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1:10 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.
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.
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.”
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 …
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.”
Laura Meckler / Wall Street Journal:
Obama Pushes Merit Pay for Teachers  —  WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama laid out his “cradle to career” agenda for education Tuesday, including a controversial plan to boost pay for teachers who excel.  —  In a speech to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Obama said he backs …
Philip Elliott / Associated Press:
Obama, taking on unions, backs teacher merit pay
Discussion: Michelle Malkin
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
New U.N. human rights report and America's lectures to other countries  —  (updated below - Update II)  —  The Washington Post's Fred Hiatt today condemns the Obama administration generally and Hillary Clinton specifically for “continu[ing] to devalue and undermine the U.S. diplomatic tradition of human rights advocacy.”
Discussion: TalkLeft and A Tiny Revolution
Washington Post:
Some Friends  —  SECRETARY OF STATE Hillary Rodham Clinton continues …
Discussion: Gateway Pundit
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.
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.
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 …
Jack Healy / New York Times:
Bernanke Says Financial Rules Need an Overhaul  —  The Federal Reserve chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, on Tuesday called for a broad reworking of how the government regulates the financial system to prevent future financial meltdowns.  —  In a speech before the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington …
Discussion: Prairie Weather
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 …
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!
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 …
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
The Hill:
A Vote for Cloture is a vote against the Secret Ballot  —  The fierce debate over the deceptively named Employee Free Choice Act begins in the Senate this week.  The ramifications of this bill are far reaching beyond employee privacy and voting rights.  Were the bill to pass …
Discussion: The Politico
W. Gardner Selby / Postcards:
Rove lunches at Texas Capitol with Katharine Armstrong  —  Karl Rove, the former senior White House adviser to George W. Bush, once routinely walked the corridors of the Texas Capitol.  Rove was back today, stopping for lunch in the cafeteria in the Capitol Extension.
Discussion: Scorecard's Blogs
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
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.
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 More Items: 
Thomas Sowell / Real Clear Politics:
Subsidizing Bad Decisions
Discussion: Sense of Events
The Hill:
N.C. Rep. Shuler opts against challenging Sen. Burr
Discussion: MSNBC
Chris Buckley / Reuters:
China says U.S. naval ship broke the law
Discussion: Outside The Beltway and TigerHawk
Pandit Says Citigroup Having Best Quarter Since 2007
 Earlier Items: 
Anthony Faiola / Washington Post:
U.S. to Toughen Its Stance On Trade
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 …

From Mediagazer:

Benjamin Mullin / New York Times:
Letterboxd's founders sell a majority stake to Canadian company Tiny; a source says the deal values the film-focused social network with ~10M users at $50M+

Josh Kosman / New York Post:
Source: Diamond Sports is seeking to cut the broadcast fees it pays to the NHL and NBA by up to 20%; Diamond pays NBA teams about $600M a year

Wall Street Journal:
The WGA's pact with studios and streamers represents a formal end to “peak TV”, a decade that saw an explosion of programming for viewers and jobs in Hollywood

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