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10:40 AM ET, March 28, 2009


 Top Items: 
Learning the hard way  —  Barack Obama may at last be getting a grip.  But he still needs to show more leadership, at home and abroad  —  HILLARY CLINTON'S most effective quip, in her long struggle with Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination last year, was that the Oval Office is no place for on-the-job training.
Jennifer Rubin / Commentary:
Not Like We Didn't See this Coming  —  The Economist, which endorsed Barack Obama for president, is not pleased.  Empathizing with Hillary Clinton's warning that “the Oval Office is no place for on-the-job-training,” they conclude that his “performance has been weaker than those who endorsed his candidacy …
Discussion: GayPatriot
Mark Steyn / The Corner:
Missing the point  —  The Economist is the latest of the smart guys to notice that President Obama is proving strangely unlike the guy they told us he was back in late October:  —  His performance has been weaker than those who endorsed his candidacy, including this newspaper, had hoped.
Discussion: Booman Tribune
New York Times:
White House Debate Led to Plan to Widen Afghan Effort  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama's plan to widen United States involvement in Afghanistan came after an internal debate in which Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. warned against getting into a political and military quagmire …
Todd Beeton / MyDD:
Reid To Cave To Bayh On Cram-Down?  —  Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed cram-down legislation designed to allow judges to write down the principal and interest on some mortgages to allow homeowners to stay in their homes, a goal that is a central pillar of President Obama's housing legislation.
The Smoking Gun:
ShamWow Guy In Slap, Chop Bust  —  TV pitchman battered hooker in South Beach hotel room brawl  —  Meet Vince Shlomi.  He's probably better known to you as the ShamWow Guy, the ubiquitous television pitchman who has been phenomenally successful peddling absorbent towels and food choppers.
Reuel Marc Gerecht / Weekly Standard:
The Return of Weakness  —  President Obama means well.  Iran doesn't.  —  In diplomacy and espionage, there is no worse mistake than “mirror-imaging,” that is, ascribing to foreigners your own actions and views.  For Westerners this is especially debilitating, given our modern proclivity …
Discussion: Pajamas Media and Power Line
Mark Hughes Crime / The Independent:
Police identify 200 children as potential terrorists  —  Drastic new tactics to prevent school pupils as young as 13 falling into extremism  —  Two hundred schoolchildren in Britain, some as young as 13, have been identified as potential terrorists by a police scheme that aims to spot youngsters who are …
Discussion: Jihad Watch and BeltwayBlips
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
Obama Pledges Attention to Flooding  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama, facing his first major natural disaster as president, used his weekly address on Saturday to urge those in flood-stricken areas in the Midwest to “remain vigilant” in monitoring the surging rivers there and to assure …
Discussion: The Swamp and The Politico
Red River at record high and still rising
Discussion: Blue Crab Boulevard
Kenneth P. Vogel / The Politico:
Obama order worries free speech groups  —  Free speech advocates from across the political spectrum are accusing President BarackObama of impinging on First Amendment rights and are gearing up to take their case public.  —  At issue is an unprecedented directive that Obama …
Discussion: Hot Air
Jodi Kantor / New York Times:
Obama's Man on the Budget: Just 40 and Going Like 60  —  WASHINGTON — At 6 in the morning, Peter R. Orszag is racing: across wet pavement for a 35-minute run, into a shower and a suit, and through a living room that looks rather like an office, the walls painted presidential gold and hung with pictures of federal monuments.
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Edwin T. Snell launches recall of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger  —  Arnold Schwarzenegger, meet Edwin T. Snell.  —  His campaign skills may not be as slick or well-funded as the governor's.  But the San Bernardino County resident has garnered the 50 necessary signatures for a notice of intent …
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Weeks of Obama's budget sales pitch and support still slips  —  Now, we know why the White House laid on the immense trans-continental public relations offensive over its immense budget these past two-to-three weeks.  —  The Gallup Poll did another one this week on President Obama's $3,550,000,000,000 budget …
Discussion: RedState and Gallup
Women more attracted to men in expensive cars  —  Men who drive expensive cars really are more attractive to women, according to a study by university researchers.  —  Psychologists proved what car-dealers have boasted for generations the car one drives is key when it comes to turning a woman's head.
Discussion: Power Line and Reason
NY Daily News:
Van crashes in Midtown; kills pregnant woman  —  A 29-year-old pregnant woman was killed Friday in Manhattan when a van driver who was catcalling her and a co-worker lost control and plowed into them, police sources and witnesses said.  —  The 2-ton van jumped the curb on E. 37th St. in midtown …
Judson Berger / Fox News:
Outspoken But Not Outmaneuvered, Rep. Bachmann Manages Her Candor  —  The Minnesota congresswoman has shown an uncanny knack for infuriating critics with her sometimes off-the-wall behavior and comments, all the while advancing her political career.  —
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 More Items: 
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Michael James / Political Radar:
Exclusive: Three Israeli Airstrikes Against Sudan
Discussion: BeltwayBlips
Ethan Bronner / New York Times:
Israel Disputes Soldiers' Accounts of Gaza Abuses
Discussion: TPMCafe, Commentary and abu muqawama
Sara A. Carter / Washington Times:
EXCLUSIVE: Hezbollah uses Mexican drug routes into U.S.
Discussion: Pat Dollard and ThreatsWatch
Nick Gillespie / Reason:
Obama on Pot: Har Har Har, The Joke's On You!
Discussion: TalkLeft and The Other McCain
David Corn / MoJo Blog Posts: mojo:
Holbrooke Calls for “Complete Rethink” of Drugs in Afghanistan
Discussion: Hullabaloo and The Daily Dish
 Earlier Items: 
Robin Abcarian / Los Angeles Times:
Kansas doctor acquitted in late-term abortion case
New York Post:
Zachary A. Goldfarb / Washington Post:
Freddie Mac's Duel With Regulator: Does It Report Government's Role in Its Losses?
Discussion: and EconLog
Keith Bradsher / New York Times:
Clash of Subways and Car Culture in Chinese Cities
Discussion: The Bellows
Jason Noble / Kansas City Star:
Missouri Highway Patrol retracts controversial report on militia activity