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10:40 PM ET, May 9, 2006


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Bush's Public Approval at New Low Point  —  Americans have a bleaker view of the country's direction than at any time in more than two decades, and sharp disapproval of President Bush's handling of gasoline prices has combined with intensified unhappiness about Iraq to create a grim political environment …
Discussion: CorrenteWire, Angry Bear and TalkLeft
CBS News:
Poll: Dim View Of Bush, GOP  —  Bush Disappoints On Key Issues; Democrats In Congress Trump GOP  —  (CBS) President Bush and the Republican Congress show nearly record low ratings while Democrats are viewed much more favorably in their performance on the issues that matter most to Americans …
Joseph Carroll / Gallup:
Bush Job Approval: 31%  —  Reaches new low among Republicans, Democrats  —  PRINCETON, NJ — President George W. Bush's job approval rating has reached yet another new low for his administration, according to a new USA Today/Gallup poll.  The poll, conducted May 5-7, 2006 …
HUD secretary's blunt warning  —  Alphonso Jackson says deal was scuttled after contractor admits not liking Bush  —  Once the color barrier has been broken, minority contractors seeking government work may need to overcome the Bush barrier.  —  That's the message U.S. Housing …
The Raw Story:
Senator demands resignation of Housing Secretary after 'don't like Bush' dispute  —  Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) called on President Bush to ask for the immediate resignation of the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson if a report about government contracts being awarded based …
Judd / Think Progress:
Housing Sec. Canceled Contract Because Contractor Criticized Bush, Apparently Violating Law  —  Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson publicly admitted that he canceled a government contract with a business because the CEO was critical of President Bush.  From the Dallas Business Journal:
Captain Ed / Captain's Quarters:
Will Rage Undo The Democrats?  —  Two items from prominent opinion journalists point to a meltdown in the Democratic base even as they close in on a vulnerable GOP in midterm elections.  Jonah Goldberg and Richard Cohen have one thing in common: irrational e-mail.
Digby / Hullabaloo:
Lapfull of Dick  —  Richard Cohen got 2,000 mean e-mails …
Christine Hauser / New York Times:
Iranian's Letter to Bush Emerges  —  In his letter to President Bush, Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, declared that Western-style democracy had failed and that the use of secret prisons in Europe and aspects of the war in Iraq could not be reconciled with Mr. Bush's Christian values.
Ahmadinejad's Letter to Bush
Discussion: Mia Culpa and Publius Pundit
Jeff Green / CNN:
U.S. has second worst newborn death rate in modern world, report says  —  Research: 2 million babies die in first 24 hours each year worldwide  —  (CNN) — An estimated 2 million babies die within their first 24 hours each year worldwide and the United States has the second worst newborn mortality rate …
Neil A. Lewis / New York Times:
Bar Panel Downgrades Bush Nominee for Judiciary  —  WASHINGTON, May 8 — The American Bar Association said Monday that it had downgraded its rating of one of President Bush's judicial nominees.  —  The A.B.A. committee that evaluates judicial nominees said that the nominee, Brett M. Kavanaugh …
Bill Brubaker / Washington Post:
Judicial Nominee Appears at Contentious Second Hearing
Discussion: The Strata-Sphere
Robin Toner / New York Times:
Optimistic, Democrats Debate the Party's Vision  —  WASHINGTON, May 8 — With Democrats increasingly optimistic about this year's midterm elections and the landscape for 2008, intellectuals in the center and on the left are debating how to sharpen the party's identity and present a clear alternative …
Maryehayes / Miss Kelly:
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: "I Really Wonder What You Are Doing Here at Harvard"  —  After listening to Ayaan Hirsi Ali's talk at Harvard JFK's School of Government this afternoon, I went up to shake her hand and let her know much I admired her.  She is physically a slight woman.  How can it be that such a small woman is so feared?
Tamara Traubman / Haaretz:
New U.K. attempt to boycott Israeli universities, professors  —  The largest university and college lecturers union in Britain is likely to decide shortly to recommend that its 67,000 members boycott Israeli lecturers and academic institutions that do not publicly declare their opposition to Israeli policy in the territories.
Discussion: TigerHawk, OxBlog and Solomonia
Radio Blogger:
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Mahmoud, son of Xerxes: "You know, he's obviously a communicator."  —  DR: Hugh Hewitt?  —  HH: Mr. Secretary, welcome back to the program.  —  DR: Thank you.  It's good to be with you.  —  HH: Good to have you here.
Discussion: Democracy Project
Michelle Roberts / Newhouse News:
Recruiting Abuses Mount as Army Struggles to Meet Goals  —  PORTLAND, Ore. — Jared Guinther is 18.  Tall and lanky, he will graduate from high school in June.  Girls think he's cute, until they try to talk to him and he stammers or just stands there — silent.
Ken Silverstein / Harper's:
"Nine Fingers" and the Third Man  —  New connections between the CIA and the Cunningham Scandal  —  Justin Rood at TPM Muckraker posted an interesting story yesterday, explaining why the Bush Administration's explanation for Porter Goss's sudden departure from the CIA looks increasingly lame.
Washington Post:
GOP Reaches Deal on Tax Cuts  —  $70 Billion Measure Would Extend Breaks  —  House and Senate Republican negotiators reached a final agreement yesterday on a five-year, nearly $70 billion tax package that extends President Bush's deep cuts to tax rates on dividends and capital gains …
Discussion: Midtopia and AMERICAblog
Noah Shachtman / Wired News:
Ex-NSA Chief Assails Bush Taps  —  NEW YORK — Former National Security Agency director Bobby Ray Inman lashed out at the Bush administration Monday night over its continued use of warrantless domestic wiretaps, making him one of the highest-ranking former intelligence officials to criticize the program in public, analysts say.
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 More Items: 
Zachary Roth / The Washington Monthly:
INVESTI-GATE...Over at the New Republic blog, Michael Crowley notes …
Amir Taheri / Opinion Journal:
The Perils of Engagement  —  Calling for talks with Iran is just cheap talk.
Discussion: Atlas Shrugs
The Ugly American / The Real Ugly
Reviewing "Painting The Map Red"
Discussion: BLACKFIVE
Confederate Yankee:
Mexican Handoff  —  Someone remind me: which country …
Howard W. French / New York Times:
As Chinese Students Go Online, Little Sister Is Watching
Discussion: Althouse and News Blog
James Glanz / New York Times:
Killings in Iraq Spawn Search for Missing Funds
The Sandmonkey / Free Alaa!:
We need your help to free Alaa
CBS News:
Rupert Murdoch Loves Hillary Clinton
 Earlier Items: 
Matthew Schofield / Knight Ridder:
Under fire, U.S. says it will ban controversial interrogation practice
Lydia Polgreen / New York Times:
Angry Darfur Refugees Riot in Demand for U.N. Troops
Natalie Angier / New York Times:
One Thing They Aren't: Maternal
Jonathan Chait / The New Republic:
LEFT-WING "DEBATE":  —  In my most recent column I argued …
Discussion: Eschaton, TAPPED and Decision '08
Oh, Say Can You Sing ... the National Anthem?
Discussion: and Iowa Voice
American Spectator:
FDR's Domestic Surveillance
Washington Post:
Another Possible Bump to the Debt Ceiling
Agence France Presse:
Flying robot attack "unstoppable": experts