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3:40 PM ET, February 17, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Late Change in Course Hobbled Rollout of Geithner's Bank Plan  —  Just days before Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner was scheduled to lay out his much-anticipated plan to deal with the toxic assets imperiling the financial system, he and his team made a sudden about-face.
RELATED:
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
In a World Not Wholly Cooperative, Obama's Top Economist Makes Do  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama has a few nicknames for Lawrence H. Summers, the brash and brainy former Harvard president who, as chief White House economic adviser, is guiding him through treacherous terrain.
Discussion: Corrente, The New Republic and TPMDC
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
WHY GEITHNER'S PLAN LACKED DETAILS.... Last week, Treasury …
Discussion: TPMDC
Yves Smith / naked capitalism:
William Black: “There Are No Real Stress Tests Going On”
Discussion: Newshoggers.com
Newsdesk / Clout St:
Burris now acknowledges fundraising effort for Blagojevich  —  U.S. Sen. Roland Burris has acknowledged he sought to raise campaign funds for then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich at the request of the governor's brother at the same time he was making a pitch to be appointed to the Senate seat previously held by President Barack Obama.
RELATED:
Newsdesk / Clout St:
Burris unscripted: More details about Blagojevich contacts
Chicago Tribune:   Burris inquiries urged
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Congress' Approval Rating Jumps to 31%  —  More positive ratings from Democrats largely responsible for increase  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Gallup's latest congressional job approval rating, from a Feb. 9-12 poll, shows a sharp 12 percentage-point increase from last month, rising from 19% to 31%.
RELATED:
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
CONGRESS GETS APPROVAL BOOST.... Republicans have spent quite a bit of time lately criticizing Congress.  By now, the arguments are probably familiar: the Democratic leadership hasn't been “bipartisan” enough.  They completed a stimulus package behind closed doors.
Discussion: The Plum Line
Michelle Malkin:
President Obama's 2,000-point tumble  —  On Nov. 4, after Barack Obama clinched the White House, the market closed at 9,625.28.  —  In mid-morning trading today, the day President Obama signs his massive Generational Theft Act into law and a day before he unveils a massive new mortgage entitlement, the Dow dropped to to 7,606.53.
RELATED:
Byron York / www.dcexaminer.com:
For Obama, it's more about showmanship than sunlight  —  After rushing Congress to act, why did he wait for days to sign the “emergency” stimulus bill?  —  Back during the presidential campaign, Barack Obama promised something he called “Sunlight Before Signing.”
Associated Press:   Wall Street tumbles in early trading
Thomas M. Defrank / NY Daily News:
Cheney pushed Bush to grant Libby pardon  —  WASHINGTON - In the waning days of the Bush administration, Vice President Dick Cheney launched a last-ditch campaign to persuade his boss to pardon Lewis (Scooter) Libby - and was furious when President George W. Bush wouldn't budge.
RELATED:
Andy Barr / The Politico:
Rove: Cheney's fight ‘overblown’
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Sara Just / Political Radar:
Bristol Palin Speaks Out  —  ABC's Teddy Davis and Sara Just report: Bristol Palin, the 18-year-old daughter of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, told Fox News in her first interiew since giving birth that she would like to be an advocate against teen pregnancy.  —  “Everyone should wait 10 years,” Palin said.
RELATED:
NY Daily News:
Palin's kid: Ma unrealistic on sex
Discussion: Democracy in America
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission:
SEC Charges R. Allen Stanford, Stanford International Bank for Multi-Billion Dollar Investment Scheme  —  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  —  2009-26  —  Washington, D.C., Feb. 17, 2009 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Robert Allen Stanford and three of his companies …
RELATED:
Wall Street Journal:
McCain's Vote Should Trouble Obama  —  By the president's own standard of bipartisanship, he has failed.  —  “John McCain Was Right.”  —  That's one headline we ought to see when President Barack Obama puts his name to the stimulus bill in Denver later today.  But we won't.
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Politico's David Rogers Catches Republicans Lying About High-Speed Rail, Won't Call Them Liars  —  David Rogers has a piece in Politico that offers a nice summary of the recovery plan's actual high-speed rail provisions and the direct role of the White House in securing them:
Jim McElhatton / Washington Times:
EXCLUSIVE: Postmaster got $800,000 in pay, perks  —  Raise came amid calls for cuts in delivery  —  Postmaster General John E. Potter recently warned that economic times are so dire that the U.S. Postal Service may end mail delivery one day a week and freeze executive salaries.
