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12:10 PM ET, March 27, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
David Brooks / New York Times:
The Winnable War  —  I came to Afghanistan skeptical of American efforts to transform this country.  Afghanistan is one of the poorest, least-educated and most-corrupt nations on earth.  It is an infinitely complex and fractured society.  It has powerful enemies in Pakistan, Iran and the drug networks working hard to foment chaos.
RELATED:
New York Times:
Obama Sets New Afghan Strategy  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama plans to further bolster American forces in Afghanistan and for the first time set benchmarks for progress in fighting Al Qaeda and the Taliban there and in Pakistan, officials said Thursday.  —  In imposing conditions …
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Afghanistan Strategy to Include Meaningful Benchmarks
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
The Market Mystique  —  On Monday, Lawrence Summers, the head of the National Economic Council, responded to criticisms of the Obama administration's plan to subsidize private purchases of toxic assets.  “I don't know of any economist,” he declared, “who doesn't believe that better functioning capital markets …
Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Exec says Coleman donor ordered $100K payments  —  Sworn statement backs allegation that Kazeminy directed fees to an insurance firm to benefit the Colemans.  —  The former finance chief of a Texas company controlled by Nasser Kazeminy, a close friend of former Sen. Norm Coleman …
Discussion: TIME.com and Taylor Marsh
RELATED:
Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Continued: Exec says Coleman donor ordered $100K payments  —  When the allegations first surfaced, Coleman denied that he or his wife ever received money.  He said the reports were an attack against his family engineered by his opponent, Al Franken.  Franken has denied that.
New York Times:
As New Lawyer, Senator Defended Big Tobacco  —  The Philip Morris Company did not like to talk about what went on inside its lab in Cologne, Germany, where researchers secretly conducted experiments exploring the effects of cigarette smoking.  —  So when the Justice Department tried …
The Week Magazine:
The crisis — and Geithner plan — explained  —  Q: What is the problem?  —  A: The problem is that unemployment is rising like a rocket.  —  Q: Why is unemployment rising like a rocket?  —  A: Because those businesses that normally would be expanding and hiring right now are not expanding and hiring.
RELATED:
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Brad DeLong's Case for the Geithner Plan
Discussion: Grasping Reality … and Forbes
William M. Bulkeley / Wall Street Journal:
Get the Feeling You're Being Watched?  If You're Driving, You Just Might Be  —  Cameras to Catch Speeders and Scofflaws Are Spreading — And Sparking Road Rage  —  The village of Schaumburg, Ill., installed a camera at Woodfield Mall last November to film cars that were running red lights, then used the footage to issue citations.
Thomas Joscelyn / Weekly Standard:
Welfare for Freed Gitmo Detainees?  —  Here, from the Associated Press, is a partial account of DNI Dennis Blair's first press conference today (emphasis mine): … Four short questions/comments:  —  (1) Does this mean that the Obama administration is planning on giving some freed Guantanamo detainees a stipend?
RELATED:
Jonathan Wheatley / Financial Times:
Brazil's leader blames white people for crisis  —  Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on Thursday blamed the global economic crisis on “white people with blue eyes” and said it was wrong that black and indigenous people should pay for white people's mistakes.
Timothy Wilson / Washington Post:
Slow Boil Over Egg Roll Tickets on Web  —  Maybe we should go back to standing in line.  —  The White House's Internet distribution of tickets to this year's Easter Egg Roll appears to have begun with a splat.  —  Yesterday's release of tickets online in batches produced …
Discussion: The New Republic, TIME.com, pw and Shopfloor
George Russell / Fox News:
U.N. ‘Climate Change’ Plan Would Likely Shift Trillions to Form New World Economy  —  A United Nations document on “climate change” that will be distributed to a major environmental conclave next week envisions a huge reordering of the world economy, likely involving trillions of dollars in wealth transfer …
Lymari Morales / Gallup:
Amid Budget Battle, Americans' Views Hold Steady  —  Views are more positive than negative but diverge according to party lines  —  WASHINGTON, D.C. — While lawmakers on Capitol Hill battle back and forth over President Barack Obama's proposed budget plan, Americans' views are holding steady.
David Catanese / KYTV-TV:
Carnahan leads Blunt & Steelman in U.S. Senate poll  —  SPRINGFIELD — A new U.S. Senate poll shows Democrat Robin Carnahan leading both of her potential Republican opponents in the 2010 contest, but the numbers also point to some political vulnerabilities of Congressman Roy Blunt.
