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2:15 PM ET, March 11, 2009


 Top Items: 
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 …
Cal Thomas / Washington Times:
Republicans have forgotten who they are  —  In the 1987 film “Moonstruck,” Rose Castorini, played by Olympia Dukakis, walks home accompanied by a man she met in a restaurant.  When he asks her if he can come in, she declines.  When he asks why, she responds, “Because I'm married and because I know who I am.”
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.
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: EconLog
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 …
John Byrne / The Raw Story:
GOP senator flips out at airline, sets off security alarm
Discussion: Think Progress and Wonkette
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 and At-Largely
Mike Allen / The Politico:
No quit: the campaign to boost Bush  —  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, a reporter quickly got a tip from a Bush loyalist …
Obama lays out guidelines to overhaul earmarks
Discussion: RedState
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.
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.
Camille Paglia / Salon:
Heads should roll  —  President Obama's clumsy, smirky staff is sinking him — and resurrecting a deflated GOP!  Plus: Lay off Rush!  And a Brazilian diva, up close and electric  —  View a slide show of Daniela Mercury at the 2009 carnival in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil.  —  Free Barack!
Heads should roll  —  Oh, the incestuous mediocrity …
Discussion: Fausta's Blog and Commentary
Ezra Klein / American Prospect:
ZOMBIE LIES THAT WILL NOT DIE.  —  We're not even going to talk about the tendentious Matrix analogy laced into this column Amity Shlaes wrote for Bloomberg.  Not.  Even.  Going.  To.  Talk.  About.  It.  I already read the thing for you.  I refuse to relive it.
Amity Shlaes / Bloomberg:
Obama's ‘Matrix’ Alters Reality of Health Care: Amity Shlaes
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Presented by Starbucks: Day 51: President meets with CEOs tomorrow — Summers speech Friday — Knoller's tale of the tape (52 speeches, 20 flights on AFOne) — WHCA contest deadline tomorrow  —  NOT only in America — AP: Gunman opens fire randomly at a high school in southern Germany, killing at least 10 people.
Discussion: CNN, RedState and Salon
Ruth Marcus / Washington Post:
What Left Turn?  —  Obama Is Doing Pretty Much What He Promised
Discussion: Salon and TalkLeft
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.
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 …
Daniel González / Arizona Republic:
Arpaio to be investigated over alleged violations  —  Racial-profiling inquiry stems from immigration sweeps  —  The U.S. Justice Department has launched a civil-rights investigation of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office after months of mounting complaints that deputies are discriminating …
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: TPMDC and Political Agenda
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.
Discussion: TPMCafe
John Bresnahan / The Politico:
Dem closing in key N.Y. House race  —  Democrat Scott Murphy has slashed into the huge lead once held by Republican Jim Tedisco in the New York special House election scheduled for March 31, according to a new Democratic-sponsored poll.  —  Tedisco, the state Assembly minority leader …
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.
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.
Discussion: The Raw Story
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 …
Marc Santora / New York Times:
In 2nd Trial, Hussein Henchman Convicted  —  BAGHDAD — Tariq Aziz, the senior aide to Saddam Hussein who gained international renown as the public face of Iraq during the Persian Gulf war in 1991, was sentenced to 15 year in prison on Wednesday for crimes against humanity.
David Leonhardt / New York Times:
The Looting of America's Coffers  —  Sixteen years ago, two economists published a research paper with a delightfully simple title: “Looting.”  —  The economists were George Akerlof, who would later win a Nobel Prize, and Paul Romer, the renowned expert on economic growth.
Peter Finn / Washington Post:
U.S., Israel Disagree on Iran Arms Threat  —  Senate Panel Told Tehran Has Not Made Decision to Pursue Nuclear Weapons  —  Iran has not produced the highly enriched uranium necessary for a nuclear weapon and has not decided to do so, U.S. intelligence officials told Congress yesterday …
Chris Cillizza / Washington Post:
Seattle Police Chief to Be Named Drug Czar  —  Disclosure About Family Member's Substance-Abuse Struggles Had Posed Hurdles  —  President Obama will name Seattle Police Chief R. Gil Kerlikowske as the nation's drug czar today, ending a long search that was slowed as details of drug arrests involving Kerlikowske's son came to light.
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Congress at work: ‘$1 billion an hour’  —  Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has come up with a vivid new way to express his contention that the nation is spending way too much money it doesn't have.  —  McConnell includes the tweaks in his opening remarks on the Senate floor …
Discussion: The Sundries Shack
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.
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 More Items: 
Calculated Risk:
What is a depression?  —  It seems like the “D” word is everywhere.
Discussion: The Daily Dish and Donklephant
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
Glenn Thrush / The Politico:
Stephanopoulos Tweets McCaskill
William Galston / The New Republic:
Barack's Too-Long Wish List
Discussion: TPMDC
Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute:
Shut Up, She Explained  —  Free speech for TARP recipients?
Discussion: Wall Street Journal
 Earlier Items: 
Dan Bilefsky / New York Times:
Europeans Debate Castration of Sex Offenders
Discussion: The New Republic
Washington Times:
Too rosy for even a Nobel Prize winner?
Discussion: EconLog
Michael Gerson / Washington Post:
Sebelius's ‘Choice’  —  Obama's Messenger for Moral Incoherence
The Independent:
Cabinet chief: Obama team ‘unreachable’
Discussion: Don Surber