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1:40 AM ET, March 25, 2009


 Top Items: 
Ted Barrett / CNN:
Dems propose cutting Obama budget by billions  —  CNN Congressional Producer  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — Hours before President Obama was to hold a prime-time news conference — in part to boost his $3.6 trillion budget plan — a key Democratic senator Tuesday unveiled a scaled-down budget proposal.
Ron Fournier / Associated Press:
Analysis: Teleprompter telegraphs Obama caution  —  Featured Topics: - Barack Obama - Presidential Transition  —  WASHINGTON - What kind of politician brings a teleprompter to a news conference?  —  A careful one.  —  President Barack Obama took no chances in his second prime-time news conference …
New York Times:
In a Volatile Time, Obama Strikes a New Tone for Crisis  —  WASHINGTON — For just under an hour on Tuesday night, Americans saw not the fiery and inspirational speaker who riveted the nation in his address to Congress last month, or the conversational president who warmly engaged Americans …
Josh Gerstein / The Politico:
Obama: Budget, recovery ‘inseparable’  —  President Barack Obama used a prime-time news conference Tuesday to try to convince Americans that his budget and policy prescriptions are exactly what's needed to get nation's economy back on track, despite criticism from both parties in Congress.
New York Times:
Democrats in Congress Are Ready to Pare Budget
Discussion: The Swamp
Jonathan Weisman / Wall Street Journal:   Obama Defends Budget Plan
Alexander Burns / The Politico:
Obama statement excerpts released
Discussion: QandO
Michael Calderone / The Politico:
Obama skips major papers  —  During President Obama's second East Room news conference, he took questions from 13 reporters over about an hour — that's the same as during his first presser on Feb. 9.  —  But in quite a departure from the first presser — and White House protocol — Obama skipped over the nation's top newspapers.
Frank James / The Swamp:
Obama's 2nd press conference live-blog  —  9:05 pm — The press conference is over, not having gone the full hour.  Obama didn't make any news either way.  There won't be any new controversies coming out of this press conference, which is the first way of measuring the success or failure of these staged events.
Josh Gerstein / The Politico:
Summers briefs $5k conference goers
Discussion: and Open Left
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Reporters war-game Obama questions
Peter Baker / New York Times:
Obama Selling His Economic Plan on the Airwaves, Again
Discussion: Guardian, The Caucus and Spin Cycle
Thomas Ferraro / Reuters:
U.S. bill seeks to rescue faltering newspapers  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - With many U.S. newspapers struggling to survive, a Democratic senator on Tuesday introduced a bill to help them by allowing newspaper companies to restructure as nonprofits with a variety of tax breaks.
Larry Margasak / Associated Press:
Senator proposes nonprofit status for newspapers
Kevin Bogardus / The Hill:
Specter delivers death blow to labor union bill  —  Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) announced Tuesday he will oppose card check, giving an apparent death blow to the most important congressional issue to organized labor.  —  Specter made the dramatic announcement in a floor speech.
The Huffington Post:
Specter Will Vote Against Employee Free Choice Act  —  UPDATE: Senator Specter ended speculation on where he would come down on the Employee Free Choice Act by declaring, on the Senate floor, that he would oppose the legislation until the economy improves.  —  “The problems of a recession …
Blue Texan / Firedoglake:
K-Lo & Crew: Only Republicans Should be Honored at Catholic Colleges  —  Right-wing Catholics are furious that President Obama is [defiling the sanctity of] delivering the commencement address at Notre Dame.  —  K-Lo called it “disgraceful,” grunting, “They took a giant step away …
Jamison Foser / Media Matters for America:
Newt Gingrich, guardian of Catholic values  —  FOX contributor Newt Gingrich is upset:  —  To which Matt Cooper replies:  —  That isn't really fair to Newt, though.  Gingrich has only been divorced twice so far.  There was Jackie, his former high school math teacher …
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Ehud Barak to Join Netanyahu Cabinet  —  Kadima Leader Tzipi Livni has spent weeks resisting Benjamin Netanyahu's pleas that she enter his cabinet, citing the fact that she has no desire to be moderate window-dressing for a hard-right administration that's overtly opposed to a two-state resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict.
