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6:00 PM ET, March 26, 2009


 Top Items: 
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: 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 …
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / The Caucus:
Obama's Interactive Town Hall Meeting  —  President Obama conducted an Internet version of the question and answer sessions he has been holding around the country on Thursday.  The event was the latest example of efforts by the Obama team to replicate its creative use of the Internet during the election campaign.
Michelle Malkin:
Obama's online townhall: What's really going on?  Updated: Megalomania-palooza!
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.
Patrick O'Connor / The Politico:
GOP lawmaker flips on AIG bonus tax
Discussion: and Hot Air
David Freddoso / The Corner:   A Summary of the Republicans' Buget
The Hill:   Republican Plan a Better Solution to Revitalize Housing Market (Rep. John Boehner)
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.
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:   GOP Rep Michele Bachmann: Is Obama Plotting To Abandon Dollar As U.S. Currency?
Dan Raviv / CBS News:
U.S. Accused Of Killing 39 In Sudan Strike  —  A government minister in Sudan is accusing the United States Air Force of killing dozens of people in that north African country this past January - but the semi-official American version of the story is very different.
Amos Harel / Haaretz:
ANALYSIS / In bombing Sudan, Israel sends message to Iran
Discussion: PoliGazette and BeltwayBlips
Robert Mackey / The Lede:
The Sudan Airstrike Mystery
Discussion: BBC and Pajamas Media
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 …
Associated Press:
Sources: Obama to add US troops in Afghanistan
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.”
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:   WSJ Says Bayh Wants to Shake Up Status Quo By Protecting Business Interests
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 …
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 …
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blog:   Pelosi defiant on fast-tracking health care
The Politico:
Baucus, Pelosi clash on health care
Discussion: TPMDC
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.
Chris Johnson / Washington Blade:
McCain strategist endorses same-sex marriage
Discussion: Think Progress
Chicago Tribune:
Rahm Emanuel's profitable stint at mortgage giant  —  Short Freddie Mac stay made him at least $320,000  —  Before its portfolio of bad loans helped trigger the current housing crisis, mortgage giant Freddie Mac was the focus of a major accounting scandal that led to a management shake-up …
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 …
Drug Agents Raid SF Medical Marijuana Clinic
Discussion: TalkLeft
Richard Pérez-Peña / New York Times:
The Times Plans Temporary Pay Cuts  —  Facing a steep drop in revenue, The New York Times Company plans to cut the pay of most employees by 5 percent for nine months, in return for 10 days' leave, and will lay off 100 people and make other budget cuts, executives said on Thursday.
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.
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
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.
Josh Gerstein / The Politico:
Dems warn against first lady bill  —  House Republicans are pressing for a change in federal law that could force Michelle Obama and future first ladies to do more of their policy work in public.  But Democrats warn President Obama may take the attempt personally “as an attack on his wife.”
Rep. Barney Frank / The Huffington Post:
Why I Called Justice Scalia A Homophobe  —  While responding to questions from journalists about my characterization of Justice Antonin Scalia as a homophobe, I realized that the fact that I made that comment in conjunction with a potential lawsuit about the Defense of Marriage Act created …
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.
Nicholas D. Kristof / New York Times:
Learning How to Think  —  Ever wonder how financial experts could lead the world over the economic cliff?  —  One explanation is that so-called experts turn out to be, in many situations, a stunningly poor source of expertise.  There's evidence that what matters in making a sound forecast …
Joe Dwinell / Boston Herald:
Deval Patrick tanks in new poll  —  + Recent Articles + Recent Blog Entries + Email + Bio  —  A wave of voter disgust at business as usual on Beacon Hill has swamped Gov. Deval Patrick, dealing the first-term governor a devastating credibility blow that leaves his re-election hopes shaken, a new 7News poll has found.
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 More Items: 
Ronald Brownstein / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
Why Obama Can't Satisfy The Left
Ruth Mantell / MarketWatch:
U.S. ongoing jobless claims rise to record 5.56 million
Discussion: Commentary and Simply Left Behind
Charles Burress / San Francisco Chronicle:
Dozens march for Mixon, against police
Eamon Javers / The Politico:
Geithner pulls his punches
Discussion: Firedoglake and The New Republic
Melting glaciers force Italy, Swiss to redraw border
 Earlier Items: 
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Geithner Endorses Naked Credit Default Swaps
Karl Rove / Wall Street Journal:
Obama Points Back to the GOP's Future
Discussion: Commentary
Satyam Khanna / Think Progress:
Steele on Limbaugh gaffe: ‘There is a logic behind it,’ 'it's all strategic.'
Bartle Bull / Prospect Magazine:
No, he can't
Discussion: Spectator and The Daily Dish
Jindal Spurns Obama's Jobless Aid as Mayor Pleads ‘Help Me Now’
The Hill:
Domino's ads delivering for Gov. contender
Discussion: The Note and Democracy in America
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
The Odd Lies Of Sarah Palin: XXVII