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9:55 AM 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:
Reuters:
Blundering Afghan suicide bomber blows up 6 militants  —  A would-be suicide bomber accidentally blew himself up on Thursday, killing six other militants as he was bidding them farewell to leave for his intended target, the Interior Ministry said.  —  “The terrorist was on his way to his destination …
Carlotta Gall / New York Times:
Pakistani and Afghan Taliban Unify in Face of U.S. Influx  —  ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — After agreeing to bury their differences and unite forces, Taliban leaders based in Pakistan have closed ranks with their Afghan comrades to ready a new offensive in Afghanistan as the United States prepares to send 17,000 more troops there this year.
New York Times:
In New Afghan Strategy, Obama Will Add Troops
David S. Cloud / The Politico:   The middle ground in inconclusive war
Guardian:   US to increase Afghan presence
Associated Press:
Sources: Obama plans to send more troops to Afghanistan
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 …
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.
RELATED:
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 …
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:
Pam Hess / Associated Press:
Official: Mexico not in danger of collapse
Discussion: Pat Dollard and Don Surber
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
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.”
Peter Nicholas / Los Angeles Times:
Campaign for Obama's budget is widening  —  His allies' ads target districts led by conservative Democrats — some of whom question the wisdom of the strategy, suggesting that it's divisive.  —  Reporting from Washington — A campaign to persuade Republicans to support President Obama's budget …
Discussion: CapitalBeat
RELATED:
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 …
RELATED:
Liz Rappaport / Wall Street Journal:
Cuomo Widens His Probe to a Unit's Swaps Deals
Discussion: TPMMuckraker and Clusterstock
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.
Discussion: LewRockwell.com Blog
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.
Josh Gerstein / The Politico:
W.H. preserves secrecy option  —  I think I have a better idea now why the White House was so sensitive about my story Monday questioning the legality and wisdom of secret meetings held by subcommittees of President Obama's economic advisory panel.  —  It was because officials planned …
Discussion: HotMES and The White House
Rick Santorum / Philly.com:
The Elephant in the Room: Leaning right, Specter girds for another primary  —  Opposing card-check may help, but backing the stimulus made the senator vulnerable.  —  The last time it was the Republicans' turn to capture the governor's mansion, the year was 1994.  Turn?
RELATED:
Phil Singer / The Marathon Blog:
Is Santorum Backing Specter?
Discussion: TPMDC and Philly.com
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.
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 …
Ben Smith / The Politico:
Pentagon: ‘War on terror’ not banned  —  Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell calls to make clear that nobody has banned the phrase “Global War on Terror.”  —  “I have used and continue to use that term, as do many here in the building.  But there are alternatives that are just as fitting,” he said.
RELATED:
DefenseLINK:
DoD News Briefing with Geoff Morrell from the Pentagon
Discussion: Pat Dollard, TPMDC and Weekly Standard
 
 
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 More Items: 
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
White House Cheat Sheet: Obama Goes (Mostly) All In in NY
Discussion: Scorecard's Blog and Daily Kos
David Rising / Associated Press:
Decision on US troops in Europe may come by summer
Discussion: The Atlanticist
BBC:
Pope ‘distorting condom science’
Alexander Mooney / CNN:
Obama: Marijuana is not a good strategy to spur economy
Discussion: Donklephant
Cathy Young / Weekly Standard:
Reveling in the Financial Crisis
 Earlier Items: 
Hans A. von Spakovsky / The Corner:
What Non-political Looks Like  —  Democrats complained endlessly …
Discussion: Power Line and Commentary
Christopher Buckley / Blogs and Stories:
The Audacity of Poping  —  D.C. Mystery: Who Did Nancy Pelosi's …
Albany Times Union:
Libertarian removed from ballot
Discussion: The Moderate Voice and TPMDC
Matthew Vadum / NewsBusters.org:
Podesta Plant at White House Presser — Brace Yourself for MSM Non-Outrage