The White House:
Open for Questions: President Obama to Answer Your Questions on Thursday  —  Today, the President invited everyone to use a new feature on called “Open for Questions” to ask a question about the economy and rate other questions up or down.  Then, on Thursday morning …
Karen Tumulty / Swampland:
Why God Invented C-SPAN  —  In today's installment, Michele Bachmann saves us from a sneaky Chinese and Russian plot to achieve world domination through a global currency, but reveals that she was not at school the day they studied this in sixth grade:  —  Sphere Related Blogs & Articles
Christopher D. Carroll / The Economists' Forum:
Treasury rewards waiting  —  Maybe it was worth the wait.  —  Judging from preliminary details, the US Treasury's plan to rescue the financial system is a lot savvier about the relationship between financial markets and the macroeconomy than are the usual-suspects: critics from both left …
Discussion: MoJo Blog Posts
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Bank of America Analyst Thinks Treasury Plan Won't Work
Discussion: The Politico, On Deadline and D-Day
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Stimulus idea: How about massive forgiveness of student loans?  —  Nothing on this yet from Congress or The One, but a Facebook group dedicated to the proposal has 138,000 members and counting.  No typo.  My sense of personal responsibility says no but my debt-crushed monthly budget cries proceed:
Conn Carroll / The Foundry:
Bush Deficit vs. Obama Deficit in Pictures  —  President Barack Obama has repeatedly claimed that his budget would cut the deficit by half by the end of his term.  But as Heritage analyst Brian Riedl has pointed out, given that Obama has already helped quadruple the deficit with his stimulus package …
Discussion: Wizbang
New York Times:
President Obama's News Conference  —  Following is a complete of President Obama's prime-time press conference on March 24, as transcribed by Federal News Service.  —  PRESIDENT OBAMA: Hello, everybody.  Please have a seat.  —  Good evening.  Now, before I take questions from the correspondents …
Blagojevich to host radio show  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich will be back on the airwaves Wednesday, serving as a fill-in host on a Chicago talk radio station.  —  Blagojevich will host the Don Wade and Roma Morning Show on WLS-AM — a show the station refers to as …
Discussion: The Reaction, CBS News and Wonkette
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Dems Hammer GOP's New “Too Many Ideas” Strategy  —  Dems are opening fire on the GOP in response to our story below, which quotes Mitch McConnell's spokesperson saying that the GOP will start attacking the Obama administration for throwing out too many ideas on the economy, with not enough cohesion.
Glenn Harlan Reynolds / Forbes:
Money For Nothing  —  Jilted Wall Street donors should rethink future political donations.  —  An honest politician, as an old saw has it, is one who stays bought.  If this is true, then we have the most dishonest bunch of officeholders ever, and it may lead Wall Street to reconsider its donations in the future.
Discussion: Moe Lane and Blue Crab Boulevard
Jeffrey A. Miron / CNN:
Commentary: Legalize drugs to stop violence  —  Editor's note: Jeffrey A. Miron is senior lecturer in economics at Harvard University.  —  CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts (CNN) — Over the past two years, drug violence in Mexico has become a fixture of the daily news.
Deborah Solomon / Wall Street Journal:
Contender for TARP Job Drops Out  —  WASHINGTON — The leading candidate to run the Treasury Department's $700 billion bailout program has withdrawn his name from consideration, according to people familiar with the matter.  —  Frank Brosens, a hedge-fund manager and big Democratic donor …
Discussion: Associated Press and The Politico
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
Justices Consider Interplay Between First Amendment and Campaign Finance Laws  —  WASHINGTON — A quirky case about a slashing documentary attacking Hillary Rodham Clinton would not seem to be the most obvious vehicle for a fundamental re-examination of the interplay between the First Amendment and campaign finance laws.
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
The GOP's Cheney Problem  —  The least popular vice-president in memory is not helping the Republicans regroup - according to this piece from the Hill.  But Cheney is not giving these disgraceful and classless interviews to help the GOP.  He's giving them because it is beginning to dawn …
Manu Raju / The Politico:
Coleman won't rule out federal appeal  —  Former Sen. Norm Coleman is still considering taking his election lawsuit to the federal court if he's unsuccessful in reversing Al Franken's 225-vote lead in the Minnesota Senate recount.  —  Speaking to reporters at the Capitol …
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 More Items: 
Irene Jay Liu / Capitol Confidential:
Possible delay for 20th CD race?
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Talking Economic Accountability With Matt Taibbi
Khaled Abu Toameh / Hudson New York:
On Campus: The Pro-Palestinians' Real Agenda
Discussion: Power Line and Atlas Shrugs
Joe Weisenthal / Clusterstock:
Maxine Waters Puts On Her Goldman Sachs Conspiracy Hat (CLIP)
Discussion: Riehl World View and Hot Air
Jeffrey Lord / American Spectator:
The 1966 Election's Warning to Obama
 Earlier Items: 
James Kanter / Green Inc.:
World's Cheapest Car: Boon or Bane?
Discussion: Chicago Boyz
Patrick J. Buchanan / The American Conservative:
The Weimar Way  —  “The best way to destroy the capitalist system …
Erin Durkin / NY Daily News:
Madoff's pain is a Queens man's gain
Michael Brooks / New Scientist:
Space storm alert: 90 seconds from catastrophe
Discussion: The New Republic
Jack Cafferty / CNN:
Commentary: Time for another tea party?
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
A major difference between conservatives and progressives
Discussion: TalkLeft and American Power