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8:55 AM ET, February 19, 2009


 Top Items: 
CQ Politics:
Firm with Murtha Ties Got Earmarks From Nearly One-Fourth of House  —  More than 100 House members secured earmarks in a major spending bill for clients of a single lobbying firm — The PMA Group — known for its close ties to John P. Murtha , the congressman in charge of Pentagon appropriations.
Taegan Goddard's Political Wire:
Earmark Scandal Breaking  —  There's a potentially big story brewing on Capitol Hill... Apparently 104 members of Congress of both parties — 42 Republicans and 62 Democrats — secured earmarks for a lobbying firm linked to Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) in a single bill.
Ace / Ace of Spades HQ:
What Happened With Hitchens  —  Lefty blogs have the details of this wrong.  —  I wasn't there.  I was there, however, for the immediate after-action report, and have heard it told ten times by now, including most of it from Hitchens.  Although I didn't really bother asking much, as I'd already heard it.
Discussion: protein wisdom, Hot Air and TigerHawk
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Report: Hitchens beaten by pro-Syrian thugs in Beirut? …
Lawrence Osborne / Forbes:
Weekend In Lebanon: A Dispatch From Beirut
New York Times:
Kansas Governor Seen as Top Choice in Health Post  —  WASHINGTON — Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, an early Obama ally with a record of working across party lines, is emerging as the president's top choice for secretary of health and human services, advisers said Wednesday.
Ed Henry / CNN:   Officials: Gov. Sebelius in lead for HHS post
The Politico:
Dems abandon Burris  —  Sen. Roland Burris is rapidly losing any political support he once had among colleagues, with Democrats from the statehouse to the White House raising questions about his entanglements with ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.  —  On Wednesday afternoon …
Johanna Neuman / Top of the Ticket:
Roland Burris, the former senator?
John M. Broder / New York Times:
E.P.A. Expected to Regulate Carbon Dioxide  —  WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to act for the first time to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that scientists blame for the warming of the planet, according to top Obama administration officials.
Mark Steyn / The Corner:
Headless Body in Legless Story  —  Kathryn, that self-pitying imam is part of a now familiar pattern: Pay no attention to that dead body; the real victim here is Islam.  —  Beheaded woman in Buffalo?  “Shocked friend says murder damages Islam's image.”  —  Hindus, Jews and Christians massacred in Bombay?
Joe Stephens / Washington Post:
Valenti's Sexuality Was Topic For FBI  —  Under Pressure, LBJ Let Hoover's Agents Investigate Top Aide  —  When Beltway insider Jack Valenti died two years ago at age 85, he was playing the role of intermediary between Washington and Hollywood as the theatrical, snowy-haired president of the Motion Picture Association of America.
Discussion: On Deadline, Gawker and Reason
Mark Landler / New York Times:
Clinton Tells of Why She Took the Job  —  JAKARTA, Indonesia — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited a development program in a working-class Jakarta neighborhood and spoke about her decision to work for the man who defeated her for the presidential nomination, on her second day in Indonesia before flying to Seoul.
Discussion: The Politico, BBC, TalkLeft and
Accused Financier Under Federal Drug Investigation  —  Authorities: Stanford May Have Laundered Drug Money for Mexican Cartel  —  The SEC's fraud charges may be the least of accused financial scammer R. Allen Stanford's worries.  Federal authorities tell ABC News that the FBI and others …
Hayley Ringle / East Valley Tribune:
Dobson students question Obama's plan  —  A Dobson High School Advanced Placement government class with strong opinions about Barack Obama watched the president's speech Wednesday on a small, grainy TV in the corner of their classroom.  —  Some of the students attentively watched the speech …
Discussion: Say Anything and Michelle Malkin
Melinda Deslatte / Associated Press:
GOP governors consider turning down stimulus money  —  BATON ROUGE, La. - A handful of Republican governors are considering turning down some money from the federal stimulus package, a move opponents say puts conservative ideology ahead of the needs of constituents struggling with record foreclosures and soaring unemployment.
Lynnley Browning / New York Times:
A Swiss Bank Is Set to Open Its Secret Files  —  In the hush-hush world of Swiss banking, the unthinkable is happening: secrets are spilling into the open.  —  UBS, the largest bank in Switzerland, agreed on Wednesday to divulge the names of well-heeled Americans whom the authorities suspect …
Ralph Z. Hallow / Washington Times:
Steele: GOP needs ‘hip-hop’ makeover  —  NEWSMAKER INTERVIEW:  —  Newly elected Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele plans an “off the hook” public relations offensive to attract younger voters, especially blacks and Hispanics, by applying the party's principles to “urban-suburban hip-hop settings.”
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System:
Federal Reserve Policies to Ease Credit and Their Implications for the Fed's Balance Sheet  —  We live in extraordinarily challenging times for the global economy and for economic policymakers, not least for central banks such as the Federal Reserve.  As you know, the recent economic statistics …
Tutu urges Obama apology on Iraq  —  Archbishop Desmond Tutu has warned Barack Obama of the risk of squandering the goodwill he says the US president's election has generated.  —  In an article for BBC News, he says it would be “wonderful” if Mr Obama apologised for the invasion of Iraq.
Karl Rove / Wall Street Journal:
Is the Administration Winging It?  —  Obama's reputation for competence is at risk.  —  Team Obama demonstrated remarkable discipline during the presidential campaign.  From raising an unprecedented amount of money to milking every advantage from the Internet to grabbing lots of delegates …
Discussion: marbury and Fox News
Scott Lehigh / Boston Globe:
The New Deal and right-wing revisionism  —  ONE OF THE most diverting aspects of the debate over President Obama's stimulus plan has been the concerted conservative attack on the New Deal.  —  One might have thought that voters of that day had pretty much settled the question of whether …
Discussion: Bloomberg and AmSpecBlog
Arthur H. Rotstein / Associated Press:
Jury: Rancher didn't violate illegal immigrants' rights  —  TUCSON, Ariz. — A federal jury found Tuesday that a southern Arizona rancher didn't violate the civil rights of a group of illegal immigrants who said he detained them at gunpoint in 2004.  —  The eight-member civil jury …
Binyamin Appelbaum / Washington Post:
U.S. Doubles Fannie, Freddie Backing to $400 Billion  —  The federal government yesterday doubled its commitment to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, promising to reimburse the companies for up to $400 billion in losses on their investments in mortgage loans.  —  The massive expansion …
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 More Items: 
Tavis Smiley / The Huffington Post:
My Conversations with M.I.A. and the Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary
George Weigel / The Corner:
Were They At The Same Meeting?  —  From the office of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi:
Discussion: The Common Room
John Amato / Crooks and Liars:
CA Lt. Gov. Garamendi: GOP an infection ‘spreading across the nation’ : Updated
Discussion: Calitics
 Earlier Items: 
Ronald Kessler /
Sam Donaldson: Media to End Kid Gloves With Obama
John Koblin / New York Observer:
Gee Whiz! Pinch Jr. Gets Desk at City Room
Jonah Goldberg / The Corner:
Underwater Homes  —  I understand that from the 30,000 feet level …
David J. Sanders / Arkansas News:
Blue dog Democrats oppose card check