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12:40 PM ET, March 10, 2009


 Top Items: 
Bob McCarty Writes:
Heroic Name Given to Photo of President Obama  —  Soon after President Barack Obama signed an executive order lifting the ban on the use federal funding of embryonic stem cells in medical research, the wizards behind the White House web site posted the photo above.
Carrie Budoff Brown / The Politico:
Stem cell decision ignites right's ire  —  He called for reducing abortions and seeking common ground on one of the nation's most divisive issues — promises that led some on the right to think maybe, just maybe, Barack Obama was a different kind of Democrat.  —  But no more.
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
MAYBE THEY WEREN'T PAYING ATTENTION.... I can appreciate why the right is angry that President Obama disagrees with conservative activists about culture-war issues.  What I don't understand is why they're so surprised. … Fidelis president Brian Burch said, “It has really been a disappointment.”
William Saletan / Slate:
You just won the stem-cell war.  Don't lose your soul.  —  Today, President Obama lifted the ban on federal funding of stem-cell research using destroyed human embryos.  If you support this research, congratulations: You won.  Now for your next challenge: Don't lose your soul.
Wall Street Journal:
Labor Bill Faces Threat in Senate  —  WASHINGTON — Key Senate Democrats are wavering in their support of legislation that would give more power to labor unions, dealing a setback to labor's top priority as businesses warn of the damage the bill would cause.
Shailagh Murray / Washington Post:
Democrats Stung by Dissenters  —  Democratic leaders in Congress did not expect much Republican support as they pressed President Obama's ambitious legislative agenda.  But the pushback they are receiving from some of their own has come as an unwelcome surprise.
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Citi Downgrades Stock Rating on Wal-Mart, Panics Market Over Employee Free Choice  —  digg it  —  Today Citigroup lowered its rating on Wal-Mart from a buy to a hold because of the Employee Free Choice Act, “citing concern that legislation intended to make it easier for employees to unionize …
Discussion: MarketWatch and Doug Ross
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
Obama takes on teachers' unions  —  After weeks of pleasing Democrats by overturning policies set by the previous administration, President Barack Obama Tuesday will for the first time confront a powerful constituency in his own party: teachers' unions.  —  Obama will propose spending additional money …
Philip Elliott / Associated Press:
Obama, taking on unions, backs teacher merit pay
Discussion: Michelle Malkin
David Brooks / New York Times:
Taking a Depression Seriously  —  The Democratic response to the economic crisis has its problems, but let's face it, the current Republican response is totally misguided.  The House minority leader, John Boehner, has called for a federal spending freeze for the rest of the year.
Dennis Overbye / New York Times:
They Tried to Outsmart Wall Street  —  Emanuel Derman expected to feel a letdown when he left particle physics for a job on Wall Street in 1985.  —  After all, for almost 20 years, as a graduate student at Columbia and a postdoctoral fellow at institutions like Oxford and the University of Colorado …
Michael Spencer / Christian Science Monitor:
The coming evangelical collapse  —  An anti-Christian chapter in Western history is about to begin.  But out of the ruins, a new vitality and integrity will rise.  —  ONEIDA, KY. -  —  We are on the verge - within 10 years - of a major collapse of evangelical Christianity.
Reid Wilson / The Hill:
RNCdispute over $4 million  —  Republican infighting escalated Monday with allegations and denials over $4 million once destined for the party's congressional campaign committees.  —  Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele sought to placate critics by giving $1 million …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
LIMBAUGH VS. GINGRICH.... Rush Limbaugh insists he doesn't want to be the leader of the Republican Party.  But somehow, he seems to keep engaging in high-profile fights with those who do want to be the GOP's leader.  —  The fissure between Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich seemed to begin in earnest about a week ago, at CPAC.
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias and Firedoglake
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Blair defends Freeman from Lieberman  —  National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair strongly defended Chas Freeman this morning in response to a question from Senator Joe Lieberman about statements suggesting Freeman is “inclined to lean against Israel or too much in favor of China.”
Wall Street Journal:
Obama's National Intelligence Crackpot  —  What does the Jewish lobby have to do with China's dissidents?  —  On Thursday, The Wall Street Journal published a letter from 17 U.S. ambassadors defending the appointment of Charles Freeman to chair the National Intelligence Council.
