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12:45 PM ET, March 18, 2009


 Top Items: 
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.
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.
Washington Post:
AIG Firestorm Raises Alarm For Other Firms  —  The firestorm over bonuses paid by insurance giant American International Group has triggered alarm at other financial firms, threatening federal efforts to draw private investors into economic recovery programs.  —  It is a critical juncture for the Obama administration.
Washington Post:
The Big Bash
New York Times:
Outcry Builds in Washington for Recovery of A.I.G. Bonuses
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, OMB Director Peter Orszag suggested the administration might pursue major healthcare and energy reforms through the budget reconciliation process.  The point would be to make passage far easier — Republicans can vote against reconciliation bills, but they can't filibuster them.
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Walter Alarkon / The Hill:
Obama axes GOP in new budget push
Discussion: New York Times and Blog entry
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 …
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 …
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.
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 …
David Harsanyi / Denver Post:
There are fates worse than bonuses  —  Here's an idea: If you stop nationalizing banks, there will be no need to engage in phony-baloney indignation over bonus payments anymore.  —  This cockamamie populism in Washington really hit its stride when Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley suggested …
Discussion: JustOneMinute
Lawrence A. Cunningham / New York Times:
A.I.G.'s Bonus Blackmail
Discussion: The Swamp
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.
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 …
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.
Aaron Blake / The Hill:
Specter won't rule out run as an Independent  —  Sen. Arlen Specter said Tuesday that he will not run for reelection in 2010 as a Democrat, but might run as an Independent.  —  The Pennsylvania Republican has been under tremendous pressure from the GOP base since being one of just three Republicans …
Discussion: Wall Street Journal, TPMDC and MyDD
Bsetser / Brad Setser:
A bit more to worry about; foreign demand for long-term Treasuries has faded  —  I wanted to highlight one trend that I glossed over on Monday, namely that foreign demand for long-term Treasuries has disappeared over the last few months.  Consider a chart showing foreign purchases of long-term Treasuries over the past 3 months.
The Politico:
Some Dems want brake in Obama plans  —  Barack Obama's Big Bang Theory of Governance is starting to face its first big test among the new president's fellow Democrats.  —  At the White House Tuesday morning, Obama began the day with a sharp push-back against the idea that his far-reaching agenda …
Pamela A. MacLean /
In a First, Bankruptcy Judge Rules Calif. City Can Void Union Contracts  —  Post a Comment Printer-friendly Email this Article Reprints & Permissions  —  In the first ruling of its kind, a bankruptcy judge held the city of Vallejo, Calif. has the authority to void its existing union contracts …
Discussion: RedState
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 More Items: 
David Kurtz / Talking Points Memo:
YOU KNOW IT'S BAD WHEN ...  Insurance companies say they have no choice …
Discussion: First Draft
Mark Coleman / Telegraph:
YouTube ‘spammed by US Congressmen’
Discussion: Pajamas Media
Terri Jo Ryan / Waco Tribune-Herald:
From St. Patrick's Day to Shamrock Day?
Discussion: protein wisdom and
Alec MacGillis / Washington Post:
Union Engages in Labor Dispute With Its Own Employees
Discussion: The Next Right
Obama's Final Four picks revealed
So, I'm all, “coffee mugs, bitchez!” Yeah! It was awesome. High five!
Tom LoBianco / Washington Times:
Obama climate plan could cost $2 trillion
 Earlier Items: 
Bob Willis / Bloomberg:
Consumer Prices in U.S. Increase More Than Forecast
Welfare Reform R.I.P.
Discussion: Right Wing News
Ira Iosebashvili /
At G20, Kremlin to Pitch New Currency
Discussion: QandO
Marybeth Hicks / Washington Times:
Men are women's ‘issue’
Discussion: Dr. Helen