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9:50 PM ET, March 26, 2009


 Top Items: 
Glenn Thrush / The Politico:
Bad blood: GOP infighting on budget  —  House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) raised objections to an abbreviated alternative budget “blueprint” released today — but were told by House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) they needed to back the plan, according to several Republican sources.
The Huffington Post:
GOP Budget Proposal: Massive Tax Cut For Wealthy  —  House Republican leaders called a press conference Thursday to unveil their “alternative budget.”  While it was thin on specifics, it does include one major policy proposal: a huge tax cut for the wealthy.
Elana Schor / TPMDC:
House GOP Unveils Its Budget Shiny Packet of Goals  —  Stung by their stereotyping as the “party of no,” House Republicans eagerly promoted the unveiling of their alternative to President Obama's budget today — but when they finished speaking, reporters had one big question: Where's the actual budget?
David Freddoso / The Corner:
A Summary of the Republicans' Buget  —  House Republicans are presenting their alternative budget in a few minutes.  As we await the details, here is a summary, based on the materials they have distributed in advance.  One problem is that there is no scoring yet for the bottom line yet.
Discussion: FiveThirtyEight
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Obama's Pathetic Pot Answer  —  The chuckle suggests a man of his generation.  The dismissiveness toward the question of ending Prohibition as both a good in itself and a form of tax revenue is, however, depressing.  His answer was a non-answer.  I'm tired of having the Prohibition issue treated as if it's trivial or a joke.
Discussion: The American Scene and PoliBlog
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
Assessing The Obama Online Town Hall Meeting  —  I've been critical of the White House New Media office before, but I think they deserve kudos today for instigating and executing the President's first online town hall meeting.  (Macon Phillips, the new media director, and Jesse Lee …
Discussion: Corrente, The Swamp and Balloon Juice
John Ward Anderson / The Politico:
Pot-related questions deluge W.H.  —  When the White House put out a call for town hall questions, it might not have been expecting this.  —  The more than 92,000 people who responded either have Cheech and Chong senses of humor or there is a deep concern in America — undetected by the media …
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
Obama Jokes About Pot-Brained Online Audience  —  Says the President: “I don't know what this says about the online audience,” he says... “No, I don't think legalizing marijuana is a good way to grow our economy.”  Incidentally, a White House spokesman says that Obama was not given …
Joe Gandelman / The Moderate Voice:
Obama's Online Town Hall Meeting Goes To Pot
Discussion: Bloomberg and MSNBC
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
A First Look At Obama's New Afghan Policy  —  President Barack Obama's new posture toward Afghanistan and Pakistan, to be unveiled tomorrow, codifies for the first time Iran's role in regional diplomacy, emphasizes counterterrorism as the primary mission of U.S. policy, and includes …
Mike Allen / The Politico:
'Obama's war' - New troops and new plan  —  President Barack Obama plans to commit to sending 4,200 more troops and hundreds more civilians to Afghanistan in a speech at the White House on Friday morning, and also to embrace a new system of benchmarks to measure progress.
Yochi J. Dreazen / Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Sets Out Afghanistan Plans
Discussion: Pajamas Media
Peter Hamby / CNN:
Palin's prayer remark angers former staffers  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) - Some of Sarah Palin's former campaign aides are frustrated with the Alaska governor for remarking in a lengthy, freewheeling speech that she had refused to pray with them before last October's vice presidential debate.
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Bachmann Introducing Bill to Ban Use of Made-Up Global Currency  —  The madness continues as Michele Bachmann introduces legislation that “would bar the dollar from being replaced by any foreign currency.”  —  What the Chinese were proposing, of course, was to replace the dollar as the world's reserve currency.
Eric Zimmermann / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:   Bachmann bill would ban global currency
Wall Street Journal:
Democrats Bid Business Adieu  —  Barack Obama meets with a flock of nervous bankers at the White House tomorrow to reassure them he understands their interests.  Good luck.  There has always been tension between the Democratic Party and the private sector.  That tension is over.
The New Republic:
Bill Kristol's Next Act  —  As post-Bush conservatives search for a new direction, Bill Kristol has teamed up with Robert Kagan to form a new think tank, The Foreign Policy Initiative.  Here are their stated principles:  — continued U.S. engagement—diplomatic, economic, and military …
Discussion: The Daily Dish
Kevin Yamamura / Sacramento Bee:
Schwarzenegger says he's not running for another office  —  Kill the Arnold Schwarzenegger-for-U.S. Senate rumors - for now.  —  The Republican governor said Wednesday in his clearest language yet that he is not running for Senate, Congress or dogcatcher.  —  Schwarzenegger …
Mickey Kaus / Kausfiles:
JournoList Revealed!  Inside the Secret Liberal Media Email Cabal  —  Michael Calderone's article on the large, secretive liberal media email group JournoList sparked a lot of debate—some of it in this space—on whether this group is a healthy development for coverage of politics.
Discussion: pw, Riehl World View and RedState
Johnny Dollar / Olbermann Watch:
Howard Dean Says Don't Call a Sitting President ‘Fascist’—As He's Talking to Olbermann?!?  —  Did Dr Dean know whom he was talking to?  We did, and this will serve as a little reminder to the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann that even his own guests think he is a sleazy creep:
Ryan Powers / Think Progress:
Bayh: My Group Of Blue Dogs ‘Literally Has No Agenda’ Other Than Blocking Obama's  —  Yesterday,, Americans United for Change, and several other progressive groups began running ads urging “moderate” Democratic members of Congress to “get on board with the president's budget.”
