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12:45 PM ET, February 6, 2009


 Top Items: 
Edmund L. Andrews / New York Times:
Economy Shed 598,000 Jobs in January  —  WASHINGTON — The United States lost almost 600,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent, its highest level in more than 16 years, the Labor Department said Friday.  —  It was the biggest monthly job loss since the economy tipped …
Ali Frick / Think Progress:
As Economy Sheds 600,000 Jobs In One Month, Senate Conservatives Ask: What's The Rush?  »  —  Today, the Labor Department reported that the economy lost 598,000 jobs in January, the worst monthly jobs loss since 1974.  1.8 million jobs have been lost in the last three months alone …
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
On the Edge  —  A not-so-funny thing happened on the way to economic recovery.  Over the last two weeks, what should have been a deadly serious debate about how to save an economy in desperate straits turned, instead, into hackneyed political theater, with Republicans spouting …
Martin Fackler / New York Times:
Japan's Big-Works Stimulus Is Lesson  —  HAMADA, Japan — The Hamada Marine Bridge soars majestically over this small fishing harbor, so much larger than the squid boats anchored below that it seems out of place.  —  And it is not just the bridge.  Two decades of generous public works spending …
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
Closing argument: Obama changes tone  —  With his economic stimulus bill facing a rockier path than he'd hope, a different Barack Obama emerged Thursday.  —  Gone was the conciliatory rhetoric and gentle wooing of the GOP.  —  Instead appeared a president sounding like the candidate …
The Politico:
At Dem retreat, a partisan love fest
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
The Fierce Urgency of Pork  —  “A failure to act, and act now, will turn crisis into a catastrophe.”  —  Catastrophe, mind you.  So much for the president who in his inaugural address two weeks earlier declared “we have chosen hope over fear.”  Until, that is, you need fear to pass a bill.
Randy James / Time:
Mitt Romney: The GOP's Top MBA  —  It's been a year since Mitt Romney dropped out of the Republican presidential race, but he remains an influential conservative voice— particularly on economic issues.  The former Massachusetts governor and star business consultant earned ovations …
Pakistan nuclear scientist ‘free’  —  A court in Pakistan has freed disgraced nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan from house arrest.  —  Dr Khan, who has been under tight restrictions since 2004, can now leave home and receive visitors.  —  Dr Khan welcomed the ruling and said he was not bothered …
Discussion: Jihad Watch and The Agonist
Pakistan frees ‘father’ of the bomb
Discussion: Danger Room
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Dramatic tapes of Hilda Solis-White House emergency radio chatter  —  In an amazing news coincidence, on the very same day as the US Air Flight 1549 emergency radio tapes were released, The Ticket has exclusively obtained the tapes of recent emergency radio conversations between ground traffic controllers …
Discussion: Moe Lane
New York Times:
General Says His Iraq Envoy Job Was Rescinded  —  WASHINGTON — When the vice president, the secretary of state and the national security adviser all say you have been tapped to be the next United States ambassador to Iraq, odds are it's a done deal, right?  —  Apparently not in the Obama administration.
Discussion: Althouse and The Cable
Ben Smith / The Politico:
Critics blast foreign policy transition
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Glenn Kessler / Washington Post:
Clinton Packs Full Asia Agenda for First Trip as Secretary of State
Discussion: TPMDC, and FP Passport
Catherine Rampell / New York Times:
As Layoffs Surge, Women May Pass Men in Job Force  —  With the recession on the brink of becoming the longest in the postwar era, a milestone may be at hand: Women are poised to surpass men on the nation's payrolls, taking the majority for the first time in American history.
Discussion: The Plank and Vox Popoli
Greg Mankiw / Greg Mankiw's Blog:
My Preferred Fiscal Stimulus  —  Regular readers of this blog have a pretty good sense of my policy preferences.  But for those occasional readers who might be stopping by, let me reiterate what I would do right now if I were the fiscal king.  —  I would institute an immediate …
David Brooks / New York Times:
The Gang System  —  Barack Obama is a potentially transformational figure.  In political style and intellectual outlook, he is unlike anything that has come before.  On matters of policy substance, however, he's been pretty conventional.  The policies he offered during the campaign matched those of just about every other Democrat.
Rasmussen Reports:
Election 2009: Virginia Governor Election  —  GOP's McDonnell Has Edge Over All Democrats In Virginia Governor's Race  —  Republican Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell has a three-to-nine point lead against three hopefuls for the Democratic nomination in this year's closely-watched Virginia gubernatorial contest.
