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2:05 PM ET, February 11, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Cantor's Office Responds: Video Depicting AFSCME Members As Goons  —  Updated below with call on Cantor to apologize.  —  This isn't going to make the big unions very happy.  GOP House leader Eric Cantor's office has come up with an intriguing response to the AFSCME ad bllitz targeting GOP leaders …
RELATED:
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Obama Allies Launch New Ad Directly Attacking GOP Leaders — White House Told In Advance  —  President Obama's allies on the left, AFSCME and the labor-backed Americans United for Change, are ramping up with a massive advertising blitz containing the most direct and hard-hitting attack yet …
Frank James / The Swamp:
Obama speech to be rebutted by Jindal
Discussion: The Politico
Amanda Carpenter / Townhall.com:
Did White House Coordinate with 3rd Party Group?
Discussion: Riehl World View
Washington Post:
Democratic Negotiators Agree to Cut Cost of Stimulus Package  —  Formal House-Senate Conference This Afternoon to Determine Bill's Final Form  —  Democratic negotiators have reached agreement on reducing the overall cost of President Obama's economic stimulus plan, scaling …
RELATED:
CNN:
House and Senate close in on compromise  —  From CNN's Brianna Keilar, CNN's Dana Bash, CNN's Deirdre Walsh, CNN's Ted Barrett  —  WASHINGTON (CNN)- Top lawmakers and White House officials ended more than nine hours of closed-door negotiations on the economic stimulus bill shortly …
The Huffington Post:
Bailed-Out Firms Distributing Cash Rewards: “Please Do Not Call It A Bonus”  —  Two Wall Street firms that received at least $60 billion in government bailout funds will be rewarding their financial advisers with controversial retention payments, the terms of which one senior executive described as …
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Obama on Sweden  —  In response to a very good question for ABC News' Terry Moran, President Barack Obama specifically addressed why he's rejected a “Swedish” approach to the financial crisis: … Obama makes two arguments here, one about scale and one about national tradition.
Andy Kessler / Wall Street Journal:
Why Markets Dissed the Geithner Plan  —  Here's how he should handle the banks.  —  One of the cool things about being Treasury Secretary is that you get your signature on dollar bills, giving them authority, defending their honor.  Timothy Geithner's plan to save the struggling banking system probably does …
Camille Paglia / Salon:
A rocky first few weeks  —  Obama sputters out of the gate — but don't fear yet.  Plus: Buxom foodies, frocks for the ages, and the eternal appeal of Mary McCarthy and Justin Timberlake.  —  Money by the barrelful, by the truckload.  Mountains of money, heaped like gassy pyramids in the national dump.
RELATED:
Michael Calderone / Michael Calderone's Blogs:
Sen. Harkin: ‘We need the Fairness Doctrine back’
Discussion: The Politico and NewsBusters.org
Rasmussen Reports:
67% Say They Could Do A Better Job On The Economy Than Congress  —  When it comes to the nation's economic issues, 67% of U.S. voters have more confidence in their own judgment than they do in the average member of Congress.  —  Nineteen percent (19%) trust members of Congress more …
Agence France Presse:
Israeli rivals battle for power after tight vote  —  JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and hawkish ex-premier Benjamin Netanyahu were locked in a battle for power on Wednesday after a photo-finish election that could send peace talks into limbo.
Discussion: MoJoBlog
RELATED:
David Horovitz / Jerusalem Post:
Analysis: Election arithmetic puts Netanyahu in the driving seat
Discussion: Ynetnews
Geoff Earle / New York Post:
CONGRESS $HOPPING CARTS  —  WASHINGTON - “Fore!”  —  The federal government is preparing to spend millions to purchase a fleet of small electric vehicles that critics compare to golf carts.  —  The $838 billion economic stimulus bill that passed the Senate yesterday contains $300 million …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
A CONSERVATIVE LIE CASE STUDY.... To paraphrase Twain, a right-wing talking point can travel the media world, while the truth is still getting its pants on.  We've seen a classic example over the last 48 hours.  —  On Monday, Bloomberg ran an opinion piece from Betsy McCaughey …
Newt Gingrich / Washington Times:
Where does the conservative movement go from here?  —  ANALYSIS/OPINION:  —  The conservative movement has a simple and almost certainly successful future if it does three things:  —  1. Advocate first principles with courage, clarity, persistence and cheerfulness.
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Marc Ambinder grants anonymity to “officials” to defend the Obama DOJ  —  (updated below)  —  From The New York Times Editorial Page today ("Continuity of the Wrong Kind"): … Last night, Rachel Maddow interviewed the torture victims' attorney, Ben Wizner of the ACLU …
Jennifer Parker / George's Bottom Line:
Stimulus Agreement: $789.5-Billion Price Tag  —  Negotiators on Capitol Hill wrangling with reconciling the House and Senate versions of the stimulus package have come to an agreement on the top line figure for the recovery bill: $789.5-billion, Democratic and Congressional sources tell me and my colleague Rick Klein
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Sarah Palin turns 45 today.  How are you celebrating?  —  Well, today is the Big 4-5 Sarah Louise Palin, the lipstick-wearing, pit-bull hockey mom whom some folks still can't get enough of — and others long ago did.  (But, look, you're still here reading!)
