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4:20 PM ET, January 26, 2010

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Paul Krugman:
Obama Liquidates Himself  —  A spending freeze?  That's the brilliant response of the Obama team to their first serious political setback?  —  It's appalling on every level.  —  It's bad economics, depressing demand when the economy is still suffering from mass unemployment.
RELATED:
Jackie Calmes / New York Times:
Obama Seeks Freeze on Many Domestic Programs  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama will call for a three-year freeze in spending on many domestic programs, and for increases no greater than inflation after that, an initiative intended to signal his seriousness about cutting the budget deficit, administration officials said Monday.
Brad DeLong / Grasping Reality with Opposable Thumbs:
Barack Herbert Hoover Obama?  —  UPDATE II: It seems that it is not a freeze in non-security discretionary outlays, but rather an overall cap on non-security discretionary—which is a diffrent animal.  And it seems that it is not an overall cap on non-security discretionary outlays …
Bob Herbert / New York Times:
Obama's Credibility Gap  —  Who is Barack Obama?  —  Americans are still looking for the answer, and if they don't get it soon — or if they don't like the answer — the president's current political problems will look like a walk in the park.  —  Mr. Obama may be personally very appealing …
Paul Rosenberg / Open Left:
It's Official: Obama is an idiot  —  As noted in quick hits by BDB and rayj, [UPDATE] and by David in a diary that just caused me to push back this diary's publication time, Obama has now gone off the deep end.  After passing a stimulus that most economists (not just liberal ones) …
Discussion: Left Coast Rebel and Donklephant
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
The White House's Brain Freeze  —  First reactions aren't always the best ones, but my first reaction to tonight's news is that it's a mistake on par with John McCain's “suspending my campaign” gaffe.  Politico: … I'll let the economists talk about the wisdom of curtailing government spending …
Ezra Klein:
The Obama administration loses the deficit — and the spending — argument  —  This video is not good for the White House.  It shows Barack Obama repeatedly, and eloquently, rejecting John McCain's proposal for a “non-defense spending discretionary freeze.”  We need a scalpel, Obama says, not a hatchet.
Associated Press:
Senate rejects Obama-backed deficit task force
Discussion: Sweetness & Light and Hot Air
Jonathan Zasloff / The Reality-Based Community:
Obama's Self-Inflicted Lobotomy Proceeds Apace
Nick Gillespie / Hit & Run:   Obama's Empty Cost-Containment Rhetoric: Should We Call Him Out on It?
Rachel Slajda / TPMDC:
Lincoln, Bayh Won't Support Passing Health Care Fixes Via Reconciliation  —  Two Democratic senators, Evan Bayh of Indiana and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, have declared that they won't support a plan to have the House pass the Senate health care bill whole, then pass fixes to the bill through the reconciliation process.
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New York Times:
Decision Looms on Advancing Health Care Bill  —  WASHINGTON — Seeking to avert the collapse of major health care legislation, the White House and Democratic leaders in Congress face a crucial decision about whether to use a procedural maneuver that would allow them to advance the bill despite …
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Lincoln rejects using reconciliation to pass health bill
Discussion: TalkLeft and Balkinization
Reid Wilson / Hotline On Call:
Lincoln Will Oppose Reconciliation
Discussion: Hot Air and Emptywheel
The Note:
Labor Chief: Senators “Acted Like Terrorists” on Health Care
Discussion: Raw Story
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
GOP Strategy: Derail Health Bill Reconciliation Fix With …
Tony Romm / The Hill:
Bayh unlikely to support reconciliation to pass healthcare
Discussion: TPMDC
TPMDC:
Waiting Game: The Dems Play For Time
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Ben Nelson Reminisces About When People Cares What He Thinks
David Hammer / New Orleans Times-Picayune:
ACORN gotcha man among four arrested for attempting to bug Mary Landrieu's office … The FBI, alleging a plot to wiretap Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu's office in downtown New Orleans, arrested four people Monday, including James O'Keefe, a conservative filmmaker whose undercover videos …
Erick Erickson / RedState:
BREAKING: Mike Pence Will Not Run for Senate  —  Sources are confirming for me this morning that Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN) will not run for the United States Senate.  —  In fact, later today the Congressman will send out a letter to supporters outlining his reasons.  In it he will write:
RELATED:
Michael Barone / Washington Examiner:
Sen. Bayh in danger; a look at the numbers
Discussion: Power Line and Melanie Morgan
Stephen Koff / Plain Dealer:
Ellie Light revealed: I'm Barbara Brooks, a nurse, says Pro-Obama letter writer … WASHINGTON — Ellie Light, the ubiquitous letter writer arousing blogosphere suspicions that she is a White House operative spreading the gospel of Barack Obama, is actually a registered nurse.
