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11:05 AM 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 to vote on 90 percent tax for AIG bonuses  —  Featured Topics: - Barack Obama - Presidential Transition  —  WASHINGTON - The House is scheduled to vote today on a bill that would levy a 90 percent tax on bonuses paid to employees with family incomes above $250,000 at companies …
Massimo Calabresi / Time:
Treasury Learned of AIG Bonuses Earlier Than Claimed  —  Though Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told Congressional leaders Tuesday he only learned of the impending $160 million bonus payments to members of AIG's troubled financial products unit March 10, sources tell TIME that the New …
Jackie Calmes / New York Times:
A.I.G. Uproar Is a Defining Moment for Geithner
Washington Post:
What to Do About AIG?  —  Chief executive of AIG from 1967 to 2005
Discussion: Commentary
Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute:
But Who Controls The Teleprompter?
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:
Peter Hamby / CNN:
Coach K disses Obama's basketball picks  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) - Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski isn't thrilled his team got snubbed by the leader of the free world.  —  “Somebody said that we're not in President Obama's Final Four, and as much as I respect what he's doing, really …
Discussion: Weekly Standard and Wizbang
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).
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’  —  NEW YORK (AP) — Former President George W. Bush, who once famously called himself “The Decider,” is writing a book about decisions.  —  “I want people to understand the environment in which I was making decisions.
Motoko Rich / The Caucus:
‘The Decider’ to Become ‘The Author’
Discussion: TIME.com
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Bush begins writing ‘Decision Points’
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.
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.
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.
Evan Perez / Wall Street Journal:
Detainees May Be Released in U.S.  —  WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric Holder said some detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, may end up being released in the U.S. as the Obama administration works with foreign allies to resettle some of the prisoners.
RELATED:
James Vicini / Reuters:
Some Guantanamo prisoners could be released in U.S.
Discussion: Stop The ACLU
Josh Kraushaar / The Politico:
GOP hopes bonuses are election issue  —  Republicans are hoping to make the American International Group bonuses a major issue in the special election between Republican James Tedisco and Democrat Scott Murphy in New York's 20th District.  —  The National Republican Congressional Committee …
Discussion: TIME.com
RELATED:
Manu Raju / The Politico:
GOP wary of plan to tax AIG bonuses
Discussion: The Swamp and MSNBC
Yves Smith / naked capitalism:
On the Fed's “Shock and Awe”  —  When some deemed the Fed's move today to expand its balance sheet by as much as a trillion dollars plus as “shock and awe”, I recalled that when that term was first used, at the beginning of the US invasion of Iraq.  The notion was a display of superior force would lead to quick capitulation.
RELATED:
Zachary A. Goldfarb / Washington Post:
Fannie Plans Retention Bonuses As Outlined by the Government  —  Fannie Mae, the federally run mortgage finance giant, plans to pay four top executives $1 million or more in retention bonuses.  —  The bonus plan prompted the company's federal regulator to defend compensation decisions …
Discussion: Power Line, Think Progress, pw and The BLT
RELATED:
Reihan Salam / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
Rethinking The JournoList List  —  A friend emailed to ask me for my thoughts on the “JournoList,” a question prompted by Michael Calderone's short but suggestive report in yesterday's Politico.  Calderone's piece is for the most part a lament about the secrecy maintained by the members of the list …
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.
The Hill:
Specter crosses aisle despite election risks  —  Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) says he will probably cast the decisive vote on legislation that, if passed, would make it easier for workers to organize in labor unions.  —  He does not look forward to that distinction but, he says, “Around here …
Reid Wilson / The Hill:
RNC to report $5.1M in February fundraising  —  The Republican National Committee (RNC) will report raising $5.1 million during the month of February when reports are filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission.  —  The number is down slightly from the amount the party raised in January …
Discussion: MSNBC
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 …
DealBook:
Dissecting the A.I.G. Bonus Contract  —  Washington is filled with outrage over the $165 million in bonuses given out by the American International Group.  Yet, as I said in my post on Tuesday, “Seven Sad Truths About A.I.G.,” the real concern over the insurance giant should be about the $170 billion …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Robert Farley / American Prospect:
AND EVEN DUMBER: THE IMPERIAL DEFENSE BUDGET.
Eugene Volokh / The Volokh Conspiracy:
Gun Sales Up: Last year, I blogged about claims that gun sales …
Nicholas D. Kristof / New York Times:
The Daily Me  —  Some of the obituaries these days …
Discussion: Informed Comment
New York Times:
Obama Administration to Stop Raids on Medical Marijuana Dispensers
Discussion: TIME.com and The Huffington Post
 Earlier Items: 
Robert S. McElvaine / Washington Post:
Impeach the Pope  —  Professor of Arts & Letters, Millsaps College
Noah Shachtman / Danger Room:
Military Laser Hits Battlefield Strength
Howard Schweber / The Huffington Post:
Put Down the Pitchforks!  —  I am starting to be genuinely worried …
William A. Jacobson / Le·gal In·sur·rec· tion:
The Official Guide To Obama Kitsch