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3:55 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 …
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 …
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.
Valentine Low / Times of London:
Queen and Michelle Obama - the story behind a touching moment
Discussion: The Lede and The New Republic
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, World Blog and Washington Post
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 and Shakesville
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 …
Ali Frick / Think Progress:
Glenn Beck: I was wrong.  We're not marching to socialism, we're marching toward fascism.  —  For almost a year, Glenn Beck has been warning with increasing panic that America is headed toward socialism.  Tonight, he issued a correction: “They” are not marching the United States toward socialism, Beck explained, but actually fascism:
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
Nedra Pickler / Associated Press:
Judge: Bagram prisoners can challenge detention  —  Featured Topics: - Barack Obama - Presidential Transition  —  WASHINGTON - A federal judge ruled Thursday that some prisoners in the war on terror can use U.S. civilian courts to challenge their detention at a military air base in Afghanistan …
Adam Serwer / American Prospect:
Discussion: Washington Monthly and BBC
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.  —
Pew Research Center:
Public Knows Basic Facts About Financial Crisis  —  More Know Unemployment Rate than Dow Average  —  The latest Pew Research Center News IQ survey finds the American public reasonably well-informed about a number of basic facts pertaining to the current economic situation.
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
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
Bricka Bracka Firecracker, Sis Boom Bah!  —  The century-old Russell Senate Office Building, a palace of marble and granite where lawmakers have examined everything from the Titanic to Watergate, is not ordinarily a spot for political rallies.  But these are not ordinary times.
Mark Blumenthal /
Robert Groves Nominated to Head Census  —  In the survey world, this is very big news (from AP via The Page): … It is something of an understatement to describe Robert Groves as “an expert in survey methodology.”  He is one of our nations' most respected survey methodologists and arguably …
Discussion:, On Deadline and SENATUS
Eric Bolling / Fox News:
White House Corrects Conference Call Number After Directing Reporters to Sex Line  —  In a press release, the White House accidentally listed a phone sex number for journalists seeking an “on-the-record briefing call with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and National Security Advisor Jim Jones to discuss the NATO summit.”
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.
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
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:
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
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 …
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.
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.
Amanda Terkel / Think Progress:
With charges dropped against Stevens, Alaska GOP now calling on Begich to resign.  —  Yesterday, Attorney General Eric Holder said that he was asking a judge to drop all charges against former Alaska senator Ted Stevens because of prosecutorial misconduct by Justice Department lawyers.
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 More Items: 
Andrew J. Bacevich / Los Angeles Times:
How do we save NATO? We quit
Discussion: The Atlanticist
Dana Goldstein / American Prospect:
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Satyam Khanna / Think Progress:
Flashback: In his last year in office, Bush still didn't know what the G20 was.
Discussion: Voice of America
Ta-Nehisi Coates:
Nihilism And Gay Marriage
Discussion: MoJo Blog Posts
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
W.H. touts role in France-China deal
 Earlier Items: 
Dennis C. Wilder / Washington Post:
The Danger of a U.S.-China ‘G-2’ Strategic Alliance
The New Republic:
How to Fight a Smear
The New Republic:
An Obama-Kristol Foreign Policy Alliance?
Discussion: Mondoweiss