RELATED:
Quinnipiac University:
Rubio Edges Crist In Florida Gop Senate Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; President Obama Under Water As Voters Disapprove  —  Former State House Speaker Marco Rubio has squeaked past Gov. Charlie Crist in the race for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination, leading 47 …
RELATED:
Steve Bousquet / The Buzz:
Crist may be with Obama in Tampa Thursday
Discussion: Scorecard's Blog, Hot Air and The Hill
David Brooks / New York Times:
The Populist Addiction  —  Politics, some believe, is the organization of hatreds.  The people who try to divide society on the basis of ethnicity we call racists.  The people who try to divide it on the basis of religion we call sectarians.  The people who try to divide it on the basis …
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
The importance of independents  —  In the wake of Sen.-elect Scott Brown's (R) victory over state Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) in last week's Senate special election, a debate has been raging over independents.  —  The conventional wisdom — as argued in this blog and many other places …
Discussion: Washington Monthly and Ezra Klein
RELATED:
Kluidhardt / Prosper Group Think:   What Brown did right online
RELATED:
Lori Montgomery / Washington Post:
Source: Federal budget deficit will improve slightly
Discussion: Wonkette and Newsweek Blogs
The Huffington Post:
Double Standard For Bernanke: Only 50 Votes Needed In Senate  —  WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?  —  When it comes to progressive priorities in the Senate, there's one standard: 60 votes are needed.  But for Ben Bernanke, there's a second standard: 50 will be just fine, thank you.
Kate Zernike / New York Times:
Tea Party Disputes Take Toll on Convention  —  A Tea Party convention billed as the coming together of the grass-roots groups that began sprouting up around the country a year ago is unraveling as sponsors and participants pull out to protest its expense and express concerns about “profiteering.”
Joby Warrick / Washington Post:
Report says Al-Qaeda still aims to use weapons of mass destruction against U.S.  —  When al-Qaeda's No. 2 leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, called off a planned chemical attack on New York's subway system in 2003, he offered a chilling explanation: The plot to unleash poison gas on New Yorkers was being dropped for …
Peter Wallsten / Wall Street Journal:
Rahm Emanuel Draws Fire From Left  —  WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama's liberal backers have a long list of grievances.  The Guantanamo Bay prison is still open.  Health care hasn't been transformed.  And Wall Street banks are still paying huge bonuses.
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Fox leads for trust  —  Americans do not trust the major tv news operations in the country- except for Fox News.  —  Our newest survey looking at perceptions of ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Fox News, and NBC News finds Fox as the only one that more people say they trust than distrust.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Tony Romm / The Hill:
Reid: ‘No rush’ to finish healthcare
Discussion: The Swamp
Reuters:
Teen pregnancy rate up after 10-year decline
Discussion: Politics Daily
The Note:
Obama Spending Freeze Lands on Hill with Thud
Chris Frates / The Politico:
Koop raises specter of rationing
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog and Don Surber
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Why Obama Shouldn't Panic
Discussion: The Daily Dish
David Boaz / Los Angeles Times:
The right has ‘Avatar’ wrong
Jezebel:
Weigh Less, Pay Less: Whole Foods Offers Discount Based On BMI
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
A Weak White House Confronts An Angry Union
 Earlier Items: 
Ben Pershing / Washington Post:
Senate Democrats eye $80B jobs package
Discussion: Newsweek Blogs
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
In What Culture is Having a Shoe Thrown At You a Sign of Respect?
Discussion: Sudan
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Illinois Governor Primary Numbers
Discussion: The Hill and The Capitol Fax Blog
Hotline On Call:
The Bernanke Whip Count: 45-19
Front Page Magazine:
An Open Letter to Charles Johnson
Rush Limbaugh / The Onion:
I Don't Even Want To Be Alive Anymore