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5:10 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
Discussion: Corrente and TPMDC
Henry J. Pulizzi / Wall Street Journal:
Obama Signs Stimulus Bill
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
WHY GEITHNER'S PLAN LACKED DETAILS.... Last week, Treasury …
Discussion: TPMDC
Paul Krugman:   The Geithner delay  —  The WaPo reports that Tim Geithner realized late …
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:
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
CNN:
Bristol Palin: Abstinence for all teens ‘not realistic’  —  (CNN) — In her first interview since giving birth, the teenage daughter of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said having a child is not “glamorous,” and that telling young people to be abstinent is “not realistic at all.”
Discussion: Connecting.the.Dots
RELATED:
NY Daily News:
Palin's kid: Ma unrealistic on sex
Discussion: Democracy in America
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.”
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.
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.
Roxana Tiron / The Hill:
Air Force chief to ask Gates for more F-22s  —  The Air Force chief of staff is going to make his case with Defense Secretary Robert Gates in the coming weeks for more F-22 Raptor jets.  —  Gen. Norton Schwartz said that the Air Force is looking to buy more than the 183 radar-evading F-22s now ordered …
RELATED:
Colin Clark / DoD Buzz:   AF Likely to get 60 More F-22s; Allies Out of Luck
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.
City Journal:
Green Cities, Brown Suburbs  —  On a pleasant April day in 1844, Henry David Thoreau—the patron saint of American environmentalism—went for a walk along the Concord River in Massachusetts.  With a friend, he built a fire in a pine stump near Fair Haven Pond, apparently to cook a chowder.
Discussion: Philly.com
RELATED:
MSNBC:   EPA to review Bush rule on emissions
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 …
Discussion: Gawker and TVNewser
CNN:
Ex-Border Patrol agents released early from prison  —  (CNN) — Two former U.S. Border Patrol agents — whose cases became flashpoints in the controversy over border security — were released early from prison Tuesday, one of their attorneys and a congressman said.
Wall Street Journal:
Geert Wilders Is a Test for Western Civilization  —  If Rushdie should be defended, why not the Dutch pol?  —  Twenty years ago, Andres Serrano put a plastic crucifix in a glass of urine, photographed it and called it art.  Conservatives in particular weren't pleased: not with Mr. Serrano …
Discussion: Jihad Watch
Edward L. Glaeser / Economix:
If You Got Money, It's Time to Spend Some  —  Edward L. Glaeser is an economics professor at Harvard.  —  In the last eight years, Americans have spent an extraordinary amount of money and borrowed a lot to make that spending possible.  Total outstanding consumer credit was $1.7 trillion in 2000; the current figure is $2.6 trillion.
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
RNC Goes On Air in NY-20 Special  —  The Republican National Committee is going up on television with ads in support of New York state Assemblyman Jim Tedisco in his special election bid in the state's 20th district, an early sign that newly elected chairman Michael Steele plans to wade …
Discussion: Townhall.com
Alexandra Gutierrez / American Prospect:
THIS BIKE IS NOT A PIPE BOMB.  —  Jeffrey Goldberg wasn't trying hard enough.  Despite stuffing Hezbollah flags into his carry-ons and waving fake boarding passes under the noses of security employees, Goldberg was unable to get TSA sufficiently riled up.  —  His efforts were wasted.
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.
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 …
Howard Dean / The Huffington Post:
The Far Right's All Out Offensive Against Medical Research  —  Opponents of fixing our broken health care system are at it again, attempting to use their same old scare tactics and falsehoods to kill a common-sense health care provision is the economic recovery package.
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 …
Washington Post:
A Truth Commission?  —  The Danger in Democrats' Rush to Investigate  —  A growing chorus of critics is demanding the creation of a special commission to “investigate” the Bush administration's alleged abuses of power, especially prosecution of the war on terrorism.
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 Brooks / New York Times:
I Dream of Denver  —  You may not know it to look at them, but urban planners are human and have dreams.  One dream many share is that Americans will give up their love affair with suburban sprawl and will rediscover denser, more environmentally friendly, less auto-dependent ways of living.
US News:
Exclusive: Pat Robertson Says Obama ‘Showing Partisanship,’ Denounces Rush Limbaugh's ‘I Hope He Fails’ Remark  —  Interviewing Christian Broadcasting Network founder Pat Robertson recently for a forthcoming piece on the possibility of a Fairness Doctrine revival, I threw in a couple questions about President Obama.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Anne Bayefsky / The Corner:
A Foreign Policy of Obsequiousness
Discussion: Townhall.com
Chris Matthews / The Daily Beast:
Stop the Democratic Suicide
Discussion: The New Republic, Eunomia and Open Left
CNN:
After stimulus, Obama looks to mortgage rescue
Discussion: Ace of Spades HQ
Time:
Daily Kos: State of the Nation
Discussion: Political Machine
Zachary Roth / TPMMuckraker:
Hiatt, Will, On Global Warming Misinformation: Talk To The Hand
David Abel / Boston Globe:
Homeless families face strict new rules
The New Republic:
Danzig, Odd Man Out, Joins CNAS
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
 Earlier Items: 
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
Ezra Levant:
Alberta cabmin: HRC acting like a “kangaroo court”
Damon W. Root / New York Post:
COLLEGE CHEATS  —  COLUMBIA BLIGHTED OWN HOOD
Catherine Reagor / Arizona Republic:
Growth pattern crippled Phoenix
Discussion: Washington Monthly
David Kurtz / Talking Points Memo:
STILL SPIRALING  —  Former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) …
CNN:
Police: TV station founder beheaded wife
Discussion: Shakesville