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2:30 PM ET, March 18, 2009


 Top Items: 
Edward M. Liddy / Washington Post:
Repairing AIG and Repaying the Public  —  The government rescue of American International Group (AIG) and other financial firms has produced a palpable wave of anger on the part of Americans and a rising public demand for accountability from corporate and government leaders.
Ian Swanson / The Hill:
AIG staff: We deserve this money  —  AIG's new management team last year proposed that its employees give up their “retention” bonuses, or at least reduce them.  The response from the 370 or so employees set to rake in $450 million in bonuses through 2010?  —  Take a hike.
Steven Pearlstein / Washington Post:
Wall Street's Dangerous Refusal to Learn  —  You have to wonder what else has to go wrong, how much more wealth will need to be destroyed, before the people on Wall Street get the message that it's no longer business as usual.  —  The latest outrage, of course, is over the $400 million …
Maureen Dowd / New York Times:
No Boiled Carrots  —  Barack Obama even needs a teleprompter to get mad.  —  On St. Patrick's Day, the president spoke a bit of Gaelic, dyed the White House fountains green and talked about his distant relatives in the tiny Irish town of Moneygall, aptly named since money and gall are the two topics now consuming him.
Discussion: CNN, and Whiskey Fire
Tim / Sky News:
The Obama 100  —  Earlier in the day, the president claimed an Irish ancestry, saying his mother's family could be traced back to Ireland.  —  He joked to Cowen: “We may be cousins.  We haven't sorted that through yet.”  —  Speaking in the Oval Office, he told the Irish premier …
Associated Press:
Begorra!  Irish PM trips over White House speech  —  Featured Topics: - Barack Obama - Presidential Transition  —  WASHINGTON - Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen was just a few paragraphs into an address at a St. Patrick's Day celebration at the White House when he realized something sounded way too familiar.
David Espo / Associated Press:
Analysis: White House, Dems backpedaling on AIG
Discussion: Power Line and The Politico
David Harsanyi / Denver Post:
There are fates worse than bonuses
Discussion: JustOneMinute
Wall Street Journal:
Financial Journalists Fail Upward  —  “Listen, you knew what the banks were doing and yet were touting it for months and months,” said “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart to CNBC superstar Jim Cramer in their much-discussed confrontation last week.  “The entire network was, and so now to pretend …
Discussion: At-Largely and
David Kaplan /
@ McGraw-Hill: NBCU's Zucker Calls Out Jon Stewart: Blaming CNBC Is ‘Absurd’  —  NBC Universal (NYSE: GE) CEO Jeff Zucker, in a Q&A with Ellen Pollock, executive editor, BusinessWeek, opened the *McGraw-Hill* Media Summit by taking on Comedy Central's Jon Stewart, who on the Daily Show …
Jon Friedman / MarketWatch:
CNBC's woes may open the door to its competitors  —  Commentary: Jon Stewart's criticisms could resonate with viewers … NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — When Jon Stewart excoriated CNBC on “The Daily Show,” he barely mentioned its competition.  That seemed to imply that the Fox Business Network …
Discussion: Blogs and Stories and Clusterstock
Lori Montgomery / Washington Post:
President's Budget Strategy Under Fire  —  Tactic May Break Obama's Bipartisan Pledge, GOP Says  —  Senior members of the Obama administration are pressing lawmakers to use a shortcut to drive the president's signature initiatives on health care and energy through Congress without Republican votes …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
LOWERING THE BAR FOR MOB RULE.... About two weeks ago …
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Jonathan Cohn / The New Republic:
Gregg: I Was For Reconciliation Before I Was Against It
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias and Brian Beutler
Walter Alarkon / The Hill:
Obama axes GOP in new budget push
Discussion: New York Times and Blog entry
Rob Gillies / Associated Press:
Bush says it's ‘essential’ to help Obama  —  CALGARY, Alberta - Former President George W. Bush, making his first public speech since leaving office in January, says he wants Barack Obama to succeed and that it's “essential” to support the new leader.  —  Bush declined to critique …
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Rahm: Obama Believes AIG Mess Is A “Big Distraction”  —  White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel offers an intriguing glimpse into President Obama's thoughts about the AIG furor: … Without polling on the question, it seems best to reserve judgment on how damaging the AIG mess is to the White House.
