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3:35 PM ET, March 11, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Stephen Labaton / New York Times:
Some Banks, Citing Strings, Want to Return Federal Aid  —  WASHINGTON — The list of demands keeps getting longer.  —  Financial institutions that are getting government bailout funds have been told to put off evictions and modify mortgages for distressed homeowners.
RELATED:
Wall Street Journal:
Buffett's Unmentionable Bank Solution  —  Last week's post mortem on the Fannie and Freddie takeover was received better than we might have expected.  A few readers assumed Eddie Lampert and Bill Miller, fund managers who lost money when Fan and Fred were seized, and whose letters …
Discussion: AmSpecBlog and EconLog
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
SHOW US THE MONEY
Discussion: Cafe Hayek
Democracy Corps:
Rush Limbaugh Weighs Down Heavily on Republicans  —  Read the full memo:  —  Overview  —  With a national debate raging over the place of radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh in the Republican Party, a new national survey from Democracy Corps and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner finds that Limbaugh weighs …
Alan Greenspan / Wall Street Journal:
The Fed Didn't Cause the Housing Bubble  —  Any new regulations should help direct savings toward productive investments.  —  We are in the midst of a global crisis that will unquestionably rank as the most virulent since the 1930s.  It will eventually subside and pass into history.
RADAR:
BRISTOL PALIN & LEVI JOHNSTON BREAK OFF ENGAGEMENT  —  Sarah Palin's 18-year-old daughter Bristol has reportedly broken off her engagement with Levi Johnston, the father of her 2-month-old son Tripp.  It's surprising because in an interview just last month with FOX's Gretta Van Susteren …
Roll Call:
Heard on the Hill: Vitter Goes From Hookergate to Gate-Crashing  —  Among Members of Congress, there's a long-standing, proud tradition of the Airport Freakout.  Add to the list of those who've indulged in meltdowns and temper tantrums while traveling one Sen. David Vitter …
RELATED:
John Byrne / The Raw Story:
GOP senator flips out at airline, sets off security alarm
Discussion: Wonkette
Bill Sammon / Fox News:
Flashback: Carville Wanted Bush to Fail  —  The press never reported that Democratic strategist James Carville said he wanted President Bush to fail before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.  But a feeding frenzy ensued when radio host Rush Limbaugh recently said he wanted President Obama to fail.
Barbara Barrett / Raleigh News & Observer:
Edwards talks about poverty, stays silent on paternity  —  PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Former U.S. Sen. John Edwards took another tentative step into the public spotlight tonight, speaking at Brown University about extreme poverty around the world and urging Americans to get involved in what he called a “fundamental moral issue.”
Discussion: MSNBC, Wonkette and At-Largely
RELATED:
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Approval of Congress Hits Four-Year High, Fueled by Dems  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Americans' job approval rating of Congress is up an additional 8 points this month, after a 12-point increase last month, and now stands at 39% — the most positive assessment of Congress since February 2005.
Johanna Neuman / Top of the Ticket:
Ron Paul defends earmarks, says anti-pork McCain is just grandstanding  —  Ron Paul, the Texas congressman who is the darling of the Libertarian Right, has more earmarks in the pork-laden $410-billion spending bill than any other Republican.  —  That's not according to the MSM, or the liberal blogosphere.
RELATED:
John Aravosis / AMERICAblog News:
GOP chair Steele appears to disparage Republicans on Hill as “scurrying mice”  —  The Republican civil war continues.  —  Very weird quote from chairman of the Republican National Committee Michael Steele. … Sounds like stage two of a two-stage process to get himself fired.
RELATED:
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
Reform Lite: Obama goes soft on pork  —  The old bulls won.  —  Pulled between his campaign rhetoric and his own party's congressional barons, President Barack Obama largely sided with his Hill allies in unveiling an earmark proposal Wednesday that shies away from any strict crackdown on the practice.
