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6:30 PM ET, March 18, 2009


 Top Items: 
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 …
Discussion: Gateway Pundit, Hot Air and RedState
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.
Lymari Morales / Gallup:
Outraged Americans Want AIG Bonus Money Recovered
Discussion: The Swamp and TPMDC
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Video: Kanjorski slams Obama administration
Discussion: Michelle Malkin and RedState
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 …
Discussion: Will Wilkinson
David Kaplan /
@ McGraw-Hill: NBCU's Zucker Calls Out Jon Stewart: Blaming CNBC Is ‘Absurd’
Wall Street Journal:
Financial Journalists Fail Upward
Discussion: At-Largely
Jon Friedman / MarketWatch:
CNBC's woes may open the door to its competitors
Discussion: Clusterstock
The Huffington Post:   Stewart On Obama's Plan For Veterans' Insurance: 'That Can't Be Right'
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, Wizbang and The Politico
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blog:
Mack calls Geithner “disaster,” demands resignation
Harold Meyerson / Washington Post:
The Nationalization Option  —  You might think that having anted …
Discussion: TPMCafe and Open Left
Newt Gingrich / Human Events:
BREAKING: Gingrich Calls on Obama to End Bailouts
Discussion: Think Progress
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:   The Gloves Come Off
Steven Pearlstein / Washington Post:
Wall Street's Dangerous Refusal to Learn
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.
Edmund L. Andrews / New York Times:
Fed to Buy $1 Trillion in Securities to Aid Economy  —  WASHINGTON — Saying that the recession continues to deepen, the Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it would pump an extra $1 trillion into the mortgage market and longer-term Treasury securities in order to revive the economy.
Neil Irwin / Washington Post:
Federal Reserve to Buy $1.2T in Bonds, Mortgage-Backed Securities
Discussion: Open Left and Pajamas Media
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.
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Palin clashes with feds on wolves  —  Images of wolves being hunted from the air were one of the more macabre entries in the presidential campaign, and now Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is at odds with the federal government over wolf hunting.  —  The National Parks Service has complained …
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.
Pete Winn / CNSNews:
Army Investigating How and Why Troops Were Sent Into Alabama Town After Murder Spree  —  ( - 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.
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 …
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
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” …
The Politico:
Boehner: Geithner in serious trouble  —  House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) tells conservative talk radio host Steve Gill that he thinks Tim Geithner ...... is in really serious trouble.  “I think he's on thin ice,” said Boehner.  “What happens over the next 24 to 48 hours will determine his future.”
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blog:
Boehner: Geithner “on thin ice”
Discussion: Commentary and The Plum Line
Josef Adalian /
Networks Grumbling About Another Obama Primetime Speech  —  President Obama's decision to hold another primetime news conference is playing havoc with the networks' sweeps schedules—and causing some in the industry to grumble about the financial impact.  —  The president has slated …
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's … and
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.
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
A Center-Right Nation Forever  —  James Joyner, surveying some data about the demographic shifts threatening conservative politics, concludes “We'll always have a strong “conservative” movement.  It's just that Ronald Reagan and Alex P. Keaton wouldn't quite recognize it.”
WNYC News Blog:
Eliot Spitzer on AIG  —  Former AIG insurance giant chief Maurice ‘Hank’ Greenberg and then New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.  (AFP/Getty Images)  —  Eliot Spitzer, columnist for Slate and former governor of New York, talks to WNYC's Brian Lehrer about AIG bonuses, CEO compensation …
Discussion: The Swamp and The Daily Politics
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.
Judge Rules Against Merrill on Keeping Bonuses Secret  —  “The record does not support the intervenors' claim that the employee compensation information is a trade secret,” Justice Bernard J. Fried of New York State Supreme Court wrote, referring to Merrill and Bank of America.
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.
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.
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 More 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
The Huffington Post:
Officials Disagree Over F.B.I. and U.S. Attorney Involvement …
Discussion: The Raw Story and The BRAD BLOG
Bonuses allowed by stimulus bill
Discussion: Wake up America and PoliGazette
Marcia Coyle /
Study concludes a well-worn gripe may be right: ABA ratings …
Discussion: Bench Memos and Law Blog
Jeff Jarvis / BuzzMachine:
Not my fault  —  “Criticism of CNBC is way out of line,” …
Discussion: BLTv
 Earlier Items: 
Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute:
Who Broke AIG?  —  Last weekend AIG released information …
Ryan Powers / Think Progress:
Hagel rips Cheney's claim that Obama is making the U.S. less safe …
Discussion: MoJo Blog Posts
Mark Coleman / Telegraph:
YouTube ‘spammed by US Congressmen’
Discussion: Pajamas Media
Alec MacGillis / Washington Post:
Union Engages in Labor Dispute With Its Own Employees
Discussion: Weekly Standard and Hot Air
Alex Conant / The Politico:
The 5 biggest myths about Obama
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
Tim / Sky News:
The Obama 100  —  Earlier in the day, the president claimed …
Lori Montgomery / Washington Post:
President's Budget Strategy Under Fire