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11:40 AM ET, March 16, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
WHY IT'S CUTTING  —  Like you, I've been watching this AIG bonus story unfold over the weekend.  And though I did not see it at first, I think it may prove to be a turning point, both for AIG and the government.  —  I don't believe the bonuses themselves are the heart of the matter …
RELATED:
Adam Nagourney / New York Times:
Obama Braces for a Backlash Over Wall Street Bailouts  —  WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is increasingly concerned about a populist backlash against banks and Wall Street, worried that anger at financial institutions could also end up being directed at Congress and the White House and could complicate President Obama's agenda.
Wall Street Journal:
AIG Faces Growing Wrath Over Payouts  —  Troubled insurer American International Group Inc., now 80% owned by U.S. taxpayers, spent the weekend deflecting mounting criticism of how government funds have been funneled to various banks and used to pay employee bonuses at the business unit that almost sank the company.
Damian Paletta / Wall Street Journal:
U.S. to Toughen Finance Rules  —  The Obama administration, moving with increasing speed, has inked the main contours of its plan to revamp financial-market oversight — changes that will ripple through the economy, affecting everything from the operations of international banks to consumer protection.
Discussion: TIME.com
Domenico Montanaro / MSNBC:
FIRST THOUGHTS: RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
A Continent Adrift  —  I'm concerned about Europe.  Actually, I'm concerned about the whole world — there are no safe havens from the global economic storm.  But the situation in Europe worries me even more than the situation in America.  —  Just to be clear, I'm not about to rehash …
Gary Langer / ABCNEWS:
Dramatic Advances Sweep Iraq, Boosting Support for Democracy  —  ABC News/BBC/NHK National Survey of Iraq  —  Dramatic advances in public attitudes are sweeping Iraq, with declining violence, rising economic well-being and improved services lifting optimism, fueling confidence in public institutions …
RELATED:
BBC:
Iraqis ‘more upbeat about future’
Discussion: The Politico and TIME.com
Chris Cillizza / Washington Post:
To Urge Passage of Budget, Obama E-Mails His Campaign Army  —  President Obama will kick off an all-out grass-roots effort today urging Congress to pass his $3.55 trillion budget, activating the extensive campaign apparatus he built during his successful 2008 candidacy for the first time since taking office.
RELATED:
David Lightman / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Greatest threat to Obama spending plan?  Moderate Dems  —  WASHINGTON — Government spending on most domestic programs is growing at its fastest pace in nearly 30 years, and a lot of worried Democrats are seeking ways to rewrite and reduce the size of President Barack Obama's budget proposals.
RELATED:
John Harwood / New York Times:
Alternate Route: Bypassing the G.O.P.
Discussion: The RBC and The Politico
Carrie Budoff Brown / The Politico:
Health care hinges on Senate insiders
Discussion: Time and TIME.com
Aaron Blake / The Hill:
Ruling may not be enough to fill Minn. Senate seat  —  A three-judge panel has the result of the Minnesota Senate race in its hands, at least for the time being.  But that doesn't mean Minnesota will have a senator anytime soon.  —  Lawyers for Democrat Al Franken and Republican Norm Coleman delivered …
Dominic Lawson / Times of London:
My imam father came after me with an axe  —  Hannah Shah had been raped by her father and faced a forced marriage.  She fled, became a Christian and now fears for her life  —  We are all too familiar with the persecution of Christians in countries such as Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Richard Kerbaj / Times of London:
Thousands of girls mutilated in Britain  —  The NHS is offering to reverse female circumcision amid concerns that there are 500 victims a year with no prosecutions  —  The NHS is to advertise free operations to reverse female circumcisions, with experts warning that each year more than 500 British girls have their genitals mutilated.
Discussion: Jihad Watch
Washington Post:
Red Cross Described ‘Torture’ at CIA Jails  —  Secret Report Implies That U.S. Violated International Law  —  The International Committee of the Red Cross concluded in a secret report that the Bush administration's treatment of al-Qaeda captives “constituted torture,” a finding that strongly implied …
Nicholas Graham / The Huffington Post:
Tucker Carlson Rips Jon Stewart Repeatedly (VIDEO)  —  Tucker Carlson repeatedly blasted Jon Stewart for his grilling of Jim Cramer on “The Daily Show” last Thursday.  Carlson, appearing on CNN's “Reliable Sources,” called Stewart a “partisan hack,” just an operative for the Democratic party …
Paul Steinhauser / CNN:
Poll: Unemployment is Americans' top concern  —  CNN Deputy Political Director  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — A new national poll indicates that worries about unemployment have tripled over the past year.  —  Thirty-six percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Monday morning …
Roger Cohen / New York Times:
Iran, Jews and Pragmatism  —  The Persian New Year, or Norouz, is celebrated this month, often with great extravagance.  Among its traditions is jumping over a bonfire while declaiming: “Take away my yellow complexion and give me your red glow of health.”  —  One way of looking …
Max Boot / Wall Street Journal:
A Counterinsurgency Primer  —  From The Wall Street Journal Asia  —  Almost everyone, even if otherwise ignorant of military affairs, has heard of Karl von Clausewitz and Sun Tzu.  Very few people, though, have heard of C.E. Callwell, David Galula or Robert Thompson.
Discussion: Jules Crittenden
Billy Wharton / Washington Post:
Obama's No Socialist.  I Should Know.  —  It took a massive global financial crisis, a failed military adventure and a popular repudiation of the Republican Party to make my national television debut possible.  After 15 years of socialist political organizing — everything from licking envelopes …
 
 
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 More Items: 
New York Post:
THE OBAMA 3-STEP  —  ADOPTING ‘AWFUL’ W POLICIES
Discussion: Betsy's Page
Simon Romero / New York Times:
Chávez Tells His Navy to Take Over Key Seaports
Fareed Zakaria / Washington Post:
Fareed Zakaria  —  PostGlobal co-moderator Fareed Zakaria …
Discussion: The Opinionator, The Nation and Eunomia
Shelby Steele / Wall Street Journal:
Why the GOP Can't Win With Minorities
Discussion: Neptunus Lex
Noam Scheiber / The New Republic:
Free Larry Summers
 Earlier Items: 
Eli Kintisch / ScienceInsider:
DARPA to Explore Geoengineering
Discussion: Climate Progress
Ken Dilanian / USA Today:
Reports question U.S. shield of Europe
Discussion: The Foundry
Tim Arango / New York Times:
Back on TV, and Back in the Black  —  Three years ago …
Discussion: Clusterstock
Scott Wilson / Washington Post:
Cheney, Bush Strongly Disagreed on Libby
Discussion: Truthdig and New York Times
FOXBusiness.com:
READ: Letter From AIG's Liddy to Treasury Secretary Geithner
Discussion: Washington Monthly
David K. Li / New York Post:
RON SILVER DEAD