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
The Gloves Come Off
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Matt Corley / Think Progress:
The Husband Of Fox News' Greta Van Susteren Is A ‘Protector Of The Palin Brand’  —  During the presidential campaign, Fox News's Greta Van Susteren had perhaps the best access to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin of any journalist.  In September, she hosted a one-hour “documentary” …
Andy Katz / ESPN:
Presidential pick 'em at the White House  — takes an exclusive look at President Obama's bracket  —  WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Barack Obama has studied Lincoln and FDR to help guide him through the early stages of his presidency.  —  But he is very much a modern man …
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Some Members of Evan Bayh's New Anti-Progressive Caucus Too Frightened to Admit Membership  —  It's been known for a while now that Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) has been planning to form a caucus of “moderate” Senate Democrats hoping to soak up special interest cash in exchange for blocking the progressive agenda.
Discussion: Wake up America and Brian Beutler
Ryan Powers / Think Progress:
Bayh refuses to name anonymous members of his new Blue-Dog style coalition.
Alex Conant / The Politico:
The 5 biggest myths about Obama  —  By trade if not by choice, I have become something of a Barack Obama aficionado.  POLITICO's Mike Allen wrote last week that I have “probably listened to more President Obama speeches than any human besides [White House spokesman Robert] Gibbs.”
Ben Katcher / The Washington Note:
Guest Post by Lawrence Wilkerson: Some Truths About Guantanamo Bay  —  Lawrence B. Wilkerson was chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell and is chairman of the New America Foundation/U.S.-Cuba 21st Century Policy Initiative.  —  There are several dimensions to the debate …
Jonathan Cohn / The New Republic:
Stayin' Alive  —  The inside story of health care reform's near-death experience.  —  In early January, most of Barack Obama's senior staff assembled with the president-elect for a meeting inside a windowless, eighth-floor office at the transition headquarters in Washington.
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 More Items: 
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
A Center-Right Nation Forever
Discussion: TalkLeft and Outside The Beltway
Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute:
Who Broke AIG?  —  Last weekend AIG released information …
Discussion: ABCNEWS
Ryan Powers / Think Progress:
Hagel rips Cheney's claim that Obama is making the U.S. less safe …
Discussion: MoJo Blog Posts
Harold Meyerson / Washington Post:
The Nationalization Option  —  You might think that having anted …
Jonathan Karl / ABCNEWS:
Will Obama, McCain, Dodd Return Contributions From AIG Employees?
Julian E. Zelizer / CNN:
Zelizer: GOP's ‘small government’ talk is hollow
Discussion: Democratic Strategist
 Earlier Items: 
David Kurtz / Talking Points Memo:
YOU KNOW IT'S BAD WHEN ...  Insurance companies say they have no choice …
Discussion: First Draft
Al Kamen / Washington Post:
Heads Pop Up and Heads Roll: Let's Keep Track.
Mark Coleman / Telegraph:
YouTube ‘spammed by US Congressmen’
Discussion: Pajamas Media
Bsetser / Brad Setser:
A bit more to worry about; foreign demand for long-term Treasuries has faded
Alec MacGillis / Washington Post:
Union Engages in Labor Dispute With Its Own Employees
Discussion: The Foundry
Marybeth Hicks / Washington Times:
Men are women's ‘issue’
Discussion: American Power
Aaron Blake / The Hill:
Specter won't rule out run as an Independent
Pamela A. MacLean /
In a First, Bankruptcy Judge Rules Calif. City Can Void Union Contracts
Discussion: RedState