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3:55 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.
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
New York Times:
A.I.G. Chief Expected to Offer Bonus Compromise  —  Edward M. Liddy, the embattled chief of American International Group, is expected to ask employees who received lucrative bonuses to give half the money back.  —  According to a person briefed on Mr. Liddy's plans, the A.I.G. chief …
Jonathan Karl / ABCNEWS:
Will Obama, McCain, Dodd Return Contributions From AIG Employees?  —  AIG Gave More Than $630,000 During the 2008 Political Cycle  —  AIG employees kept doling out donations to politicians, including presidential candidate Barack Obama, after getting bailed out with federal funds last year …
Steven Pearlstein / Washington Post:
Wall Street's Dangerous Refusal to Learn
The Hill:
To release the names or not: Lawmakers split
Discussion: Michelle Malkin
Matt Lira / Office of the Republican Whip:
House Democrats Vote to Let AIG Keep Bonuses
Discussion: RedState
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
In Bid To Grab Control Of Story, Obama Takes Responsibility For AIG Mess  —  This morning I noted that Rahm Emanuel had sounded a bit of a false note, saying that Obama viewed the AIG mess as a “big distraction” from his efforts to fix the financial system overall.  —  Maybe not so much.
Discussion: TalkLeft, Think Progress and Salon
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
The Gloves Come Off
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Rahm: Obama Believes AIG Mess Is A “Big Distraction”
Harold Meyerson / Washington Post:
The Nationalization Option  —  You might think that having anted …
Discussion: Open Left
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
Discussion: Blogs and Stories and Clusterstock
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 …
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 …
The White House:
March Madness at the White House
Discussion: Indecision Forever and MSNBC
David Espo / Associated Press:
Analysis: White House, Dems backpedaling on AIG  —  Analysis: AIG bonuses have Democrats reeling, unable to blame Bush; Republicans go on offense  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first time since last fall's election, Democrats and the Obama administration are backpedaling furiously …
Discussion: Power Line, The Politico and The Corner
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 …
Julian E. Zelizer / CNN:
Zelizer: GOP's ‘small government’ talk is hollow
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 …
Jonathan Cohn / The New Republic:
Gregg: I Was For Reconciliation Before I Was Against It
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias and Brian Beutler
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” …
Noemie Emery /
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.
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.
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
Ryan Powers / Think Progress:
Bayh refuses to name anonymous members of his new Blue-Dog style coalition.  —  This morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) officially announced the creation of his new Blue-Dog style coalition of approximately 15 “moderate” Democratic senators.
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Some Members of Evan Bayh's New Anti-Progressive Caucus Too Frightened …
Discussion: Wake up America and Brian Beutler
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 …
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.
Discussion: Cafe Hayek and The Corner
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 More Items: 
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
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
 Earlier 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
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