Howard Kurtz / Washington Post:
As Mainstream Exits D.C., Niche Media Tide Rises  —  The growing exodus of mainstream reporters from the nation's capital has ceded much of the turf to a new, more specialized kind of journalism.  —  Just as newspaper, magazine and television bureaus here are shrinking or shutting …
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blogs:
Let 'em filibuster!  —  House Dems aren't ikely to revolt on the stimulus — but there's a brewing sentiment that Senate Democrats ought to call the Republicans on their bluff — and let 'em filibuster President Obama's big bills, 60 be damned.  —  A revealing moment from Tuesday's Democratic powwow …
Kathleen Parker / Washington Post:
So Far, Amateur Hour  —  The first however-many days of Barack Obama's presidency have been a study in amateurism.  —  Many suspected that Obama wasn't quite ready, but kept their fingers crossed.  Optimistic disappointment is the new holding pattern.  —  What's missing from Obama's performance …
Walter Griffin / Bangor Daily News:
Report: ‘Dirty bomb’ parts found in slain man's home  —  Agency says radioactive materials recovered in home of man allegedly slain by his wife  —  BELFAST, Maine — James G. Cummings, who police say was shot to death by his wife two months ago, allegedly had a cache of radioactive materials …
Discussion: Booman Tribune
Pamela Geller / Atlas Shrugs:
RIGHT BEFORE THE ELECTION OF PRESIDENT HUSSEIN: “A $550 Billion Electronic Run on the Banks” … This is un-frickin-believable.  The financial crisis was deliberate, planned, staged.  Who made the run? … Electronic Run On Banks - $550 Billion Withdrawn In 1 Hour, Federal Reserve Halts Withdrawals …
Discussion: Theo Spark and Corrente
David G. Savage / Los Angeles Times:
Solicitor general nominee says ‘enemy combatants’ can be held without trial  —  Elena Kagan tells a senator she agrees with Attorney General Holder that the U.S. is at war and therefore may detain suspected terrorists indefinitely.  —  Reporting from Washington — Harvard Law Dean Elena Kagan …
Brian Stelter / New York Times:
On War Criminals' Trail, NBC News Stirs Criticism  —  NBC News, which teamed up with local police officers to trap sex offenders for its successful but scandalous “To Catch a Predator” series, is now using similar tactics to hunt bigger game: war criminals.  —  But one of the first efforts …
The Huffington Post:
Exclusive: Leahy Talks To White House About Investigating Bush  —  Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy and White House Chief Counsel Greg Craig discussed on Tuesday the Senator's proposal to set up a truth and reconciliation commission to investigate potential crimes of the Bush administration.
Jebediah Reed / INFRASTRUCTURIST:
How to Save the Suburbs: Solutions from the Man Who Saw the Whole Thing Coming  —  For a half century, it's been easy to mock suburbia for being too comfortable, white-bread and conformist.  That's all changed in the last 18 months as many suburbs have abruptly taken on a sense of tragedy …
Associated Press:
Obama: Caterpillar will rehire if stimulus passes  —  WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says Caterpillar's chief executive has told him the company will rehire some laid-off workers if the stimulus bill passes.  —  The heavy equipment maker announced more than 22,000 job cuts last month …
Discussion: RedState and Riehl World View
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Ari Fleischer on “the grid in front of” the President  —  (updated below)  —  Daily Kos' Meteor Blades points to a rare moment of television candor last night, as Ari Fleischer explained to Bill O'Reilly how and why the White House determined which reporters were allowed to ask questions …
Discussion: BuzzFlash.org and Daily Kos
Steven Pearlstein / Washington Post:
Big Lessons in Finance From a Little Bank You've Never Heard Of  —  Wall Street is not pleased.  —  Hunkered-down executives and hyperactive traders were more than a little disappointed with what they heard from our straight-shooting new Treasury secretary as he unveiled his plans for Bank Bailout 2.0.
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Israel: What a Center-Right Nation Looks Like  —  I read some folks in comments yesterday suggesting that somehow the outcome of the Israeli elections debunks my preference for parliamentary systems.  Indeed, I recently heard Hubert Védrine, the former Foreign Minister of France …
Discussion: American Footprints
Neil A. Lewis / New York Times:
Agent Claims Evidence on Stevens Was Concealed  —  WASHINGTON — An F.B.I. agent who worked on the investigation of Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, who was convicted on ethics charges, has said in a stunning formal complaint that a fellow agent and prosecutors contrived to improperly conceal evidence from the court and the defense.
Susan Crabtree / The Hill:
Dems' ethical troubles reminiscent of GOPers' headaches as majority  —  Despite President Obama's repeated pledge to usher in a new, more ethical climate in Washington, House Democrats' ethical troubles have begun to resemble those the GOP had when it occupied the majority just three years ago.
Maureen Dowd / New York Times:
Trillion Dollar Baby  —  So much for the savior-based economy.  —  Tim Geithner, the learned and laconic civil servant and financial engineer, did not sweep in and infuse our shaky psyches with confidence.  For starters, the 47-year-old's voice kept cracking.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Louise Story / New York Times:
Some Banks Want to Return Government Money
Discussion: DealBook and Talking Points Memo
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blogs:
Cantor's effin' response
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blogs and The Note
Paul Krugman:
The return of shrill  —  Via Angry Bear, Will Marshall …
Justin Lahart / Wall Street Journal:
Job Market for Economists Turns ... Dismal
Discussion: Grasping Reality …
 Earlier Items: 
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
The Case for Free Transit
M.J. Rosenberg / Los Angeles Times:
The rise of Avigdor Lieberman
Discussion: Commentary
New York Times:
Banning Books in Miami
Discussion: normblog
Howard Kurtz / Washington Post:
Vote of No Confidence
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
Best President? Lincoln on Par With Reagan, Kennedy
Discussion: JammieWearingFool