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2:20 PM ET, April 2, 2009


 Top Items: 
Eric Boehlert / Media Matters for America:
The media's giftgate  —  I know, my head hurts, too, reading the ‘coverage.’ (I'm waiting for some reporter to combine the gift ‘story’ with a detailed description of what Michelle Obama was wearing when she gave the Queen of England the gift.)  —  Aside from the fact that key facts …
Discussion: The Sideshow and Eschaton
Ariel Leve / Times of London:
Protocol is abandoned as Michelle Obama cosies up to Queen  —  Protocol seems to be dispensed with when the Obamas come to town.  —  When the President and his wife, Michelle, attended a reception at Buckingham Palace, the First Lady and the Queen slipped their arms around each other towards the end of the evening.
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Michelle Obama's Favorable Rating Eclipses Her Husband's  —  Both president and first lady are quite popular  — USA - Favorability - Government and Politics - Presidential Ratings - The Presidency - Americas - Northern America  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Americans have very positive impressions …
Howard Chua-Eoan / Time:
The Queen and Mrs. Obama: Did the First Lady Break Protocol?  —  Michelle Obama with Queen Elizabeth II during an audience at Buckingham Palace  —  The rules are set in stone and so the eagerly watching British media sputtered when the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama …
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Michelle's recovery  —  The newest Gallup numbers show Michelle Obama …
Discussion: marbury
Rajini Vaidyanathan / BBC:
Michelle fever  —  In the US she is already a cover girl …
Discussion: MSNBC and World Blog
Quinnipiac University:
Dodd Falls Way Behind As Approval Drops To Lowest Ever, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters Are Angry At AIG Bonuses And Blame Dodd  —  Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd trails former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons, a possible Republican challenger, 50 - 34 percent in the 2010 Senate race …
Glenn Thrush / The Politico:
Cantor: Dems ‘overreacting’ to crisis  —  GOP Whip Eric Cantor thinks his party can retake the House in next year's midterm elections — and accused Democrats of “overreacting” to the economic crisis by embarking on a federal spending spree.  —  UPDATED: I cleaned up the transcript and transcribed his full quote from the tape.
Chicago Breaking News:
Sources: Blagojevich indictment today  —  The U.S. attorney's office in Chicago says that later today it is announcing developments in a “significant criminal matter.”  Sources familiar with the situation said the announcement is expected to be the indictment of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and others on corruption charges.
Natasha Korecki / Chicago Sun Times:
Indictment in Blagojevich case coming later today
Discussion: CBS News and The Raw Story
Ross Douthat:
The Naive Opposition  —  Ezra Klein, on Paul Ryan's alternative budget: … I understand what he's getting at, but this phrasing makes it sound like the House Republicans' budget is an exercise in cynicism and partisan political calculation - which is exactly the wrong way to look at what's going on with the House GOP.
Discussion: AmSpecBlog
Reid Wilson / The Hill:
Romney breaks with GOP on the issue of deregulation  —  Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) said Wednesday that his party needs to take a fresh approach to government regulations in the wake of the economic crisis that has rattled the U.S. and world economies.
Discussion: Anne Schroeder's Blog
Aaron Blake / The Hill:
Romney: Don't root for Obama to fail
Discussion: The Politico
Clarice Feldman / American Thinker:
Obama bows down to Saudi King (updated)  —  I am quite certain that this is not the protocol, and is most unbecoming a President of the United States.  —  Update: See Miss Manners on the protocol.  Americans do not bow to foreign monarchs because that act signified the monarch's power over his subjects.
Peter Hamby / CNN:
Gingrich warns of third party in 2012  —  (CNN) — Former House speaker Newt Gingrich is warning of a third party mutiny in 2012 if Republicans don't figure out a way to shape up.  —  “If the Republicans can't break out of being the right wing party of big government, then I think you would …
Discussion: The Strata-Sphere
Susan Crabtree / The Hill:
Sen. Stevens ‘got screwed’ by Justice  —  The Justice Department's stunning decision to drop all charges against former Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) had GOP senators hailing the news as a vindication while government watchdogs fretted over the impact on other corruption cases against public officials.
