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1:40 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
Karl Rove / Wall Street Journal:
The President Is ‘Keeping Score’  —  Chicago politics has moved into the White House.  —  “Don't think we're not keeping score, brother.”  That's what President Barack Obama said to Rep. Peter DeFazio in a closed-door meeting of the House Democratic Caucus last week, according to the Associated Press.
Ezra Klein / American Prospect:
THE OPPOSITE OF NO NUMBERS IS NOT IMAGINARY NUMBERS.  —  About a week ago, House Republicans emerged with a budget that was widely mocked because it contained no numbers and made no sense.  This week, Representative Paul Ryan is proposing a budget that will be widely mocked because the numbers it contains make no sense.
Ted Barrett / CNN:   Senate rejects controversial fast-track budget procedure
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 …
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  —  The U.S. Attorney's office said this morning it plans to make an announcement about a “significant criminal matter” later today, which sources said is the indictment of ex-governor Rod Blagojevich.  The indictment will likely be handed down within the next several hours.
Discussion: CBS News and The Raw Story
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.
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 …
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
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
Ann Scott Tyson / Washington Post:
U.S. Military to Request More Troops for Afghanistan  —  Request for 10,000 Not Yet Submitted To White House  —  Gen. David H. Petraeus disclosed yesterday that American commanders have requested the deployment of an additional 10,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan next year …
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 …
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
The New Republic:
How to Fight a Smear  —  Dahlia Lithwick has a really good piece lamenting the fact that the mainstream media has failed to take on the right-wing smear campaign against Yale Law prof—and Obama's nominee to serve as the State Department's top lawyer—Harold Koh:
Discussion: The Plum Line
Dahlia Lithwick / Slate:
And Then They Came for Koh ...  If mainstream America can't stand …
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 …
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.  —
Josh Kraushaar / Scorecard's Blog:
Specter attacks Toomey in early campaign ad  —  Facing a serious threat from his right in next year's primary, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) is wasting no time preparing for his re-election.  —  Specter is already up with an expensive campaign ad throughout the state of Pennsylvania attacking …
Discussion: MyDD
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 More Items: 
Michelle Malkin:
Bozo the VP strikes again
A. Pawlowski / CNN:
Jupiter's stormy Great Red Spot is shrinking
Megan McArdle:
Department of awful statistics
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
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
J. Taylor Rushing / The Hill:
Gregg says he definitely won't run again
Discussion: DownWithTyranny!
 Earlier Items: 
Josh Kraushaar / Scorecard's Blog:
The shifting vote count
The Raw Story:
Colbert weeps for Glenn Beck's sanity
Discussion: and Crooks and Liars