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11:25 AM ET, March 26, 2009


 Top Items: 
Eric Kleefeld / TPMDC:
Steele On Rush Flap: “It's All Strategic”  —  Michael Steele just doesn't know how to stop.  —  Steele appeared on CNN this afternoon, and was asked by host Don Lemon whether he's ever considered running for president, and right off the bat he managed to give the sensible, correct answer …
The Politico:
GOP gloves off for budget brawl  —  House Republicans have begun unveiling detailed alternatives to President Barack Obama's policies — a concerted effort to push back against Democratic efforts to label them “the Party of No.”  —  On Wednesday, it was a housing plan.
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 …
Jeffrey Sachs / Financial Times:
Obama's bank plan could rob the taxpayer  —  The Geithner-Summers plan, officially called the public/private investment programme, is a thinly veiled attempt to transfer up to hundreds of billions of dollars of US taxpayer funds to the commercial banks, by buying toxic assets from the banks at far above their market value.
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.
Discussion: Israel Matzav
Amos Harel / Haaretz:
ANALYSIS / In bombing Sudan, Israel sends message to Iran
Discussion: Mideast Peace Pulse
Calvin Woodward / Associated Press:
Bold claims of stimulus jobs can't be measured  —  Featured Topics: - Barack Obama - Presidential Transition  —  WASHINGTON - If space exploration were conducted like the job forecasts under the government's new stimulus law, man surely would have missed the moon.  But this isn't rocket science.
Obama's Prime Time Pitch
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Palin in Anchorage  —  Peter Hamby picks up a candid Sarah Palin speech to the Alaska GOP last week, in which she expressed her unhappiness with the media and her alienation from the McCain campaign: … The rest of the speech is here.  —  Also, Palin's PAC says it wasn't polling Iowa …
Discussion: American Power
Peter Hamby / CNN:   Palin unplugged in speech to Alaska GOP dinner
Washington Post:
Geithner to Propose Vast Expansion Of U.S. Oversight of Financial System  —  Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner plans to propose today a sweeping expansion of federal authority over the financial system, breaking from an era in which the government stood back from financial markets …
Wall Street Journal:
China and the Dollar  —  Markets don't like Treasury talking down the dollar's status.  —  As if the dollar didn't have enough problems, Timothy Geithner took China's bait yesterday and said he was “quite open” to its suggestion this week to displace the greenback with an “international reserve currency.”
Richard A. Epstein / Wall Street Journal:
Is the Bonus Tax Unconstitutional?  —  The Supreme Court defers too much to Congress.  —  Bills now winding their way through Congress would tax between 70% and 90% of bonuses paid to any executive earning in excess of $250,000, if he or she is employed by a business that received more than $5 billion from U.S. bailout funds.
Discussion: Betsy's Page
Jesse McKinley / New York Times:
Cities Deal With a Surge in Shanty Towns  —  FRESNO, Calif. — As the operations manager of a outreach center for the homeless here, Paul Stack is used to seeing people down on their luck.  What he had never seen before was people living in tents and lean-tos on the railroad lot across from the center.
U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis:
GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT: FOURTH QUARTER 2008 (Final)  —  Corporate Profits, Fourth quarter 2008  —  Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States — decreased at an annual rate of 6.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008 …
Discussion: New York Times and Housing Wire
Pat Doyle / Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Senate race is a broken record  —  The old record was set by the 1962 governor's election between DFLer Karl Rolvaag and incumbent Republican Elmer L. Andersen.  —  Minnesota's U.S. Senate race set a record Wednesday for delay.  No election for statewide office in Minnesota has dragged …
Discussion:, NJDC Blog and TPMDC
Amy Gardner / Washington Post:
McAuliffe Criticized For Ties to Lobbyist  —  Terry McAuliffe came under fire from a Democratic opponent in the race for Virginia governor yesterday for accepting fundraising help from a top Republican lobbyist — the sharpest attack yet targeting McAuliffe's history as a Washington political insider.
