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3:55 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.
Washington Post:
How the Fed Failed to Tell Obama About The Bonuses  —  Federal Reserve officials knew for months about bonuses at American International Group but failed to tell the Obama administration, according to government and company officials, exposing problems in a relationship that is vital to addressing the financial crisis.
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 …
Justin Elliott / TPMMuckraker:
Who Asked Senator Dodd To Defang Anti-Bonus Provision?
Discussion: CBS News, Crunchy Con and First Draft
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'
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.
DealBook:
Dissecting the A.I.G. Bonus Contract  —  Washington is filled with outrage over the $165 million in bonuses given out by the American International Group.  Yet, as I said in my post on Tuesday, “Seven Sad Truths About A.I.G.,” the real concern over the insurance giant should be about the $170 billion …
RELATED:
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
LOOKING FURTHER  —  In a series of posts last night I looked …
Discussion: Daily Kos and The Impolitic
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
THE BIG BUCKS  —  Let's go back to Joe Cassano …
Discussion: TPMMuckraker
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:
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:   U.S. Plans Expanded Afghan Security Force
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 …
RELATED:
Carol E. Lee / The Politico:
Obama heads to Reagan country
Discussion: Associated Press
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
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.
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.
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 …
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.
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) …
Suzy Khimm / The New Republic:
They Were Against It Before They Were For It  —  This week, Republican leaders have leapt to join the populist outcry against the bonuses that ailing insurance giant AIG has awarded its executives.  But such rants against executive earnings mark a remarkable about-face for the right flank of the party …
Discussion: Think Progress and TPMCafe
 
 
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 More Items: 
Robert S. McElvaine / Washington Post:
Impeach the Pope  —  Professor of Arts & Letters, Millsaps College
Mike Stobbe / Associated Press:
US births break record; 40 pct out-of-wedlock
Discussion: Dohiyi Mir and Donklephant
Noah Shachtman / Danger Room:
Military Laser Hits Battlefield Strength
Discussion: Defense Tech
Victoria McGrane / The Politico:
Dems announce bill to tax bonuses
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: 
David Kurtz / Talking Points Memo:
THAT'LL WORK  —  AIG CEO Edward Liddy: We'll ask the bonus recipients …
Richard Florida / Creative Class:
Are Bailouts Saving the U.S. from a New Great Depression?
Josef Adalian / TVWeek.com:
Networks Grumbling About Another Obama Primetime Speech
Discussion: TIME.com
Matt Lira / Office of the Republican Whip:
House Democrats Vote to Let AIG Keep Bonuses
Discussion: Gateway Pundit, Hot Air and RedState