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11:55 AM ET, March 3, 2009


 Top Items: 
The New Majority:
LIMBAUGH AT CPAC  —  President Obama and Rush Limbaugh do not agree on much, but they share at least one thing: Both wish to see Rush anointed as the leader of the Republican party.  Here's Rahm Emanuel on Face the Nation yesterday: “the voice and the intellectual force and energy behind the Republican party.”
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
White House Cheat Sheet: (Re)Defining Rush  —  Democrats are engaging in a concerted campaign to link the national Republican Party to conservative talk-radio show host Rush Limbaugh, an effort that will ramp up over the next few days in the form of another round of television ads …
Jindal says Obama is the better speaker  —  (CNN) — CNN's Larry King talked with Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal in a prime-time exclusive interview Monday night.  —  Jindal gave the Republican response after President Obama's address to Congress last week.  Jindal received negative reviews …
Matthew Balan /
CNN Host D. L. Hughley: Republicans ‘Literally Look Like Nazi Germany’
Discussion: Hot Air
David Brooks / New York Times:
A Moderate Manifesto  —  You wouldn't know it some days, but there are moderates in this country — moderate conservatives, moderate liberals, just plain moderates.  We sympathize with a lot of the things that President Obama is trying to do.  We like his investments in education and energy innovation.
Michael Isikoff / Newsweek:
Extraordinary Measures  —  A new memo shows just how far the Bush administration considered going in fighting the war on terror.  —  In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the Justice Department secretly gave the green light for the U.S. military to attack apartment buildings and office complexes inside …
Scott Horton / Harper's:
George W. Bush's Disposable Constitution  —  Yesterday the Obama Administration released a series of nine previously secret legal opinions crafted by the Office of Legal Counsel to enhance the presidential powers of George W. Bush.  Perhaps the most astonishing of these memos was one crafted …
Bob Cusack / The Hill:
Analysis: Obama-McCain relationship deteriorates  —  The rollercoaster-like relationship between President Obama and John McCain has taken a dive in recent weeks, culminated by the Arizona Republican's scathing Monday speech on the Senate floor.  —  McCain's diatribe on the Obama administration's decision …
The Huffington Post:
Red States Gobble Up Omnibus Earmarks  —  If it's budget time, it's good to be a red state.  And it's very good to be Mississippi.  —  According to an analysis by the nonpartisan Taxpayers for Common Sense, Mississippi has won the earmark contest in the omnibus budget package.
Toby Harnden / Toby Harnden's blog listings:
Barack Obama cancels press conference with Gordon Brown “because of snow”  —  Strange goings on surrounding the programme for the first day of Gordon Brown's visit to Washington.  —  No sooner had the Prime Minister's plane touched down at Andrews Air Force on Monday evening when word …
Wall Street Journal:
The Obama Economy  —  As the Dow keeps dropping, the President is running out of people to blame.  —  As 2009 opened, three weeks before Barack Obama took office, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 9034 on January 2, its highest level since the autumn panic.
Peter Baker / New York Times:
Obama Offered Deal to Russia in Secret Letter  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama sent a secret letter to Russia's president last month suggesting that he would back off deploying a new missile defense system in Eastern Europe if Moscow would help stop Iran from developing long-range weapons, American officials said Monday.
David S. Cloud / The Politico:
U.S. to send two envoys to Syria  —  JERUSALEM — Two U.S. officials are being sent to Damascus for talks with Syrian officials on improving ties, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced — a sign of the Obama administration's interest in moving quickly on several fronts in the Middle East.
Discussion: Reuters and Agence France Presse
Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Coleman camp asks that election result be ‘set aside’  —  Request was made as Franken's lawyers prepare to make their case.  —  For more than a month, Norm Coleman stressed flaws in Minnesota's election system.  —  And on Monday, Coleman lawyer Jim Langdon wrote the three-judge panel …
Christy Hardin Smith:
“You Gotta Speak Up”  —  Senior citizens in this country — especially elderly women — are a big chunk of the folks who were preyed on by unscrupulous lenders in search of a quick buck: … And attorneys who are working with the at risk folks to try and forestall foreclosures?