Discussion: Moe Lane, The Campaign Spot and Redhot
Wall Street Journal:
AIG Fights a Fire at Its Paris Unit  —  Executives' Resignations Put Billions in Contracts at Risk of Default  —  Amid the flap over bonuses at American International Group Inc. two of the company's top managers in Paris have resigned.  Their moves have left the giant insurer …
Scott Kraus / Pennsylvania Ave.:
Obama 2.0 Volunteer Effort: Still a work in progress  —  Organizing for America, the Democratic National Committee-based group that took over for Barack Obama's prodigious grassroots campaign organization released the results of their weekend canvassing effort in support of Obama's budget proposal.
Andrew Pergam / NBC Connecticut:
Threats to AIG: “We Will Get Your Children”  —  The anger in the threats against AIG executives is palpable.  —  “Get the bonus, we will get your children,” someone identified only as “Jacob the Killer” hauntingly writes in an e-mail.  —  His is one of dozens of threats against AIG …
Discussion: Don Surber
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
The Odd Lies Of Sarah Palin: XXVII  —  She said she'd turned down some of the federal stimulus money: … No, she didn't say she did. … But she did: … But she didn't:
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 …
Discussion: DownWithTyranny!
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 …
Discussion: Hullabaloo, Sadly, No! and Vox Popoli
Gary D. Robertson / Associated Press:
States could lose billions in taxes to stimulus  —  RALEIGH, N.C. — President Barack Obama told the nation's governors in February that the states' $229 billion share of the federal stimulus package “will ensure that you don't need to make cuts to essential services that Americans rely on now more than ever.”
Discussion: Right Wing News
E.J. Dionne Jr / Washington Post:
Cutting Deficit Will Require Tax Increases  —  The debate on the budget is phony, the howling on deficits a charade.  Few politicians want to acknowledge that if you really are concerned about long-term deficits, you have to support tax increases.  —  That's why the most significant moment …
Brendan McGarry / Air Force Times HOME:
Death before this honor  —  Why have Iraq and Afghanistan produced only 5 Medal of Honor recipients, none living?  —  The number of Medal of Honor recipients from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan can be counted on one hand.  —  Each of the five acted spontaneously and heroically to save the lives of comrades.
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.”
Discussion: and Ben Smith's Blog
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Obama's online town hall: ‘Wisdom’  —  The president is answering a lot of questions about the economy these days.  —  Today, he will answer them online - opening an Internet “town hall” session from the White House - where President Barack Obama will respond to the most “popular” …
Tom Breen / Associated Press:
States consider drug tests for welfare recipients  —  CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Want government assistance?  Just say no to drugs.  —  Lawmakers in at least eight states want recipients of food stamps, unemployment benefits or welfare to submit to random drug testing.
Roger Cohen / New York Times:
The Fierce Urgency of Peace  —  Pressure on President Obama to recast the failed American approach to Israel-Palestine is building from former senior officials whose counsel he respects.  —  Following up on a letter dated Nov. 6, 2008, that was handed to Obama late last year by Paul Volcker …
David Thompson:
Treatment  —  Via Critical Mass, here's a short follow-up film on the indoctrination efforts of Delaware University's ResLife programme - described by its proponents as a “treatment” - in which students were told, “The term [racist] applies to all white people (i.e., people of European descent) …
Discussion: pw
New York Times:
A Legal Adviser Worthy of the Job  —  In the Bush administration, the Office of Legal Counsel gave a green light to many objectionable policies, from a lawless expansion of executive power to the use of torture.  President Obama has nominated Dawn Johnsen to lead the office …
Discussion: The Corner
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 More Items: 
Times of London:
Pakistani region where the brutal Taleban have taken control
Discussion: God's Politics Blog
Avis Thomas-Lester / Washington Post:
He Dresses Michelle's Tresses
Steve Holland / Reuters:
Obama defends strategy of tackling many issues
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Obama plans tough line with carmakers
Discussion: and Wall Street Journal
Monica Davey / New York Times:
Fargo Works to Hold Back Rapidly Rising River
Discussion: TalkLeft, Politicker NY and Wonk Room
Jonathan Mummolo / Washington Post:
Slain Man Had Been Contractor for CIA
Adam Lisberg / NY Daily News:
Bloomberg backs gay marriage in NYS
 Earlier Items: 
Mike / Rortybomb:
Modeling an FDIC Robbery.