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8:15 PM ET, March 10, 2009


 Top Items: 
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Controversial intelligence pick withdraws  —  Charles Freeman, the Obama administration's choice to head the National Intelligence Council, has withdrawn from consideration after facing strong opposition from Senate Republicans.  —  Freeman is the latest in a string of Obama administration appointees …
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Schumer Takes Credit For Getting Chas Freeman Ousted  —  Chuck Schumer's office sends over a statement from the Senator himself, saying he's the one who got Chas Freeman dumped from the post of National Intelligence Council chief: … As I reported the other day, Schumer had privately communicated …
Laura Rozen / The Cable:
Freeman speaks out on his exit  —  Retired Amb.  Chas Freeman, who said today that he no longer accepts an offer to chair the National Intelligence Council, has just sent this message: … More to come.
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
The Freeman Precedent  —  There are a couple of things worth noting about this minor, yet major, Washington spat.  The first is that the MSM has barely covered it as a news story, and the entire debate occurred in the blogosphere.  I don't know why.  But that would be a very useful line of inquiry for a media journalist.
Ben Smith / The Politico:
Chas Freeman pulls out  —  The controversial appointee to chair President Barack Obama's National Intelligence Council walked away from the job Tuesday as criticism on Capitol Hill escalated.  —  Charles W. Freeman Jr., the former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, had been praised by allies …
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Freeman's withdrawal  —  My first take, with Rep. Mark Kirk and Ambassador Nicholas Veliotes weighing in:
Ira Forman / The Huffington Post:
Questioning the Patriotism of Freeman's Critics
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Chas Freeman On Verge Of Make Or Break Moment
Discussion: Weekly Standard and Mondoweiss
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Freeman's out  —  A statement from ODNI just now:
Discussion: Hot Air and
The Huffington Post:
Ben Nelson Opposes Employee Free Choice Act  —  Ben Nelson will once again be playing a key role in Senate negotiations over a major legislative drive.  The centrist Nebraska Democrat told reporters Tuesday afternoon that he does not currently support the Employee Free Choice Act —
Alex Isenstadt / The Politico:   Reid pushes for 60 on labor union bill
Jonathan Tasini / The Huffington Post:
Democratic Senators: Mess With EFCA, Face A Primary
Discussion: Riehl World View
Kevin Bogardus / The Hill:
Democrats introduce card-check, vow to move it
Discussion: The Swamp
The Hill:
A Vote for Cloture is a vote against the Secret Ballot
Discussion: The Politico
Ben Smith / The Politico:
The new left-wing conspiracy  —  The vast new left-wing conspiracy sets its tone every morning at 8:45 a.m., when officials from more than 20 labor, environmental and other Democratic-leaning groups dial into a private conference call hosted by two left-leaning Washington organizations.
Paul Krugman:
Can America be saved?  —  So I read this: … and I wonder if this country can handle the crisis we're in.  Remember, John Boehner is, in effect, the second-most influential member of the GDP (after Rush Limbaugh).  And while Democrats hold a majority, it's not enough of a majority to make the minority party irrelevant.
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
The Chamber Mobilizes  —  I'm probably not breaking any news …
Discussion: Washington Post
Fox News:
Pelosi Made Repeated Requests for Military Aircraft, Documents Show  —  Representatives for Judicial Watch, which obtained e-mails and other documents showing the requests, say House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has treated the Air Force as her “personal airline.”  —
Josh Rogin / CQ Politics:
Obama Seeks to Delay Tanker, Cancel Bomber  —  The White House has given the Pentagon guidance to delay procurement of aerial refueling tankers by five years and cancel plans for a new long-range bomber, according to three sources close to the discussions.  —  No final decisions have been made …
Justin Elliott / TPMMuckraker:
Exclusive: Inside The Pentagon's Idea Factory
Discussion: Danger Room
Michael Calderone / The Politico:
Ann Coulter and Bill Maher spar at Radio City Politico - 1 hour, 52 minutes ago  —  Featured Topics: - Barack Obama - Presidential Transition  —  NEW YORK — Bill Maher couldn't have asked for a better act to follow.  —  Maher took the stage at the Radio City Music Hall Monday after Ann Coulter …
Discussion: New York Post
Molly K. Hooper / The Hill:
Cantor: Obama losing focus on economy  —  House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) seized on the opportunity to criticize the president Tuesday for over-reaching in his first 50 days on the job.  —  Following the GOP's weekly conference meeting, the second-ranking House Republican told reporters …
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.
Discussion: neo-neocon and Crunchy Con
The Huffington Post:
McCain Prepping ‘Contract With America’ Style Economic Plan  —  Sen. John McCain is putting together a major economic plan that will be structured, in some ways, off of Newt Gingrich's famous Contract With America.  —  In an email obtained by the Huffington Post, the Arizona Republican's chief of staff …
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Yes We Can!  —  My friend Jazz Shaw has an, er, interesting take on my post regarding FOCA and Catholic hospitals.  He finds the final option of closure by Catholic bishops opposed to government coercion of abortions so distasteful that he wonders aloud whether the Catholic Church can be allowed …
Discussion: Riehl World View
Christopher Keating / Capitol Watch:
Catholic Church Hearing Canceled Wednesday
Discussion: Hot Air
Roger Kimball / Pajamas Media:
The Idiot's Guide to Destroying the Economy: a 12-Step Program  —  Think destroying the mighty economy of the United States is too big a job for you?  Relax.  Anyone can do it.  A friend sent me a handy-dandy no-fuss 12-step program for wreaking financial havoc among even the world's most advanced economies.
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.
The Huffington Post:
LaHood Hits Back Hard Against Charges Of “Socialism,” “Obama Recession”  —  Secretary of Transportation Ray Lahood hit back hard on Monday to charges from White House critics that President Barack Obama's economic policies — focused on leveraging government spending to stimulate demand …
Discussion: Big Hollywood, Salon and MyDD
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Talking Economic Accountability With Rep. Alan Grayson  —  digg it … You probably know Alan Grayson for his greatest hits collection on YouTube.  It was his questioning of Fed Vice Chair Donald Kohn that alerted the public to the fact that the Fed had a $1.2 trillion slush fund, and they wouldn't reveal where the money was going.
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Gitmo prisoners defend ‘blessed’ 9/11 attack  —  (CNN) — Five Guantanamo prisoners accused in the September 11, 2001, terror attacks on the U.S. staunchly defended their actions, calling the operation “blessed” and “great” and the accusations against them “badges of honor.”
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 More Items: 
Reid Wilson / The Hill:
S.C. Rep. Brown to get big-name primary challenger
Discussion: Scorecard's Blogs
Walter Alarkon / The Hill:
Conrad: Obama budget lacks votes
Discussion: Michelle Malkin
Rasmussen Reports:
53% Say It's Likely the U.S. Will Enter a Depression Similar to 1930's
Discussion: Pajamas Media
Colin Clark / DoD Buzz:
TacAir Budget Intel: F-22 Buy 40 or Less
Conor Clarke / The Atlantic Business Channel:
Politico owner on Moody's default risk list
Edward L. Glaeser / Economix:
The Lorax Was Wrong: Skyscrapers Are Green
Discussion: TheEnergyCollective
Agence France Presse:
British MP gives money, vehicles to Hamas in Gaza
 Earlier Items: 
House votes to create panel to plan Reagan centennial
Discussion: The Swamp and Washington Monthly
Manu Raju / The Politico:
Franken: ‘Light at end of the tunnel’