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1:50 PM 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 Politico:
Detroit plan has GOP all over the map  —  President Barack Obama may or may not be able to save the U.S. auto industry, but his dramatic restricting plan is already having some effect: It's sent the highly disciplined GOP message machine careening out of control.
The Hill:
President Obama's auto plan throws lawmakers
Russell Roberts / Cafe Hayek:
The man of system will now fix the auto industry
Discussion: The Foundry
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 …
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CNN:
Poll: Americans believe world leaders respect President Obama  —  WASHINGTON (CNN)- As Barack Obama takes off for his first overseas trip as president, a new national poll indicates that more than eight in ten Americans think he will do a good job representing the U.S. to the world.
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 …
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Ariel Leve / Times of London:
Nicolas Sarkozy's threat to walk out of global summit  —  Anglo-Saxon gibe strains relations with Obama  —  Charles Bremner in Paris and Philip Webster  —  President Sarkozy yesterday threatened to wreck the London summit if France's demands for tougher financial regulation are not met.
Discussion: The Swamp and Clusterstock
RELATED:
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.
RELATED:
Michael Schwirtz / New York Times:   Staying Put on Earth, Taking a Step to Mars
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.
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?
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:
Adam Nagourney / New York Times:
Special Election in New York Is a Special Case  —  WASHINGTON — Voters in a House district in New York will elect a replacement on Tuesday for Kirsten E. Gillibrand, the Democrat tapped to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Senate after she became Secretary of State.
RELATED:
Jack Cafferty / CNN:
Commentary: War on drugs is insane  —  Editor's note: Jack Cafferty is the author of a new book, “Now or Never: Getting Down to the Business of Saving Our American Dream.”  He provides commentary on CNN's “The Situation Room” daily from 4 to 7 p.m. ET.  You can also visit Jack's Cafferty File blog.
Alison Flood / Guardian:
Crumb to publish Bible satire  —  Cartoonist Crumb's vision of the first book of the Bible said to be a ‘complex, even subversive narrative that calls for a re-examination of its role in our culture’  —  The famously subversive US cartoonist Robert Crumb has announced the completion of his long-awaited take on the Book of Genesis.
Discussion: Newshoggers.com
energycommerce.house.gov:
Chairmen Waxman, Markey Release Discussion Draft of New Clean Energy Legislation  —  Chairman Henry A. Waxman of the Energy and Commerce Committee and Chairman Edward J. Markey of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee today released a draft of clean energy legislation that will create jobs …
Chris Collins / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Life in Mendota, Calif., where the jobless rate is 41 percent  —  MENDOTA, Calif. — The customer seemed interested in a black blouse offered for $1 at the thrift store.  But instead of buying it, she set it on the front counter.  —  Maybe tomorrow, she told the cashier, she would have the money.
Discussion: D-Day
Patrick Oppmann / CNN:
Microsoft bridge slammed as waste of stimulus  —  REDMOND, Washington (CNN) — Should a bridge that would connect two campuses at Microsoft's headquarters be funded with $11 million from the federal stimulus package?  —  Critics of using stimulus money for the bridge say it would give the software giant a break on a pet project.
Discussion: Cafe Hayek, RedState and ProPublica
Gene Healy / www.washingtonexaminer.com:
Beware the cult of Obama  —  You've met them.  They may be friends of yours, or family members.  You may even be one of them (in which case you'll hate this column).  I'm referring to those who've heard the Call of Obama.  —  Tucker Carlson compares it to a dog whistle: Inaudible to most, but irresistible to those who can hear it.
American Research Group:
Hodes/Sununu 2010 US Senate Ballot  —  The following results are based on 535 completed telephone interviews among a statewide random sample of adults registered to vote in New Hampshire.  Of the 535 interviews, 155 were among Republicans, 161 were among Democrats, and 219 were among undeclared voters.
Shobhana Chandra / Bloomberg:
Home Prices in 20 U.S. Cities Fell by a Record 19%  —  Home prices in 20 U.S. cities fell 19 percent in January from a year earlier, the fastest drop on record, as demand plummeted and foreclosures rose.  —  The S&P/Case-Shiller index's decrease was more than forecast and compares with an 18.6 percent decrease in December.
Dan Zak / Washington Post:
Rallying in the Name of the Unkindest Cut?  —  Sharp Rhetoric Abounds In Circumcision Debate  —  In the shadow of the nation's most recognizable phallic symbol, they gather and march.  There are about 50 of them, all ages, both sexes, nearly all white, smiling, quiet …
Discussion: Moonbattery and Reason
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.
RushLimbaugh.com:
El Rushbo to New York: Drop Dead  —  BEGIN TRANSCRIPT  —  RUSH: Now, let's see.  In New York, they've been going back and forth at the state level on budgets.  They are over-budget.  They have a deficit in the double-digit billions, and they've been going back and forth in the State Assembly in New York over whether to raise taxes.
Ezra Klein / American Prospect:
ANGELA MERKEL EXPLAINS WHY GERMANY WON'T COOPERATE ON STIMULUS.  —  The New York Times scored a useful interview where German Chancellor Angela Merkel lays out her opposition to increased stimulus spending at greater length.  In America, the consensus has been that Germans are simply irrationally afraid …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Lee Speigel / Political Punch:
Is There a War on the Term ‘War on Terror’
Discussion: Open Left and TPMDC
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Matthews: Palin like a “mail-order bride”
Discussion: Moe Lane and Gateway Pundit
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
BARONE DEFINES ‘NORMAL’.... Jon Chait had a great piece yesterday …
Discussion: The Nation and The New Republic
Lisa Lerer / The Politico:
Ben Nelson: a help or a hurdle?
Discussion: LaborPains.org
The Politico:
Obama, the nation's CEO
Betsy Rothstein / The Hill:
Gingrich becomes a Catholic, then dines at Café Milano
 Earlier Items: 
Caitlin Taylor / The Note:
Kennedy chairs HHS hearing
Discussion: The Politico and Ben Smith's Blog
Washington Post:
Arms Programs Way Over Budget, GAO Report Finds
Discussion: Democracy in America
The Politico:
What cars are in W.H. driveways?
Discussion: The Swamp
Josh Kraushaar / The Politico:
Party leaders stressed about Dodd
Lois Romano / Washington Post:
Michelle's Image: From Off-Putting To Spot-On
Discussion: TIME.com