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2:30 PM ET, March 7, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Specter faces make-or-break shift as challenge looms  —  Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) does not have the fall-back option of running as an independent should he lose his 2010 primary election, giving the senior lawmaker strong incentive to abandon his party this year.
Michael Hirsh / Newsweek:
Honeymoon In Hell  —  Amid all the gloom, Obama gets high marks in the latest NEWSWEEK poll, with the GOP in the doghouse.  —  Despite the tumbling economy, Barack Obama continues to enjoy a honeymoon with the American public in the face of the most trying crisis any newly inaugurated president …
Martin Kramer / Sandbox:
Chas Freeman and 9/11  —  How important has resentment of Israel been to Al Qaeda's terrorism?  Here is one side of the argument, by an American who knows Saudi Arabia well: … And here is the opposing view, by an American who knows the Kingdom equally well: … So now you've heard two sides of the debate.
Jackson Diehl / Washington Post:
George W. Obama?  —  Washington has spent the past couple of weeks debating whether Barack Obama's ambitious agenda and political strategy are more comparable to those of Franklin Roosevelt or Ronald Reagan.  Oddly, hardly anyone is talking about the ways in which Obama is beginning to resemble the man who just vacated the White House.
CNN:
Obama to visit Turkey in next few weeks  —  ANKARA, Turkey (CNN) — President Obama plans to visit Turkey in about a month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Saturday.  —  Clinton was holding talks in Ankara with officials “to emphasize the work the United States and Turkey must …
RELATED:
The Politico:
Obama to visit Turkey
Discussion: Associated Press and Reuters
Christi Parsons / The Swamp:
Obama to visit Turkey
Discussion: The Politico
New York Times:
Obama Ponders Outreach to Elements of the Taliban  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama declared in an interview that the United States was not winning the war in Afghanistan and opened the door to a reconciliation process in which the American military would reach out to elements of the Taliban, much as it did with Sunni militias in Iraq.
Peter Hartcher / Sydney Morning Herald:
Obama's economic saviour savaged as Keating lets rip  —  When Barack Obama announced his champion to rescue the world from economic ruin, it was the first time most Americans had ever heard the name Tim Geithner.  —  The initial impression was good.  The stockmarket surged and the pundits swooned.
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Preventing a judicial ruling on the power to imprison without charges  —  After being held in captivity as an accused “enemy combatant” by the U.S. Government for more than five years without charges or a trial of any kind, Ali Al-Marri — who was a legal resident in the U.S. and was on U.S. soil …
RELATED:
Wall Street Journal:
Obama Channels Cheney  —  Obama adopts Bush view on the powers of the presidency.  —  The Obama Administration this week released its predecessor's post-9/11 legal memoranda in the name of “transparency,” producing another round of feel-good Bush criticism.
RELATED:
David Kravets / Threat Level:
Thoughts of Storm Troopers Filling Spy Case
Discussion: Emptywheel
Jim Dwyer / New York Times:
‘Mafia Cops’ Get Life, and Their Pensions  —  A side door swung open, and the two retired police detectives, dressed in shapeless prison scrubs, walked into the courtroom.  They looked as if they had been shipwrecked.  —  Nearly three years ago, the two men, Stephen Caracappa and Louis J. Eppolito …
Mark Landler / New York Times:
Lost in Translation: A U.S. Gift to Russia  —  GENEVA — The United States and Russia tried to mend their frayed relationship by having their top diplomats sit down to dinner here on Friday.  Before the appetizer was served, the diplomatic first date had gotten off to an awkward start because of a gag gift gone awry.
Robert Tait / Guardian:
Shoe reportedly thrown at Iranian president Ahmadinejad  —  Protest allegedly happened as president waved to crowds from an open-top car in the Iranian city of Urumiye  —  When the Iraqi journalist, Muntazar al-Zaidi, hurled his shoes at the then-US president, George Bush, in December …
Discussion: Gateway Pundit
Bob Herbert / New York Times:
Miracles Take Time  —  Barack Obama has only been president for six weeks, but there is a surprising amount of ire, anger, even outrage that he hasn't yet solved the problems of the U.S. economy, that he hasn't saved us from the increasingly tragic devastation wrought by the clownish ideas …
Discussion: The Sideshow
Andrew Taylor / Associated Press:
Senate puts off vote on $410 billion spending bill  —  WASHINGTON — The Senate has put off until next week a final vote on a $410 billion catchall spending bill.  —  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he is one vote short of the 60 needed to advance the measure.
RELATED:
Manu Raju / The Politico:
Dems need Franken more than ever
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
 
 
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 More Items: 
Andrew Downie / Time:
Nine-Year-Old's Abortion Outrages Brazil's Catholic Church
Discussion: Washington Monthly
David M. Herszenhorn / New York Times:
For McCain, a Dual Role, Center Stage
Discussion: The Caucus and On Deadline
Mike Lux / The Huffington Post:
Dems Need To Drop Culture Of Caution
Discussion: TalkLeft and DownWithTyranny!
Sally C. Pipes / Wall Street Journal:
Health ‘Reformers’ Ignore Facts
Discussion: Wonk Room
 Earlier Items: 
CNN:
Car-truck crash kills Zimbabwe prime minister's wife, injures him
Simon Johnson / The Baseline Scenario:
Whatever Did The CDS Market Mean By That?
Reason:
Now at Reason.tv: Rep. Jeff Flake on How the GOP Can Get Its Groove Back
Discussion: Instapundit