Discussion: Agence France Presse
Mary Kane / The Washington Independent:   Communities Slammed by Surge in Bank-Owned Homes
DMartyr / Snapped Shot:
Newsweek Labels Israel “Palestinian Territory”  —  I see Brian is on the ball with the story about Newsweek's latest cover.  The dhimmis at Newsweek suggest how to ‘live’ with radical Islam.  I'm assuming that's not an inside joke, and that in ‘live’ they mean accepting as a part of life …
Karen E. Crummy / Denver Post:
Bloggers killed Rocky, Polis asserts  —  The Boulder congressman tells a forum that new media is digging journalism's grave.  —  U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, who made his fortune selling greeting cards and flowers online, gave a shout-out to the blogosphere Saturday, giving it — and himself …
Nia-Malika Henderson / The Politico:
Blacks, whites hear Obama differently  —  On his pre-inaugural visit to Ben's Chili Bowl, a landmark for Washington's African-American community, President Barack Obama was asked by a cashier if he wanted his change back.  —  “Nah, we straight,” Obama replied.  —  The phrase was so subtle some listeners missed it.
Rick Santelli / CNBC:
I Want to Set the Record Straight  —  First of all let me be clear that I have NO affiliation or association with any of the websites or related tea party movements that have popped up as a result of my comments on February 19th, or to the best of my knowledge any of the people who organized the websites or movements.
Jonathan Saltzman / Boston Globe:
Same-sex spouses challenge US curbs  —  Call Marriage Act discriminatory  —  “It hurts.  But I . . . need to stand up for what I believe in.  This is a nation of laws, and we're all supposed to have equal treatment under the law.”  - Dean T. Hara, Gerry Studds's spouse.  (Wendy Maeda/ Globe Staff/ 2006)
David Lightman / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
More on earmarks: Obama's chief of staff has some in bill  —  WASHINGTON — Even though President Barack Obama has repeatedly pledged to ban congressional earmarks, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has 16 such projects, worth about $8.5 million, in the bill the Senate is scheduled to begin debating Tuesday.
Discussion: The Swamp and Commentary
Bob Herbert / New York Times:
Wars, Endless Wars  —  The singer Edwin Starr, who died in 2003, had a big hit in 1970 called “War” in which he asked again and again: “War, what is it good for?”  —  The U.S. economy is in free fall, the banking system is in a state of complete collapse and Americans all across the country are downsizing their standards of living.
Discussion: TPMCafe
James V. DeLong / AMERICAN.COM:
Preparing the Obituary  —  Netizens and the news business are locked in a mutually destructive death spiral.  Can anything arrest the decline?  —  In small-town Ohio in the early 1950s, the main link to the outside world was the Canton Repository newspaper.
Christopher Hitchens / Slate:
A U.N. resolution seeks to criminalize opinions that differ with the Islamic faith.  —  The Muslim religion makes unusually large claims for itself.  All religions do this, of course, in that they claim to know and to be able to interpret the wishes of a supreme being.
Discussion: Political Machine
The Huffington Post:
Worry Grows Over Dem Defections On EFCA  —  Officials tasked with helping push the Employee Free Choice Act through Congress are growing concerned about the possible defection of Senate Democrats in a debate that is bound to be heated and close.  —  A senior official involved in getting EFCA passed …
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 More Items: 
Michael Muskal / Los Angeles Times:
Trade representative nominee Ron Kirk agrees to pay back taxes
Discussion: Moonbattery
Bridget Johnson / The Hill:
Obama urged to think bipartisan on judges
Wall Street Journal:
Will Obama Stand Up for These Kids?
Discussion: Commentary
Financial Times:
Obama's chance to lead the green recovery
Robert Weisman / Boston Globe:
Stocks plunge on a wave of worry
Discussion: MSNBC
Rasmussen Reports:
49% Say Obama Should Delay Health Care Reform Until Economy Is Better
Juliet Eilperin / Washington Post:
Nominations on Hold For 2 Top Science Posts
Discussion: Wonk Room and Babalú Blog
New York Post:
 Earlier Items: 
Meghan McCain / Blogs and Stories:
Looking for Mr. Far Right
Discussion: Political Machine and CNN
Barry Ritholtz / The Big Picture:
Irrational Exuberance? We Are Now Below It . . .
Discussion: Clusterstock
Monica Davey / New York Times:
Blagojevich Signs Deal to Write ‘The Governor’
Discussion: New York Magazine
Fox News:
Malaysia Restores ‘Allah’ Ban for Christians