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11:15 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 …
New York Times:
In New Afghan Strategy, Obama Will Add Troops
David S. Cloud / The Politico:   The middle ground in inconclusive war
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 …
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 …
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
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.
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:
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:
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 …
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.
Chris Johnson / Washington Blade:
McCain strategist endorses same-sex marriage  —  Schmidt urges GOP to be more welcoming of gays  —  Steve Schmidt, chief strategist for U.S. Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) presidential campaign, came out in favor of marriage rights for same-sex couples in an interview with the Blade last week …
RELATED:
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.
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.”
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 …
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
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 …
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
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.
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Jeffrey Young / The Hill:
Hoyer playing health reform referee  —  House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) has taken on the role of mediator between the three powerful House committee chairmen tasked with writing a massive health reform bill.  —  This strategy by the House Democratic leadership demonstrates …
Discussion: Wonk Room
 
 
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 More Items: 
Colum Lynch / Washington Post:
Ex-U.N. Official Spent Development Funds on Luxury Items, Probe Says
Discussion: Hot Air and TPMMuckraker
New York Times:
Being a Partner for Peace
Discussion: Israel Matzav and Yourish.com
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
Lisa Vorderbrueggen / Mercury News:
Tauscher and Miller endorse DeSaulnier for Congress
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Full text of Barack Obama's online town hall meeting
David Rising / Associated Press:
Decision on US troops in Europe may come by summer
Discussion: The Atlanticist
 Earlier Items: 
Peter Wallsten / Los Angeles Times:
A risky new push for immigration legislation
BBC:
Pope ‘distorting condom science’
Discussion: pw
Peter Nicholas / Los Angeles Times:
Campaign for Obama's budget is widening
Discussion: CapitalBeat
Alexander Mooney / CNN:
Obama: Marijuana is not a good strategy to spur economy
Discussion: Donklephant
Hans A. von Spakovsky / The Corner:
What Non-political Looks Like  —  Democrats complained endlessly …
Discussion: Power Line and Commentary
Simon Johnson / The Atlantic Online:
The Quiet Coup  —  ONE THING YOU learn rather quickly when working …