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10:05 AM ET, March 17, 2009


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Anger Over Firm Depletes Obama's Political Capital  —  President Obama's apparent inability to block executive bonuses at insurance giant AIG has dealt a sharp blow to his young administration and is threatening to derail both public and congressional support for his ambitious political agenda.
Andrew Ross Sorkin / New York Times:
The Case for Paying Out Bonuses at A.I.G.  —  Do we really have to foot the bill for those bonuses at the American International Group?  —  It sure does sting.  A staggering $165 million — for employees of a company that nearly took down the financial system.  And heck, we, the taxpayers, own nearly 80 percent of A.I.G.
Martin Kady II / The Politico:
Grassley on AIG execs: Quit or suicide  —  Sen. Charles Grassley is so angry over AIG bonuses that he says the executives should resign or kill themselves.  —  In a comment aired this afternoon on WMT, an Iowa radio station, Grassley (R-Iowa) said: “The first thing that would make me feel …
Washington Post:
Rage at AIG Swells As Bonuses Go Out  —  Fed Decided Payouts Couldn't Be Stopped  —  A tidal wave of public outrage over bonus payments swamped American International Group yesterday.  Hired guards stood watch outside the suburban Connecticut offices of AIG Financial Products …
Wall Street Journal:
Wall Street Pursues Pay Loopholes  —  Compensation Caps Drive Some Firms to Weigh Options; Higher Salaries?  —  Some Wall Street firms are looking for ways to sidestep tough new federal caps on compensation.  —  In response to expected bonus restrictions, officials at Citigroup Inc. …
Louise Story / New York Times:
Goldman Offers Loans to Stretched Employees  —  Goldman Sachs got its bailout.  Now some of its bankers, those aristocrats of Wall Street, apparently need a bit of a bailout too.  —  Goldman, which accepted billions of taxpayer dollars last fall and, as learned Sunday …
Discussion: Clusterstock and Booman Tribune
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Grassley: AIG's ‘suicide’ obligations  —  How bad are the bonuses collected by executives at American International Group, that insurance colossus bailed out with billions of dollars in federal funds while lavishing millions on its bosses?  —  Bad enough for some to fall on their own swords …
Tahman Bradley / Political Punch:
GOP Senator: AIG Execs Should Follow Japanese Model — Suicide or Apology
Discussion: Clusterstock
Big Tent Democrat / TalkLeft:
AIG Bonuses: Moral Theory of Contract?
Discussion: Outside The Beltway and Emptywheel
Charles Lemos / MyDD:   The Silliness at The Washington Post
Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute:
A Compelling Message Of Personal Responsibility
The Huffington Post:
Employee Free Choice Poll Gives Labor Backers Big Boost  —  Proponents of the Employee Free Choice Act received a big boost Tuesday morning with the publication of an independent poll showing majority support both for the legislation and the greater concept of increased unionization.
Discussion: SEIU and MN Progressive Project
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
Majority Receptive to Law Making Union Organizing Easier
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Eli Lake / Washington Times:
EXCLUSIVE: Israel's national security aide barred from U.S.  —  Former Israeli spy linked to Pentagon leak  —  Uzi Arad, who is expected to serve as national security adviser in the next Israeli government, has been barred from entering the United States for nearly two years on the grounds that he is an intelligence risk.
Neil A. Lewis / New York Times:
Moderate Is Said to Be Pick for Court  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama is expected to name his first candidate to an appeals court seat this week, officials said, choosing David F. Hamilton, a highly regarded federal trial court judge from Indiana, for the appeals court in Chicago.
Richard Cohen / Washington Post:
Don't Blame Jim Cramer  —  What Jon Stewart needs is Jon Stewart.  He could use a droll comedian to temper his ferocity and correct him when he's wrong, as he was about the financial media, particularly CNBC and its excitable analyst Jim Cramer.  They didn't cover up the story of financial shenanigans.
Christopher Beam / Slate:
Ron Paul's insane cameo in the upcoming Bruno movie.  —  Note: This article contains spoilers about Sacha Baron Cohen's upcoming movie, Bruno.  —  Presidential candidates will do almost anything for publicity.  But Ron Paul's appearance in Sacha Baron Cohen's upcoming Bruno movie suggests …
“USEFUL IDIOT” WATCH...  Memo to Meghan McCain: Enjoy the media coverage while it lasts, but know you're being used.  You are the flavor of the month in left-wing media land because you are a Republican bashing the GOP.  Likewise, your dad is most popular among the same people when he is slamming …
Scott Wilson / Washington Post:
Obama Team Derides Cheney's Criticisms  —  The Obama administration responded sharply yesterday to former vice president Richard B. Cheney's comments in a weekend interview that the new president “is making some choices that, in my mind, will in fact raise the risk to the American people” of another terrorist attack.
Discussion: TPMCafe
Michael Calderone / The Politico:
JournoList: Inside the echo chamber  —  For the past two years, several hundred left-leaning bloggers, political reporters, magazine writers, policy wonks and academics have talked stories and compared notes in an off-the-record online meeting space called JournoList.  —  Proof of a vast liberal media conspiracy?
Financial Times:
Mexico to impose sanctions on US exports  —  ByAlan Beattie in Washington and Adam Thomson in Mexico City  —  A long-simmering trade dispute boiled over into sanctions on Monday after Mexico said it would raise tariffs on $2.4bn of US exports in retaliation for ending a pilot programme to allow Mexican trucks on American roads.
Discussion: Don Surber
Manu Raju / The Politico:
GOP eyes Bush v. Gore to save Coleman seat  —  A state court could rule any day now on Norm Coleman's challenge to Al Franken's 225-vote lead in Minnesota, but the race may be far from over no matter what the judges say.  —  Top Republicans are encouraging Coleman to be as litigious as possible …
Zachary Coile / San Francisco Chronicle:
Pelosi goes to bat to keep Bay Area papers alive  —  (03-16) 17:38 PDT Washington - —  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, worried about the fate of The Chronicle and other financially struggling newspapers, urged the Justice Department Monday to consider giving Bay Area papers more leeway …
Discussion: Pajamas Media, GINA COBB and Hot Air
Eugene Robinson / Washington Post:
A Hand in the Health Care Debate  —  The last thing the surgeon said to me before they rolled me into the operating room was, “You know, if you and Obama had your way with health care, it wouldn't be me doing this operation.  It would just be some guy.”  —  I tried to tell him …
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 More Items: 
Bryan Bender / Boston Globe:
Gates readies big cuts in weapons
Discussion: Donklephant
Byron York /
Why tax problems have plagued Team Obama
Discussion: RedState and Betsy's Page
Ariana Eunjung Cha / Washington Post:
Aided by Financial Crisis, China Snaps Up Natural Resources Worldwide
Mary Ann Akers / The Sleuth:
Congressman Touts Shaved Golden Retriever for First Dog
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Jenny Carpenter / BBC:
Experts unearth tiny meat-eating dinosaur in Canada dig
 Earlier Items: 
Michael Kinsley / Blogs and Stories:
New York Times' New Columnist Is Full of It
Justin Fox / The Curious Capitalist:
On the job front, this is no Great Depression. Not even close
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Jeremy P. Jacobs / The Hill:
Alabama's Love considers Bright rematch
Discussion: DownWithTyranny!
Michael M. Phillips / Wall Street Journal:
Stimulus Plans Face Local Road Blocks
Discussion: Clusterstock
Wall Street Journal:
Obama Seeks to Avoid Bankruptcies
Discussion: and
U.S. Newswire:
The American Legion Strongly Opposed to President's Plan to Charge …