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10:50 PM ET, March 19, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Michael James / Political Punch:
President Obama Jokes About Being a Bad Bowler: 'It's Like the Special Olympics'  —  The first appearance by a sitting president on “The Tonight Show” may well end up being the last.  —  President Obama, in his taping with Jay Leno Thursday afternoon, attempted to yuk it up with the funnyman, and ended up insulting the disabled.
RELATED:
Marian Burros / New York Times:
Obamas to Plant White House Vegetable Garden  —  WASHINGTON — On Friday, Michelle Obama will begin digging up a patch of White House lawn to plant a vegetable garden, the first since Eleanor Roosevelt's victory garden in World War II.  There will be no beets (the president doesn't like them) but arugula will make the cut.
Discussion: The Swamp and MyDD
The Politico:
Obama struggles as communicator  —  Of all the pitfalls Barack Obama might face in the presidency, here is one not many people predicted: He is struggling as a public communicator.  —  The sluggish and unsteady response to the uproar over AIG bonuses highlights a larger problem of his White House …
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Obama to Leno: Dog ‘campaign promise’  —  The economy, his first few months as commander-in-chief and that promise that he made to his daughters about a dog - President Barack Obama talked about all of that in his taped appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno that airs tonight.
Discussion: The Politico
Michelle Malkin:   Obama's “Special Olympics” joke: The teleprompter made him do it!
Edward Wyatt / The Caucus:
Heeeere's Barack...  Jay Leno, who's hosting President Obama …
Discussion: LA Observed
RELATED:
Kristi Keck / CNN:
Analysis: Obama's ‘blame me’ means ‘move on’
Discussion: Connecting.the.Dots
Michelle Levi / CBS News:
Dodd Defends Himself On AIG Bonuses
Alaska_Politics / Anchorage Daily News:
Palin rejecting federal stimulus money  —  From Sean Cockerham in Juneau -  —  Gov. Sarah Palin just told reporters that she's accepting only 55 percent of the federal economic stimulus money being offered to Alaska.  The governor said that she will accept only about $514 million of the $930 million headed to the state.
RELATED:
Danny / The Note:
Palin on Stimulus: Thanks, But No Thanks
Discussion: The Swamp
Tim Walker / Telegraph:
Gordon Brown is frustrated by ‘Psycho’ in No 10  —  While not exactly a film buff, Gordon Brown was touched when Barack Obama gave him a set of 25 classic American movies - including Psycho, starring Anthony Perkins on his recent visit to Washington.  —  Alas, when the PM settled …
RELATED:
Mark Steyn / The Corner:
Regional power  —  Mark (Hemingway), re that Gordon Brown box set, I was happy to string along with the jokes that the US-format DVDs wouldn't work on UK machines.  Yet, at the back of my mind, I didn't quite believe that even the Obamateur Hour crowd at the White House could be that clueless.
Carol E. Lee / The Politico:
AUDIO: Arnold on Obama: ‘Beautiful’  —  LOS ANGELES - “When have you ever seen a president be that out there?”  —  That was a mesmerized Arnold Schwarzenegger after Obama's town hall meeting.  —  “I've never seen that,” Schwarzenegger said to a couple reporters as he and his wife, Maria Shriver, tried to make an exit.
Discussion: CBS News
RELATED:
Carol E. Lee / The Politico:   Obama, Schwarzenegger hug it out
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Carol Baum: Welfare CEOs are Just Like John Galt  —  Bloomberg columnist Carol Baum puts together a baffling analogy: … Atlas Shrugged is a stupid book, Ayn Rand is a stupid woman, and John Galt's ideas are stupid.  That said, none of them are nearly this stupid.
Discussion: American Power and Roger Ailes
RELATED:
Amos Harel / Haaretz:
IDF in Gaza: Killing civilians, vandalism, and lax rules of engagement  —  During Operation Cast Lead, Israeli forces killed Palestinian civilians under permissive rules of engagement and intentionally destroyed their property, say soldiers who fought in the offensive.
RELATED:
Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute:
Who Doesn't Love The JournoList?  —  How great is the JournoList, that off-the-record electronic salon where liberal journalists and policy gurus can exchange views, and which is emphatically *not* an echo chamber?  —  Let's see - Matt Yglesias of JL on the AIG furor - it's a distraction:
Newsday:
Why President Obama skipped ‘Meet the Press’  —  Moderator David Gregory, center, of “Meet the Press,” hasn't lived up to the Tim Russert legacy.  (Getty Images)  —  THE SHOW “Meet the Press,” hosted by David Gregory.  —  REASON TO WATCH That is the question, and one President Barack …
Erik Eckholm / New York Times:
'07 U.S. Births Break Baby Boom Record  —  More babies were born in the United States in 2007 than in any other year in American history, according to preliminary data reported Wednesday by the National Center for Health Statistics.  —  The 4,317,000 births in 2007 just edged out the figure for 1957, at the height of the baby boom.
