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1:15 PM ET, March 19, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
How the Fed Failed to Tell Obama About The Bonuses  —  Federal Reserve officials knew for months about bonuses at American International Group but failed to tell the Obama administration, according to government and company officials, exposing problems in a relationship that is vital to addressing the financial crisis.
RELATED:
Stephen Ohlemacher / Associated Press:
House debates bill taxing AIG and other bonuses  —  Featured Topics: - Barack Obama - Presidential Transition  —  WASHINGTON - Democrats are rushing through a legally questionable tax on employee bonuses from bailed-out firms to paper over the failure of the Obama administration and key lawmakers …
Michelle Malkin:
First, they came for AIG bonuses  —  The House is set to vote today on the retroactive, confiscatory 90 percent tax on bailout-funded bonuses.  Lawmakers say the tax will apply to Fannie/Freddie bonuses.  But who knows what the hell will end up in this Chicken Little measure:
Manu Raju / The Politico:
GOP wary of plan to tax AIG bonuses  —  A plan to recoup millions of dollars of American International Group bonuses by taxing them into oblivion has put top Republicans on opposite sides of a riddle: When is a tax hike not a tax hike?  —  House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) …
Ryan J. Donmoyer / Bloomberg:
Dodd Blames Obama Administration for Bonus Amendment
Discussion: JONATHAN TURLEY
Fox News:
Duke Coach to Obama: Worry About the Economy, Not NCAA Picks  —  Reacting to news Obama picked North Carolina to win the NCAA Championship, Mike Krzyzewski says, “the economy is something that [the president] should focus on, probably more than the brackets.”
RELATED:
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Cherry-Picker-in-Chief  —  FiveThirtyEight Exclusive: Obama NCAA Bracket Suggests Bias Toward Schools from Swing States  —  Is President Obama playing favorites with his NCAA bracket?  Neither Columbia University nor the University of Chicago have an entry in the Big Dance (the Maroons, alas, aren't even in D-1).
Peter Hamby / CNN:
Coach K disses Obama's basketball picks
Discussion: The Cloakroom and Weekly Standard
Washington Times:
EXCLUSIVE: Obama's $500,000 book bonanza  —  Deal reached 5 days before he took office  —  As he empathized with recession-weary Americans, President Obama arranged in the days just before he took office to secure a $500,000 advance for a children's book project, a disclosure report shows.
RELATED:
Hillel Italie / Associated Press:
George W. Bush to write memoir about ‘decisions’
Motoko Rich / New York Times:
Bush Book on Decisions Is Set for 2010
Discussion: CBS News, MyDD, TIME.com and The Politico
Stephen Ohlemacher / Associated Press:
13 firms receiving federal bailout owe back taxes  —  Featured Topics: - Barack Obama - Presidential Transition  —  WASHINGTON - At least 13 firms receiving billions of dollars in bailout money owe a total of more than $220 million in unpaid federal taxes, a key lawmaker said Thursday.
RELATED:
Michelle Malkin:
Lovely: 13 bailout recipients owe $220 million in back taxes
Discussion: Flopping Aces
Eddie / Sky News:
Julia Alasheyeva, Moscow  —  A picture has emerged apparently showing Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in his former days as a KGB officer.  —  The 20-year old photo depicts two world leaders - US President Ronald Reagan and the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev - in Moscow.
Washington Post:
Our Must-Win War  —  The ‘Minimalist’ Path Is Wrong for Afghanistan  —  Later this month, the Obama administration will unveil a new strategy for the war in Afghanistan.  This comes as most important indicators in Afghanistan are pointing in the wrong direction.
RELATED:
Byron York / www.dcexaminer.com:
Candidate Obama vs. President Obama
Discussion: JustOneMinute
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.
Discussion: Emptywheel
RELATED:
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 …
Erik Schatzker / Bloomberg:
Citigroup Said to Commit $10 Million for New Executive Suite  —  Citigroup Inc. plans to spend about $10 million on new offices for Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit and his lieutenants, after the U.S. government injected $45 billion of cash into the bank.
