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2:55 PM ET, March 27, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
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 …
RELATED:
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.
New York Times:
President Obama's Remarks on New Strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan  —  Good morning.  Today, I am announcing a comprehensive, new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.  —  This marks the conclusion of a careful policy review that I ordered as soon as I took office.
New York Times:
Obama Unveils Afghan Plan to Add Troops and Set Goals
Jon Soltz / The Huffington Post:
Obama Got Afghanistan/Pakistan Right
Discussion: The Plum Line and Danger Room
Manu Raju / The Politico:
Reid: Roberts 'didn't tell us the truth'  —  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Friday that John Roberts misled the Senate during his confirmation hearings by pretending to be a moderate - and that the United States is now “stuck” with him as chief justice.
Discussion: The Sundries Shack and The Corner
RELATED:
Manu Raju / The Politico:
Reid to liberals: Back off  —  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Friday that liberal groups targeting moderate Democrats with ads should back off, saying pressure from the left wing of his party won't be helpful to enacting legislation.  —  “I think it's very unwise and not helpful,” Reid said Friday morning.
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 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 …
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 and Gawker
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
GOP Leadership Rivals Throw Mike Pence Under the Bus  —  I've seen a lot of people link to this Glenn Thrush Politico item, but I have a slightly different take on it: … To me the salient point here is that Pence's spokesman is almost certainly telling the truth here …
Jeremy P. Jacobs / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:
Senate smack talking  —  C-SPAN video library caught this great exchange yesterday between Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and committee member Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).  —  As they were negotiating a provision in the the Senate FY 2010 budget, Grassley tried to cash in a chit with Conrad, leading to this exchange:
Discussion: Hot Air and Wonkette
RELATED:
Chris Good / The Atlantic Politics Channel:   Grassley: ‘Your Wife Said the Same Thing’
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: Gawker and TIME.com
RELATED:
Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Continued: Exec says Coleman donor ordered $100K payments
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.
Michael J. Totten:
Baghdad in Fragments  —  Many third world cities look better at night than during the day.  Darkness hides shabbiness.  You have to imagine what the city actually looks like.  If you live in a first world city yourself, you might fill in the blanks with what you're familiar with.
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?
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 …
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 …
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: Shopfloor, The New Republic, TIME.com and pw
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.
Michael Yon:
Obama on Afghanistan: Disappointing  —  27 March 2009  —  President Obama has just spoken on AfPak.  I closed my eyes and listened closely to his words, coming via the BBC from the other side of the world.  —  The President's words were disappointing.  He talked about our goal to reach …
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
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
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.
Discussion: Fausta's Blog
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
PART OF THE PROBLEM  —  We're listening to the bank CEO press conference after their meeting with the president at the White House.  And among other comments Jim Rohr, chairman and chief executive of Pittsburgh's PNC Financial Services Group, has just noted that the financial services industry is the …
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.
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 …
Discussion: Gateway Pundit and Hot Air
Paul Krugman:
What's our gold standard?  —  I've just reread Eichengreen and Temin, The Gold Standard and the Great Depression, which does a great job of showing how the “gold mentality” — what they call mentalite, with an accent — paralyzed policymakers.  (The longer-form version, with more personal color, is Liaquat Ahamad's Lords of Finance.)
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
A Target-Rich Environment  —  Karl Rove made a habit of employing this strategy in the salad days of the Bush revolution: draw out the more voluble, more controversial, more trigger-happy Democratic voices and use them reductively, cutting off more legitimate debate with more legitimate Democrats.
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 …
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Why Not Arbitrary Limits on Executive Pay?  —  Josh Marshall, in the course of making rather a different point, says: … Some people, as I understand it, just don't think inequality is a problem.  But for the egalitarians among us, I've never really understood the view that obscene executive compensation …
Discussion: Angry Bear and Talking Points Memo
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 …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Jeremy P. Jacobs / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:
Tedisco disputes new poll
Anne Schroeder Mullins / Anne Schroeder's Blog:
Eric Cantor's Britney Spears' concert-going: the story that won't die
Daniel J. Chacón / Gazette:
Nightclub: ‘Girls Gone Wild’ flashing a 1st Amendment right
Discussion: The Other McCain
Liam Pleven / Wall Street Journal:
Top Risk Officers Remain at Insurer's Helm
Robert Stacy McCain / AmSpecBlog:
David Horowitz: ‘100% Chance’ of Terror Strike on U.S. Soil
Discussion: pw
Lois Romano / Washington Post:
Transcript of Interview With White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs
Discussion: The Swamp and Alex Conant
 Earlier Items: 
Ruben Navarrette Jr / CNN:
Commentary: Obama is flunking economics
Megan McArdle:
Foreigners + Money = Crisis?
Discussion: MoJo Blog Posts
Michelle Malkin:
The coming G20 riots & the spread of mob rule
Michael Gerson / Washington Post:
Obama Speeches Gain From Teleprompter
Gianluca Baratti / Bloomberg:
Job Losses From Obama Green Stimulus Foreseen in Spanish Study
Discussion: AmSpecBlog and Barcepundit
David Catanese / KYTV-TV:
Carnahan leads Blunt & Steelman in U.S. Senate poll