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1:40 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.
Senate to explore taxing controversial AIG bonuses  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — Senate Democrats want to tax the controversial bonuses doled out to AIG employees who work for the division that led to the company's downfall.  —  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced on the Senate floor Tuesday …
Discussion: TalkLeft
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 …
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
Andrew Ross Sorkin / New York Times:
The Case for Paying Out Bonuses at A.I.G.
Caitlin Taylor / The Note:
The AIG Bonus Tax: “Give the money back or we'll take it away”
Discussion: The Swamp
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:   Grassley Calls for Contrition, Not Suicide
Jim VandeHei / The Politico:
The danger and distraction of outrage
Discussion: Wilshire & Washington
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.
Ed Whelan / Bench Memos:
Seventh Circuit Candidate David HamiltonAn ACLU ...
Discussion: TalkLeft, Boston Globe and The BLT
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.
Discussion: Outside The Beltway
Jamison Foser / Media Matters for America:   Richard Cohen defends financial execs & business media; blasts Stewart
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 …
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.
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.
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 …
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.
Manu Raju / The Politico:
GOP eyes Bush v. Gore for Coleman  —  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 …
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
Tom Vanden Brook / USA Today:
Poll: More view Afghan war as ‘mistake’  —  WASHINGTON — American support for the war in Afghanistan has ebbed to new a low, as attacks on U.S. troops and their allies have hit record levels and commanders are pleading for reinforcements, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll shows.
Lynnley Browning / New York Times:
I.R.S. Plans a Deduction for Madoff Victims  —  The Internal Revenue Service will allow victims of Bernard L. Madoff's investment fraud to claim a lucrative tax deduction related to the bulk of their losses, the I.R.S. commissioner testified Tuesday morning before the Senate Finance Committee.
Media Matters / Media Matters for America:
Santelli on AIG bonus rage: “You know, $165 million is like worrying about 16.5 cents, while $165 maybe necessitates a little more outrage”  —  From the March 17 edition of CNBC's Squawk Box:
Aaron Blake / The Hill:
Dems press Specter to switch sides  —  Democrats want Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) in their ranks — and they've been sending in their big guns to lobby him to make the switch.  —  Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) said he, Vice President Biden and Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) …
Discussion: DownWithTyranny!
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
Latest NPR Poll: Democrats Besting Republicans in National Debate on Key Budget Issues  —  Greenberg Quinlan Rosner National Public Radio  —  Research Categories … Executive Summary  —  NOTE: TO HEAR THE FULL NPR BROADCAST CLICK HERE.  —  The first bipartisan survey conducted for NPR …
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 More Items: 
Alex Spillius / Telegraph:
Barack Obama noshow at top journalist society Gridiron Club event
Discussion: Weekly Standard and Stop The ACLU
Capital Commerce:
Yes, the Community Reinvestment Act Really Did Help Cause the Housing Crisis
Discussion: bizjournals, Hot Air and Flopping Aces
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Pittsburgh Steelers' Rooney: Ireland
Cary Tennis / Salon:
Why teach journalism if newspapers are dying?
Discussion: Media Blog
Greg Toppo / USA Today:
Gay-themed film cost Oklahoma teacher her job
Craig Gordon / The Politico:
Obama: Go big or go home
Digby / Hullabaloo:
Sociopathic Scribes  —  I wrote a little bit about the Chandra …
 Earlier Items: 
John Dickerson / Slate:
Obama's plans to adapt FDR's model to address today's economy.
Discussion: Washington Times
Jim Lindgren / The Volokh Conspiracy:
Illinois's special shame continues: Governor Confuses Democracy with Socialism.
Discussion: MSNBC
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
Louise Story / New York Times:
Goldman Offers Loans to Stretched Employees
Discussion: Clusterstock
Christopher Beam / Slate:
Ron Paul's insane cameo in the upcoming Bruno movie.
Discussion: Political Machine