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1:42 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: The New Republic, Corrente and TPMDC
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%.
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
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:
Associated Press:   Wall Street tumbles in early trading
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 …
Discussion: Financial Times and TPMMuckraker
RELATED:
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:
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.
Discussion: The Swamp
RELATED:
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:
Discussion: Shakesville
RELATED:
David Rogers / The Politico:
Obama plots huge railroad expansion
Discussion: Wall Street Journal
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.”
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 …
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.
Discussion: AmSpecBlog and Commentary
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.
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.
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.
New York Times:
Japan's Finance Minister Quits After G-7 Blunder  —  TOKYO — Japan's finance minister resigned Tuesday after widespread criticism of embarrassing behavior at the weekend Group of 7 meeting in Rome.  —  The minister, Shoichi Nakagawa, raised eyebrows for his slurred speech and muddled answers …
Richard Sandomir / New York Times:
Tennis Channel Won't Televise Dubai Event in Protest  —  The Tennis Channel will not televise the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships this week to protest the United Arab Emirates' refusal to grant an entry visa to the Israeli player Shahar Peer.  Peer was scheduled to play Anna Chakvetadze in the first round.
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
Josh Kraushaar / Scorecard's Blogs:
Brunner's in...  Democrats have their first candidate in the Ohio Senate race to succeed retiring GOP Sen. George Voinovich.  —  Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner will be announcing that she's running, according to a senior Ohio Democratic operative.
Discussion: Swing State Project
Patrick Cockburn / The Independent:
A ‘fraud’ bigger than Madoff  —  Senior US soldiers investigated over missing Iraq reconstruction billions  —  In what could turn out to be the greatest fraud in US history, American authorities have started to investigate the alleged role of senior military officers in the misuse of $125bn …
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.
Discussion: Salon, DownWithTyranny! and Overruled
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 and Eschaton
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:
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 …
Stan Collender / Capital Gains and Games:
Calling Out Clive Crook  —  I know and truly like Clive Crook.  We were colleagues for a while when I wrote for nationaljournal.com, and the BTW and I have joined Clive and his wonderful wife for dinner a number of times.  He is smart, perceptive, funny, and a gifted writer.
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
John Hawkins / Pajamas Media:
Six Keys to Turning Around the Republican Party  —  Here's how the GOP can charge into 2010 with a fired-up conservative base and appeal to a wider slice of the American public.  —  If we want to fix what ails the Republican Party, it's worth taking a few moments to diagnose what went wrong …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Kevin Vaughan / Rocky Mountain News:
New energy on center stage when Obama signs stimulus in Denver
Discussion: CBS News, Bloomberg and The Caucus
Richard Cohen / Washington Post:
Partisan Realities  —  We might as well start with Judd Gregg because …
Discussion: Hullabaloo and THE WEEK - Online
Joan Biskupic / USA Today:
Supreme Court case with the feel of a best seller
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Some F-22 Links
Paul Richter / Los Angeles Times:
North Korea greets Hillary Clinton with threat
Discussion: Political Machine and Spin Cycle
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Countermajoritarianism in California
 Earlier Items: 
Scott / Power Line:
Coleman's complaint  —  In its ruling Friday on the standard applicable …
Gary Kamiya / Salon:
The death of the news  —  If reporting vanishes, the world will get darker and uglier.
Discussion: pandagon.net
Wall Street Journal:
Don't Believe the Stimulus Scaremongers
Discussion: Washington Post and EconLog
Anne Schroeder Mullins / Anne Schroeder's Blogs:
Going gray's just fine, man