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11:10 AM ET, March 31, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
David Brooks / New York Times:
Car Dealer in Chief  —  Some companies are in the steel business, some are in the cookie business, but General Motors is in the restructuring business.  For 30 years, G.M. has been restructuring itself toward long-term viability.  —  For all these years, G.M.'s market share has endured a long, steady slide.
RELATED:
The Hill:
President Obama's auto plan throws lawmakers  —  President Obama's new ultimatum to U.S. auto manufacturers threw Capitol Hill into turmoil Monday as lawmakers worried about the effects the plans could have on their districts.  —  Michigan's senior Democratic senator, Carl Levin …
Greg Gordon / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Wagoner's pension secure as GM's workers could be hit
Discussion: The Mahablog and Prairie Weather
Los Angeles Times:
Obama takes step over the line that separates government from private industry
Discussion: The Swamp
Washington Post:
Most Americans Don't Blame Obama for Economy, Poll Finds  —  The number of Americans who believe that the nation is headed in the right direction has roughly tripled since Barack Obama's election, and the public overwhelmingly blames the excesses of the financial industry, rather than the new president …
RELATED:
Alan Elsner / Reuters:
U.S. voters don't blame Obama for economy
Discussion: Associated Press and Donklephant
Drudge Report:
NANNY STATE: GOVERNMENT WEBSITE TO WARN OF SADNESS/CRYING OVER ECONOMY  —  The U.S. government is set to offer an online emotional rescue kit!  —  “Getting Through Tough Economic Times” will launch Tuesday with a media push across all platforms.  —  The site is meant to help people identify …
RELATED:
Reuters:
U.S. website offers emotional rescue from economy  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Stressed out by the economy?  The U.S. government is offering an online emotional rescue kit.  —  The “Getting Through Tough Economic Times” guide at www.samhsa.gov/economy/ is meant to help people identify …
Discussion: The Raw Story and Shakesville
Michelle Malkin:
The soul-fixer-in-chief is here to dry your tears
Bloomberg:
Financial Rescue Approaches GDP as U.S. Pledges $12.8 Trillion  —  The U.S. government and the Federal Reserve have spent, lent or guaranteed $12.8 trillion, an amount that approaches the value of everything produced in the country last year, to stem the longest recession since the 1930s.
RELATED:
Bloomberg:   Fed Takes Lead Role in Executing ‘Stress Tests’ of U.S. Banks
James Besser / JW Political Insider:
Bashing J Street  —  Follow the Jewish Week on Twitter!  Click here to start.  And we're on Facebook; become a fan today.  —  What is about J Street, the pro-peace process lobby and political action committee, that has the leaders of major Jewish groups in such a snit?
RELATED:
Ezra Klein / American Prospect:
WHY IS AIPAC SO AFRAID OF J STREET?  —  James Besser asks why the major Jewish groups have responded to J Street with so much more fury and fear than, say, the formation of Americans for Peace Now, or the Israeli Policy Forum.  One Jewish leader, speaking off the record, confides to Besser that he feels …
Megan McArdle:
Just say no to F-Bombs  —  As in, using the word “fascist” to apply to the current, or indeed previous, administration.  David Henderson writes: … How is this helpful?  Has clarifying the distinction between fascism and socialism really added to most peoples' understanding of what the Obama administration is doing?
Discussion: Outside The Beltway
RELATED:
David Henderson / EconLog:
Obama Throws the F-Bomb
Discussion: Swords Crossed
Byron York / www.washingtonexaminer.com:
Beyond AIG: A Bill to let Big Government Set Your Salary  —  It was nearly two weeks ago that the House of Representatives, acting in a near-frenzy after the disclosure of bonuses paid to executives of AIG, passed a bill that would impose a 90 percent retroactive tax on those bonuses.
