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1:15 PM ET, March 16, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Who Stole Our Country, and How are We Going to Get It Back?  —  The White House is worried about backlash over AIG's payout of $450 million in bonuses to the executives in its high flying Financial Services Group, the out-of-control derivatives trading arm that looted the company …
RELATED:
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 …
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.
CBS News:
White House May Want AIG Money Back
Damian Paletta / Wall Street Journal:
U.S. to Toughen Finance Rules
Discussion: TIME.com
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 …
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:
Domenico Montanaro / MSNBC:
FIRST THOUGHTS: RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE  —  From Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, and Domenico Montanaro  —  *** Rage against the machine: Anger at Wall Street and at America's financial institutions has been simmering for a while now — the numerous bailouts, Bernie Madoff, and Jon Stewart vs. CNBC have been just a few examples.
RELATED:
Adam Nagourney / New York Times:
Bracing for a Backlash Over Wall Street Bailouts
Noam Scheiber / The New Republic:
Free Larry Summers  —  Why the White House needs to unshackle its economic oracle.  —  On a typical day, Larry Summers, the top White House economic adviser, sits in his office overlooking the Rose Garden and receives a near-endless succession of aides working on a stunning variety of issues.
RELATED:
Aaron Zelinsky / The Huffington Post:
Larry Summers: Stop the AIG Bonuses. Yes You Can.
Discussion: Real Time Economics
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 …
Helene Cooper / The Caucus:
Obama to Appear on ‘Tonight Show’  —  Barack Obama appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” in 2007 when he was running for president.  —  President Obama will be making a guest appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on Thursday, a White House official said …
William Kristol / PostPartisan:
AIG Bonus Babies  —  The AIG moment feels like a big one.  Public distaste for both the Bush and Obama administrations' handlinig of the financial crisis seems to be crystallizing in response to the reports of bonuses for executives at the AIG financial products subsidiary …
Discussion: Weekly Standard and Sadly, No!
RELATED:
FOXBusiness.com:
READ: Letter From AIG's Liddy to Treasury Secretary Geithner
Discussion: The Corner and Washington Monthly
Shelby Steele / Wall Street Journal:
Why the GOP Can't Win With Minorities  —  Today conservatism is stigmatized in our culture as an antiminority political philosophy.  In certain quarters, conservatism is simply racism by another name.  And minorities who openly identify themselves as conservatives are still novelties, fish out of water.
Discussion: Neptunus Lex
Andrew Miga / Associated Press:
Simmons To Challenge Dodd In 2010 Senate Race  —  WASHINGTON - Former Republican Rep. Rob Simmons said Sunday that he plans to run against Democratic Sen. Christopher Dodd.  —  Simmons said he made the decision to join the race after talking with relatives.
RELATED:
Christopher Keating / Hartford Courant:
Simmons Says He'd Vie For Dodd's Senate Seat In 2010
Discussion: The Campaign Spot and AmSpecBlog
Stacy Schiff / New York Magazine:
Sexual Politics  —  How long has it been since a First Couple seemed to want each other?  —  Look, Ma, no hands!  Only one cool forehead and some extra-strength hairspray touch, and yet everything combusts in this Inauguration Night photo.  Not since Doris Day and Rock Hudson split a pair of pajamas …
Eric Kleefeld / TPMDC:
Rendell: I've Tried To Get Specter To Switch — And So Has Joe Biden  —  Ed Rendell told RNN-TV, a regional cable news channel in the Northeast, that he has in fact tried to talk GOP Senator Arlen Specter into switching to the Democrats — oh, and so have some other important people, who Rendell probably shouldn't have mentioned.
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 …
Discussion: Outside The Beltway
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
A Modest Proposal For AIG  —  AIG claims that it promised bonuses to its derivative traders and that it can't break its contracts.  Sounds like AIG is using legal formalism to avoid a messy court fight.  Contracts, like promises, are often broken when premises change.
Discussion: The Plank
Fareed Zakaria / Washington Post:
Fareed Zakaria  —  PostGlobal co-moderator Fareed Zakaria is editor of Newsweek International, overseeing all Newsweek's editions abroad.  He writes a regular column for Newsweek, which also appears in Newsweek International and often The Washington Post.  He is a member of the roundtable of ABC News' …
Discussion: The Opinionator, The Nation and Eunomia
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
So Far, Few Ripples From Landmark Ruling on Guns  —  About nine months ago, the Supreme Court breathed new life into the Second Amendment, ruling for the first time that it protects an individual right to own guns.  Since then, lower federal courts have decided more than 80 cases interpreting the decision …
Discussion: SSRN
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 …
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.
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 …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Joe Katzman / Defense Industry Daily:
PMA Group: A Look Inside the Earmark Game
Discussion: Moe_Lane's blog
Reid Wilson / The Hill:
GOP spending big to fight for NY seat
Discussion: DownWithTyranny!
Pamela Constable / Washington Post:
Pakistani Leader Bows to Pressure
Discussion: Firedoglake and Hot Air
Washington Post:
An Immigration Glitch for Gay Couples Is Unjust
Discussion: #gay and Pam's House Blend
Patricia Sellers / Fortune:
Can Meg Whitman save California?
Discussion: TIME.com and Taegan Goddard's …
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Bristol Palin's ‘family’ on hold
BBC:
Khatami ‘to pull out of Iran race’
Discussion: PoliBlog
Fredric U. Dicker / New York Post:
DEMS ISSUE WARNING ABOUT GILLY TO PARTY BOSS
 Earlier Items: 
Simon Romero / New York Times:
Chávez Tells His Navy to Take Over Key Seaports
Richard Kerbaj / Times of London:
Thousands of girls mutilated in Britain
Discussion: Jihad Watch
Ken Dilanian / USA Today:
Reports question U.S. shield of Europe
Discussion: The Foundry
Billy Wharton / Washington Post:
Obama's No Socialist. I Should Know.