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1:40 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:
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.
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 …
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.
The Politico:
Obama: Block AIG bonuses
Adam Nagourney / New York Times:
Bracing for a Backlash Over Wall Street Bailouts
CBS News:
White House May Want AIG Money Back
Aaron Zelinsky / The Huffington Post:
Larry Summers: Stop the AIG Bonuses. Yes You Can.
Discussion: Real Time Economics
MSNBC:
Obama seeking ways to block AIG bonuses
Discussion: TBogg
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:
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 …
Pew Research Center:
Obama's Approval Rating Slips Amid Division Over Economic Proposals  —  GOP Congressional Leaders' Ratings Hit New Low - 28%  —  President Barack Obama's approval rating has slipped, as a growing number of Americans see him listening more to his party's liberals than to its moderates …
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 …
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
Meir Javedanfar / RealClearWorld - Blog:
Why Khatami Withdrew  —  With 87 days to go before Iran's presidential elections, the air is already thick with excitement.  Usually, big events happen within a month before elections.  But this time, we are witnessing them almost three months prior to the big day.
Discussion: CNN and Israel Matzav
RELATED:
BBC:
Khatami ‘to pull out of Iran race’
Discussion: PoliBlog
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.
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' …
Washington Post:
An Immigration Glitch for Gay Couples Is Unjust  —  THE UNITING American Families Act would allow gay and lesbian Americans and permanent residents to sponsor their foreign-born partners for legal residency in the United States.  The bill, introduced last month in the Senate by Patrick Leahy …
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 …
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: Boston Globe and The Plank
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 …
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
Nathan Hodge / Danger Room:
U.S. Military Confirms It Shot Down Iranian Drone  —  Last month, a U.S. fighter aircraft tracked and shot down an Iranian drone.  Details — first reported by Danger Room — have been elusive, but the U.S. military has now confirmed the incident.  —  Multinational Forces Iraq spokesman …
Discussion: Reuters
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.
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
 
 
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 More Items: 
Bill Steigerwald / PittsburghLIVE.com:
My last words ...  TRIBUNE-REVIEW  —  No one sane ever went …
Discussion: NewsBusters.org
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: Minnesota Independent
Pamela Constable / Washington Post:
Pakistani Leader Bows to Pressure
Discussion: Firedoglake and Hot Air
Patricia Sellers / Fortune:
Can Meg Whitman save California?
Discussion: TIME.com
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Bristol Palin's ‘family’ on hold
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
Damian Paletta / Wall Street Journal:
U.S. to Toughen Finance Rules
Discussion: TIME.com
Billy Wharton / Washington Post:
Obama's No Socialist. I Should Know.
Dominic Lawson / Times of London:
My imam father came after me with an axe