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1:00 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 …
Michael Powell / City Room:
A Glance Back at Cramer vs. Cuomo  —  Jim Cramer, the stock-investment personality on CNBC, has taken so many hits of late, perhaps this is piling on.  —  Or perhaps not.  —  A recent article in The New York Times reviewing the record of New York's attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo …
Discussion: Eschaton and Oliver Willis
RELATED:
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:
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 Was Active in Tobacco's Defense  —  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 …
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Brad DeLong's Case for the Geithner Plan  —  What exactly it means to be “for” the Geithner Plan is, at this point, a bit hard to say since nobody seems to think it's adequate to the problems we face, but among those who clearly think it's desirable for the plan to go forward as one step among many …
Discussion: Grasping Reality …
RELATED:
The Week Magazine:   The crisis — and Geithner plan — explained
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, Shopfloor and pw
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.
Byron York / www.washingtonexaminer.com:
On Spending and the Deficit, McCain Was Right  —  Barack Obama used to get very upset about federal budget deficits.  Denouncing an “orgy of spending and enormous deficits,” he turned to John McCain during their presidential debates last fall and said, “We have had, over the last eight years …
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.
Noam Cohen / New York Times:
When Stars Twitter, a Ghost May Be Lurking  —  The rapper 50 Cent is among the legion of stars who have recently embraced Twitter to reach fans who crave near-continuous access to their lives and thoughts.  On March 1, he shared this insight with the more than 200,000 people who follow him …
Patrick Gavin / The Politico:
Conservatives embrace the Snuggie  —  “Never let it be said that conservatives and libertarians have no sense of humor,” says Americans for Tax Reform's Derek Hunter, who's been doing his best to photograph fellow conservatives sporting the trend of the moment: the Snuggie.
Discussion: The Swamp
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 …
Rasmussen Reports:
More Voters Than Ever Say Tax Cuts Help the Economy  —  Democrats in the Senate are talking of cutting back President Obama's pledge of tax cuts for most Americans in the face of record deficits.  But 63% of U.S. voters now say tax cuts would help the economy, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.
Cassell Bryan-Low / Wall Street Journal:
Madoff's U.K. Business ‘Played Significant Role’ in Operation  —  LONDON — U.K. authorities investigating Bernard Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme believe criminal offences have been committed by people other than the New York financier and expect to start filing charges within months, according to investigators.
Discussion: TPMMuckraker and Clusterstock
Wall Street Journal:
National Health Preview  —  The Massachusetts debacle, coming soon to your neighborhood.  —  Praise Mitt Romney.  Three years ago, the former Massachusetts Governor had the inadvertent good sense to create the “universal” health-care program that the White House and Congress now want to inflict on the entire country.
Discussion: NCPA
John Cook / Gawker:
Sarah Palin Adviser's Secret Scientology Plot to Take Over Washington  —  John Coale, currently advising Sarah Palin on running for president in 2012, is a Scientologist.  And according to a memo obtained by Gawker, Coale once plotted to use friendly politicians to advance the power-hungry cult's agenda.
Washington Post:
Marion Barry Owes IRS More Than $277,000, Authorities Say  —  D.C. Council member Marion Barry owes the federal government more than $277,000 in back taxes, interest and penalties and has failed in six recent months to make scheduled payments on taxes owed the D.C. government, according to federal authorities.
Discussion: AmSpecBlog
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 …
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.
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 …
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.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Washington Post:
Both Democrats and Republicans See Fundraising Decline
Discussion: DownWithTyranny!
Michael Gerson / Washington Post:
Obama Speeches Gain From Teleprompter
Wall Street Journal:
Treasury Is Mum Over TARP Funds
Discussion: The New Republic and pw
Jeremy P. Jacobs / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:
Senate smack talking
Discussion: Wonkette
Charles Hurt / New York Post:
NEW ERA OF SPEND & BLAME
Discussion: Reason
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Attack on healthcare budget hits lack of detail
Discussion: Wonk Room, Pat Dollard and BeltwayBlips
Gianluca Baratti / Bloomberg:
Job Losses From Obama Green Stimulus Foreseen in Spanish Study
Discussion: AmSpecBlog and Barcepundit
 Earlier Items: 
David Catanese / KYTV-TV:
Carnahan leads Blunt & Steelman in U.S. Senate poll
Discussion: TPMDC
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
Greg Stohr / Bloomberg:
Obama Backs Banks, Seeks to Block Fair-Lending Probe
Discussion: Firedoglake and Corrente
BBC:
Pope ‘distorting condom science’
Discussion: pw
Ezra Klein / American Prospect:
MY FAVORITE BUDGET EVER.