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2:20 PM ET, March 23, 2009


 Top Items: 
United States - Department of The Treasury:
Treasury Department Releases Details on Public Private Partnership Investment Program  —  The Financial Stability Plan - Progress So Far: Over the past six weeks, the Treasury Department has implemented a series of initiatives as part of its Financial Stability Plan that …
Timothy Geithner / Wall Street Journal:
My Plan for Bad Bank Assets  —  The private sector will set prices.  Taxpayers will share in any upside.  —  The American economy and much of the world now face extraordinary challenges, and confronting these challenges will continue to require extraordinary actions.
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Financial Policy Despair  —  Over the weekend The Times and other newspapers reported leaked details about the Obama administration's bank rescue plan, which is to be officially released this week.  If the reports are correct, Tim Geithner, the Treasury secretary, has persuaded President Obama …
John Heilemann / New York Magazine:
Inside Obama's Economic Brain Trust  —  It's not pretty at this moment.  —  Tim Geithner boarded the 6 a.m. US Airways shuttle to Washington last Wednesday at La Guardia, slid his rail-thin frame into seat 5C, then stared into the middle distance.  Geithner is invariably described as boyish …
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Timothy Geithner: Making Countrywide Executives Rich Again  —  Timothy Geithner's new TALF plan, like all his other plans, seems designed to shovel billions into the coffers of the very same bankers who got rich on the mortgage bubble.  When the public gets a glimpse of the tip of this giant iceberg …
Discussion: Booman Tribune and Corrente
Simon Johnson / The Baseline Scenario:
Breaking The Bank  —  My problem with Monday's expected announcement from Mr Geithner doesn't have much to do with the details of the public-private partnership.  I doubt this will work, because I don't see the incentive for banks to sell assets at less than the value currently on their books.
Arianna Huffington / The Huffington Post:
Take the Steering Wheel out of Geithner's Hands
Amanda Terkel / Think Progress:
I Was Followed, Harassed, And Ambushed By Bill O'Reilly's Producer  —  On March 1, ThinkProgress picked up on a story by News Hounds, which noted that Fox News host Bill O'Reilly — who has made controversial comments about rape victims in the past — was slated to speak at a March 19 fundraiser for the Alexa Foundation.
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
HE'S NOT ‘PUNCH DRUNK’.... For a while, the lead story from Politico last night was the idea that President Obama chuckled a little too much during his interview with Steve Kroft on “60 Minutes.”  The headline on the piece read, “Kroft to Obama: Are you punch-drunk?”
Howard Kurtz / Washington Post:
Man of the Hour  —  With Steve Kroft as Lead Correspondent …
Discussion: But As For Me and The Impolitic
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Obama ‘punch drunk?’ — ‘Gallows humor’
Discussion: The Politico, Gawker and Commentary
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Video: The punch-drunk moment
Discussion: Gateway Pundit, RedState and Media Blog
Alex Knapp / Outside The Beltway | OTB:
Tea Parties, Going Galt, Iraq, and Delicious Irony  —  I've been following the growing “Tea Party” and “Going Galt” movements with no small amount of amusement, in part because there is really just too much sweet, delicious irony surrounding both of these groups of people (who, I might add, are largely the same people).
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
The Brutal Truth  —  Alex Knapp: … My sense is that it is a delayed reaction in some ways to Bush, and his betrayal of conservatism.  For all sorts of reasons, most of the current tea-partiers backed the GOP under Bush and Cheney, although some, to be fair, did complain about some of it.
JPMorgan Chase To Spend Millions on New Jets and Luxury Airport Hangar  —  Outraged Critics Decry the Proposal, Call For Bank To Abandon Plans  —  Embattled bank JPMorgan Chase, the recipient of $25 billion in TARP funds, is going ahead with a $138 million plan to buy two new luxury corporate jets and build …
Discussion: Gawker, PoliBlog and Zero Hedge
Michelle Malkin:   A question for the 85 CYA-on-AIG House Republicans
Andrew Sullivan / Times of London:
Give Obama more time.  Then give him hell  —  The president has had only two months - harsh judgments are premature  —  The former New York City mayor Ed Koch was renowned for strolling about Manhattan when he was in office, grabbing strangers by the lapel and asking, “How am I doing?”
Ben Feller / Associated Press:
Obama confident latest bank rescue plan will work
Discussion: Reuters
Stephanie Simon / Wall Street Journal:
Texas School Board Set to Vote on Challenge to Evolution  —  The Texas Board of Education will vote this week on a new science curriculum designed to challenge the guiding principle of evolution, a step that could influence what is taught in biology classes across the nation.
