Morning Joe: I Respond
Discussion: Firedoglake
Communications /
TARP Recipients Paid Out $114 Million for Politicking Last Year