Juliet Eilperin / Washington Post:
Justice Dept. Defends Bush Rule on Guns  —  But Interior Is Reviewing Measure, Which Allows Concealed Firearms in Parks  —  The Obama administration is legally defending a last-minute rule enacted by President George W. Bush that allows concealed firearms in national parks …
Discussion: Fox News and TPMMuckraker
David Frum / NewMajority.Com Scroll:
MORMONS FOR PRESIDENT?  —  If the polls are to be believed, Mormons rank among America's most disliked religious denominations.  Despite this animus, Mormons have achieved considerable success.  Fourteen Mormons serve in the current Congress, including the Senate Majority leader.
David Abel / Boston Globe:
2 Romney estates hit the market  —  The ski home that Mitt and Ann Romney own in Deer Valley overlooks a reservoir and mountains.  The Romneys own four mansions across the country.  —  The “cabin” in Deer Valley, Utah, which overlooks a reservoir and mountains, comes fully furnished …
CNN:
Police: TV station founder beheaded wife  —  From Deborah Brunswick and LaNeice Collins  —  NEW YORK (CNN) — The founder of an Islamic television station in upstate New York aimed at countering Muslim stereotypes has confessed to beheading his wife, authorities said.
Discussion: Shakesville and PoliBlog
Jeff Bercovici / Portfolio:
Barbara Walters: Only the Morning Shows Will Last  —  “When I die and my obituary is written, it's going to say ‘She asked people what kind of a tree they wanted to be.’”  —  That's Barbara Walters, discussing “The Art of the Interview” this morning with 60 Minutes's Steve Kroft …
Jane Mayer / New Yorker:
THE HARD CASES  —  Will Obama institute a new kind of preventive detention for terrorist suspects?  —  The last “enemy combatant” being detained in America is incarcerated at the U.S. Naval Consolidated Brig in Charleston, South Carolina—a tan, low-slung building situated amid acres of grassy swampland.
Discussion: The Daily Dish and MoJo Blog Posts
David Kurtz / Talking Points Memo:
STILL SPIRALING  —  Former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) was on Hardball last night and put on a dizzying display as he tried to blame George Soros and Chuck Schumer for the economic collapse:
Damon W. Root / New York Post:
COLLEGE CHEATS  —  COLUMBIA BLIGHTED OWN HOOD  —  COLLUSION between Columbia University and the Empire State Development Corp. over using the ESDC's powers of eminent domain to acquire land for the school seems to violate both the letter and spirit of the law.
Mark Naymik / Openers:
Jennifer Brunner announces candidacy for U.S. Senate … COLUMBUS — Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner is turning to the Web to make her announcement that she is officially entering the race for the U.S. Senate seat.  She made the announcement around 2 P.M. through a video on a new campaign Web site.
Discussion: The Moderate Voice and Senate Guru
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
THE DEBATE OVER FILIBUSTER REFORM.... There's been some good discussion over the last several days about the Senate filibuster and whether the process should be reformed.  It seems, however, that some of participants have been talking past one another.  —  At The Moderate Voice, for example …
Glenn Kessler / Washington Post:
Clinton Vows to Reach Out to Islamic World  —  Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday the Obama administration will make “a concerted effort” to restore the image of the United States in the Islamic world and will seek to “enlist the help of Muslims around the world against the extremists.”
Discussion: Jihad Watch and Gateway Pundit
Catherine Reagor / Arizona Republic:
Growth pattern crippled Phoenix  —  Half-empty outskirts suffer as once-reliable cycle busts  —  Phoenix grew into the nation's fifth-largest city through a reliable pattern: Build affordable homes on the metro area's edges, welcome waves of new buyers, and then roads, schools and retail centers follow.
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Hiroko Tabuchi / New York Times:
Minister Quits at Bad Time for Japan's Economy  —  TOKYO — The resignation of Japan's finance minister, who faced criticism for his odd behavior at a news conference at a Group of 7 meeting in Rome over the weekend, poses fresh problems for the country's leadership during a worsening recession.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Zachary Roth / TPMMuckraker:
Hiatt, Will, On Global Warming Misinformation: Talk To The Hand
David Abel / Boston Globe:
Homeless families face strict new rules
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight.com:
The Clinton Economic Record and Rising Tides
The New Republic:
Danzig, Odd Man Out, Joins CNAS
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Tara Parker-Pope / New York Times:
Vitamin Pills: A False Hope?
Discussion: The Corner
Moe Lane / Moe_Lane's blog:
‘Commemorative Obama coins’ not as advertised.
Warriorjason / THE VOICE OF WARRIORS:
CBS News fooled by Faux military equipment in Pakistan
 Earlier Items: 
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Some F-22 Links
City Journal:
Green Cities, Brown Suburbs
Discussion: Philly.com
Scott / Power Line:
Coleman's complaint  —  In its ruling Friday on the standard applicable …
Anne Schroeder Mullins / The Politico:
Going gray's just fine, man
Discussion: JammieWearingFool