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9:30 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
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 …
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.”
RELATED:
Glenn Thrush / The Politico:
Bad blood: GOP infighting on budget
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
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?
Discussion: JammieWearingFool
RELATED:
Pam Hess / Associated Press:
Official: Mexico not in danger of collapse
Discussion: Pat Dollard and Don Surber
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.
Discussion: Firedoglake and Wonkette
RELATED:
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:
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
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: Clusterstock and TPMMuckraker
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:
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.
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.
David Rising / Associated Press:
Decision on US troops in Europe may come by summer  —  COMBAT OUTPOST SUMMERS, Iraq - A proposal to keep two heavy brigades based in Germany instead of sending them back to the U.S. may be decided as early as this summer, the commander of U.S. Army Europe told The Associated Press Thursday.
Discussion: The Atlanticist
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.
Discussion: Commentary, The Plum Line and The Swamp
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.
Peter Wallsten / Los Angeles Times:
A risky new push for immigration legislation  —  Advocates of legalization have crafted a plan that could alienate businesses and key Republicans, including Sen. John McCain.  But it is designed to lure a powerful new ally — organized labor.  —  Reporting from Washington …
Tom Topousis / New York Post:
PORT AUTHORITY DOING AWAY WITH FREEDOM TOWER NAME  —  Freedom is so passe at Ground Zero.  —  Once hailed as a beacon of rebirth in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the Freedom Tower's patriotic name has been swapped out for the more marketable One World Trade Center, officials at the Port Authority conceded today.
Discussion: The Mahablog and Don Surber
Simon Johnson / The Atlantic Online:
The Quiet Coup  —  ONE THING YOU learn rather quickly when working at the International Monetary Fund is that no one is ever very happy to see you.  Typically, your “clients” come in only after private capital has abandoned them, after regional trading-bloc partners have been unable to throw …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Alexander Mooney / CNN:
Obama: Marijuana is not a good strategy to spur economy
Discussion: Donklephant
Cathy Young / Weekly Standard:
Reveling in the Financial Crisis
Jonathan Berr / Daily Finance:
Tim Geithner is less popular than Jell-o on Facebook
Discussion: Clusterstock
Hans A. von Spakovsky / The Corner:
What Non-political Looks Like  —  Democrats complained endlessly …
Discussion: Power Line
Phil Singer / The Marathon Blog:
Is Santorum Backing Specter?
Discussion: Philly.com and TPMDC
 Earlier Items: 
Amanda Covarrubias / L.A. Now:
Phil Spector case goes to jury
Discussion: LA Daily, BBC and TalkLeft
Christopher Buckley / Blogs and Stories:
The Audacity of Poping  —  D.C. Mystery: Who Did Nancy Pelosi's …
Ian Donnis / WRNI:
Chafee on the verge
Discussion: Swing State Project
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
 

 
From Techmeme:

Foo Yun Chee / Reuters:
Sources: EU may accept Apple's proposal to open its NFC payments tech to rivals, and may close its antitrust probe in May, letting Apple avoid hefty fines

George Steer / Financial Times:
Nvidia closed down 10% on Friday, falling the most since March 2020 and losing more than $200B of its market value, as investors pull back from AI bets

James Hunt / The Block:
Bitcoin's fourth halving is now complete, lowering miners' block subsidy rewards from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC; the third halving was on May 2020

 
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