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11:40 AM ET, April 7, 2009


 Top Items: 
Helene Cooper / New York Times:
Obama Makes Unannounced Visit to Iraq  —  BAGHDAD — President Obama made an unannounced trip to Baghdad on Tuesday, punctuating his week-long overseas trip with a stop to talk to American troops and Iraqi leaders.  —  Air Force One landed at Baghdad International Airport under heavy security …
Michael D. Shear / Washington Post:
President Makes Surprise Visit to Iraq  —  President Obama made a surprise visit to Iraq Tuesday afternoon, landing on Air Force One in Baghdad at 4:42 p.m. local time after concluding an eight-day overseas tour through Europe.  —  The unannounced visit to a war zone was a closely guarded secret …
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Obama in Iraq: A careful withdrawal  —  by Christi Parsons and Laura King and updated  —  ISTANBUL — President Barack Obama made a surprise landing in Baghdad today to meet with American military forces, help award some medals of valor and make his first stand as president in the war zone of a war that he pledges to end.
Discussion: Chicago Breaking News
Obama makes surprise stop in Baghdad
Discussion: Pam's House Blend
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Obama, the ICRC Report and ongoing suppression  —  (updated below)  —  Following up on the latest extremist Cheney/Addington/Yoo arguments advanced by the Obama DOJ in order to shield Bush lawbreaking from disclosure and judicial review — an episode I wrote about in detail yesterday …
Washington Post:
Report Calls CIA Detainee Treatment ‘Inhuman’  —  Medical officers who oversaw interrogations of terrorism suspects in CIA secret prisons committed gross violations of medical ethics and in some cases essentially participated in torture, the International Committee of the Red Cross concluded …
Attaturk / Firedoglake:
Hypocritical Oaths
Pilot of Stolen Cessna Wanted U.S. Fighter Jets to Shoot Him Down  —  Trooper Said Yavuz Berke, Now in Custody, Wanted U.S. Military to Kill Him  —  The Canadian man wholed fighter jets on a chase across six states yesterday flew his stolen plane into the U.S. in hopes the military would shoot …
Robert Imrie / Associated Press:   Man nabbed after plane taken from Canada to Mo.
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Reality hits Obama Express  —  President Barack Obama, after a lightning-quick start for his agenda on Capitol Hill, is bracing for a much slower pace and big changes in his proposals as early urgency and excitement give way to the more languid rhythms that are the norm for Congress.
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
Turkish town hall has MTV vibe  —  ISTANBUL — There were no “boxers or briefs” questions, but President Barack Obama's town hall-style conversation with a group of Turkish students here could have easily been mistaken for a session on MTV.  —  There were the short rows of bleachers set …
Discussion: The Swamp
Michael Ausiello /
‘House’ exclusive: The shocking story behind last night's big death  —  DEFCON 1 spoiler alert!  If you haven't seen last night's House, stop reading now.  Everyone else, onward and downward!  —  Here are the six things you need to know up-front about last night's House:
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Lieberman-Obama honeymoon stops at missile defense  —  Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.) has tried to mend his relationship with President Obama in recent months but their reconciliation hit a snag Monday over ballistic missile defense.  —  Lieberman, the self-described independent Democrat …
CBS News:
Poll: Obama Approval Hits New High - 66%  —  CBS/NY Times Survey Finds Most Believe World Leaders Respect President, Though They Maintain U.S. Is Not Respected Overall  —  (CBS) As President Obama concludes his well-publicized trip to Europe, Americans are more positive about the respect accorded …
Burlington Free Press:
Live video, blog: Gay marriage vote  —  FREE PRESS STAFF REPORT  —  From Terri Hallenbeck's story:  —  MONTPELIER — Gov. Jim Douglas vetoed same-sex marriage legislation Monday evening, sending the bill back to the Legislature today, where the votes to override the veto could teeter either way.
