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7:40 PM ET, March 12, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Ben Smith / The Politico:
Steele backs off abortion remarks  —  RNC Chairman Michael Steele said today that despite telling an interviewer he supports “individual choice” and state-level decisions on abortion, he in fact opposes abortion and supports a Constitutional ban.  —  Steele said in a statement through an RNC spokesman:
RELATED:
Mike Huckabee / Huck PAC:
MICHAEL STEELE'S RECENT COMMENTS  —  Comments attributed to Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele are very troubling and despite his clarification today the party stands to lose many of its members and a great deal of its support in the trenches of grassroots politics.
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Steele And Gay Couples: WTF?  —  “I think that there's a whole lot that goes into the makeup of an individual that, uh, you just can't simply say, oh, like, 'Tomorrow morning I'm gonna stop being gay.' It's like saying, 'Tomorrow morning I'm gonna stop being black.'” - Michael Steele.
Andy Barr / The Politico:
Rendell: Steele's ‘days are numbered’
Melissa Clouthier / Right Wing News:
Get Off Michael Steele's Back
Discussion: Alarming News
Ben Smith / The Politico:
2 arrests in Obama appointee's office  —  Federal agents this morning are searching the office Washington, D.C.'s Chief Technology Officer.  —  The search of the office at 1 Judiciary Square is part of “an ongoing investigation,” said a spokeswoman for the FBI's D.C. Field Office, Lindsay Gotwin, said.
RELATED:
WTOP.com:
2 arrested in FBI raid at Obama appointee's office
Discussion: Reuters
Del Quentin Wilber / Washington Post:   D.C. Official Arrested in Federal Bribery Sting
Moe Lane / Moe_Lane's blog:
Breaking: FBI Raided Obama appointee's office.
Discussion: Political Machine and RedState
Michelle Malkin:
Lamest billboard ever  —  I said last week that Democrat donors ought to question whether the DNC was using its money wisely by indugling in an anti-Rush Limbaugh billboard.  —  See, I told you so.  The Christian Science Monitor skewers the results: … FAIL.
RELATED:
John / Power Line:
THE WINNING BILLBOARD IS...  We ridiculed here the Democratic Party's lame contest for an anti-Rush Limbaugh slogan to be put on a billboard near his home.  The five “finalists” were, we thought, rather pathetic.  Just this morning, the Democrats announced the winner; click to enlarge:
Steven Thomma / MiamiHerald.com:   Obama v. Limbaugh: Poll finds it's no contest
Jimmy Orr / Christian Science Monitor:
New Limbaugh billboard slogan announced - creativity was not considered
Discussion: Fausta's Blog and Don Surber
Jennifer Parker / George's Bottom Line:
Third Top Treasury Pick Withdraws From Consideration  —  Democratic sources say that H. Rodgin Cohen, a partner in the New York law firm Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, and the leading candidate for Deputy Treasury Secretary, has withdrawn from consideration.  —  It's the third withdrawal …
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Big Union Vows To Back Arlen Specter In 2010 If He Supports Employee Free Choice  —  This is big: Senior officials with the powerful AFL-CIO have privately assured GOP Senator Arlen Specter that they'll throw their full support behind him in the 2010 Senate race if he votes for the Employee Free Choice Act …
Discussion: The New Republic and Daily Kos
RELATED:
Lindsey Ellerson / The Note:
Big Labor: We Need Franken for ‘Card-Check’
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog and Open Congress
Christine / FishBowlDC:
Pres. Obama Will Not Attend Annual Gridiron Dinner, First President Since Cleveland to Miss  —  A Gridiron Club member tells FBDC first that President Obama will not attend this year's dinner next Saturday, March 21st.  He will be the first president since Grover Cleveland not to attend the first Gridiron Club Dinner of his presidency.
Matt Corley / Think Progress:
Laura Ingraham mocks Meghan McCain as being ‘plus-sized.’  —  Last night, Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) daughter, Meghan McCain, appeared on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show, where she continued to criticize Ann Coulter.  On her radio show today, Laura Ingraham responded to McCain's critique …
RELATED:
New York Times:
Congresswoman, Tied to Bank, Helped Seek Funds  —  WASHINGTON — Top banking regulators were taken aback late last year when a California congresswoman helped set up a meeting in which the chief executive of a bank with financial ties to her family asked them for up to $50 million in special bailout funds, Treasury officials said.
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blog:
Clyburn: Zimbabwe crack “beyond the pale”  —  House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) told me he thinks S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford's quip comparing President Obama's stimulus package to Zimbabwe's economic policies are “beyond the pale” — and suggested they might carry a racial subtext.