Discussion: TPMMuckraker and Washington Post
Associated Press:
New Accounting Rules for Mortgage-Backed Securities  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — The board that sets United States accounting standards is giving companies more leeway when valuing assets, a potential lift to battered banks' balance sheets.  —  The independent Financial Accounting Standards Board voted …
Discussion: Felix Salmon
Ronald D. Orol / MarketWatch:
FASB approves more mark-to-market flexibility
Discussion: Reason
Danny Shea / The Huffington Post:
Ed Schultz To Be MSNBC 6 PM Host  —  The #1 story on Countdown was Keith Olbermann introducing Ed Schultz as the new host of “The Ed Show” on MNSBC weeknights at 6PM ET.  —  Olbermann joked that the qualifications for MSNBC hosts are being “an ex-sportscaster born on the 27th of January” …
Discussion: Mondoweiss and FishBowlDC
Michelle Malkin:
Bozo the VP strikes again  —  Obama/Biden administration rule of thumb: Every last bit of the current economic disaster is Bush's fault.  Any sign of recovery as a result of government action is thanks to Obama/Biden — even if it was Bush who authorized the program.  —  Bozo the VP shows you how it's done:
Fox News:
The Myth of 90 Percent: Only a Small Fraction of Guns in Mexico Come From U.S.  —  While 90 percent of the guns traced to the U.S. actually originated in the United States, the percent traced to the U.S. is only about 17 percent of the total number of guns reaching Mexico.  —
Victoria McGrane / The Politico:
Former AIG chief says bailout ‘failed’  —  Former AIG CEO Maurice “Hank” Greenberg says the bailout has “failed” and he's proposing a 10-point alternative focused on saving, not breaking apart, the mega-insurer.  —  Greenberg will reveal his plan during a hearing before the House Oversight …
Manu Raju / The Politico:
Franken puts Pawlenty in a jam  —  The legal fight between Al Franken and Norm Coleman is headed to the desk of Gov. Tim Pawlenty — a no-win predicament for a Minnesota Republican with his eye on a White House run in 2012.  —  Franken won big Tuesday when a three-judge panel allowed …
Megan McArdle:
Department of awful statistics  —  Every time you find yourself saying that there must be some causal relationship between two strongly correlated variables, you should go back and look at this graph:  —  As Atlantic Business contributor Derek Lowe, from whom I stole that graph, notes,
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
A. Pawlowski / CNN:
Jupiter's stormy Great Red Spot is shrinking  —  (CNN) — Everything about Jupiter is super-sized, including its colorful, turbulent atmosphere.  But there's fresh evidence that one of the planet's most recognizable features, the Great Red Spot, is shrinking.
Matthew Syed / Times of London:
Police were attacked as they helped dying man at G20 protests in City  —  Police officers came under attack while they tried to help a dying man at the G20 protests in the City last night.  —  The victim was found by a member of the public unconscious in the street near the Bank of England just before 7.30pm yesterday.
Discussion: RedState
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 More Items: 
Adam Serwer / American Prospect:
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
Bricka Bracka Firecracker, Sis Boom Bah!
Discussion: The Note and Commentary
Jeremy P. Jacobs / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:
Menendez: DSCC ‘absolutely’ standing behind Dodd
Discussion: Swing State Project
Dennis C. Wilder / Washington Post:
The Danger of a U.S.-China ‘G-2’ Strategic Alliance
Eric Bolling / Fox News:
White House Corrects Conference Call Number After Directing Reporters to Sex Line
Discussion: Caleb's blog and New York Post
Jack Healy / New York Times:
Stocks Find Reasons to Continue Rally
 Earlier Items: 
The New Republic:
How to Fight a Smear
Mike Mount / CNN:
North Korea is fueling rocket, U.S. military says
Discussion: protein wisdom and Danger Room
The New Republic:
An Obama-Kristol Foreign Policy Alliance?
Discussion: Mondoweiss
Ryan / The Bellows:
An Existential Crisis for Libertarianism
Discussion: The New Republic and The Corner
The Raw Story:
Colbert weeps for Glenn Beck's sanity
Discussion: and Crooks and Liars
Ted Barrett / CNN:
Senate rejects controversial fast-track budget procedure