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4:50 PM ET, March 25, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Dear A.I.G., I Quit!  —  The following is a letter sent on Tuesday by Jake DeSantis, an executive vice president of the American International Group's financial products unit, to Edward M. Liddy, the chief executive of A.I.G.  —  DEAR Mr. Liddy,  —  It is with deep regret that I submit …
RELATED:
Mark Steyn / The Corner:
Resigned  —  This resignation letter from an AIG exec is worth reading:
Discussion: The Moderate Voice and Salon
Quinnipiac University:
Little-Known GOP Challenger Tops Specter In Primary, Quinnipiac University Pennsylvania Poll Finds; Support For Obama Plan Helps Among Democrats  —  Apparently paying a political price for his support of President Barack Obama's Stimulus Plan, longtime Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter …
RELATED:
Mark Murray / MSNBC:
FIRST THOUGHTS: THE OBAMA OCEAN-LINER  —  From Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, and Domenico Montanaro  —  *** The Obama ocean-liner: More than anything else, Obama's news conference last night resembled a campaign TV ad — one in which the serious candidate talks directly to the camera …
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:   PA-Sen: Polls Spell Trouble For Specter
Ben Smith / The Politico:
Geithner ‘open’ to China proposal  —  Geithner, at the Council on Foreign Relations, said the U.S. is “open” to a headline-grabbing proposal by the governor of the China's central bank, which was widely reported as being a call for a new global currency to replace the dollar …
RELATED:
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Right-Wing Echo Chamber Fomenting Panic About Fake Sino-Russian Global Currency Plan  —  Zhou Xiaochuan, head of China's central bank, suggested earlier this week that we might need to transition away from exclusive reliance on the US dollar as a global reserve currency through the creation of a “super-sovereign reserve currency.”
Discussion: Bloomberg and Newshoggers.com
Ali Frick / Think Progress:
The Right-Wing Echo Chamber In Action: How A Conspiracy Travels …
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Frank James / The Swamp:
Geithner misses lifeline, sinks dollar
Discussion: The Hill and MarketBeat
Blue Texan / Firedoglake:
Michelle Bachmann, Vigilant Guardian of the Constitution  —  diggs  —  digg it  —  Watch Timothy Geithner's face as he's grilled here by Bachmann.  Priceless. … Funny how all these Bush/Cheney Republicans have suddenly discovered there's this thing called “the Constitution,” isn't it?
Discussion: Power Line and Dependable Renegade
RELATED:
Michele Bachmann / Townhall.com:
A Government Power Grab
Discussion: American Power
New York Times:
E.U. President Calls U.S. Stimulus the ‘Way to Hell’  —  BRUSSELS — Transatlantic tension over the handling of the global economic crisis intensified on Wednesday when the prime minister of the Czech Republic, which holds the European Union presidency, described the U. S. stimulus measures as the “way to hell.”
RELATED:
Todd Gitlin / TPMCafe:
“Enervating”  —  The president was “not...fiery and inspirational …
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Fox News:
EU Presidency: Obama Plans ‘a Way to Hell’
Discussion: BBC
Washington Post:
House Democrats Slash More Than $100B From Obama's Plan  —  Budget Leaders Refuse to Include More Funding for Financial Sector Bailout  —  House budget leaders today unveiled a $3.45 trillion budget blueprint for fiscal 2010 that slices more than $100 billion from the spending plan President Obama proposed last month.
RELATED:
Lori Montgomery / Washington Post:
Democrats Take Knife To Obama's Budget
Robert Mackey / The Lede:
Former CNN Anchor Moves to The Onion  —  In yet another sign that the line between real news and fake news is getting thinner, one of CNN's main anchors during the 1980s and 1990s, Bobbie Battista, has taken a step through the looking glass and can now be seen anchoring reports online for ONN, The Onion News Network.
Discussion: Oliver Willis
Mark Preston / CNN:
Jindal defends those who want Obama to fail  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — It's OK for Republicans to want President Obama to fail if they think he's jeopardizing the country, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal told members of his political party Tuesday night.  —  Jindal described the premise of the question …
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Limbaugh An Issue in New York Special  —  Democrats are seeking to use conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh to rally their base in advance of next week's special election in New York's 20th district.  —  A new direct mail piece from businessman Scott Murphy's campaign features …
Discussion: Townhall.com
John Authers / Financial Times:
Is it back to the Fifties?  —  “My mother is 75,” said Jon Stewart, the US late-night comedian, at the end of his already famous interview with Jim Cramer, the television stock market pundit.  “And she bought into the idea that long-term investing is the way to go.  And guess what?”
Haaretz:
Netanyahu, Lieberman ‘struck secret deal for West Bank construction’  —  Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu has struck a secret deal with Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman for highly contentious construction on West Bank land known as E1, Army Radio reported Wednesday.