Discussion: Swampland, TigerHawk and TPMMuckraker
Washington Post:
What to Do About AIG?  —  Chief executive of AIG from 1967 to 2005  —  CEO Edward Liddy believes that dismantling AIG, once the world's largest and most successful insurance company, is the only way to repay the taxpayer money it has received.  But AIG's history demonstrates that its businesses …
RELATED:
Laura Rozen / The Cable:
Top brass disturbed by GOP stalling of Iraq ambassador  —  There's one as yet unremarked constituency increasingly disturbed by some Republican senators' efforts to block the confirmation of former North Korea envoy Christopher Hill to be the next U.S. ambassador to Iraq: the U.S. military.
Rolling Stone:
The 100 People Who Are Changing America  —  It would be a luxury if the function of the list we present here were simply to shake ourselves out of complacency.  But, unfortunately, we are far beyond that.  With the election of Barack Obama and the deep hole that his predecessor left …
Robert Farley / American Prospect:
AND EVEN DUMBER: THE IMPERIAL DEFENSE BUDGET.  —  Stephen Walt has developed a list of “dumb” policy debates in the United States, the criteria for which run as follows: … Walt lists farm subsidies (which are foreign policy by virtue of their negative impact of international trade agreements, the Cuba embargo, and the War on Drugs.
RELATED:
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
On the Bloated Defense Budget
Discussion: MoJo Blog Posts
David Adam / Guardian:
Leading climate scientist: 'democratic process isn't working'  —  Protest and direct action could be the only way to tackle soaring carbon emissions, a leading climate scientist has said.  —  James Hansen, a climate modeller with Nasa, told the Guardian today that corporate lobbying …
Andrew Blankstein / Los Angeles Times:
Photo of Charles Manson is released by prison officials  —  The image shows the convicted mass murderer with a receding hairline, a thick gray beard and a fading swastika-shaped scar on his forehead.  —  California corrections officials released a photograph taken Wednesday …
Discussion: LA Observed
Charles Babington / Associated Press:
Schwarzenegger to help Obama answer GOP critics  —  Featured Topics: - Barack Obama - Presidential Transition  —  LOS ANGELES - President Barack Obama is playing a bit of divide and conquer this week, pitting his Republican critics in Washington against GOP governors and mayors eager …
Dschabner / Political Punch:
President Obama Compares Big Banks, AIG, to Suicide Bombers  —  At his town hall meeting in Costa Mesa, Calif., Wednesday evening, President Obama compared embattled insurer AIG and other large failing banks to a suicide bomber.  —  “A lot of people say, ‘Well, why not just let the banks fail?’” the president said.
Susan Evans / The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA:
Murtha defends statement  —  The region's outspoken congressman is in the national lens again - this time CBS News television cameras - in a report Wednesday that calls him “the king of earmarks who wastes a lot of taxpayer money” and implies that the FBI is investigating.
Discussion: RedState and Pajamas Media
 
 
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 More Items: 
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
AIG politics
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Danny / The Note:
AG's Marijuana Policy Slammed by GOP Senator
Discussion: TIME.com
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Obama's Jay Leno: Humor or hubris?
Discussion: The Politico and Los Angeles Times
Michael J. Sniffen / Associated Press:
Official: US to release data unless harm foreseen
Alex Isenstadt / The Politico:
GOP honchos slam tax on AIG bonuses
Thomas Vinciguerra / New York Times:
Getting Their Kirk On  —  THERE is nothing particularly unusual …
 Earlier Items: 
Nicholas Confessore / New York Times:
Taxes Not Seen as Making the Rich Flee New York
Discussion: Daily Kos
Stephen Gordon / The Liberty Papers:
Eminent Domain, Alabama Style
Louise Story / New York Times:
Cuomo Wins Ruling to Name Merrill Bonus Recipients
Reihan Salam / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
Rethinking The JournoList List
The Hill:
Specter crosses aisle despite election risks
Nicholas D. Kristof / New York Times:
The Daily Me  —  Some of the obituaries these days …
Discussion: Informed Comment