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12:15 PM ET, March 29, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Mark Leibovich / New York Times:
Speaking Freely, Biden Finds Influential Role  —  WASHINGTON — When President Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. meet for their standing Friday lunch engagement, Mr. Obama always picks the cuisine — a subtle break from previous administrations in which the president …
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Brad Hamilton / New York Post:   ‘FRIEND’ OF BIDEN'S DAUGHTER SHOPPING TAPE OF HER ALLEGEDLY DOING COCAINE
Jeremy Clarkson / Times of London:
Iran missile experts in North Korea ‘to help with rocket launch’  —  Missile experts from Iran are in North Korea to help Pyongyang prepare for a rocket launch, according to reports.  —  Amid increasing global concern over the launch, which the US and its allies consider to be illegal …
Discussion: Pat Dollard and Pajamas Media
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Tahman Bradley / The Note:
US Can't Stop North Korean Launch, Gates Says  —  ABC News' Tahman Bradley reports:  —  Secretary of Defense Robert Gates predicted North Korea would launch a missile soon and said there's nothing the United States can do about it.  —  “I would say we're not prepared to do anything about it …
Discussion: The Swamp and Associated Press
catholicnewsagency.com:
Hillary Clinton leaves flowers for Our Lady of Guadalupe, asks ‘Who painted it?’  —  Mexico City, Mexico, Mar 27, 2009 / 04:59 pm (CNA).- During her recent visit to Mexico, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made an unexpected stop at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe and left a bouquet …
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John / Power Line:
More Smart Diplomacy?  —  The Catholic News Agency reports …
Discussion: BeltwayBlips
The Politico:
Staff infection: Allies rip Palin team  —  A seemingly unending series of public relations gaffes has Sarah Palin loyalists frustrated and worried she is diminishing her stature.  And they blame an inner circle they say is composed of not-ready-for-primetime players.
Washington Post:
Detainee's Harsh Treatment Foiled No Plots  —  Waterboarding, Rough Interrogation of Abu Zubaida Produced False Leads, Officials Say  —  When CIA officials subjected their first high-value captive, Abu Zubaida, to waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods, they were convinced …
Nicholas Confessore / New York Times:
Albany Agrees on a Plan to Raise Taxes on Top Earners  —  Gov. David A. Paterson and leaders of the Legislature have reached a deal to temporarily raise taxes on New York's highest earners in order to close the state's yawning budget deficit, lawmakers and officials involved in the talks said on Saturday.
Evan Thomas / Newsweek:
Obama's Nobel Headache  —  Paul Krugman has emerged as Obama's toughest liberal critic.  He's deeply skeptical of the bank bailout and pessimistic about the economy.  Why the establishment worries he may be right.  —  From the magazine issue dated Apr 6, 2009  —  Traditionally, punditry in Washington has been a cozy business.
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Jeremy D. Mayer / The Politico:
Marijuana issue suddenly smoking hot  —  Smoking pot doesn't cause schizophrenia, but marijuana as an issue sure gives our political system the symptoms.  We have just elected our third president in a row who at least tried marijuana in early adulthood, yet it remains illegal.
Discussion: TalkLeft
Joseph Curl / Washington Times:
Public financing ‘dead,’ McCain says  —  Questions Obama's bipartisanship vows  —  Sen. John McCain, an architect of sweeping campaign-finance reform who got walloped by a presidential candidate armed with more than $750 million, predicts that no one will ever again accept federal matching funds to run for the nation's highest office.
Discussion: TIME.com
Maya Jackson Randall / Wall Street Journal:
US Treasury: $134.5 Billion Left in TARP  —  WASHINGTON — The U.S. Treasury Department estimates that it has about $134.5 billion left in its financial-rescue fund, which would mean that about 81% of the $700 billion program has been committed.  —  In its estimate, the Treasury projects …
Discussion: Daily Finance and The Politico
The Politico:
Geithner: End ‘booms and busts’  —  Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said on back-to-back appearances on Sunday shows that the administration had “no good choices” for dealing with the AIG bonus debacle.  —  “You've already seen a lot of those payments returned,” Geithner told NBC's David Gregory on “Meet the Press.”
Discussion: The Swamp
Michael D. Shear / Washington Post:
No Givens As Obama Steps Onto World Stage  —  After 69 days in which international issues have taken a back seat to attempts to rescue the economy at home, President Obama takes the world stage this week as a wildly popular figure among the people of Europe, but one who faces a difficult task …
Discussion: THE ASTUTE BLOGGERS
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Vanessa Gera / Associated Press:
Antarctica to Pyramids — lights dim for Earth Hour  —  BONN, Germany - From an Antarctic research base to the Great Pyramids of Egypt and beyond, the world switched off the lights on Saturday for Earth Hour, dimming skyscrapers, city streets and some of the world's most recognizable monuments …
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 More Items: 
Steve Volk / The Daily Examiner:
BREAKING: Inquirer CEO Tierney Got Bonus Before Bankruptcy
Discussion: Washington Monthly and Philly.com
CNN:
AIG director named to Obama tax task force
Discussion: Gateway Pundit
Robert J. Shiller / New York Times:
It Pays to Understand the Mind-Set
 Earlier Items: 
Mickey Kaus / Kausfiles:
Vultures Wanted: Time to Feast on the LAT's dying carcass!
Discussion: LA Observed
Danny Glover / The Enlightened Redneck:
How Obama Ruined The Easter Egg Roll
The Progress Report / The Huffington Post:
Stop The O'Reilly Harassment Machine
Discussion: American Power
John Markoff / New York Times:
Vast Spy System Loots Computers in 103 Countries
Discussion: Pat Dollard