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1:20 AM ET, March 19, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Massimo Calabresi / Time:
Treasury Learned of AIG Bonuses Earlier Than Claimed  —  Though Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told Congressional leaders Tuesday he only learned of the impending $160 million bonus payments to members of AIG's troubled financial products unit March 10, sources tell TIME that the New …
RELATED:
The Politico:
Dodd facing fresh political firestorm  —  Featured Topics: - Barack Obama - Presidential Transition  —  Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) looks like he may be facing a fresh political firestorm.  —  Dodd just admitted on CNN that he inserted a loophole in the stimulus legislation …
CNN:
Dodd: I was responsible for bonus loophole  —  (CNN) — Senate Banking committee Chairman Christopher Dodd told CNN Wednesday that he was responsible for language added to the federal stimulus bill to make sure that already-existing contracts for bonuses at companies receiving federal bailout money were honored.
Justin Elliott / TPMMuckraker:
Who Asked Senator Dodd To Defang Anti-Bonus Provision?  —  Who in the Obama Administration pushed to weaken a key anti-bonus provision in the stimulus bill last month?  Sen. Chris Dodd, who wrote the provision — and ultimately agreed to defang it — isn't saying.
The Huffington Post:
Dodd: Treasury Officials Insisted On Weakening Bonus Provision  —  The Treasury Department demanded that Sen. Chris Dodd insert exemptions into the stimulus bill that allowed bailout recipients to receive bonuses, the Connecticut Democrat said on Wednesday.  —  According to Dodd …
Jennifer Rubin / Commentary:
Dodd Spills The Beans
Discussion: The Huffington Post and The Corner
Washington Post:
How the Fed Failed to Tell Obama About The Bonuses
Discussion: JustOneMinute
Newt Gingrich / Human Events:
BREAKING: Gingrich Calls on Obama to End Bailouts
Christopher Keating / Hartford Courant:   Dodd Under Fire For Legislation Behind AIG Bonuses
Tucker Carlson / Blogs and Stories:
How Jon Stewart Went Bad  —  Inside Fritzl's Dungeon by Barbie Latza Nadeau  —  Blogs and Stories  —  There is a virtual ban on criticism of him in the press.  Uncritical praise corrupts absolutely.  —  Jon Stewart's recent attack on CNBC's Jim Cramer was so brilliantly performed …
RELATED:
The Huffington Post:
Stewart On Obama's Plan For Veterans' Insurance: 'That Can't Be Right'  —  Last night's segment on the “smaller outrage” that is the announced plan to ask our military veterans to use their private insurance to cover combat related injuries won't garner the ire of the AIG bonus baby bailout …
Paul Thomasch / Reuters:
NBC boss: Jon Stewart's criticism absurd, unfair
Discussion: paidContent.org
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System:
For immediate release  —  Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in January indicates that the economy continues to contract.  Job losses, declining equity and housing wealth, and tight credit conditions have weighed on consumer sentiment and spending.
RELATED:
Edmund L. Andrews / New York Times:
Fed to Buy $1 Trillion in Securities to Aid Economy  —  WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve sharply stepped up its efforts to bolster the economy on Wednesday, announcing that it would pump an extra $1 trillion into the financial system by purchasing Treasury bonds and mortgage securities.
Rep. Barney Frank / The Huffington Post:
Is There an Antidote to the Republican Amnesia?  —  Memory eventually fails us all, but apparently the decline strikes one party far more than the other.  —  In recent weeks, my friends across the aisle have expended a lot of breath proclaiming that the Democrats caused the present financial crisis …
Discussion: DownWithTyranny! and Hullabaloo
RELATED:
Alan Zibel / Associated Press:
Fannie plans bonuses of up to $611K for 4 execs  —  Fannie Mae plans bonuses of up to $611,000 for 4 executives; Freddie Mac has similar plans  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Fannie Mae is planning to pay retention bonuses of as much as $611,000 each to several top executives of the government-controlled mortgage finance titan.
Noemie Emery / www.dcexaminer.com:
Palinphobes and the audacity of type  —  Now that the Obama presidency is nearing the 60-day mark, it's time to thank those fastidious scribes on the left and the right who worked so hard to warn us against Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, and the dire things that would surely occur if she ever got close to executive power.
RELATED:
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:   Palin clashes with feds on wolves
Karen DeYoung / Washington Post:
Hundreds of New Civilian Employees Proposed for Afghanistan  —  Hundreds of additional U.S. diplomats and civilian officials would be deployed to Afghanistan as part of the new civil-military regional strategy that President Obama's top national security advisers plan to present for his signature next week …
RELATED:
Guardian:
Anger in Pakistan at US plan to expand attacks
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
New York Times:   Obama Seeks Vastly Expanded Afghan Security Force to Help Stabilize the Nation
Roxana Tiron / The Hill:
Obama backs off plan to alter vets' healthcare  —  The White House on Wednesday backed off a controversial plan that would have dramatically altered the way the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) handles insurance claims, after veterans groups staged an all-out fight against such a proposal.
