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8:45 PM ET, February 9, 2009


 Top Items: 
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Obama fails his first test on civil liberties and accountability — resoundingly and disgracefully  —  Two weeks ago, I interviewed the ACLU's Ben Wizner, counsel to 5 individuals suing the subsidiary of Boeing (Jeppesen) which had arranged the Bush administration's rendition program …
Huma Khan / Political Punch:
Obama Administration Maintains Bush Position on ‘Extraordinary Rendition’ Lawsuit  —  From Jake Tapper and Ariane de Vogue:  —  The Obama Administration today announced that it would keep the same position as the Bush Administration in the lawsuit Mohamed et al v Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc.
John Schwartz / New York Times:
Administration Invokes State Secret Argument  —  SAN FRANCISCO — In a closely watched case involving rendition and torture, a lawyer for the Obama administration seemed to surprise a panel of federal appeals judges on Monday by pressing ahead with an argument for preserving state secrets originally developed by the Bush administration.
Discussion: Booman Tribune and
Devlin Barrett / Associated Press:   Attorney general is reviewing state secret claims
Frank Newport / Gallup:
Obama Has Upper Hand in Stimulus Fight  —  Obama's 67% approval rating on the stimulus is more than twice that of Republicans  — USA - Congress - Democrats - Government and Politics - Leadership - Republicans - The Presidency - Americas - Northern America
Obama's approval is high — but the stimulus isn't as popular  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — A new national poll suggests that three out of four Americans approve of the job Barack Obama's doing as President — but the economic stimulus package he's trying to push through Congress is not nearly as popular.
Pew Research Center:
Support for Stimulus Plan Slips, But Obama Rides High
Stuart Rothenberg / Real Clear Politics:
This Can't Be What Obama, Pelosi and Reid Expected
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blogs:
Manley sacks Shuler  —  Harry Reid spokesman Jim Manley on Heath Shuler's comment that Reid and Nancy Pelosi “failed” on bipartisanship.  —  It's a good one: … In four years as an NFL QB — three with the Redskins, one with the Saints — Shuler threw 32 INTs while tallying only 15 TDs.
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blogs:
Pelosi, Reid have “failed,” Shuler says  —  Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C) has further ingratiated himself with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — not — by declaring that Pelosi and Harry Reid “failed” the bipartisanship test on stimulus.  —  “In order for us to get the confidence of America …
Mike Baker / Associated Press:
Shuler hits Democratic leaders on bipartisanship  —  RALEIGH, N.C. — Democratic Rep. Heath Shuler said Monday that his party's leadership on Capitol Hill has failed to pursue a bipartisan compromise to a costly economic stimulus package, arguing that a lack of Republican support is eroding the program's credibility.
Discussion: Oliver Willis
David M. Herszenhorn / New York Times:
Senate Clears Path for Vote on $838 Billion Stimulus  —  WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Monday advanced the $838 billion economic stimulus bill, clearing a major procedural hurdle by a razor thin margin with the help of just three Republicans.  A vote on final passage of the bill is expected on Tuesday.
Associated Press:
Obama faces tough question over Cabinet picks
Discussion: The Politico
Faiz Shakir / Think Progress:
Senate votes to end debate on economic recovery package.»
Discussion: Reuters
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Obama Aides Rip Cable News, D.C. Media And Political Elite  —  Here's an interesting dynamic: The yawning gap between what the pundits say about who's winning the stimulus war and what the polls say the public thinks has created an opening for the Obama team to reclaim Obama's campaign outsider mantle …
Eric Ostermeier / Smart Politics:
Coleman Says ‘God Wants Me to Serve’  —  While Al Franken remains fairly elusive, Norm Coleman is keeping a high profile these days as his court challenge of the Minnesota U.S. Senate recount plods along.  —  Coleman is adept, somewhat too adept, his critics might say …
Justin Fox / The Curious Capitalist:
Comparing this recession to the last five  —  The dramatic chart Nancy Pelosi's office put out comparing job losses so far in the current recession with those in 2001 and 1990-1991 has gotten a lot of play in the Internets.  As well it should-it paints a dramatic picture (job losses in the current recession have been much more severe).
Ross Douthat:
The Trouble With Centrism  —  The liberals are angry, and not without reason.  You can imagine a world in which “centrist” Senators used their awesome deal-making powers to forge compromises that incorporate ideas from the left and right alike.  A world in which moderate “gangs,” …
Florida gov. to join Obama at stimulus town hall
Discussion: Salon and Washington Monthly
Jon Ward / Washington Times:
EXCLUSIVE: Partisan dirt-digger joins WH office  —  Resume lacks legal training  —  Amid the furor over controversies regarding Cabinet-nominee tax problems and the seismic battle over a nearly trillion-dollar economic rescue bill, President Obama made a little-noticed appointment that is now generating intrigue.