Siobhan Gorman / Wall Street Journal:   Group Finds Intelligence Gap Persists
Wall Street Journal:
The Charity Revolt  —  Liberals oppose a tax hike on rich donors.  —  Among those shocked by President Obama's 2010 budget, the most surprising are the true-blue liberals who run most of America's nonprofits, universities and charities.  How dare he limit tax deductions for charitable giving!
Ezra Klein / American Prospect:
DISSING ON LYNDON.  —  Obama's speech on education this morning — on which I'll have a more specific post in a moment — began with a sharp jab at those questioning the scale of the administration's ambitions: … I get why Obama didn't liken his administration to the Johnson White House.
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
NOT EVEN CLOSE.... The LA Times' Andrew Malcolm played a little fast and loose yesterday, commenting on President Obama's directive on Bush's signing statements.  (thanks to reader J.R. for the heads-up) … No, this wasn't written by the Republican National Committee to be read on-air by Fox News personalities; it just seems like it.
David M. Smick / Washington Post:
Tim Geithner's Black Hole  —  Pity Barack Obama's economic advisers.  The blogs are now demanding their scalps, and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and his colleagues face a nasty dilemma: There are no solutions to the banking crisis without extraordinary political and financial risks.
NY Daily News:
Possible conflict of interest surfaces for President Obama's new urban czar Adolfo Carrion  —  President Obama's new urban czar renovated his Bronx home with help from the architect on a major development that needed his approval, a Daily News investigation has found.
Saul Hansell / Bits:
The Broadband Gap: Why Is Theirs Faster?  —  This is the first in a series of three posts looking at the lessons for the United States from broadband deployment in other countries.  —  Bits readers have a serious case of broadband envy.  I've been writing about the debate …
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Laura Rozen / The Cable:
Flournoy's Pentagon policy shop  —  Since her confirmation as under secretary of defense for policy last month, Michèle Flournoy - the highest-ranking woman in Pentagon civilian history — has become one of the most active and influential national security figures in the Obama administration.
Mickey Kaus / Kausfiles:
Obama Buffetted  —  First Time The MSM Has Ever Ignored Warren Buffett: The press accounts I've read have wildly underplayed Obama supporter Warren Buffet's criticism of the President on CNBC today.  It's fairly pointed, and Buffett comes back to it, suggesting he has a message he's trying to deliver.
Walter F. Mondale / Washington Post:
A Key Legal Right at Risk  —  More than 45 years ago, as attorney general of Minnesota, I joined with the attorneys general of 21 states in asking the Supreme Court to ensure that counsel would be appointed for all people facing criminal charges who could not afford it.  The court answered our plea.
Discussion: TalkLeft and Law Blog
David Rogers / The Politico:
McCain: 'I don't want him to fail'  —  After a losing presidential campaign in 2000, John McCain came back to the Senate and established himself as a force no White House could ignore.  Eight years later, he's home from defeat again, facing a very different landscape dominated by President Barack Obama …
CQ Politics:
Congress' Pay Raise: 50 Ways to Duck and Cover  —  The economy is tanking, unemployment is at 8.1 percent and most workers — even some in the White House — are enduring wage freezes this year.  —  But Congress?  When it comes to lawmakers' paychecks, watch the legislative tangos on the Senate floor this week.
Discussion: Michelle Malkin
The Huffington Post:
Geithner Briefs Dems: “We're Doing In Weeks What Countries Did In Years”  —  At a meeting in the Capitol that stretched late into Monday night, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner briefed House Democrats on the ongoing efforts to revitalize the economy.  —  He pleaded for patience …
Discussion: Wonkette
I may run for president of Texas  —  On Glenn Beck's radio show last week, I quipped in response to our wayward federal government, “I may run for president of Texas.”  —  That need may be a reality sooner than we think.  If not me, someone someday may again be running for president of the Lone Star state …
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 More Items: 
The Hill:
N.C. Rep. Shuler opts against challenging Sen. Burr
Discussion: MSNBC
Associated Press:
Poll: Dodd tied with Simmons
Discussion: Washington Wire
David Weigel / The Washington Independent:
Conservatives Bet on Ousting Specter in 2010
Discussion: Hot Air
 Earlier Items: 
Pandit Says Citigroup Having Best Quarter Since 2007
Anthony Faiola / Washington Post:
U.S. to Toughen Its Stance On Trade
Discussion: AMERICAblog News
Paul Krugman:
Japan reconsidered  —  For a decade or so Japan's lost decade …
Discussion: European Tribune
Maggie Michael / Associated Press:
Saudi court sentences 75-year-old woman to 40 lashes, 4 months …