Discussion: MyDD
Ann Althouse / Althouse:
500 miles later, I'm back in Madison.  —  Did you understand the previous post?  If not, the answer — along with much congratulations and debate — appears in the comments, notably here.  Let there be no doubt about it: A blogger — Althouse — is engaged to be married to a man who began …
Steve Kornacki / Politicker NY:
Obama Sells Out a Friend From Connecticut  —  The thought has surely crossed Chris Dodd's mind more than once these past few days: is this how Barack Obama treats his friends?  —  When word spread a week ago that A.I.G. had used $165 million in federal bailout money to lavish bonuses …
Bill Carter / New York Times:
Matthews Renews Contract at MSNBC  —  Chris Matthews, the usually garrulous host of “Hardball” on MSNBC, has quietly signed a new long-term contract to remain with the cable network through the next election, signaling that he had quit entertaining any plans to run for a Senate seat.
The Huffington Post:
Howard Dean To Become Regular CNBC Contributor  —  Former DNC Chair Howard Dean will become a regular contributor for the business news network CNBC, a source close to the former Vermont Governor confirms.  Dean started his new gig on Monday morning with a guest-hosting appearance on the station.
Eric Ostermeier / Smart Politics:
Michele Bachmann on D.C.: “I'm a Foreign Correspondent On Enemy Lines”  —  During a Saturday afternoon interview on WWTC 1280 AM with The Northern Alliance's John Hinderaker and Brian Ward, Minnesota Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann discussed her staunch opposition to several Democratic-led efforts …
US to bypass Karzai with Afghan ‘PM’  —  White House plans new executive role to challenge corrupt government in Kabul  —  The US and its European allies are ­preparing to plant a high-profile figure in the heart of the Kabul government in a direct challenge to the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, the Guardian has learned.
Mike McGraw / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Stimulus?  U.S. to buy Chinese condoms, ending Alabama jobs  —  Call it a condom conundrum.  —  At a time when the federal government is spending billions of stimulus dollars to stem the tide of U.S. layoffs, should that same government put even more Americans out of work by buying cheaper foreign products?
Discussion: Reason
Sarah Lyall / New York Times:
Sweden Says No to Saving Saab, a National Icon  —  TROLLHATTAN, Sweden — Saab Automobile may be just another crisis-ridden car company in an industry full of them.  But just as the fortunes of Flint, Mich., are permanently entangled with General Motors, so it is impossible to find anyone …
Associated Press:
Unexpected Jump in Home Sales in February  —  Sales of existing homes rose from January to February in an unexpected lift for the slumping housing market as buyers took advantage of deep discounts on foreclosures.  —  The National Association of Realtors said Monday that sales …
Kevin Rennie / Real Clear Politics:
Dodd's Wife a Former Director of Bermuda-Based IPC Holdings, an AIG Controlled Company  —  No wonder Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Conn) went wobbly last week when asked about his February amendment ratifying hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses to executives at insurance giant AIG.
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
WOW, I NEEDED THAT  —  As part of their efforts to make the scale and scope of Bernie Madoff's crimes clear to Judge Denny Chin in deciding the terms of his plea, confinement and eventual sentencing, the folks at the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York submitted emails …
Discussion: Reason
Jorr / Christian Science Monitor:
Obama writes letter to Chirac - blogosphere goes crazy  —  Want to know how quickly rumors get spread on the Internet?  Here's a prime example.  —  The right side of the web is apoplectic this morning claiming that President Obama doesn't know who the French president is.
Fredric U. Dicker / New York Post:
GOV PLOTS SECRET TAX HIKE ON RICH  —  GOV. PATERSON and legislative Democrats have secretly agreed on an $8 billion, two- year tax hike on individuals making more than $500,000 a year that will “sunset” around the time he plans to run for election in 2010, legislative sources told The Post.
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 More Items: 
Agence France Presse:
Palestinians say Lebanon army soiled Iran food aid
Frank Newport / Gallup:
Despite Recession, No Uptick in Americans' Religiosity
Ezra Klein / American Prospect:
Discussion: The Corner
Donna Bryson / Associated Press:
South Africa bars Dalai Lama from peace conference
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Law Professor Who Advised Obama Says House AIG Bill May Be Unconstitutional
Updated: Ann Arbor News to close in July
Discussion: Reason
Associated Press:
Court won't hear appeal by former Border Patrol
Elizabeth Benjamin / The Daily Politics:
Schumer Comes Out For Gay Marriage (Updated)
 Earlier Items: 
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Winning friends internationally again; Update: The missing context …
Discussion: BLACKFIVE
Carla Marinucci / San Francisco Chronicle:
Predictions for Schwarzenegger's next big role
Tim Arango / New York Times:
As Rights Clash on YouTube, Some Music Vanishes
Discussion: Law Blog
Mary Pemberton / Associated Press:
Alaska volcano Mount Redoubt erupts 5 times
Andrew Breitbart / Washington Times:
Dreaming of President Petraeus and an American surge
Ben Hoyle / Times of London:
Nicholas Hughes, Sylvia Plath's son commits suicide
Discussion: On Deadline