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8:20 AM ET, February 14, 2009


 Top Items: 
The Huffington Post:
Specter: Republicans Support Stimulus, Don't Want ‘Fingerprints’ On It  —  Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), who broke with his party to support President Obama's stimulus package last week, said before the final vote Friday that more of his colleagues would have joined were they not afraid of the political consequences.
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 …
Discussion: Swampland and The Moderate Voice
Brad Friedman / The BRAD BLOG:
BREAKING: Court Excludes ‘Huge Number’ of Ballots in MN's U.S. Senate Election Contest  —  [Updated several times at bottom of article.]  —  A late Friday finding from the 3-judge panel presiding over the Coleman/Franken U.S. Senate election contest in Minnesota has limited the number …
Discussion: TPMDC and Senate Guru
Eric Kleefeld / TPMDC:
In New Opinion, Minnesota Election Court Seriously Damages Coleman's Chances  —  The Minnesota election court has just handed down a very important ruling that will determine the entire course of the rest of this trial — and it's very bad news for Norm Coleman, cutting off multiple avenues …
Congress OKs $787 billion stimulus bill  —  Passage of $787 billion legislation hands Obama a critical political victory  —  GOP Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania talks to journalists outside the Senate Chamber before voting for the $787 billion economic stimulus bill on Friday.
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Congress approves $787-B stimulus
David M. Herszenhorn / New York Times:
Stimulus Plan Gets Final Approval
Mark Silva / The Swamp:   Economic stimulus vote: ‘Present’
Peter Baker / New York Times:
Bipartisanship Isn't So Easy, Obama Discovers  —  WASHINGTON — On the day before the big vote, President Obama took a freshman Republican member of Congress aboard Air Force One to visit Illinois.  Before an audience in Representative Aaron Schock's district, Mr. Obama praised him as …
Lindsey Ellerson / Political Punch:
Schock to the President's Argument
Discussion: Flopping Aces and Hot Air
David M. Herszenhorn / New York Times:
A Smaller, Faster Stimulus Plan, but Still With a Lot of Money  —  On its way to becoming law, two crucial things happened to President Obama's economic recovery plan: It got smaller and faster.  —  Smaller in that it was cut to $787 billion from more than $800 billion in early versions in the House and Senate.
Texas Rainmaker:
Borders Bookstore in Dallas Praises Saint Obama  —  A reader sent me this picture taken at a Borders Bookstore in Dallas.  He says the picture was taken in the Kids section.  I guess Borders understands that it's never too early to indoctrinate the younguns.  —  Welcome to the Obamanation.
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Afghan President Karzai hopes Obama will “settle down,” show “better judgment”  —  President Barack Obama is moving up in the world in terms of picking fights.  Or walking into them.  —  First came a disagreement over the impact of the administration's economic stimulus package in East Peoria …
Discussion: Don Surber and Gateway Pundit
Jules Crittenden:
Friday The 13th  —  AP: “Major victory ... muscled to the brink of final passage.”  Sure.  He let his own party's Congress go wild with its own bill, and lost virtually every Republican by insulting them when he wasn't ignoring them.  I guess that's a big victory if they say it is …
Eric Lipton / New York Times:
Failed Banks Pose Test for Regulators  —  WASHINGTON — When regulators took over the First National Bank of Nevada last year, they faced a showdown with the Terrible Herbst, the mustachioed cowboy who boasts of being the “best bad man in the West.”  —  This was no real gunslinger …
Nedra Pickler / Associated Press:
Justice Dept. Lawyers in Contempt for Withholding Stevens Documents  —  An angry federal judge held Justice Department lawyers in contempt yesterday for failing to deliver documents to former senator Ted Stevens's legal team, as he had ordered.  —  U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan called it …
Discussion: TalkLeft and Associated Press
Lynn Zinser / The Lede:
Mazda Has Michael Phelps Apologize to China  —  At the behest of a sponsor, Michael Phelps has recorded a video apology to the people of China, expressing his remorse over the recently published pictures of him using a marijuana pipe and thanking them for their support and forgiveness.
Discussion: Firedoglake
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.
Discussion: RedState
Carol D. Leonnig / Washington Post:
Justice Dept. Investigating Campaign Donations From Lobbying Firm  —  Marvin Hoffman is listed in campaign finance records as one of the many lobbyists with the powerful PMA Group donating money to lawmakers.  But Hoffman is actually a soon-to-retire information technology manager in Marina Del Rey …
Geithner Hampered by Staff Deficit as Wall Street Demands Speed  —  Feb. 12 (Bloomberg) — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, under intensifying pressure from Wall Street and Congress to complete his financial-rescue plan, is being handicapped by a dearth of staff experts critical to the effort.
Discussion: RedState
Matt Corley / Think Progress:
RNC Chair Steele on his own party: ‘No reason, none, to trust our words or our actions at this point.’  —  On Glenn Beck's Fox News show this evening, Beck told RNC Chairman Michael Steele that conservatives are “pissed” at Republicans because they don't “expect socialism” from them.
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 More Items:
Stimulus Bill Bravado
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Boehner Slams Mythical Vegas HSR Project, Ignores Ohio Rail Opportunity
Damon Linker / The New Republic:
Lessons in Blogging  —  I avoided blogging for a long time.
Discussion: AmSpecBlog and Upturned Earth
Bruce Bartlett / Forbes:
The Real Lesson Of The New Deal
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
 Earlier Items: 
Chris / TVNewser:
Williams on Nightly's Bounce: “We Haven't Seen These Numbers In a Long Time”
Josh / Right Wing Watch:
Virginia GOP Chair goes all Cro-Magnon on Darwin, on his birthday
Paul Krugman:
Ownership society watch
Discussion: Think Progress and Shakesville