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5:10 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.
Matt Lewis / Townhall.com:
Blackwell: Steele Needs to Re-Read Bible, Constitution...  I just spoke with Ken Blackwell, a senior fellow at the American Civil Rights Union and a former Ohio Secretary of State, about Michael Steele's comments to GQ.  —  According to Blackwell: … Blackwell ran against Steele …
Discussion: Salon
Eric Kleefeld / TPMDC:
Former RNC Candidate Blackwell: Steele Needs To Re-Read The Bible
Andy Barr / The Politico:
Rendell: Steele's ‘days are numbered’
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog and The Politico
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  —  WASHINGTON - Two officials in the D.C.'s Office of the Chief Technology Officer have been arrested in a federal bribery sting, sources tell WTOP.  —  D.C. Office of the Chief Technology Officer employees Sushil Bansal and 40-year-old Yusuf Acar …
Discussion: Reuters
David A Nakamura / D.C. Wire:   Breaking: D.C. Tech Official Busted in Federal Bribery Sting
Del Quentin Wilber / Washington Post:   D.C. Official Arrested in Federal Bribery Sting
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:
Jimmy Orr / Christian Science Monitor:
New Limbaugh billboard slogan announced - creativity was not considered  — E-mail a friend - Print this - Letter to the Editor - Republish - - Get e-mail alerts - RSS  —  Setting a world record today for beating a dead horse, the Democratic National Committee will announce they've selected …
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:
David S. Broder / Washington Post:
The Country's Loss  —  The Obama administration has just suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of the lobbyists the president vowed to keep in their place, and their friends on Capitol Hill.  The country has lost an able public servant in an area where President Obama has few personal credentials …
RELATED:
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.
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 …
RELATED:
Lindsey Ellerson / The Note:
Big Labor: We Need Franken for ‘Card-Check’
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
Glenn Thrush / The Politico:
Clyburn: Sanford jab ‘beyond the pale’  —  House Minority 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:
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 …
New York Times:
Congresswoman With Ties 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.
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
Susie Madrak / Crooks and Liars:
Sy Hersh: Cheney Ran Assassin Ring  —  Like many reporters, Seymour Hersh has a lot of trouble keeping a hot scoop to himself, and dropped a major bomb at the University of Minnesota the other night.  This is the second time he's spilled the beans on an upcoming story at a public forum:
Discussion: MinnPost and The Sideshow
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.
Megan McArdle:
Obama too sunny?  —  Our sister publication asks analysts whether the administration's economic forecasts are too optimistic.  They would have gotten a more interesting discussion if their query had been “Is the Pope Catholic?”  Of course they're too optimistic.  In fact, the word optimistic is too optimistic.
Discussion: Donklephant and MoJo Blog Posts
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.
Maria Recio / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Obama: Troop move to Mexican border under consideration  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama weighed in Wednesday on the escalating drug war on the U.S.-Mexico border, saying that he was looking at possibly deploying National Guard troops to contain the violence but ruled out any immediate military move.
Stephanie Green / Washington Times:
Everyman Obama courts socialites  —  A workingman's White House cultivates Beltway ‘tastemakers’  —  While publicly identifying with the nation's have-nots, the Obama administration has been quietly cultivating the Beltway social elite behind the scenes.  —  Earlier this year …
Discussion: Townhall.com and Hot Air
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
George F. Will / Washington Post:
Paved With Magnificent Intentions  —  Charles Dickens, who visited in 1842, described Washington as a “city of magnificent intentions” because of the incongruity between the city's grand aspirations and muddy, swampy actuality.  Today Washington's discrepancy is not architectural but political.
Discussion: The Foundry and Commentary
Telegraph:
Artificial life ‘could be created within five years’  —  Artificial life could be created “within five years”, researchers from the USA have claimed.  —  Laboratories across the world are closing in on a “second genesis” - an achievement that would be one of the greatest scientific breakthroughs of all time.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Arnold Kling / EconLog:
The Future of Macroeconomics
Walter Shapiro / The New Republic:
Americans Like Big Government
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Jacob Sullum / Reason:
‘This Man Needed the Firepower of Assault Weapons’
Discussion: Sense of Events
Karl Rove / Wall Street Journal:
The White House Misfires on Limbaugh
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
China's South Park Revolution
Discussion: New York Times
Sam Butterfield / dailycollegian.com:
Feder's hate crime speech cut short by protests
Discussion: protein wisdom and Michelle Malkin
 Earlier Items: 
Andrew C. Revkin / Dot Earth:
No Skepticism on the Energy Gap
Discussion: The Huffington Post and Gristmill
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Political Science and Political Journalism
Erica Orden / New York Magazine:
Columbia J-School's Existential Crisis
Discussion: Think Progress
MsJoanne / TheZoo:
How DARE you say 9/11 happened on Bush's watch!
Discussion: Wonk Room and Think Progress
TBogg:
The Galts of Gullible Gulch
Wall Street Journal:
Chris Dodd's Irish ‘Cottage’
Discussion: The Corner