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12:35 PM 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.
Nigel Duara / Associated Press:
Senator suggests AIG execs should kill themselves  —  IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley suggested that AIG executives should take a Japanese approach toward accepting responsibility for the collapse of the insurance giant by resigning or killing themselves.
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 …
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.
Louise Story / New York Times:
Goldman Offers Loans to Stretched Employees
Discussion: Clusterstock
Laurie Kellman / Associated Press:
Reid: Congress intends to retrieve some AIG money
Dodd suggests tax to recoup AIG bonuses
Discussion: Congress Matters
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?
Rich Edson /
Amid AIG Furor, Dodd Tries to Undo Bonus Protections He Put In  —  Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) on Monday night floated the idea of taxing American International Group (AIG) bonus recipients so the government could recoup the $450 million the company is paying to employees in its financial products unit.
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.
Jamison Foser / Media Matters for America:   Richard Cohen defends financial execs & business media; blasts Stewart
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
Majority Receptive to Law Making Union Organizing Easier  —  But most Americans not closely following news about union bill in Congress  —  PRINCETON, NJ — A new Gallup Poll finds just over half of Americans, 53%, favoring a new law that would make it easier for labor unions to organize workers; 39% oppose it.
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.
Byron York /
Why tax problems have plagued Team Obama  —  Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner speaks at the Treasury Department in Washington, detailing the Obama Administrations plans for the economic recovery.  It's been a recurring question about the young Obama administration: Why have so many of its nominees come down with tax problems?
Discussion: RedState and Betsy's Page
Cyra Master / The Atlantic Business Channel:
Members Looking For Relief For Madoff Fraud Victims
Discussion: The Corner
The New Majority:
WHAT IS GOING ON AT FOX NEWS?  —  What the hell is going on at Fox News?  —  On Friday evening, Fox viewers were treated to an hour-long televangelical special starring Glenn Beck.  (The opening of the show can be seen in our Watch Now window, at right.)  —  Watching Beck cry for the cameras …
Jeffrey Goldberg:
The Lieberman Disaster  —  Not this Lieberman, this Lieberman.  It's not a disaster for the reasons some people think; I know Avigdor Lieberman a little bit, and he's actually a person interested in a cold compromise with the Palestinians.  It's a disaster because he's made himself into a racist.
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog and Swampland
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.
Bryan Bender / Boston Globe:
Gates readies big cuts in weapons  —  Battle looms with Congress  —  Aides said Defense Secretary Robert Gates's decisions will be guided by what he learns while spending time with troops.  —  WASHINGTON - As the Bush administration was drawing to a close, Robert M. Gates …
Discussion: Weekly Standard
David Brooks / New York Times:
The Commercial Republic  —  Over the centuries, the United States has been most conspicuous for one trait: manic energy.  Americans work longer hours than any other people.  We switch jobs more frequently, move more often, earn more and consume more.  —  This energy was first aroused by abundance …
Discussion: Firedoglake and Commentary
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Grassley Calls for Contrition, Not Suicide  —  I thought Senator Chuck Grassley's initial impulse to suggest that AIG-folk ought to kill themselves, samurai-style, was a bit over the top.  But there was a ray of truth in what he was saying.  And I think he found the way …
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
AIG  —  Maybe this is stupid, but couldn't the administration just . . . not pay the AIG bonuses?  As in, rather than direct Tim Geithner to find a way to not pay them, just order AIG to not pay them.  Order first.  Let the AIGsters sue.  Then while the suit is playing out …
Discussion: Brian Beutler
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 …
Discussion: and
Anchorage Daily News:
GOP says Palin will star at dinner; she says she hasn't yet agreed  —  OR MAYBE NOT: She didn't know about keynoting, aide says.  —  Gov. Sarah Palin's spokesman said Monday that congressional Republicans were mistaken in announcing the governor would headline one of the biggest Republican gatherings …
Craig Gordon / The Politico:
Obama: Go big or go home  —  President Barack Obama took on critics Tuesday who say he's trying to do too much, too fast - saying the economic crisis is the reason to push for his massive agenda, not an excuse to go small.  —  “I know that there are some on Wall Street and in Washington …
Discussion: The Swamp and The Politico
Digby / Hullabaloo:
Sociopathic Scribes  —  I wrote a little bit about the Chandra Levy case apparently being resolved a while back, but I hadn't heard about Chief Inquisitor and slavering witch hunter Lisa DePaulo's thoroughly disgusting revisit of the case.  Charles Pierce writes: … Lameass is far too kind.
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 More Items: 
Karen DeYoung / Washington Post:
Pakistani Political Crisis Jeopardizes U.S. Regional Strategy
Aaron Blake / The Hill:
Dems press Specter to switch sides
Discussion: DownWithTyranny!
Associated Press:
Justice Ginsburg says she will have chemotherapy
Discussion: Agence France Presse and
Jim Lindgren / The Volokh Conspiracy:
Illinois's special shame continues: Governor Confuses Democracy with Socialism.
Discussion: MSNBC
 Earlier Items: 
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
Discussion: The Daily Dish
Natasha Mozgovaya / Haaretz:
Ashkenazi in U.S.: IDF must prepare to strike Iran
Discussion: The Nation, and Israpundit
Karen DeYoung / Washington Post:
U.S. Moves to Replace Contractors in Iraq
Discussion: MoJo Blog Posts
Mary Ann Akers / The Sleuth:
Congressman Touts Shaved Golden Retriever for First Dog
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Financial Times:
Mexico to impose sanctions on US exports
Discussion: The Foundry
Manu Raju / The Politico:
GOP eyes Bush v. Gore for Coleman
Discussion: TPMDC and
Scott Wilson / Washington Post:
Obama Team Derides Cheney's Criticisms
Christopher Beam / Slate:
Ron Paul's insane cameo in the upcoming Bruno movie.
Discussion: Political Machine