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1:50 PM ET, April 29, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Olympia Snowe / New York Times:
We Didn't Have to Lose Arlen Specter  —  IT is disheartening and disconcerting, at the very least, that here we are today — almost exactly eight years after Senator Jim Jeffords left the Republican Party — witnessing the departure of my good friend and fellow moderate Republican …
RELATED:
Peter Hamby / CNN:
Specter defection highlights GOP divide in South Carolina  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) - In the wake of Arlen Specter's defection to the Democratic caucus, Republicans are primed for yet another round of soul-searching and intra-party sniping about the GOP's future.
Discussion: TPMDC and Philly.com
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
DeMint: Republicans Losing Because of “Forced Unionization”  —  When a party does badly in a couple of elections in a row and winds up losing a ton of seats, the natural consequence is to end up more concentrated in its regional base of support.  The Republicans did poorly in 2006 …
Discussion: The New Republic
William A. Jacobson / Le·gal In·sur·rec· tion:
Relax, The Dems Will Screw Up
Discussion: Wall Street Journal
The Politico:
Dems win Specter bidding war
Discussion: The Swamp and Ben Smith's Blog
Jack Healy / New York Times:
U.S. Economy in 2nd Straight Quarter of Steep Decline  —  The American economy shrank rapidly in the first three months of the year, the government reported on Wednesday, a signal that the economy is likely to remain a dominant issue as the Obama administration looks beyond its first 100 days.
RELATED:
CNBC.com:
GDP Down 6.1%, Reflecting Continuing Economic Woes  —  The U.S. economy contracted at a surprisingly sharp 6.1 percent rate in the first quarter as exports and business inventories plummeted.  —  The drop in gross domestic product, reported by the Commerce Department on Wednesday …
Discussion: TalkLeft and Felix Salmon
Jeannine Aversa / Associated Press:   Economy shrinks at 6.1 percent pace in 1Q
David Leonhardt / Economix:
Shrinking Like It's 1958  —  How bad have the last two quarters been?
Discussion: The Daily Dish and Greg's Opinion
RELATED:
New York Times:
First U.S. Death From Swine Flu Is Reported  —  American authorities confirmed the first death outside of Mexico from swine flu on Wednesday, as the number of confirmed cases of the disease continued to rise in Europe.  —  President Obama, in a morning news conference …
Lauran Neergaard / Associated Press:
Swine flu spreads in 10 US states, Europe
Discussion: Clusterstock and Hot Air
Ralph Z. Hallow / Washington Times:
EXCLUSIVE: Steele may lose purse strings  —  A battle over control of the party's purse strings has erupted at the troubled Republican National Committee, with defenders of Chairman Michael S. Steele accusing dissident RNC members of trying to “embarrass and neuter” the party's new leader.
New York Times:
Early Resolve: Obama Stand in Auto Crisis  —  WASHINGTON — By the time he sat down in the Oval Office to brief Michigan's Congressional delegation, President Obama had made up his mind.  Days earlier, he had decided to oust the head of General Motors and give it and Chrysler weeks to fix themselves.
RELATED:
Wall Street Journal:   The Truth About Cars and Trucks
David Leonhardt / New York Times:
After the Great Recession  —  On April 14, President Obama gave a speech at Georgetown University, trying to explain why he was taking on so many economic issues so early in his administration.  He argued that the country needed to break its bubble-and-bust cycle and cited the New Testament …
Alexander Burns / The Politico:
Obama targets tea bags at town hall  —  At his 100th-day town hall meeting in St. Louis, Mo., President Obama took direct aim at the anti-tax “tea party” demonstrations that have cropped up over the last month - and took a veiled shot at FOX News Channel, at the cable news network closely associated with the protests.
Discussion: Nice Deb and Hot Air
Neil A. Lewis / New York Times:
Official Defends Signing Interrogation Memos  —  WASHINGTON — Judge Jay S. Bybee broke his silence on Tuesday and defended the conclusions of legal memorandums he had signed as a Bush administration lawyer that allowed use of several coercive interrogation practices on suspected terrorists.
Laura Rozen / The Cable:
State of play in the Harman case  —  Rep. Jane Harman has hired lawyer Lanny Davis, a former special counsel to President Bill Clinton during the Lewinsky affair, as a media advisor, The Cable has learned.  —  The enlisting of the heavyweight help is the latest sign that the California Democrat intends …
Bloomberg:
Fed Is Said to Seek Capital for at Least Six Banks  —  At least six of the 19 largest U.S. banks require additional capital, according to preliminary results of government stress tests, people briefed on the matter said.  —  While some of the lenders may need extra cash injections from the government …
Dexter Filkins / New York Times:
Poppies a Target in Fight Against Taliban  —  ZANGABAD, Afghanistan — American commanders are planning to cut off the Taliban's main source of money, the country's multimillion-dollar opium crop, by pouring thousands of troops into the three provinces that bankroll much of the group's operations.
Timothy P. Carney / www.washingtonexaminer.com:
Former Barney Frank staffer now top Goldman Sachs lobbyist  —  Goldman Sachs' new top lobbyist was recently the top staffer to Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., on the House Financial Services Committee chaired by Frank.  Michael Paese, a registered lobbyist for the Securities Industries …
Reason:
Obama's Vision Deficit  —  So here we are, 100 days into the great eight-year triumph of Hope over Change, a new Era of Really Good Feelings in which only one thing has become increasingly, even irrefutably, clear: President Barack Obama is about as visionary as the guy who invented Dippin' Dots, Ice Cream of the Future.
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
White House Cheat Sheet: 100 Days Winners and Losers  —  President Obama speaks to reporters after Health and  —  Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was sworn in during a  —  On President Obama's 100th day in office, it's clear he has won far more than he has lost during his time in the White House.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Eric Kleefeld / TPMDC:
Historian Michele Bachmann Blames FDR's “Hoot-Smalley” Tariffs For Great Depression
Keith Bradsher / New York Times:
China to Let Taiwan Participate in U.N. Body
Michael Ledeen / Pajamas Media:
“Never Again,” Obama Style
Discussion: Israel Matzav and Power Line
Dick Morris / The Hill:
Obama sows seeds of demise
Byron York / www.washingtonexaminer.com:
The black-white divide in Obama's popularity
Discussion: Townhall.com
Kara Rowland / Washington Times:
Boehner says Obama's bills makes him ‘want to throw up’
Discussion: Glenn Thrush's Blog
 Earlier Items: 
The Smoking Gun:
FEMA's “Scary Thing”
Discussion: Raw Story
Adam Green / Open Left:
Would YOU step up to help a progressive challenger to Specter?
Los Angeles Times:
American Express' risk-cutting poses its own risks
Charles Lane / Washington Post:
Electric Cars — Not Ready to Roll