Discussion: The Campaign Spot
Wall Street Journal:
Bracing Ourselves  —  America prepares for the worst, and Republicans suddenly seem serious.  —  All week the word I kept thinking of was “braced.”  America is braced, like people who are going fast and see a crash ahead.  They know huge and historic challenges are here.
The Huffington Post:
GOP Opposes Pay Limits On Bailed-Out Bankers  —  Wall Street bankers, with their $18 billion in bonuses, private jets and gaudy conferences, are causing headaches for the GOP.  —  President Obama has proposed capping compensation for executives at banks that take taxpayer bailout money at $500,000.
Discussion: Glenn Thrush's Blogs and Salon
Val Kilmer / Associated Press:
Val Kilmer ponders running for governor  —  Democrat actor known for roles as ‘Batman’ and ‘Iceman’ eyes 2010 race  —  SANTA FE, N.M. - Holy hornet's nest, Batman!  The New Mexico governor's mansion?  —  Fresh from the inauguration, actor Val Kilmer is pondering running for governor in 2010 …
Reid Wilson / The Hill:
RNC shakeup as Steele asks for resignations  —  Top staffers at the Republican National Committee were told to submit their resignations today, with some being told they will not get their jobs back in what insiders call a top-to-bottom review of the entire organization.
Paul Romer / Wall Street Journal:
Let's Start Brand New Banks  —  A clean slate would keep TARP money away from bad banks.  —  Everyone agrees that the United States urgently needs a few good banks.  Turning bad banks into good banks is a difficult and risky way to get them.  It's simpler and safer to start entirely new banks.
Campbell Brown / CNN:
Campbell Brown: Congress clueless about retreats  —  Editor's note: Campbell Brown anchors CNN's “Campbell Brown: No Bias, No Bull” at 8 p.m. ET Mondays through Fridays.  She delivered this commentary during the “Cutting through the Bull” segment of Thursday night's broadcast.
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
David Ignatius / PostPartisan:
Finding His Inner Eastwood  —  The Marine Corps' 1st Division has a macho motto: “No Better Friend.  No Worse Enemy.”  President Barack Obama could use a little of that Clint Eastwood-style bravura now as he bargains with Republicans over the stimulus package and tries to establish momentum and credibility for his new administration.
Discussion: Jules Crittenden and TalkLeft
Steven Pearlstein / Washington Post:
Wanted: Personal Economic Trainers.  Apply at Capitol.  —  As long as we're about to spend gazillions to stimulate the economy, I'd like to suggest we throw in another $53.5 million for a cause dear to all business journalists: economic literacy.  And what better place to start than right here in Washington.
Dennis Jensen / Rutland Herald:
Museum stays mum on honoring Cheney … Published reports that former Vice President Dick Cheney will be the guest of honor at the Manchester-based American Museum of Fly Fishing's annual dinner at the New York Angler's Club on March 5 has the organization re-examining that decision.
Discussion: Think Progress
Judd Legum / Legum's New Line:
Maryland General Assembly Bans Facebook  —  The New Line has learned that the Maryland General Assembly, citing security concerns, has blocked Facebook and MySpace from the computers of state legislators and their staffs.  —  Here is the full text of the memo from Office …
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 More Items: 
Michael O'Brien / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:
Obey on Stimulus Waste: ‘So What?’
Mark Tapscott /
Audit them all and make the results public
Discussion: Moe_Lane's blog and Moe Lane
Tim Arango / New York Times:
News Corp. Loss Shows Trouble at Dow Jones
Ryan D'Agostino / Esquire:
Sarah Palin: What I've Learned
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
The Daily Dearborn Independent Dish
Discussion: Commentary
 Earlier Items: 
Lyndsey Layton / MSNBC:
Suspect peanuts sent to schools
Discussion: MomLogic
Anne E. Kornblut / Washington Post:
For Obama, a Trusted Voice Who Knows the Terrain
Discussion: The BLT and
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Contra Stimulum  —  The president's WaPo op-ed has generated …
New York Times:
The Taxing of Broadway  —  Anybody who has paid for theater …
Discussion: Commentary
Alan Travis / Guardian:
Lords: rise of CCTV is threat to freedom
Sharon Lafraniere / New York Times:
Possible Link Between Dam and China Quake
Discussion: Right Wing News and James Fallows