Andrew Ross Sorkin / New York Times:
‘No-Risk’ Insurance at F.D.I.C.  —  The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was set up 76 years ago with the important but simple job of insuring bank deposits.  —  Now, because of what could politely be called mission creep, it's elbowing its way into the middle of the financial mess as an enabler of enormous leverage.
Kevin Drum / MoJo Blog Posts:
Fun With Phosphates  —  The blogosphere had a few laughs last week at the expense of RedState head honcho Eric Erickson, who warned that revolution was coming and told residents of Washington state, “I'd be cleaning my gun right about now waiting to protect my property from the coming riots …
Megan McArdle:
Why don't we have more green products?  —  Kevin Drum writes:
Jerusalem Post:
'When Marlon Brando made me a Pessah offer I couldn't refuse'  —  A few weeks ago, as he began preparing material for our Pessah supplements, The Jerusalem Post's Managing Editor Steve Linde placed a small ad in the paper inviting readers to submit amazing but true Pessah stories.
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Peru court rules Fujimori guilty  —  A special court in Lima has found Peru's former president Alberto Fujimori guilty of human rights abuses.  —  Mr Fujimori, who denied the charges, is awaiting sentencing, but could face up to 30 years in prison.  —  He was convicted of responsibility …
Discussion: PoliBlog
Ezra Klein / Los Angeles Times:
When it comes to healthcare, the U.S., Britain and Canada are hurting  —  Healthcare in all three countries has the same problem.  They just feel it in different places.  —  When asked by the New England Journal of Medicine to detail his healthcare vision during the campaign …
Discussion: EconLog and Economist's View
Helene Cooper / New York Times:
In Turkey, Obama Presses for Mideast Accord  —  ISTANBUL, Turkey — President Obama continued to use his bully pulpit on Tuesday to call for Israelis and Palestinians to make the compromises necessary to reach a Middle East peace accord.  —  During a question-and-answer session …
David Kaplan /
The Atlantic Plans To Use Acquisitions To Build Web Traffic  —  A year after The completed its print and digital makeover, the online news mag is considering some acquisitions to spur growth.  I spoke with Justin Smith, president Atlantic Consumer Media, who said that there are no active deals …
Washington Post:
New Data Show Rapid Arctic Ice Decline  —  Proportion of Thicker, More Persistent Winter Cover Is the Lowest on Record  —  The Arctic sea ice cover continues to shrink and become thinner, according to satellite measurements and other data released yesterday, providing further evidence …
Marisa Taylor / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Judge: U.S. hid witness' mental illness in Guantanamo cases  —  WASHINGTON — The Justice Department improperly withheld important psychiatric records of a government witness who was used in a “significant” number of Guantanamo cases, a federal judge has concluded.
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 More Items: 
Melissa Grace / NY Daily News:
DA's office foils plot to smuggle nuke materials to Iran
John Amato / Crooks and Liars:
Rick Warren says he's not an anti-gay-marriage activist
Spiegel Online:
Obama's G-20 Confession
John Tierney / New York Times:
Public Policy That Makes Test Subjects of Us All
Discussion: Betsy's Page
Louis Uchitelle / New York Times:
Economy Falling Years Behind Full Speed
Discussion: Clusterstock
Abdon M. Pallasch / Chicago Sun Times:
Giannoulias raises $1.1 million for Senate bid
Discussion: Scorecard's Blog and TPMDC
 Earlier Items: 
Jazz Shaw / The Moderate Voice:
Political Spines of Steel
United States Senator James Inhofe:
Inhofe says Obama Defense Cuts will
Rod Liddle / Times of London:
Taleban-style law for women in Afghanistan is dropped after outcry
Discussion: CNN and Open Left
Ezra Klein / American Prospect:
BEAT SWEETENERS.  —  Matt Yglesias pulls the curtain back a bit on the “beat sweeteners:”
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Mike Glover / Associated Press:
Iowa Senate leader rules out gay marriage debate
Discussion: The Fix and #gay