Discussion: TPMDC
Alan Greenspan / Financial Times:
We need a better cushion against risk  —  The extraordinary risk-management discipline that developed out of the writings of the University of Chicago's Harry Markowitz in the 1950s produced insights that won several Nobel prizes in economics.  It was widely embraced not only by academia …
David Weigel / The Washington Independent:
Behold, Charts!  —  An anonymous official quoted in Politico's story on the House GOP budget plans said, “We need to hold something up and say, 'Here are our charts.  Here are our graphs.  It's real.”  Here's one of the charts (after the jump):  —  Indeed, this chart exists.
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
White House Cheat Sheet: Obama Goes (Mostly) All In in NY  —  President Obama is putting his political capital on the line in a New York special election, cutting an ad in support of the Democratic candidate and using his massive email list built during the presidential campaign to recruit volunteers for the final days of the race.
Gianluca Baratti / Bloomberg:
Job Losses From Obama Green Stimulus Foreseen in Spanish Study  —  Subsidizing renewable energy in the U.S. may destroy two jobs for every one created if Spain's experience with windmills and solar farms is any guide.  —  For every new position that depends on energy price supports …
Discussion: AmSpecBlog and Barcepundit
Michael Teitelbaum / CQ Politics:
Utah's Election Process May Get a Workout in 2010 Senate Race  —  In a state which has not voted for a Democrat for governor since 1980, a senator since 1970 and for president since 1964, Utah is arguably one of the most Republican states in the country.  —  With the exception of a token Democrat …
Colum Lynch / Washington Post:
Ex-U.N. Official Spent Development Funds on Luxury Items, Probe Says  —  UNITED NATIONS — A former U.N. official who oversaw reconstruction funds in Afghanistan diverted half a million dollars from roads, schools and clinics to fund his luxury lifestyle, according to a confidential internal U.N. investigation.
Discussion: Hot Air and TPMMuckraker
Ezra Klein / American Prospect:
MY FAVORITE BUDGET EVER.  —  If you're having a bad day, I highly encourage you to spend some quality time with the Republican budget proposal.  It's reads like what would happen if The Onion put together a budget.  “Area Man Releases Proposal for 2010 Federal Spending Priorities.”
Mary Williams Walsh / New York Times:
Inquiry Asks Why A.I.G. Paid Banks  —  Members of Congress and the New York State attorney general demanded detailed information Thursday on how tens of billions of taxpayer dollars flowed through the American International Group during its crisis last fall and ended up in the coffers …
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Attack on healthcare budget hits lack of detail  —  The Conservative Patients' Rights Action Fund — the first group out of the box opposing Obama's healthcare plan — has launched a second round of its campaign on the issue, a source involved in the group says.
Discussion: Wonk Room, Pat Dollard and BeltwayBlips
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
Health Care: Obama Hints At Strategy  —  The first 100 days of the Obama administration will be and have been consumed with the economy and the budget; the second 100 days will feature, among other things, a significant and detailed negotiation with Congress on health care reform.
Discussion: Bloomberg and Clusterstock
BBC:
Pope ‘distorting condom science’  —  One of the world's most prestigious medical journals, the Lancet, has accused Pope Benedict XVI of distorting science in his remarks on condom use.  —  It said the Pope's recent comments that condoms exacerbated the problem of HIV/Aids were wildly inaccurate and could have devastating consequences.
Discussion: pw
 
 
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 More Items: 
Rasmussen Reports:
More Voters Than Ever Say Tax Cuts Help the Economy
New York Times:
Being a Partner for Peace
Discussion: Israel Matzav and Yourish.com
Jeffrey Young / The Hill:
Hoyer playing health reform referee
Discussion: Wonk Room
Julianna Goldman / Bloomberg:
Obama Seeks JPMorgan, Goldman, Citigroup Support on Bank Plan
Discussion: The Market Ticker
Greg Stohr / Bloomberg:
Obama Backs Banks, Seeks to Block Fair-Lending Probe
Discussion: Firedoglake and Corrente
Chris Johnson / Washington Blade:
McCain strategist endorses same-sex marriage
 Earlier Items: 
Lisa Vorderbrueggen / Mercury News:
Tauscher and Miller endorse DeSaulnier for Congress
David Rising / Associated Press:
Decision on US troops in Europe may come by summer
Discussion: The Atlanticist
Peter Wallsten / Los Angeles Times:
A risky new push for immigration legislation
Peter Nicholas / Los Angeles Times:
Campaign for Obama's budget is widening
Discussion: CapitalBeat
Josh Gerstein / The Politico:
W.H. preserves secrecy option
Discussion: HotMES
Alexander Mooney / CNN:
Obama: Marijuana is not a good strategy to spur economy
Discussion: Donklephant