Discussion: Don Surber and JustOneMinute
The Huffington Post:
Leahy: Investigate Bush Now  —  Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy insisted on Monday in firm and passionate terms that a comprehensive investigation be launched into the conduct of the Bush administration, saying anything less would prevent the country from moving forward.
Wall Street Journal:
Banks Seeking Aid to Undergo ‘Stress Test’  —  WASHINGTON — Many U.S. banks will be subjected to rigorous examinations to see if they are healthy enough to lend before receiving additional federal rescue funds, according to people familiar with the matter.  —  The “stress tests” …
The Atlantic Politics Channel:   The World Braces For TARP II
David Rogers / The Politico:
Senate advances stimulus package  —  Spurred on by President Barack Obama, an $827 billion economic recovery plan advanced in the Senate Monday, clearing a last procedural hurdle with the help of three Republicans and the return of Sen. Edward Kennedy, ill with cancer.
Discussion: JustOneMinute
Jessica Ravitz / CNN:
Muslim in America: a ‘voyage of discovery’  —  ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) — Hailey Woldt put on the traditional black abaya, expecting the worst.  —  The last time she'd worn the Muslim dress that, with a head scarf, covered everything but her face, hands and feet, she was in Miami International Airport …
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Emily Anthes / Boston Globe:
Climate change takes a mental toll  —  Last year, an anxious, depressed 17-year-old boy was admitted to the psychiatric unit at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne.  He was refusing to drink water.  Worried about drought related to climate change, the young man was convinced that if he drank, millions of people would die.
Discussion: Stop The ACLU
Betsy McCaughey / Bloomberg:
Ruin Your Health With the Obama Stimulus Plan: Betsy McCaughey  —  Feb. 9 (Bloomberg) — Republican Senators are questioning whether President Barack Obama's stimulus bill contains the right mix of tax breaks and cash infusions to jump-start the economy.  —  Tragically, no one from either party …
Walter Shapiro / The New Republic:
Meet the Press  —  What were JFK's fabled press conferences really like?  —  With Barack Obama's first news conference slated for tonight at 8 p.m. eastern, it is a safe bet that—like on Inauguration Day—the most over-used word in the English language Monday will be “Kennedy-esque.”
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's … and MoJoBlog
Daily Mail:
High-ranking Foreign Office diplomat arrested over anti-Semitic gym tirade … A high-ranking diplomat at the Foreign Office has been arrested after allegations that he launched a foul-mouthed anti-Semitic tirade.  —  Middle East expert Rowan Laxton, 47, was watching TV reports of the Israeli attack …
Discussion: Commentary and Daled Amos
Richard Pérez-Peña / New York Times:
Newsweek Plans Makeover to Fit a Smaller Audience  —  When US Airways Flight 1549 glided safely onto the Hudson River last month, Newsweek did what news organizations have done for more than a century — it sent reporters and photographers to the scene.  Considerable effort yielded …
Ben Armbruster / Think Progress:
Gitmo Detainee's ‘Genitals Were Sliced With A Scalpel,’ Waterboarding ‘Far Down The List Of Things They Did’  —  Last week, two British High Court judges ruled against releasing documents describing the treatment of Binyam Mohamed, a British resident who is currently being held at Guantanamo Bay.
A-Rod admits, regrets use of PEDs … His voice shaking at times, Alex Rodriguez met head-on allegations that he tested positive for steroids six years ago, telling ESPN on Monday that he did take performance-enhancing drugs while playing for the Texas Rangers during a three-year period beginning in 2001.
Discussion: Law Blog and Slate
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 More Items: 
Natasha Singer / New York Times:
F.D.A. Finds ‘Natural’ Diet Pills Spiked With Drugs
Michelle Malkin:
“The only thing grand about the Grand Compromise is the price tag …
Zachary Roth / TPMMuckraker:
Barnes: Global Warming Isn't Man Made — But I Won't Tell You How I Know That
Matt Corley / Think Progress:
GOP Leaders Taking Cues From Malkin On Stimulus, Call It ‘Generational Theft’
Ann Althouse / Althouse:
“Take a moment... take an hour... to try to revive and savor …
Michael Finnegan / Los Angeles Times:
Meg Whitman, EBay's former CEO, joins California governor's race
Discussion: Sacramento Bee and The Caucus
Associated Press:
Dingell to be longest-serving House member
Discussion: Indecision
 Earlier Items: 
David M. Halbfinger / City Room:
Gillibrand Talks to Students About Guns
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blogs:
Steele calls for “Bling, Bling"-free stimulus
Ann Althouse / Althouse:
Obama's insipid emails are annoying Leon Wieseltier.
Discussion: Cold Fury and Commentary
John Feehery / The Politico:
A letter to Rush Limbaugh
John B. Taylor / Wall Street Journal:
How Government Created the Financial Crisis
Discussion: JustOneMinute