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3:00 PM ET, February 14, 2009


 Top Items: 
Chicago Sun Times:
Blago hit up Burris for cash  —  Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's brother solicited U.S. Sen. Roland Burris for up to $10,000 in campaign cash before Blagojevich named Burris to the coveted post — something Burris initially failed to disclose under oath before an Illinois House impeachment panel, records and interviews show.
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
NOW THAT IT'S PASSED, REPUBLICANS LIKE THE SPENDING.... As you may have heard, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) rushed back to Capitol Hill last night, giving the economic stimulus bill its 60th vote, and sending the package to the White House.  The final vote on the $787 billion measure broke down exactly as expected.
Ed Henry / CNN:
Obama planning ambitious road ahead  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — Fresh off victory on President Obama's signature $787 billion economic recovery plan, several top White House aides say they're planning an ambitious agenda for the rest of February.  —  The Senate had waited for the return …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
LESSONS LEARNED, REDUX.... As part of his ongoing offensive …
Discussion: Reuters and Ben Smith's Blogs
New York Times:
Stimulus Plan Places New Limits on Wall St. Bonuses  —  WASHINGTON — A provision buried deep inside the $787 billion economic stimulus bill would impose restrictions on executive bonuses at financial institutions that are much tougher than those proposed 10 days ago by the Treasury Department.
Ben Smith / The Politico:
Public still sky-high on Obama ‘brand’  —  With Barack Obama's victory in passing a massive stimulus package marred by days of bad press—as not a single House Republican backed the bill, his Health Czar went down in flames and his second pick for Commerce Secretary walked away …
The Huffington Post:
Lieberman Stepped Up Role As Talks Ebbed  —  Sen. Ben Nelson spent the last two weeks either surrounded by reporters or huddled with centrist members of both parties, hashing out a deal to move the president's stimulus through the chamber.  —  On the way to the most critical of those meetings …
Jules Crittenden:
F-Bomb Free Or Die!  —  It's kind of hard to tell from this Portsmouth Herald article.  But it sounds like your right to remove signs other people have planted without authority on your property, and to do so without interference from busybodies, and to express yourself when those things have transpired …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
PROFILES IN COURAGE.... Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) was, of course, one of only three Republican lawmakers in Congress to support the economic stimulus bill.  To hear him tell it, however, some of Specter's GOP colleagues wanted to vote for the package, but didn't think they could get away with it politically.
Discussion: Eschaton and MoJo Blog Posts
The Huffington Post:
Specter: Republicans Support Stimulus, Don't Want ‘Fingerprints’ On It
William Kristol / Weekly Standard:
Obama Levitates  —  But the train goes off the rails.  —  One of many highlights of the stimulus bill the Democrats just rammed through Congress is $8 billion for high-speed rail.  What makes this appropriation special is that there was no money for high-speed rail in the original House legislation.
Discussion: Commentary
Kevin Duchschere / Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Recount trial: Coleman dealt blow, but no knockout  —  In a blow to Coleman, recount trial judges ruled out most rejected absentee votes.  —  Dealing a blow but not a knockout to Republican Norm Coleman's hopes, the judges in the U.S. Senate election trial on Friday tossed out most of the 19 categories …
Tom Kelly / Daily Mail:
Muslim girl in baptism row was fleeing an arranged marriage … The foster mother struck off for allowing a Muslim girl to convert to Christianity took the child in after she was threatened with an arranged marriage.  —  The woman, a devout Christian, was asked to care for the teenager …
Discussion: Fausta's Blog and protein wisdom
Veronique de Rugy / Reason:
Here's What $800 Billion Buys Today  —  The final version of the stimulus bill is ready to be voted on by the House and the Senate.  —  Here's the good news: The $246 million tax credit to Hollywood that made its way to the initial House bill and was removed in the Senate version didn't make it to the final bill.
Pir Zubair Shah / New York Times:
U.S. Drones Kill 32 in Pakistan  —  Islamabad, Pakistan — Two missiles fired from American pilotless drones killed up to 32 people, including Arab and Uzbek fighters of Al Qaeda and the Taliban, in South Waziristan on Saturday morning, according to a Pakistani intelligence official and local residents.
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 More Items: 
David Frum / THE WEEK - Online:
The stimulus roundabout
Discussion: Hot Air
Fox News:
Gregg's Withdrawal Stirs Speculation Over Obama's Census Plan
Eric Boehlert / Media Matters:
What if the press did context?
Discussion: Crooks and Liars
Joan Clements / Telegraph:
Geert Wilders to sue Jacqui Smith over decision to deport controversial filmmaker
Discussion: Atlas Shrugs and Jihad Watch
 Earlier Items: 
Nedra Pickler / Associated Press:
Justice Dept. Lawyers in Contempt for Withholding Stevens Documents
Discussion: TalkLeft and Associated Press
David M. Herszenhorn / New York Times:
A Smaller, Faster Stimulus Plan, but Still With a Lot of Money
Eric Lipton / New York Times:
Failed Banks Pose Test for Regulators