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
The presidential endorsement  —  Obama does his first endorsement ad as president, ensuring (though this was likely anyway) that the New York race will be massively over-interpreted, whatever the outcome.
Matthew Vadum /
Podesta Plant at White House Presser — Brace Yourself for MSM Non-Outrage  —  Fair-minded conservatives were aghast in President George W. Bush's second term when the left-wing character assassination machine went into high gear to destroy Jeff Gannon.  —  Gannon, also known as James Dale Guckert …
Expanded Americorps has an authoritarian feel  —  With almost no public attention, both chambers of Congress in the past week advanced an alarming expansion of the Americorps national service plan, with the number of federally funded community service job increasing from 75,000 to 250,000 at a cost of $5.7 billion.
Discussion: Michelle Malkin
Christopher Buckley / Blogs and Stories:
The Audacity of Poping  —  D.C. Mystery: Who Did Nancy Pelosi's New Face? by Sandra McElwaine  —  Blogs and Stories  —  The much-married Gingrich converts to Catholicism this weekend—and I'd pay a year's salary to have been a bug on the wall during his religious instruction.
Discussion: The Daily Dish
Rachel Gordon / San Francisco Chronicle:
DEA raids pot dispensary in SF  —  (03-25) 22:05 PDT San Francisco — Federal agents raided a medical marijuana dispensary in San Francisco Wednesday, a week after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder signaled that the Obama administration would not prosecute distributors of pot used …
Simon Johnson / The Atlantic Online:
The Quiet Coup  —  ONE THING YOU learn rather quickly when working at the International Monetary Fund is that no one is ever very happy to see you.  Typically, your “clients” come in only after private capital has abandoned them, after regional trading-bloc partners have been unable to throw …
Discussion: Salon and The Baseline Scenario
James Barron / New York Times:
Art Dealer Is Charged With Stealing $88 Million  —  A noted Upper East Side art dealer has been indicted on charges he stole $88 million from investors and collectors who consigned artwork to him and said they were cheated out of the sale proceeds or never saw the pieces again, according to a person briefed on the case.
Discussion: Gothamist and Runnin' Scared
Ian Donnis / WRNI:
Chafee on the verge  —  As Lincoln Chafee celebrates his 56th birthday today, a source tells WRNI that he has decided to run for governor in 2010, and will soon begin to assemble a campaign organization.  —  Chafee is traveling outside of the United States and he couldn't be reached for immediate comment.
New York Post:
TEDISCO FOR THE 20TH  —  Voters in New York's 20th congres sional district go to the polls Tuesday to select a replacement for former Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand, elevated to the Senate by Gov. Paterson.  —  The Post urges the election of state Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco (R-Schenectady).
Discussion: Capitol Confidential
Washington Wire:
Politicization Charges at DOJ over Brazile Appearance  —  Evan Perez reports on the Justice Department.  —  New leadership at the Justice Department is aiming to erase memories of the highly-charged political controversies from the previous administration.
Discussion: TPMMuckraker
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Joe The Plumber Enlisted To Campaign Against Employee Free Choice Act  —  Joe the Plumber is hitting the campaign trail again!  He's been pressed into service to do a series of events throughout Pennsylvania rallying opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act, the organizer of the events confirms.
Discussion: Think Progress, Firedoglake and MyDD
Associated Press:
Convictions Reversed in Pennsylvania  —  ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania's highest court on Thursday overturned hundreds of juvenile convictions issued by a corrupt judge accused of taking millions of dollars in kickbacks to send kids to privately owned detention centers.
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Dems split over how to push health agenda  —  Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) have a major disagreement over how to handle healthcare reform, one of President Obama's biggest priorities.  —  Baucus wants to win Republican support …
Discussion: The Politico and TPMDC
Fred Barnes / Weekly Standard:
Pablum  —  The language of Obamanomics.  —  President Obama insists he's a free-market guy.  But you have to wonder whether he understands how a free economy really works.  His policies and his words—especially what he said at his press conference this week—suggest his sense …
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 More Items: 
Amanda Covarrubias / L.A. Now:
Phil Spector case goes to jury
Discussion: LA Daily and TalkLeft
Police to probe UK torture claims
Discussion: TalkLeft
Albany Times Union:
Libertarian removed from ballot
Discussion: TPMDC
Rep. Cantor speaks out on Britney concert
Discussion: Newsweek Blogs
Roni Sofer / Ynetnews:
Final offer: J'lem concessions and settler evictions
Discussion: Israel Matzav
Michael O'Brien / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:
Gregg: U.S. couldn't even join E.U. due to debt levels
Ronald Brownstein / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
Why Obama Can't Satisfy The Left
Discussion: The Daily Dish
Joe Dwinell / Boston Herald:
Deval Patrick tanks in new poll
 Earlier Items: 
Eamon Javers / The Politico:
Geithner pulls his punches
Discussion: Firedoglake and The New Republic
Melting glaciers force Italy, Swiss to redraw border
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Geithner Endorses Naked Credit Default Swaps
Karl Rove / Wall Street Journal:
Obama Points Back to the GOP's Future
Discussion: Commentary
Josh Gerstein / The Politico:
Dems warn against first lady bill
Discussion: Top of the Ticket and Daily Kos