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1:00 AM ET, March 20, 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:
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 …
Michelle Malkin:
Obama's “Special Olympics” joke: The teleprompter made him do it!  —  Jake Tapper reports that Barack Obama pulled a Joe Biden (or a Barack Obama, for that matter) and ended up mocking the Special Olympics in a lame attempt to make fun of his weak bowling skills.
New York Times:
President Barack Obama on ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno’  —  The following is a transcript of President Obama's interview on NBC's “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” as provided by the White House.  —  JAY LENO The 44th President of the United States, please welcome President Barack Obama.
Discussion: Riehl World View and TalkLeft
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Obama to Leno: Dog ‘campaign promise’  —  by Mark Silva and updated at broadcast with transcript  —  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 …
Discussion: The Politico
Fox News:   Obama on ‘Tonight Show’ Discusses Economy, Makes Special Olympics Joke
Edward Wyatt / The Caucus:
Heeeere's Barack...  Jay Leno, who's hosting President Obama …
Discussion: LA Observed
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Obama insults Special Olympics? …
Discussion: Political Machine
CNN:
Geithner: Treasury pushed for bonus loophole  —  (CNN) — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told CNN Thursday his department asked Sen. Chris Dodd to include a loophole in the stimulus bill that allowed bailed-out insurance giant American International Group to keep its bonuses.
RELATED:
Manu Raju / The Politico:
GOP senator suggests Geithner resign
Discussion: TIME.com and Hot Air
Michelle Levi / CBS News:   Dodd Defends Himself On AIG Bonuses
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:
John / Power Line:
THEY COULDN'T BE THAT DUMB.  COULD THEY?  —  This is absolutely unbelievable.  You recall the embarrassment over the Obama administration's incompetent treatment of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown during his state visit to the U.S. The last link in that chain of ineptitude …
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.
Discussion: But As For Me
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.
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.
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:
Caroline Baum / Bloomberg:   Obama Needs AIG's Liddy, Not Other Way Around: Caroline Baum
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:
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
Richard Lardner / Associated Press:
Obama envoy Holbrooke served on AIG's board  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Obama administration special envoy Richard Holbooke was on the American International Group Inc. board of directors in early 2008 when the insurance company locked in the bonuses now stoking national outrage.
RELATED:
Lynnley Browning / New York Times:   A.I.G. Sues U.S. for Return of $306 Million in Tax Payments
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 …
Laura Meckler / Wall Street Journal:
Obama Seeks to Lower Expectations  —  LOS ANGELES — President Barack Obama sought to lower the expectations of his adoring fans, saying it will take time to accomplish their goals, and he warned an audience anxious over cuts to schools that it will cost money to pay for high-quality education.
Discussion: Associated Press
RELATED:
Helene Cooper / New York Times:
For Obama, Talk About Economy Goes Into Late Night
Discussion: Clusterstock
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
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 …
Alexander G. Higgins / Associated Press:
Report: Iranian defector tipped Syrian nuke plans … GENEVA (AP) - An Iranian defector told the West that Iran was financing North Korean moves to transform Syria into a nuclear weapons power, leading to the Israeli airstrike that destroyed a secret reactor, a report said Thursday.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Stephen M. Walt:
A realistic approach to Iran's nuclear program
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Lucinda Franks / Blogs and Stories:
Madoff Employee Breaks Silence
Carol E. Lee / The Politico:
Stand-up guy: Obama tries to be funny
Discussion: Right Wing News
Joe Weisenthal / Clusterstock:
More Press Than Protesters Show Up At Goldman HQ
Wall Street Journal:
Mexico Retaliates  —  When the U.S. closed the southern border …
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Forbes:
The United States Of Ponzi
 Earlier Items: 
David Stringer / Associated Press:
Blacklisted actress Betsy Blair dies in London
Satyam Khanna / Think Progress:
Rice: 'No One Was Arguing That Saddam Hussein Somehow Had Something …
Discussion: Crooks and Liars and Daily Kos
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Sebelius has trouble in Kansas
Discussion: Kansas City Star and NO QUARTER