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2:30 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 …
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.
Farhan Bokhari / Financial Times:
AQ Khan freed by Pakistan high court  —  Abdul Qadeer Khan, Pakistan's best known nuclear scientist, was freed after five years of effective house arrest for his alleged role in sharing nuclear know-how and technology with Iran, Libya and North Korea.  —  Mr Khan, a metallurgical engineer …
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 …
The Huffington Post:
Bush Jacketless In Oval Office: Photo Uncovered After Bush Chief Of Staff Slams Obama's Informal Appearance (SLIDESHOW)  —  One day after President Bush's former Chief of Staff Andrew Card blasted President Obama for breaking the Bush dress code, which reportedly required that a jacket be worn …
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 …
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: American Power and Moe Lane
The Huffington Post:
Labor To Open Fire Over Solis Confirmation
Discussion: MSNBC and The Plum Line
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 …
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.
Harold Meyerson / Washington Post:
Capitalist Punishment  —  We are in some ways still a nation …
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
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.
Paul Caron / TaxProf Blog:
Tax Court Takes Swipe at Daschle-Geithner-Killefer-Solis in Making Koko Taylor Sing the Tax Blues  —  I previously blogged the sad case of Grammy-winning blues singer Koko Taylor, who is 80 years old and in poor health: … The Tax Court yesterday held that the IRS did not abuse its discretion …
Discussion: Riehl World View
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Mass Layoffs Hit RNC  —  Newly-elected RNC Chairman Michael Steele cleans house.  (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)  —  One week after Michael Steele won a hotly contested race to be the chairman of the Republican National Committee, he has cleaned house and laid off almost the entire RNC staff.
Discussion: and NPR
Reid Wilson / The Hill:
RNC shakeup as Steele asks for resignations
Think Progress:
REPORT: GOP Lawmakers Outnumber Dem Lawmakers By Almost 2 To 1 In Cable News Stimulus Debate Again  —  Last week, ThinkProgress released a report showing that, in the debate over the House economic recovery bill on the five cable news networks, Republican members of Congress outnumbered …
Discussion: D-Day
Michael O'Brien / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:
Obey on Stimulus Waste: ‘So What?’  —  How money is spent should be far from the biggest concern about the stimulus package, its chief author, House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wisc.) said Friday.  —  “So what?”  Obey asked in response to a question on NPR's “Morning Edition” …
Reid Wilson / The Hill:
Harkin, Grijalva push Dean for HHS  —  Two prominent Democrats are urging President Obama to nominate former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D) as secretary of Health and Human Services.  —  Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who chairs the Appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over HHS and sits on the Health …
Discussion: Oregonian and Booman Tribune
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: Economix, The Plank and Vox Popoli
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.
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 and At-Largely
Frank Newport / Gallup:
Limbaugh Well-Liked by Many, but Not All, Republicans  —  Strong majority of Democrats have negative opinions of the conservative talk-show host  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh is viewed favorably by 60% of Republicans nationwide, while 23% have an unfavorable opinion of him.
Discussion: TPMDC
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
‘WHAT DO YOU THINK A STIMULUS IS?’....  I'm starting to get the impression that President Obama has just about seen enough.  He's talked, listened, cajoled, back-slapped, and engaged in hours of discussions with confused conservatives who don't seem to know what they're talking about.
Discussion: The Politico and The RBC
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 …
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
The Bredesen Experience  —  The White House and Gov. Phil Bredesen of Tennessee are in serious discussions about the Health and Human Services Secretary position; Bredesen is being vetted for the job.  Some activists and health care experts are very anxious because they know that Bredesen …
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.
San Francisco Chronicle:
Despite Obama's promises, rival views are scrubbed from White House  —  Only weeks ago, the political world was buzzing about a “team of rivals.”  America was told that finally, after years of yes-men running the government, we were getting a president who would follow President Abraham Lincoln's lead …
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Lisa de Moraes / Washington Post:
Obama's Preemptive Strike  —  President Obama's desire to talk — and talk, and talk — to the American public could cost broadcast networks millions, and millions, and millions of prime-time TV dollars.  —  Broadcasters are bracing themselves for the likelihood of three prime-time interruptions …
Discussion: CBS News and
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Latest Cuts To The Stim Package: Head Start, Child Nutrition, Food Stamps Public Transit  —  I've just obtained an internal Senate committee memo detailing the latest cuts being eyed by the gang of Senators being led by Dem Ben Nelson and GOPer Susan Collins.  Here is what's being eyed in the bill right now:
Discussion: Firedoglake and Wonk Room
UN halts Gaza aid over ‘thefts’  —  The UN aid agency in Gaza says it has suspended all aid shipments, accusing the Hamas government of seizing hundreds of tonnes of food supplies.  —  Ten truckloads of flour and rice were taken from the Palestinian side of the Kerem Shalom crossing, the UN's Relief and Works Agency (Unrwa) said.
Discussion: Truthdig
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 More Items: 
Reed Hastings / New York Times:
Please Raise My Taxes
Operation Move Over Move On:
List of Wobbly Republicans
Discussion: Michelle Malkin
Amit R. Paley / Washington Post:
Treasury Overpaid for Bank Assets in Bailout, Oversight Panel Says
Discussion: Congress Matters
 Earlier Items: 
Ryan D'Agostino / Esquire:
Sarah Palin: What I've Learned
Judd Legum / Legum's New Line:
Maryland General Assembly Bans Facebook
Rasmussen Reports:
Election 2009: Virginia Governor Election
David Ignatius / PostPartisan:
Finding His Inner Eastwood
Discussion: Cold Fury and Jules Crittenden
Campbell Brown / CNN:
Campbell Brown: Congress clueless about retreats
Greg Mankiw / Greg Mankiw's Blog:
My Preferred Fiscal Stimulus