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10:35 AM ET, March 17, 2009

memeorandum

 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.
RELATED:
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  —  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 …
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 …
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. …
Charles Lemos / MyDD:
The Silliness at The Washington Post
Discussion: TIME.com
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Grassley: AIG's ‘suicide’ obligations
Discussion: TIME.com
Big Tent Democrat / TalkLeft:
AIG Bonuses: Moral Theory of Contract?
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.
RELATED:
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.
RELATED:
Jamison Foser / Media Matters for America:
Richard Cohen defends financial execs & business media; blasts Stewart  —  Once again, Richard Cohen devotes his Washington Post column to attacking a ... comedian.  Worse, he is again attacking a comedian for having higher expectations for journalism than he does.
Discussion: Balloon Juice
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
RELATED:
BBC:   US law sparks Mexican trade row
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?
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.
Nigel Duara / Associated Press:
Senator suggests AIG execs should kill themselves  —  Featured Topics: - Barack Obama - Presidential Transition  —  IOWA CITY, Iowa - 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.
Discussion: Weekly Standard and The Raw Story
RELATED:
Tahman Bradley / Political Punch:
GOP Senator: AIG Execs Should Follow Japanese Model — Suicide or Apology
Discussion: Clusterstock
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.
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 …
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 …
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: The Plum Line and TPMCafe
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: Donklephant and abu muqawama
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: Townhall.com
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 …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Carol E. Lee / The Politico:
VP: Obama's job harder than FDR's
Discussion: TIME.com
Karen DeYoung / Washington Post:
U.S. Moves to Replace Contractors in Iraq
Byron York / www.dcexaminer.com:
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
 Earlier Items: 
Michael Kinsley / Blogs and Stories:
New York Times' New Columnist Is Full of It
U.S. Newswire:
The American Legion Strongly Opposed to President's Plan to Charge …