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10:30 AM ET, March 4, 2009


 Top Items: 
Mark Murray / MSNBC:
Poll: Obama's rating at all-time high  —  NBC/WSJ poll shows gap between popularity of president and his policies  —  WASHINGTON - After Barack Obama's first six weeks as president, the American public's attitudes about the two political parties couldn't be more different, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds.
The Politico:
Steele trap?  GOP fears grow  —  A month after Michael Steele became the first African-American chairman of the Republican National Committee, key party leaders are worried that the GOP has made a costly mistake — one that will make it even harder for them to take back power from the dominant Democratic Party.
David Plouffe / Washington Post:
Minority Leader Limbaugh  —  The 2008 election sent many messages.  At the top: Americans wanted to turn the page on the politics of division and partisan pettiness, and they wanted a government — and country — that would put the middle class first.  —  Watching the Republicans operate …
Byron York /
The Growing Republican Unhappiness With Michael Steele  —  (AP File Photo) It's not just the TV appearances that have some Republicans worried.  —  Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele's dust-up with Rush Limbaugh has brought to the fore so-far unspoken concerns …
Laura Meckler / Wall Street Journal:
Obama Gets Strong Support in Poll  —  Popularity Can Help President Pursue Big Initiatives; Warning Signs on Health Care  —  WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama enjoys widespread backing from a frightened American public for his ambitious, front-loaded agenda, a new poll indicates.
Perry Bacon Jr / Washington Post:
GOP Seeks Balance With Conservative Icon Limbaugh
Discussion: and BAGnewsNotes
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Michael Steele: Limbaugh ‘distraction’
Victoria McGrane / The Politico:   GOP splits with big business
The Hill:
Limbaugh basks in Obama's spotlight
Alan K. Ota / CQ Politics:
Democratic Revolt May Slow Obama Agenda  —  Democratic Reps. Jim Matheson of Utah and Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona have joined a quiet revolt in the House that could slow some of President Obama's fast-moving priorities.  —  The two are among 49 Democrats from congressional districts …
Mike Soraghan / The Hill:   NRA forces Pelosi retreat
Hoyer: Congress, not Obama, will decide earmarks
Evan Bayh / Wall Street Journal:
Deficits and Fiscal Credibility  —  A Democratic senator says no to a huge federal spending bill.  —  This week, the United States Senate will vote on a spending package to fund the federal government for the remainder of this fiscal year.  The Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 is a sprawling …
David Leonhardt / New York Times:
Job Losses Show Breadth of Recession  —  What does the worst recession in a generation look like?  —  It is both deep and broad.  Every state in the country, with the exception of a band stretching from the Dakotas down to Texas, is now shedding jobs at a rapid pace.
Chicago Sun Times:
Quigley takes the 5th  —  Mike Quigley, the Democratic nominee for Rahm Emanuel's congressional seat, said at his victory party Tuesday night he is ready to battle in Congress the way he has on the Cook County Board.  —  “To the special interests in Washington, I want to introduce myself …
Dan Mihalopoulos / Chicago Tribune:
How Quigley claimed Democratic nomination in Rahm Emanuel race
Discussion: D-Day and MyDD
Maureen Dowd / New York Times:
Stage of Fools  —  If only Shakespeare had known how to Twitter.  —  There was a bit of King Lear in the scene on the Senate floor, a stormy, solitary John McCain on “this great stage of fools,” as the Bard wrote, railing against both parties and the president in fiery speeches and rapid-fire tweets.
Philip Webster / Times of London:
Ted Kennedy to be knighted  —  Comment Central: (Sir) Teddy...and Alan...and Bill...  Ted Kennedy, one of the leading members of the family dynasty that dominated American politics in the final decades of the last century, is to receive an honorary knighthood.
David Streitfeld / New York Times:
You're Dead?  That Won't Stop the Debt Collector  —  MINNEAPOLIS — The banks need another bailout and countless homeowners cannot handle their mortgage payments, but one group is paying its bills: the dead.  —  Dozens of specially trained agents work on the third floor of DCM Services here …
Discussion: The Democratic Daily
Fox News:
Geithner Touts Tackling Tax Evaders After Failing to Pay Own Taxes  —  Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told the House Ways and Means Committee Tuesday that the Obama administration, which has been riddled with tax problems, is mounting plans to go after tax evaders.  —
Greg Mankiw / Greg Mankiw's Blog:
Wanna bet some of that Nobel money?  —  Paul Krugman suggests that my skepticism about the administration's growth forecast over the next few years is somehow “evil.”  Well, Paul, if you are so confident in this forecast, would you like to place a wager on it and take advantage of my wickedness?
Brad DeLong / Grasping Reality with Both Hands:
Permanent and Transitory Components of Real GDP
Lyle Denniston / SCOTUSblog:
Court allows drug label lawsuit  —  The Supreme Court, voting 6-3, ruled that federal approval of labels giving warnings about effects of drugs does not bar lawsuits under state law claiming inadequate warnings.  The ruling came in the case of Wyeth v. Levine (06-1249).  This was the only decision of the day.
Michael Lewis / Vanity Fair:
Wall Street on the Tundra  —  Iceland's de facto bankruptcy—its currency (the krona) is kaput, its debt is 850 percent of G.D.P., its people are hoarding food and cash and blowing up their new Range Rovers for the insurance—resulted from a stunning collective madness.
Philip Elliott / Associated Press:
Source: Obama to order gov't contracting overhaul  —  Featured Topics: - Barack Obama - Presidential Transition  —  WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama plans to change how government contracts are awarded and who can earn them, a move his aides say would save taxpayers about $40 billion a year by making the process more competitive.
Sippican Cottage:
My Father Asks For Nothing  —  My father asks me for nothing, really.  Every three months or so, I take him to his doctor, who pokes about him wondering what keeps him animated, and that's about it.  He's grown frail, and has discovered the joys of “Not Going.”
Robert J. Barro / Wall Street Journal:
What Are the Odds of a Depression?  —  International evidence suggests there is a 20% chance our stock-market crash will lead to much worse.  —  Central questions these days are how severe will the U.S. economic downturn be and how long will it last?  —  The most serious concern …
Danny / AirCongress:
Tweet Fighters: John McCain vs. Earl Blumenenaur  —  Throw a bunch of fiery politicians into the powder keg that is the Internet and it's only a matter of time before something explodes.  And so it was today on Twitter, when Sen. John McCain posted to the mini-blog service …
Discussion: Hot Air
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 More Items: 
Renae Merle / Washington Post:
One in Five Homeowners ‘Underwater’
City Journal:
The Innovation Squelch
Discussion: Pajamas Media
Gordon Lubold / Christian Science Monitor:
A drawdown of contractors in Iraq
Conservative group funds ads in race to replace Gillibrand
Discussion: Don Surber
Lisa Lerer / The Politico:
Dodd's dangerous Wall Street dance
 Earlier Items: 
Media Matters / Media Matters for America:
Limbaugh declares Ed Henry a “butt boy,” …
Discussion: Hullabaloo and HorsesAss.Org
Jordan Robertson / Associated Press:
Former HP leader diagnosed with cancer
Discussion: Moe_Lane's blog
David Gergen / CNN:
Obama: A course correction needed?
Palin foe gets administration job
SteveK / TVNewser:
White House Knocks Jim Cramer For Calling Obama Budget “Greatest …