RELATED:
Megan McArdle:
Helicopter Ben fires up the engine
Discussion: The Bellows
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
BIGGER THAN THE BOTH OF US  —  There's no end of puffed up outrage and opportunistic posturing over the on-going revelation of the AIG bonus scandal.  But some line has been crossed.  And it's worth thinking really clearly about just what that line is.  —  What is so damaging …
Media Matters for America:
CNBC's Kudlow lights dollar bill on fire, says “This is the value of our money”  —  Send in the G-Men.  This guy is defacing federal money  —  I was thinking the same thing, isn't it a crime to destroy US currency?  I thought it was just as bad as defacing the US Flag, which we know the republicans would never...
Discussion: PoliGazette and The New Republic
Brady Dennis / Washington Post:
Inside AIG-FP, Feeling the Public's Wrath  —  A solitary flat-screen television hangs on the back wall of the trading floor inside the headquarters of AIG Financial Products here.  Wednesday afternoon, the most-talked-about employees in America huddled around it to find out just how despised they have become.
Rachel L. Swarns / New York Times:
First Lady Leads Famous Women to Schools  —  WASHINGTON — Michelle Obama left the glittering splendor of the White House on Thursday to visit one of the poorest neighborhoods in the capital to push, prod and inspire struggling high school students.  —  Her visit to a public school was the start …
Discussion: The Politico
Joe Weisenthal / Clusterstock:
More Press Than Protesters Show Up At Goldman HQ  —  Whoops.  Turns out nobody wanted to brave the rain to protest outside Goldman Sachs (GS) HQ today.  According to one on-the-ground eyewitness, members of the press far outnumbered the the actual sign-wavers and chanters.
Carol E. Lee / The Politico:
Stand-up guy: Obama tries to be funny  —  The crowd laughed politely at Barack Obama's joke about Thelma, Louise and health care.  —  The president's gag about chief of staff Rahm Emanuel volunteering to teach swearwords to children was so good he used it twice.  —  As for the crack about Nancy Reagan and séances?
Discussion: Right Wing News
Times of London:
Iranian blogger who insulted leader ‘dies in jail’  —  A young Iranian blogger jailed in Tehran's notorious Evin prison for insulting the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has died, his lawyer said today.  —  Mohammad Ali Dadkhah said that although there is not yet …
Discussion: Fausta's Blog and Weekly Standard
James K. Galbraith / Associated Press:
No Return to Normal  —  Why the economic crisis, and its solution,  —  are bigger than you think.  —  B arack Obama's presidency began in hope and goodwill, but its test will be its success or failure on the economics.  Did the president and his team correctly diagnose the problem?
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Sebelius has trouble in Kansas  —  And it's not a twister, Auntie Em.  Kathleen Sebelius left her job as governor of Kansas to take a Cabinet position as Secretary of Health and Human Services in Barack Obama's administration, but she left unfinished business behind.
Michelle Malkin:
Audio comedy gold: Bozo the Vice President is looking out for you  —  The gaffetastic gift that keeps on giving.  —  In trying times, we can always count on Bozo the Vice President to provide some welcome comic relief.  Joe Biden was The Newshour on PBS last night in full swagger …
Satyam Khanna / Think Progress:
Rice: 'No One Was Arguing That Saddam Hussein Somehow Had Something To Do With 9/11′  —  On PBS's Charlie Rose yesterday — six years after the eve of the Iraq invasion — former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice discussed the decision to invade Iraq.
Discussion: Crooks and Liars and Daily Kos
 
 
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 More Items: 
Laura Meckler / Wall Street Journal:
Obama Seeks to Lower Expectations
Discussion: MSNBC
Francis Cianfrocca / Commentary:
Monetary Policy Rebooted
Discussion: The Big Picture and The Corner
Charles Winecoff / Big Hollywood:
Love, War - and Gay Marriage
Discussion: pw, GayPatriot and American Power
Andrew Taylor / Associated Press:
Conservative and moderate Democrats flex muscles
Richard Lardner / Associated Press:
Obama envoy Holbrooke served on AIG's board
Alexander G. Higgins / Associated Press:
Report: Iranian defector tipped Syrian nuke plans
Discussion: Power Line and Israel Matzav
 Earlier Items: 
Manu Raju / The Politico:
GOP senator suggests Geithner resign
Discussion: TIME.com and Hot Air
Forbes:
The United States Of Ponzi
Associated Press:
Undersea volcano erupts near Tonga
Discussion: Boston Globe and Pharyngula
David Stringer / Associated Press:
Blacklisted actress Betsy Blair dies in London