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Split Emerging Between Conservative Media And GOP Leadership On AIG Mess  —  Here's an interesting subplot developing amid the AIG mess: The emerging split between leading conservative media figures and GOP leaders over how to respond.  —  GOP Congressional leaders have roundly condemned AIG …
James Vicini / Reuters:
Some Guantanamo prisoners could be released in U.S.  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Some of the Guantanamo Bay prisoners could be released into the United States while others could be put on trial in the American court system, Attorney General Eric Holder said on Wednesday.
RELATED:
Evan Perez / Wall Street Journal:
Detainees May Be Released in U.S.
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Howard Schweber / The Huffington Post:
Put Down the Pitchforks!  —  I am starting to be genuinely worried by the potential destructiveness of a growing torch-and-pitchfork mentality that is partly the result of cynical manipulation, partly a result of failures of understanding, and partly the result of perfectly justified by presently misdirected anger.
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
LOOKING FURTHER  —  In a series of posts last night I looked at various pieces of evidence suggesting fraud and criminal activity at AIG's Financial Products division.  We're continuing to dig on that front.  But for those of you doing your own sleuthing we want to be looking very closely …
Discussion: Daily Kos and The Impolitic
RELATED:
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
THE BIG BUCKS  —  Let's go back to Joe Cassano …
Discussion: TPMMuckraker
Michael Hirsh / Newsweek:
The Next AIG Scandal?  —  The firm's problems may extend to its ‘healthy’ insurance side. … Outrageous.  It's the preferred adjective used by Barack Obama and Ben Bernanke to describe AIG, the crippled giant that has turned into a national money pit.  AIG has swallowed at least $170 billion …
William A. Jacobson / Le·gal In·sur·rec· tion:
The Official Guide To Obama Kitsch  —  I am pleased to introduce The Official Guide To Obama Kitsch.  —  Kitsch is a word of Germanic origin which denotes something that is in poor taste, tacky, pretentious, cheap or trashy.  —  In order to qualify, the product must (1) …
Pete Winn / CNSNews:
Army Investigating How and Why Troops Were Sent Into Alabama Town After Murder Spree  —  (CNSNews.com) - The U.S. Army has launched an inquiry into how and why active duty troops from Fort Rucker, Ala., came to be placed on the streets of Samson, Ala., during last week's murder spree in that tiny South Alabama community.
Tom Gross Mideast Media Analysis:
Exclusive: This is CNN (& BBC-UNRWA connection revealed)  —  * CNN Jerusalem producer's shocking public outburst against Israel (see video below)  —  * Revealed: UNRWA spokesman who lied about Israel's shelling of a school previously worked at the BBC with Jeremy Bowen
Noah Shachtman / Danger Room:
Military Laser Hits Battlefield Strength  —  Huge news for real-life ray guns: Electric lasers have hit battlefield strength for the first time — paving the way for energy weapons to go to war.  —  In recent test-blasts, Pentagon-researchers at Northrop Grumman managed to get its 105 kilowatts …
Richard Florida / Creative Class:
Are Bailouts Saving the U.S. from a New Great Depression?  —  Citing Justin Fox's terrific chart of unemployment then and Kevin Drum's comments, the always-insightful Matt Yglesias writes: … Yglesias is right: It's hard to say exactly what might have happened without the bailouts and stimulus.
Victoria McGrane / The Politico:
Dems announce bill to tax bonuses  —  Featured Topics: - Barack Obama - Presidential Transition  —  The AIG bonuses outrage has Congress moving at warp-speed.  —  House Democratic leaders announced that a bill designed to tax the bonuses out of existence will come to the House floor Thursday …
Lymari Morales / Gallup:
Outraged Americans Want AIG Bonus Money Recovered  — USA - Credit Crisis - Financial Services - Government and Politics - Americas - Northern America  —  WASHINGTON, D.C. — Three in four Americans (76%) want the government to take actions to block or recover the bonuses insurance giant AIG paid …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Mike Stobbe / Associated Press:
US births break record; 40 pct out-of-wedlock
Discussion: Dohiyi Mir and Donklephant
Suzy Khimm / The New Republic:
They Were Against It Before They Were For It
Discussion: Think Progress and TPMCafe
Helene Cooper / New York Times:
President Takes Campaign for Budget to California
Discussion: The Politico
Joe McGinniss / Portfolio:
Pipe Dreams  —  Forget “Drill, baby, drill.”
Discussion: The Note
Teddy Davis / The Note:
Clinton Loyalist Accepts Undersecretary of State Offer
Discussion: The Politico
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
New GOP Talking Points: Obama Administration Is “Most Politically …
 Earlier Items: 
Josef Adalian / TVWeek.com:
Networks Grumbling About Another Obama Primetime Speech
Discussion: TIME.com
Jeff Jarvis / BuzzMachine:
Not my fault  —  “Criticism of CNBC is way out of line,” …
Discussion: BLTv and Wilshire & Washington
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
A Center-Right Nation Forever