Discussion: Michelle Malkin and Pajamas Media
Perry Bacon Jr / Washington Post:
Ex-Commerce Nominee Now Top Budget Critic  —  Standing beside President Obama at the White House as he accepted the nomination to be commerce secretary two months ago, Sen. Judd Gregg (N.H), a stalwart Republican about to join a Democratic administration, said: “This is not a time when we should stand …
Discussion: Glenn Thrush's Blog and MSNBC
RELATED:
David E. Sanger / New York Times:
For U.S. and Carmakers, a Path Strewn With Pitfalls  —  As an assertion of government control over a huge swath of the industrial landscape, President Obama's decision to reshape the automobile industry has few precedents.  —  In essentially taking command of General Motors and telling Chrysler …
Jerome Starkey / The Independent:
Afghan leader accused of bid to ‘legalise rape’  —  UN and women MPs say Karzai bowed to Islamic fundamentalists before poll  —  Afghanistan's President, Hamid Karzai, has signed a law which “legalises” rape, women's groups and the United Nations warn.  Critics claim the president helped rush …
Discussion: Dinah Lord
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Obama Still Popular, GOP Still Doesn't Care  —  With there seeming to be more Senate Democrats who are wary of Barack Obama's agenda than there are Senate Republicans wary of opposing it, Washington often takes on the feel of a town with a president whose honeymoon is over.
Associated Press:
Calif. IRS agent admits cheating on his own taxes  —  SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - An Internal Revenue Service agent who audits taxpayers in California has agreed to plead guilty to cheating on his own taxes.  —  In a plea agreement filed Monday in Orange County, 43-year-old Jim H. Liu (LOO) …
Discussion: Don Surber
BBC:
‘Toilet row’ lowers morale on space station  —  The International Space Station, once a place where astronauts would share food and facilities, is said to be embroiled in a Cold War-like stand-off.  —  A Russian cosmonaut has complained he is no longer allowed to use a US toilet as well as a US exercise bike.
Discussion: PoliBlog
Washington Post:
Arms Programs Way Over Budget, GAO Report Finds  —  Weapons Programs Still Over Budget, GAO Report Finds  —  Development costs for the Pentagon's major weapons systems soared last year, helping drive overruns that are “staggering,” the Government Accountability Office said in a report released yesterday.
Lois Romano / Washington Post:
Michelle's Image: From Off-Putting To Spot-On  —  At first, they didn't like the way she was talking about her husband's dirty socks.  Then, they said she always looked angry.  Later, they questioned her patriotism when she commented that she only recently became proud of her country.
Discussion: TIME.com
Lucy Bannerman / Times of London:
Fire kills child, 3, and parents as police prevent neighbours from trying to rescue them  —  A pregnant woman, her husband and their three-year-old son were killed in a house fire early yesterday as police who arrived before the fire brigade prevented neighbours from trying to save them.
Steve Vogel / Washington Post:
EEOC Willfully Violated Pay Law, Arbitrator Rules  —  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, responsible for ensuring that the nation's workers are treated fairly, has itself willfully violated the Fair Labor Standards Act on a nationwide basis with its own employees, an arbitrator has ruled.
Josh Kraushaar / The Politico:
Party leaders stressed about Dodd  —  Interviews with a dozen Democratic state legislators, party officials and operatives in Connecticut indicate there is deep concern back home over whether the incendiary American International Group bonuses issue has delivered a mortal blow to Sen. Chris Dodd …
 
 
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 More Items: 
The Politico:
What cars are in W.H. driveways?
Discussion: The Swamp
Lori Montgomery / Washington Post:
Recession Puts a Major Strain On Social Security Trust Fund
Discussion: AmSpecBlog
Nanette Lepore / The Huffington Post:
Laying People Off — Tearfully
Pamela Constable / Washington Post:
Insurgent Threat Shifts From Border to Heartland in Pakistan
Discussion: The New Republic and MSNBC
Rasmussen Reports:
War on Terror Update
 Earlier Items: 
Dmitry A. Medvedev / Washington Post:
Building Russian-U.S. Bonds
Discussion: TIME.com
Monique / HotMES:
Does this skirt make me look fat?
Justin Lahart / Wall Street Journal:
How a Modern Depression Might Look — If the U.S. Gets There
Discussion: The New Republic