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10:30 PM ET, March 18, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
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.
RELATED:
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 …
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 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 …
Discussion: The Swamp and Associated Press
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
Jeff Jarvis / BuzzMachine:
Not my fault  —  “Criticism of CNBC is way out of line,” …
Discussion: BLTv and Wilshire & Washington
David Kaplan / paidContent.org:
@ McGraw-Hill: NBCU's Zucker Calls Out Jon Stewart: Blaming CNBC Is ‘Absurd’
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.
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.
RELATED:
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
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: Hullabaloo and DownWithTyranny!
RELATED:
Newt Gingrich / Human Events:
BREAKING: Gingrich Calls on Obama to End Bailouts  —  “Outrage” is the word on everyone's lips to describe the fat bonuses being paid with taxpayer funds to the failed executives at AIG — and it is an outrage.  —  It's an outrage that the American people are being asked to pay for the bad behavior …
RELATED:
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 …
RELATED:
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
In Bid To Grab Control Of Story, Obama Takes Responsibility For AIG Mess
New York Times:
Obama Seeks Vastly Expanded Afghan Security Force to Help Stabilize the Nation  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama and his advisers have decided to significantly expand Afghanistan's security forces in the hope that a much larger professional army and national police force could fill a void left …
RELATED:
Matt Lira / Office of the Republican Whip:
House Democrats Vote to Let AIG Keep Bonuses  —  Moments ago on the House floor, Democrats did something truly remarkable - they voted to let AIG executives keep their taxpayer-financed bonuses.  As you know, this week, $165 million was awarded to 73 AIG employees primarily …
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, The Impolitic and Hullabaloo
RELATED:
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
THE BIG BUCKS  —  Let's go back to Joe Cassano …
Discussion: TPMMuckraker
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.
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 …
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
Helene Cooper / New York Times:
President Takes Campaign for Budget to California  —  COSTA MESA, Calif. — President Obama, escaping the mounting uproar in Washington over executive bonuses at the American International Group, came here Wednesday for a raucous town-hall-style meeting where he promised that his $3.6 trillion budget …
Alec MacGillis / Washington Post:
Union Engages in Labor Dispute With Its Own Employees  —  As it helps push for legislation that would make it easier for workers to organize, the country's fastest-growing union is engaged in its own labor dispute with employees it is seeking to lay off.  —  The Service Employees International Union …
Andy Katz / ESPN:
Presidential pick 'em at the White House  —  ESPN.com 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 …
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.
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 …
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
New GOP Talking Points: Obama Administration Is “Most Politically Obsessed White House In History”  —  A Republican sends over a new set of GOP talking points for House conservatives — privately circulated this week to scores of GOP press secretaries on the Hill — that blasts the Obama administration as …
 
 
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 More Items: 
William A. Jacobson / Le·gal In·sur·rec· tion:
The Official Guide To Obama Kitsch
Joe McGinniss / Portfolio:
Pipe Dreams  —  Forget “Drill, baby, drill.”
Discussion: The Note and The Mudflats
William Lajeunesse / Fox News:
Pelosi Tells Illegal Immigrants That Work Site Raids are Un-American
Discussion: QandO
Teddy Davis / The Note:
Clinton Loyalist Accepts Undersecretary of State Offer
Discussion: The Politico
DealBook:
Judge Rules Against Merrill on Keeping Bonuses Secret
Discussion: Runnin' Scared and TIME.com
 Earlier Items: 
David Kurtz / Talking Points Memo:
THAT'LL WORK  —  AIG CEO Edward Liddy: We'll ask the bonus recipients …
Jeff Poor / The Business & Media Institute:
GOP Leadership to Issue the iPod Touch to House Republicans
Discussion: Townhall.com
Josef Adalian / TVWeek.com:
Networks Grumbling About Another Obama Primetime Speech
Discussion: TIME.com
The Politico:
Boehner: Geithner in serious trouble
Discussion: TIME.com
Marcia Coyle / LAW.com:
Study concludes a well-worn gripe may be right: ABA ratings …
Discussion: Bench Memos and Law Blog
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
A Center-Right Nation Forever
WNYC News Blog:
Eliot Spitzer on AIG
Discussion: The Daily Politics and The Swamp