RELATED:
New York Times:
Madoff Is Jailed After Pleading Guilty  —  Bernard L. Madoff pleaded guilty Thursday to all the charges against him and expressed remorse for a vast Ponzi scheme that bilked investors out of billions of dollars.  —  Standing before Judge Denny Chin in United States District Court in Manhattan …
RELATED:
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
BEHOLD, THE ‘NO COST STIMULUS’.... If you missed last night's episode of Sean Hannity's Fox News show, you missed a fascinating “discussion” between Hannity, Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.) and Sen. David Vitter (R-La.).  As the Fox News personality explained, Shadegg and Vitter have come up with a …
Discussion: The Corner and Balloon Juice
RELATED:
Fox News:
Republicans Propose ‘No Cost’ Stimulus
Discussion: Economist's View
Fred Kaplan / Slate:
Winners and losers in the knock-down fight over Charles Freeman's aborted appointment.  —  Discomfiting as it is to say so, President Barack Obama was right to cut Charles Freeman loose—but not for the reasons that Freeman's foes might think.  —  It's always discomfiting when nominees …
RELATED:
Lori Montgomery / Washington Post:
Workers' Health Benefits Eyed for Taxation  —  Revenue Would Fund Expansion of Coverage  —  With President Obama's plan to tax the rich to pay for health care facing deep skepticism on Capitol Hill, key lawmakers are pressing a different way to raise money: taxing the health benefits workers receive from their employers.
CampusProgress.org:
Ross Douthat: the College Years  —  A look at the newest New York Times columnist's undergrad writing.  —  The New York Times reported yesterday that it had hired conservative Atlantic blogger Ross Douthat as an op-ed columnist.  Douthat, who will be one of the youngest—if not the youngest …
Erica Orden / New York Magazine:
Columbia J-School's Existential Crisis  —  The media bloodbath hasn't made for happy days at Columbia Journalism School.  When the Times recently announced that its new, hyperlocal blog experiment “The Local” would be assisted by journalism students not from Columbia but from the City University of New York …
Anne Flaherty / Associated Press:
Army fired 11 soldiers in Jan. as openly gay  —  The Army fired 11 soldiers in January for violating the military's policy that gay service members must keep their sexuality hidden, according to a Virginia congressman.  Democratic Rep. Jim Moran said he has requested monthly updates …
Discussion: Associated Press
Noah Shachtman / Danger Room:
U.S. Jet Shoots Down Iranian Drone Over Iraq (Updated)  —  An American fighter jet shot down an Iranian drone as it was flying over Iraq, U.S. military sources in Baghdad tell Danger Room.  —  Details of the previously-unreported shoot-down, which occurred last month, are still sketchy.
Discussion: Weekly Standard
David Rothkopf:
Why Freeman himself was wrong about what his defeat signified...  There was a lot I didn't like about the Chas Freeman debacle, but the thing I did not like most was the degree to which it offered apparent support to the “theories” of Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer.
Discussion: Foreign Policy and Capital J | JTA
 
 
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Postcards:
Perry will block unemployment funds
CQ Politics:
PMA Lobbyist, Relatives Gave Lawmakers $1.5 Million Since 2000
Discussion: Daily Kos
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
The Public Wants to Believe In Big Government
Discussion: The New Republic and FedBlog
Hanna Rosin / The Atlantic Online:
The Case Against Breast-Feeding  —  IMAGE CREDIT: JOSE LUIS PELAEZ/GETTY IMAGES
Joseph Abrams / Fox News:
LOST and Found: Senate Moves Toward Ratification of U.N.'s ‘Law of the Sea Treaty’
Discussion: The Foundry and Moonbattery
Arnold Kling / EconLog:
The Future of Macroeconomics
Telegraph:
Artificial life ‘could be created within five years’
Susie Madrak / Crooks and Liars:
Sy Hersh: Cheney Ran Assassin Ring
Discussion: Newshoggers.com and The Sideshow
 Earlier Items: 
Stephanie Green / Washington Times:
Everyman Obama courts socialites
Discussion: Townhall.com and Hot Air
Jacob Sullum / Reason:
‘This Man Needed the Firepower of Assault Weapons’
Discussion: Sense of Events
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
China's South Park Revolution
Discussion: New York Times and Fausta's Blog
Sam Butterfield / dailycollegian.com:
Feder's hate crime speech cut short by protests
Discussion: Michelle Malkin and protein wisdom
TBogg:
The Galts of Gullible Gulch