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12:25 AM ET, March 21, 2009


 Top Items: 
The Campaign Spot:
Palin Hits Obama on ‘Special Olympics’ Joke  —  Gov. Sarah Palin responded to remarks made last night by President Obama related to the Special Olympics on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”: … Well, after the way his allies went after her, he really couldn't count on a full-throated defense of a boneheaded comment.
Michelle Malkin:
Why can't Obama tell a good joke?  —  Why are the president's “jokes” (scripted or not) so lame?  —  The answer is a three-letter-word (or is that four letters, Joe?):  E-G-O.  —  Barack Obama is constitutionally incapable of self-deprecation, because self-deprecation requires sincere humility.
Sam Gill / The Politico:
How Obama can make up for his gaffe  —  Featured Topics: - Barack Obama - Presidential Transition  —  My older brother has Down syndrome, which hinders his ability to learn.  Despite his disability, he graduated from high school and lived independently with a job for several years until …
David Zurawik / Z on TV:   Nielsen: Obama visit a big boost for Leno ratings
Toby Harnden / Toby Harnden's blog listings:
Top 10 gaffes by Barack Obama and Joe Biden
Andrew Taylor / Associated Press:
Obama budget could bring $9.3 trillion in deficits  —  Featured Topics: - Barack Obama - Presidential Transition  —  WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama's budget would produce $9.3 trillion in deficits over the next decade, more than four times the deficits of Republican George W. Bush's presidency, congressional auditors said Friday.
The Politico:
Battle lines drawn on health care
Discussion: Associated Press
David Stout / New York Times:
Much Bigger Deficits Seen in Budget Office Forecast
Adam Serwer / American Prospect:
THIS FEED IS CLOSED TO THE PRESS.  —  Huh, I wonder why Jake Tapper, press access warrior, has blocked me from following his Twitter feed.  —  Time for a blogger ethics panel?  —  UPDATE: Tapper has also blocked Talking Points Memo.  —  Bonus Tapper: His exchange with White House Press …
Discussion: Gawker and Outside The Beltway
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
Discussion: Greg's Opinion
Martin Crutsinger / Associated Press:
Sources say toxic asset plan near completion  —  Featured Topics: - Barack Obama - Presidential Transition  —  WASHINGTON - Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner could announce as soon as Monday his much-anticipated plan to get toxic assets off the books of the country's struggling banks, administration and industry officials said.
New York Times:
Toxic Asset Plan Foresees Big Subsidies for Investors  —  WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department is expected to unveil early next week its long-delayed plan to buy as much as $1 trillion in troubled mortgages and related assets from financial institutions, according to people close to the talks.
Discussion: Corrente and TPMCafe
David Reilly / Bloomberg:
JPMorgan Might Lose Dimon to a Geithner Flameout: David Reilly
Discussion: Portfolio and Matthew Yglesias
Mary Ann Akers / The Sleuth:
Joe the Plumber Wants to Make Love to Washington  —  The Republican's Working Man hero Joe the Plumber could barely contain himself last night before a crowd of adoring, media-bashing conservatives.  —  “God, all this love and everything in the room - I'm horny,” declared Joe, whose real name is Samuel Wurzelbacher.
Michael Lewis / Bloomberg:
Mass Hysteria Over AIG Obscures Simple Truths: Michael Lewis  —  Last September the U.S. government began to dole out the first of $173 billion to American International Group.  A big chunk of it passed right through to banks that had bought insurance from AIG against mortgage and corporate defaults …
Spitzer: I failed in a very important way
Discussion: CBS News
Felix Gillette / New York Observer:
MSNBC In Discussions with Ed Schultz  —  The Observer has learned that MSNBC president Phil Griffin is in discussions with syndicated talk radio host Ed Schultz about possibly joining the network on a full-time basis.  It is unclear what exactly the job would entail should Mr. Schultz and MSNBC come to an agreement.
John / Power Line:
ARE WE A BANANA REPUBLIC?  —  I'm stupefied to find that some people are defending the constitutionality of Nancy Pelosi's discriminatory, confiscatory and retroactive tax on people who receive bonus income from companies that got TARP money.  I would have considered it a bright line rule …
Discussion: Wizbang
CNN's March Ratings So Far: More Lamb than Lion  —  More evidence that CNN is going to have to find a new strategy fast or risk becoming a cable news also-ran: In the month of March so far, the Time Warner-owned network has come in fourth place in prime time among adults 25 to 54 …
Discussion: Gawker, Media Blog and Don Surber
David Kurtz / Talking Points Memo:
WITCH HUNTERY!  —  A great exchange on CNBC between the anchor and Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), one of the few elected voices of reason during the financial crisis:
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Josh Gerstein / The Politico:
How I botched the bonus story  —  Featured Topics: - Barack Obama - Presidential Transition  —  The Washington ritual of the boiling scandal, with howls of outrage and frantic demands for a high-ranking scalp, is now in full swing over $165 million in bonuses for employees at failed insurance giant AIG.
Discussion: The Politico
Sara Just / The Note:   Democratic Senators Tepid on Geithner Support
Think Progress:
Inhofe: The ‘Middle Eastern mentality’ is ‘worse’ than Nazism.  —  Since President Obama took office, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) has emerged as one of the leading congressional voices opposing the closure of Guantanamo Bay.  Yesterday, Inhofe discussed the issue on the G. Gordon Liddy Show, saying the U.S. needs to “keep the Gitmo open.”
Monika Scislowska / Associated Press:   Polish documentary shows prewar Jewish life
Matt Taibbi / Rolling Stone:
The Big Takeover  —  The global economic crisis isn't about money - it's about power.  How Wall Street insiders are using the bailout to stage a revolution  —  It's over — we're officially, royally f**ked. no empire can survive being rendered a permanent laughingstock …
Washington Times:
Conyers suggests probe of ACORN  —  Calls fraud charges ‘serious’  —  In an startling partisan shift, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. on Thursday proposed holding hearings on claims the liberal activist group ACORN engaged in a pattern of crimes ranging from voter fraud to a mob-style “protection” racket.
Discussion: AmSpecBlog and Hot Air
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 More Items: 
Sam Hananel / Associated Press:
Companies looking at options on card check
Joan Lowy / Associated Press:
Canada: US will ground helicopters
Financial Times:
McCain speaks up for Geithner
Discussion: Hot Air
The Huffington Post:
Snowe To Dems: Grow A Pair
Discussion: The Huffington Post and Daily Kos
The Politico:
Palin whacks Obama on Special Olympics Politico - 45 minutes ago
Associated Press:
Senate Republicans brake rush to tax AIG bonuses
Discussion: MSNBC and Hot Air
Deborah Summers / Guardian:
George Galloway banned from Canada
Discussion: Corrente and Atlas Shrugs
 Earlier Items: 
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Support for Nuclear Energy Inches Up to New High
Sasha Issenberg / Boston Globe:
Democrat outside looking in
Discussion: MSNBC and Newsweek Blogs