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12:55 PM ET, May 7, 2007

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Martin Arnold / Financial Times:
Defeated Socialists search for scapegoats  —  Let the finger-pointing begin.  Ségolène Royal's defeat on Sunday night left the French Socialist party in disarray and searching for someone to blame.  There is hardly a shortage of scapegoats.  —  It is the party's third consecutive presidential defeat.
Craig S. Smith / New York Times:
Sarkozy Wins the Chance to Prove His Critics Wrong  —  Arrogant, brutal, an authoritarian demagogue, a "perfect Iago": the president-elect of France has been called a lot of unpleasant things in recent months and now has five years to prove his critics wrong.
Discussion: Don Surber and NewsBusters.org
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Nancy / nancynall.com:
A bleat.  —  I wasn't going to write anything about James Lileks', er, sudden change of assignment.  I mean, talk about your inside baseball.  But reading about the right-wing blog star / Minneapolis Star Tribune "humor" columnist's predicament — abruptly told the paper had other plans for his FTE …
Discussion: Media, alicublog and The Daily Whim
The Big Trunk / Power Line:
BIG BANG AT THE STAR TRIBUNE  —  Paul Schmelzer and Brian Lambert have been previewing a shakeup among the columnists at the Minneapolis Star Tribune.  Despite these rumblings, I find it almost unbelievable that the first evidence of the shakeup is the folding of the daily column by James Lileks.
Paul Schmelzer / Minnesota Monitor:
Strib Shakeup: Amid Columnist Queries, Rumors of Buyouts and a 'Backfence' Departure  —  The Star Tribune has asked its metro columnists to voluntarily give up columns and take over reporting beats, The Rake's Brian Lambert reports — but, according to newsroom insiders, the shakeup won't end there.
Discussion: SCSUScholars
See-Dubya / Hot Air:
Lileks could use a hand
Discussion: Riehl World View and JunkYardBlog
Ken Ritter / Associated Press:
1 dead in casino parking lot explosion  —  LAS VEGAS - A device left in a casino parking garage exploded early Monday, killing a hotel employee who picked it up, authorities said.  —  The man was removing the device from atop a car when it exploded shortly after 4 a.m. on the second floor …
RELATED:
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:   Exploding Backpack In Las Vegas
Associated Press:   Backpack blast near Vegas casino kills 1
Paul Kiel / TPMmuckraker:
Today's Must Read  —  I'm not sure if this qualifies as ironic or just sadly fitting.  —  As we've attempted to document here, the Civil Rights Division has been the focus of the most dramatic effort at politicization in the Justice Department.  Career lawyers, harassed and discouraged …
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KCBS - KCBS All News 740 AM:
Iraq War Hampers Kansas Cleanup  —  GREENSBURG, Kan. (AP) — The rebuilding effort in tornado-ravaged Greensburg, Kansas, likely will be hampered because some much-needed equipment is in Iraq, said that state's governor.  —  Governor Kathleen Sebelius said much of the National Guard equipment …
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Adam Nagourney / New York Times:
California Gains Clout With Earlier Primary  —  When Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, finished a speech on foreign policy recently in Northern California, he was surrounded by reporters who wanted to ask about another topic: global warming and how it was contributing to the state's water shortage.
Alec MacGillis / Washington Post:
On Poverty, Edwards Faces Old Hurdles  —  Critics Say He Brings Few Fresh Ideas to Signature Issue  —  ALLENDALE, S.C. — His rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination were busy April 26 preparing for their first televised debate, but John Edwards was 45 miles south …
Michael Isikoff / Newsweek:
The Loyalty Enforcer  —  The role of Monica Goodling, a former GOP "oppo" researcher who became a top aide to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, is getting new scrutiny in the U.S. attorneys flap.  —  Justice confirmed it's investigating whether Goodling improperly assessed the political loyalties …
Discussion: The Next Hurrah
Howard Kurtz / Washington Post:
CBS's Late Bloomer  —  NEW YORK—Byron Pitts was chatting with students at a Harlem charter school the day before a recent visit by President Bush when the CBS correspondent had a realization: They viewed him as just another empty suit who couldn't possibly understand their problems.  Little did they know.
Steven R. Weisman / New York Times:
Panel to Find That Wolfowitz Broke Rules, Officials Say  —  The World Bank committee investigating misconduct charges against Paul D. Wolfowitz, the bank president, failed to complete its review on schedule this weekend, but bank officials said the panel would eventually find that he violated bank rules barring conflicts of interest.
Sonya Geis / Washington Post:
Flavoring Suspected in Illness  —  Calif. Considers Banning Chemical Used in Microwave Popcorn  —  SOUTH GATE, Calif. — She was once in constant motion; her co-workers compared her to a roadrunner because of the way she darted around the workplace.  But now Irma Ortiz sits at the edge of her couch …
Discussion: The Pump Handle and KnoxViews
 
 
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 More Items: 
Tim Shorrock / Salon:
George Tenet cashes in on Iraq
Discussion: Daily Kos
Donald Lambro / Washington Times:
Early primary roils Florida Democrats
John Schwartz / New York Times:
Critic Says Levee Repairs Show Signs of Flaws
Discussion: First Draft
Kevin / Pundit Review:
The Walter Reed Interviews
Discussion: Gateway Pundit, QandO and BLACKFIVE
Robert Pear / New York Times:
Methods Used by Insurers Are Questioned
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Brit Hume is a "journalist"; Keith Olbermann is "partisan"
Discussion: The Heretik
Associated Press:
Al Qaeda Video Mocks Bush, Withdrawal Bill
 Earlier Items: 
Lynne Duke / washingtonpost.com:
How Big a Stretch?  —  For Barack Obama, Winning the White House …
Discussion: Pollster.com
Molly Ball / Las Vegas Review-Journal:
STATEWIDE POLL: Clinton has huge lead in Nevada
Discussion: The Corner, MyDD and Pollster.com
Boston Globe:
What does $456 billion buy?
Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute:
What Mandate?  —  I was actually reading Frank Rich this morning …
Joel Garreau / Washington Post:
Bots on The Ground  —  In the Field of Battle (Or Even Above It) …
Michael Portillo / Times of London:
Having large families 'is an eco-crime'