Discussion: Associated Press
RELATED:
Frank James / The Swamp:
Obama calls for more earmark transparency
Salon:
Heads should roll  —  Oh, the incestuous mediocrity of American politics and media — compared to the splendors of Brazil!  As a direct result of the two articles I wrote about superstar singer Daniela Mercury in Salon in June and August of last year, I was invited by the publisher Editora Abril …
Discussion: AmSpecBlog and Fausta's Blog
RELATED:
Camille Paglia / Salon:
Heads should roll  —  President Obama's clumsy, smirky staff …
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Times Editor Defends Lack Of Coverage Of Chas Freeman Mess  —  Interesting: The editor who oversees The New York Times's national security coverage is defending the paper's decision not to write about the Charles “Chas” Freeman saga before today.  —  In an email, the editor, Doug Jehl …
RELATED:
MJ Rosenberg / Mideast Peace Pulse:
Freeman Opponents Pyrrhic Victory
Mike Allen / The Politico:
No quit: the campaign to boost Bush  —  Featured Topics: - Barack Obama - Presidential Transition  —  The defense never rests.  When President Barack Obama released his own policy this week on former President George W. Bush's practice of attaching controversial signing statements to legislation …
Andrew S. Grove / Washington Post:
Mr. President, Time to Rein In The Chaos  —  There is nothing more difficult . . . than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.  —  Machiavelli's 500-year-old warning notwithstanding, we elected a president who is committed to “change.”
Aaron Blake / The Hill:
Coleman supporters' private info likely breached  —  Norm Coleman's Senate campaign said Wednesday that the private information of its supporters has probably been breached and is encouraging them to cancel their credit cards.  —  Coleman backers began receiving e-mails Tuesday night …
Discussion: Hot Air, Associated Press and TPMDC
Geoff Earle / New York Post:
REVEALED: PELOSI'S ‘AIR RAGE’  —  WASHINGTON - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has gone from frequent flier to jet-aircraft connoisseur, with aides berating military officials to get the best planes, e-mails revealed yesterday.  —  Pelosi, who clashed with the military to get nonstop service …
Discussion: Anorak News and GayPatriot
Bruce Kesler / Maggie's Farm:
Top Ten Reasons For ObamaCare Are Based On False Information  —  George Bernard Shaw warned “Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”  The major overhaul of American health care pursued by President Obama and his supporters is based on many false premises and is excessive and likely to do more harm than good.
Sydney Morning Herald:
Obama Wiki fiddler caught red-handed  —  US President Barack Obama and, inset, Aaron Klein.  —  Asher Moses  —  A right-wing pundit has been caught red-handed manufacturing controversy after claiming US President Barack Obama's Wikipedia page was being whitewashed, in a scandal that fooled big news outlets including Fox News.
Michael Yon:
David Rhodes Still Missing  —  11 March 2009  —  Few people realize that New York Times journalist David Rhodes was kidnapped in Afghanistan back in November.  There were a few scattered stories early on, but big reporting apparently has been squashed.  In December, during a trip with Secretary Gates …
Howard Witt / Chicago Tribune:
Highway robbery?  Texas police seize black motorists' cash, cars  —  Suit says cops force motorists, largely black, to forfeit cash and cars—or be charged with trumped-up crimes  —  A Texas senator aims to rein in search-and-seizure practices like those used in Tenaha …
Discussion: Lean Left and pandagon.net
Wall Street Journal:
The Union Cudgel  —  Big Labor gets nasty on ‘card check.’  —  Big Labor's drive to eliminate secret ballots for union elections has united American business in opposition, so labor chiefs are putting on the brass knuckles: The new strategy is to threaten companies with government retaliation …
Thomas L. Friedman / New York Times:
This Is Not a Test.  This Is Not a Test.  —  It's always great to see the stock market come back from the dead.  But I am deeply worried that our political system doesn't grasp how much our financial crisis can still undermine everything we want to be as a country.  Friends, this is not a test.
Washington Post:
Time to Call It Quits  —  ATTORNEY GENERAL Eric H. Holder Jr. should put an end to a criminal case that should never have been brought.  —  The matter involves Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, two former officials for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Neil A. Lewis / New York Times:
Obama's Court Nominees Are Focus of Speculation
Discussion: TalkLeft, The Huffington Post and MyDD
David Harsanyi / Reason:
Now You Own It, Mr. President
Discussion: Dean's World
Steve Hendrix / Washington Post:
Creationist Students Take Trip to Evolution Headquarters: The Smithsonian
Discussion: The Huffington Post and Pharyngula
Michael Yon:
The Pathetic Afghan Army & Will Obama Fumble Iraq?
Discussion: Neptunus Lex
Daniel González / Arizona Republic:
Arpaio to be investigated over alleged violations
Glenn Thrush / The Politico:
Stephanopoulos Tweets McCaskill
 Earlier Items: 
Huma Khan / Political Punch:
President to Downgrade Drug Czar Position from Cabinet Rank …
Dan Bilefsky / New York Times:
Europeans Debate Castration of Sex Offenders
Discussion: The New Republic
Ezra Klein / American Prospect:
ZOMBIE LIES THAT WILL NOT DIE.