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7:20 PM ET, February 7, 2009


 Top Items: 
Henri E. Cauvin / Washington Post:
Steele's Campaign Spending Questioned  —  Agents Contact Sister After Ex-Aide's Claims  —  Michael S. Steele, the newly elected chairman of the Republican National Committee, arranged for his 2006 Senate campaign to pay a defunct company run by his sister for services that were never performed …
Steve Hayward / The Corner:
Steele Hit Job  —  The Washington Post has quite a hit job on Michael Steele on the front page this morning, with an above-the-fold story alleging he violated a number of campaign-finance rules.  Despite the purple language and frothy allegations of the story, my in-house (literally) …
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Steele: Power gone to Democrats' heads
Discussion: Wake up America and
Washington Post:
Two Sides of a Debate  —  THE $780 BILLION stimulus package deal reached by a bipartisan group of senators and the White House Friday was the culmination of a frenzied week that reflected two strains of politics.  One embraced President Obama's attempt to rise above the partisan squabbles that too often have paralyzed Washington.
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
CRAZY PEOPLE.... Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) gave a speech on the Senate floor yesterday, complaining not only about the government stimulus, but the process by which the stimulus was put together. … Similarly, John McCain said the bill should have been “bipartisan,” and it doesn't count …
Senators debate stimulus compromise
Discussion: The Moderate Voice and The Corner
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
FIDDLING.... Matt Yglesias has raised this observation a few times in recent weeks, but it's a good point that bears repeating. … Quite right.  There are differences of opinion about the merit of President Obama giving Congress a “deadline” on the stimulus package, but the fact remains …
Chuck Todd / MSNBC:
Obama's growing pains
Discussion: Associated Press
Patrick Healy / New York Times:
No President Needs This Kind of Exposure  —  So far six audience members have stormed out midperformance of the Broadway show “You're Welcome America.  A Final Night with George W Bush,” the comedian Will Ferrell's lampooning of the 43rd president, according to those keeping count at the Cort Theater.
Discussion: Wizbang, Gothamist and Gateway Pundit
Paul Krugman:
What the centrists have wrought  —  I'm still working on the numbers, but I've gotten a fair number of requests for comment on the Senate version of the stimulus.  —  The short answer: to appease the centrists, a plan that was already too small and too focused on ineffective tax cuts …
Ian Welsh / Firedoglake:
Senate “Moderates” Cut 1 1/4 Million Jobs from Stimulus Bill  —  The bottom line on the changes demanded by “centrist” gang of four Senators Collins, Specter, Lieberman and Nelson is that the compromise Senate bill will create about 728,143 fewer jobs less than the House bill.
Discussion: Daily Kos and Associated Press
The White House:
Compromise  —  There was bad news and then there was good news.  —  Yesterday we learned that in January, the country suffered its largest one-month job loss in 34 years.  —  But last night, the Senate struck a compromise on the economic recovery plan and put us on our way to giving …
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Obama: $800-billion ‘time for action now’
Frank Greve / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Results in on Obama's grassroots appeal: It's a bust  —  WASHINGTON — Few supporters are answering President Barack Obama's call for nationwide house-party gatherings this weekend to build grass-roots support for his economic stimulus plan.  —  A McClatchy survey of sign-up rosters for a score …
Sean Cockerham / Anchorage Daily News:
Palin's husband, aides found in contempt by Senate  —  TODD PALIN, OTHERS: No punishment urged in troopergate matter.  —  —  JUNEAU — The Alaska Senate voted Friday to find Gov. Sarah Palin's husband, Todd, and nine Palin aides in contempt for failing to show …
Discussion: and Political Machine
Tim Shipman / Telegraph:
CIA warns Barack Obama that British terrorists are the biggest threat to the US  —  Barack Obama has been warned by the CIA that British Islamist extremists are the greatest threat to US homeland security.  —  American spy chiefs have told the President that the CIA has launched …
Discussion: Don Surber and Jihad Watch
New York Times:
Biden Signals U.S. Is Open to Deal With Russia on Missiles  —  MUNICH — The United States will pursue a missile defense plan that has angered the Kremlin, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said Saturday, but he also left open the possibility of compromise on the issue and struck …
Sports Illustrated:
Sources tell SI Alex Rodriguez tested positive for steroids in 2003 … In 2003, when he won the American League home run title and the AL Most Valuable Player award as a shortstop for the Texas Rangers, Alex Rodriguez tested positive for two anabolic steroids, four sources have independently told Sports Illustrated.
John Amato / Crooks and Liars:
The RNC begs for help on right wing talk radio  —  John Amato's virtual online magazine...OK, It's a blog!  — Advertising- Commenting- General Problems- Media Problems- Supported Browsers- User Registration  —  Blogs » John Amato's blog  —  C&Lers Tony and Karen emailed me this tidbit and I thought I would share.
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Payroll Tax Cuts as Stimulus  —  It seems that J.M. Keynes himself thought this was a good idea.  And, indeed, it strikes me as indefensible that a stimulus package featuring hundreds of billions of dollars of tax cuts doesn't include any FICA provisions.  Payroll tax cuts wouldn't be my first choice …
Discussion: Kevin Drum and ThinkMarkets
Orange County Register:
Mark Steyn: Obama mythology could use some stimulus  —  Far from walking on water, president seems all at sea.  —  Recommend  —  In The Washington Post, E.J. Dionne tried to break it gently to us:  —  “No occupant of the White House has ever been able to walk on water.”
Discussion: GINA COBB
Noel Sheppard /
NYT: Republicans Voting for Stimulus Package Are Being Patriotic  —  Roughly five months after Joe Biden informed the nation that paying higher taxes is patriotic, it now appears radically increasing government spending and the federal debt is as well.  —  At least that's what one gets …
Michelle Malkin:
Gird your loins: The Senate thieves rush to pass trillion-dollar porkulus  —  Here's where things stand.  The Senate will be in session today from about noon to 3:00pm Eastern.  Members will speak, but there won't be any roll call votes.  Cloture will reportedly be filed on the Cave-In/"Compromise" …
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 More Items: 
Max Boot / Los Angeles Times:
Deja vu in Kabul
Howie Klein / Firedoglake:
Blue America Welcomes Terie Norelli, NH's Speaker of the House
Joby Warrick / Washington Post:
Nuclear Scientist A.Q. Khan Is Freed From House Arrest
Discussion: Hot Air and Cold Fury
 Earlier Items: 
Peter Berkowitz / Weekly Standard:
Waltzing Among the Rockets
Latin America poverty ‘may soar’
Discussion: Fausta's Blog and PoliBlog
Mary Katharine Ham / Weekly Standard:
John Kerry: You Know What's the Problem With Stimulus Tax Cuts?
Discussion: QandO, Liberty Street and Wizbang
John DiStaso / MSNBC:
Gregg mum on Census Bureau
Discussion: RedState
Megan McArdle:
What causes personal bankruptcy?
Discussion: The Impolitic