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog and Wonk Room
Pete Donohue / NY Daily News:
‘Doomsday’ has arrived: MTA board approves subway fare hikes  —  Next stop: the $2.50 ride - and that's if your bus or subway is still running.  —  After a fiery hearing Wednesday, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority voted 12 to 1 to approve subway, bus and commuter train fare hikes …
Discussion: Clusterstock
RELATED:
Jennifer Reese / Slate:
Of all the reasons to plant a garden, free food may be the worst.  —  The much-discussed Obama kitchen garden seems very noble and well-intentioned (despite Michelle Obama's controversial outfit), and as an avid gardener, I was loving the whole project until I came across the following quote from an ecstatic Alice Waters:
Discussion: OpenMarket.org
Daniel Hannan / Daniel Hannan's blog listings:
My speech to Gordon Brown goes viral  —  The internet has changed politics - changed it utterly and forever.  Twenty-four hours ago, I made a three-minute speech in the European Parliament, aimed at Gordon Brown.  I tipped off the BBC and some of the newspaper correspondents but, unsurprisingly …
Eric Kleefeld / TPMDC:
Behold...The Bachmann Effect!  —  When Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) talks, people listen — even if they're not entirely sure what they're hearing.  —  I've now discovered at least three examples of a curious phenomenon: The Bachmann Effect.  When Bachmann is out there talking about the issues …
Discussion: Gawker and Democracy in America
BBC:
The man who survived both atomic bombings  —  Japan has certified a man aged 93 as the only known survivor of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, both hit by atomic bombs towards the end of World War II.  —  Tsutomu Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima on a business trip on 6 August 1945 when a US plane dropped the first atomic bomb.
Molly K. Hooper / The Hill:
GOP's rising star runs into a rough patch  —  A rising star in the Republican Party has dimmed over the past week.  —  House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.), a politically shrewd up-and-comer in the GOP, has broken with his party on two high-profile issues.
Discussion: Glenn Thrush's Blog
James Fallows / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
Obama and the Teleprompter  —  Following this and this.  —  Obama's opening statement at this evening's press conference, delivered no doubt with the help of a teleprompter, sounded smoother and more polished than his real-time answers through the rest of the event.
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Howard Dean To Announce Major New Campaign On Health Care Reform  —  Looks like Howard Dean is well on his way to finding a post-DNC niche, and he won't be needing the Obama administration to find it for him.  —  On a conference call with supporters later today, Dean will make a surprise announcement …
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
BBC:
Obama testing pundits' patience  —  Barack Obama's second televised presidential news conference saw him in combative mood, pundits and bloggers judged after his prime-time White House performance.  —  Online reaction was dominated by the president's minor spat with a TV reporter …
Washington Times:
ROMNEY: Cautionary tale of card check  —  ANALYSIS/OPINION:  —  In 2006, my last year as governor of Massachusetts, I vetoed a card-check bill that allowed public workers to organize if a majority signed union authorization cards as opposed to casting a traditional secret ballot.
Discussion: Hot Air
Jamison Foser / Media Matters for America:
Andrew Malcolm is bored, too  —  Los Angeles Times blogger/former Laura Bush press secretary wasn't impressed by President Obama last night.  Surprise, surprise. … Now, I don't want Andrew Malcolm to be bored.  That's a less-than-ideal way to go through your workday.  —  So here's a suggestion, Mr. Malcolm: Quit.
Washington Post:
Transcript: President Obama's Press Conference  —  [*] OBAMA: Hello, everybody.  Please have a seat.  —  Good evening.  Now, before I take questions from the correspondents, I want to give everyone who's watching tonight an update on the steps we're taking to move this economy from recession to recovery …
Washington Post:
‘Global War On Terror’ Is Given New Name  —  The Obama administration appears to be backing away from the phrase “global war on terror,” a signature rhetorical legacy of its predecessor.  —  In a memo e-mailed this week to Pentagon staff members, the Defense Department's office of security review noted that …
Discussion: Wonk Room, TPMDC and DailyHowler.com
Tom Shales / Washington Post:
The Very Face of Victory  —  Most of the facets of President Obama's personality that have made him intensely popular were on display last night during his second prime-time news conference, and so he emerged from it still every inch “President Wonderful,” as it were, untouched and intact.
Pejman Yousefzadeh / The New Ledger:
Obama v. The Media: President Superman And The Kryptonite Presser  —  I sometimes wonder why President Obama bothers giving press conferences.  It's not that he is bad at them, but his speeches are much better and the press conferences tend to be ordinary.  Robbed of a teleprompter and unable …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Associated Press:
Postal chief says post office running out of money
Discussion: Clusterstock
Noah Shachtman / Danger Room:
Pentagon Plan to Regrow Limbs: Phase One, Complete
Discussion: BLACKFIVE
ABCNEWS:
Ann Compton  —  Ann Compton is now covering a sixth president …
Discussion: Michelle Malkin
Richard Boudreaux / Los Angeles Times:
Israeli army rabbis criticized for stance on Gaza assault
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Mark Landler / New York Times:
Clinton Admits U.S. Demand Feeds Mexico's Drug Trade
Discussion: Alterdestiny
Martina Stewart / CNN:
Thompson: I don't want Obama's policies to succeed
Discussion: Washington Monthly
 Earlier Items: 
John Schwartz / New York Times:
Texas Judge Denies Charges of Misconduct
Discussion: TPMMuckraker
New York Times:
Netanyahu Promises Peace Effort
Discussion: Israel Matzav
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Sacrifice  —  Apparently Chuck Todd asked President Obama …
Foreign Policy:
FM 3-XX: Revolutionary Operations
Discussion: MoJo Blog Posts
Louise Story / New York Times:
Top Hedge Fund Managers Do Well in a Down Year
Discussion: The Big Picture and Clusterstock