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2:40 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 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 …
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 …
Mark Steyn / The Corner:
Resigned  —  This resignation letter from an AIG exec is worth reading: … I wonder if Senator Grassley (Republican, of course) is pleased that AIG honchos are now doing as instructed and falling on their swords.  As I said a few days ago, if you own even modest assets (a small house …
Discussion: Salon and The Swamp
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Specter's Defection On EFCA Fails To Win Over Right Wing
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 …
RELATED:
Alex Isenstadt / The Politico:
GOP faithful still loves Jindal
Discussion: The Note and First Draft
Philip Klein / AmSpecBlog:
Jindal:We Don't Want Obama to Fail, We Want America to Succeed
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
Discussion: Bloomberg and Newshoggers.com
Lori Montgomery / Washington Post:
Democrats Take Knife To Obama's Budget  —  Key Democratic leaders were performing major surgery yesterday on President Obama's first budget plan in an effort to bring skyrocketing annual deficits under control, while preserving the option of enacting some of the president's most significant and costly domestic priorities.
RELATED:
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.”
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.
RELATED:
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 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: DailyHowler.com and Sister Toldjah
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
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?”
Discussion: Portfolio and Grasping Reality …
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Sacrifice  —  Apparently Chuck Todd asked President Obama why he isn't asking people to “sacrifice” more amidst the recession.  —  The standard progressive answer to this starts by observing that the hundreds of thousands of people who are losing their jobs each week are, presumably, sacrificing.
Carrie Johnson / Washington Post:
Obama's Approach to Protecting ‘State Secrets’ at Issue  —  Like Predecessor, New Justice Dept. Claiming Privilege  —  Civil liberties advocates are accusing the Obama administration of forsaking campaign rhetoric and adopting the same expansive arguments that his predecessor used to cloak …
Ed Barnes / Fox News:
Obama Years Ago Helped Fund Carbon Program He Is Now Pushing Through Congress  —  While on the board of a Chicago-based charity, Barack Obama helped fund a carbon trading exchange that will likely play a critical role in the cap-and-trade carbon reduction program he is now trying to push through Congress as president.
Foreign Policy:
FM 3-XX: Revolutionary Operations  —  I've been looking over the Army's new manual for stability operations, which the University of Michigan just reprinted with an all-star lineup of introductions by Michele Flournoy, Shawn Brimley, and Janine Davidson.  —  I'm all for the idea.
Discussion: MoJo Blog Posts
Ann Althouse / Althouse:
Barney Frank: Justice Scalia “makes it very clear that he's angry, frankly, about the existence of gay people.”  —  “If you read his opinion [in Lawrence v. Texas], he thinks it's a good idea for two consenting adults who happen to be gay to be locked up because he is so disapproving of gay people.”
Todd Gitlin / TPMCafe:
“Enervating”  —  The president was “not...fiery and inspirational,” write Peter Baker and Adam Nagourney in the morning NYT.  “Placid and unsmiling, he was the professor in chief, offering familiar arguments in long paragraphs — often introduced with the phrase, ‘as I said before’ …
Discussion: Hullabaloo and New York Times
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 …
New York Times:
Netanyahu Promises Peace Effort  —  JERUSALEM — Israel's prime minister-designate, Benjamin Netanyahu, said Wednesday that the coalition he is forming would be a “partner for peace,” offering a pledge that seemed designed to reshape his reputation as a foe of the peace process with the Palestinians.
Louise Story / New York Times:
Top Hedge Fund Managers Do Well in a Down Year  —  The financial crisis may have turned much of Wall Street's wealth into dross, but a select group of hedge fund managers has managed to maintain a golden touch that might make King Midas blush.  —  As major markets and economies careened downward last year …
The Huffington Post:
Obama Flexes Political Muscle, Enters NY Congressional Race  —  For the first time since his inauguration, President Barack Obama is flexing his electoral muscle, urging supporters to organize and vote for New York Democratic congressional candidate Scott Murphy.
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 and GOP 12
Rasmussen Reports:
Most Americans Support Government Control of Executive Pay Only If Taxpayer Money Is Involved  —  American attitudes about regulating executive compensation are very clear: If taxpayers help a company stay in business, the government should regulate executive pay and bonuses.
Discussion: Power Line
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 …
Discussion: Commentary
George Packer In / New Yorker:
POPULISM AND PARANOIA  —  Step out of the A.I.G. bonus frenzy, the bailout conundrum, and other matters of the moment to think a bit about American history.  It's all related.  —  Last year, Vintage reissued Richard Hofstadter's classic 1965 essay collection “The Paranoid Style in American Politics.”
Discussion: The Corner and pw
 
 
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 More Items: 
Robert Mackey / The Lede:
Former CNN Anchor Moves to The Onion
Discussion: Oliver Willis
Michele Bachmann / Townhall.com:
A Government Power Grab
Discussion: Firedoglake
Martina Stewart / CNN:
Thompson: I don't want Obama's policies to succeed
Discussion: Washington Monthly
James Fallows / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
Obama and the Teleprompter
John Schwartz / New York Times:
Texas Judge Denies Charges of Misconduct
Discussion: TPMMuckraker
E. Scott Reckard / Los Angeles Times:
BofA chief Ken Lewis says he plans to repay bailout funds soon
Discussion: Clusterstock
City Room:
M.T.A. Increases Fares and Cuts Services
Hamza Hendawi / Associated Press:
AP IMPACT: It's fear that keeps Baghdad's peace
Discussion: GINA COBB
 Earlier Items: 
Erik Holm / Bloomberg:
AIG Plane Unit Says Survival in Doubt Without Funds
Discussion: naked capitalism and Clusterstock
Paul Begala / CNN:
Begala: GOP means ‘Got 0 Plans’
David Leonhardt / New York Times:
The Start of a Crisis, Through the Lens of Avis
Discussion: EconLog
Martin Feldstein / Washington Post:
An Anti-Charity Tax, at the Worst Time
Discussion: Reason and Commentary
Kim-Mai Cutler / Bloomberg:
U.K. Bond Auction Fails for First Time Since 2002
Michael Barone:
The Geithner Paradox: Unregulated Institutions Bailing Out Regulated Ones