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4:30 PM ET, April 8, 2009


 Top Items: 
Sharon Otterman / New York Times:
Pirates Seize Ship With U.S. Crew Off Coast of Somalia  —  Pirates commandeered a United States-flagged container ship with 20 American crew members off the coast of Somalia on Wednesday, the first time an American-crewed ship was seized by pirates in the area.
Fox News:
American Crew Regains Control of Hijacked Ship, One Pirate in Custody  —  American crew members aboard a U.S.-flagged ship have regained control of the vessel hijacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia Wednesday, FOX News confirms.  —  Defense Department officials confirmed that one pirate is in custody.
Discussion: RedState, MoJo Blog Posts and BLACKFIVE
Katharine Houreld / Associated Press:
Crew on US ship say Somali pirates hold captain  —  NAIROBI, Kenya - The American crew of a hijacked U.S.-flagged ship retook control of the vessel from Somali pirates Wednesday but the captain was still being held hostage in a lifeboat, according to at least three people on board.
Washington Wire:
Live Blog of Maersk Conference Call
Discussion: Clusterstock and Neptunus Lex
Stephanie McCrummen / Washington Post:
U.S. Crew Members Retake Ship Seized by Somali Pirates
Wall Street Journal:
Obama and Gates Gut the Military  —  The secretary's new budget will leave us weaker to pay for the president's domestic programs.  —  On Monday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced a significant reordering of U.S. defense programs.  His recommendations should not go unchallenged.
Spencer Ackerman / The Washington Independent:
Neocons vs. Bob Gates, With Special Guest Appearance by KKK Founder  —  Tom Donnelly and Gary Schmitt of the American Enterprise Institute, members in good standing of the neoconservative cabal to eat your babies and conquer the world and then eat more babies, have an op-ed …
Roger Ebert / Chicago Sun Times:
Thoughts on Bill O'Reilly and Squeaky the Chicago Mouse  —  Dear Bill: Thanks for including the Chicago Sun-Times on your exclusive list of newspapers on your “Hall of Shame.”  To be in an O'Reilly Hall of Fame would be a cruel blow to any newspaper.  It would place us in the favor of a man …
Jay Weiner / MinnPost:
Web ‘echo chamber’ going strong as Coleman and Franken camps prepare for Tuesday vote count  —  For the past week, to the outside world, it may have appeared as if the Norm Coleman-Al Franken U.S. Senate election contest were on hiatus.  —  The three-judge panel last Monday delivered …
Discussion: The Fix and The Plank
Wall Street Journal:
U.S. to Offer Aid to Life Insurers  —  Firms Face Capital Crunch; How Much They Will Get From TARP Remains Unclear  —  The Treasury Department has decided to extend bailout funds to a number of struggling life-insurance companies, helping an industry that is a lynchpin of the U.S. financial system …
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Keith Olbermann's scathing criticism of Obama's secrecy/immunity claims  —  (updated below)  —  Several weeks ago, I noted that unlike the Right — which turned itself into a virtual cult of uncritical reverence for George W. Bush especially during the first several years of his administration …
Rick Warren on the Newsweek ‘End of Christian America’ article, Pt. 1  —  HH: Special hour of the Hugh Hewitt Show, my old and dear friend, Rick Warren, is in studio with us, America's pastor.  He's the author of The Purpose Driven Life.  He is the founding pastor 30 years ago at Saddleback Valley Community Church.
Discussion: Majikthise
Matt Corley / Think Progress:
Did Rick Warren compare Democrats to prostitutes?
Hilary Leila Krieger / Jerusalem Post:
Obama to host Seder Thursday night  —  Article's topics: Barack Obama, Pessah, Seder,  —  US President Barack Obama will celebrate Passover Thursday night with staff and friends in what is believed to be the first White House Seder attended by an American president.
Amanda Terkel / Think Progress:
Turkish anchor wears blackface to report on Obama's visit.  —  A YouTube video has popped up of a Turkish anchor wearing dark face paint when reporting on President Obama's recent visit to the country.  Jonathan Turley has a rough translation of what the anchor is saying: … Watch it:
Aluf Benn / Haaretz:
Obama team readying for confrontation with Netanyahu  —  In an unprecedented move, the Obama administration is readying for a possible confrontation with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by briefing Democratic congressmen on the peace process and the positions of the new government in Israel regarding a two-state solution.
Paul Richter / Los Angeles Times:
Biden warns Israel off any attack on Iran
Discussion: Hot Air
Nassim Nicholas Taleb / Financial Times:
Ten principles for a Black Swan-proof world  —  1. What is fragile should break early while it is still small.  Nothing should ever become too big to fail.  Evolution in economic life helps those with the maximum amount of hidden risks - and hence the most fragile - become the biggest.
Camille Paglia / Salon:
Bow-ow-ow: Obama's painful missteps  —  Let the new president grow into the job — but he'd better do it fast!  Plus: Readers ask about everything from talk radio, morality and Mary McCarthy, to that big movie about a sinking ship.  —  Dear Camille,  —  In your column, you say …
Discussion: Weekly Standard, Don Surber and Reason
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Want to Join Marcy and Me to Protest Banks on Saturday, April 11?  —  I'll be on Nancy Skinner's show at 3:00 PM ET today to talk about this.  If you don't have a local affiliate, you can listen live at  —  On Saturday, April 11, there are going to be demonstrations …
Discussion: PoliGazette
CBS News:
Levi Johnston: My Family's Not White Trash  —  Tells Maggie Rodriguez Palins Spreading Lies About Him; He Seeks To Set Record Straight  —  Page 1 of 2  —  (CBS) Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, John McCain's running mate in last year's presidential race, is a new grandmother.
“I am under a lot of pressure to not diagnose PTSD”  —  A secret recording reveals the Army may be pushing its medical staff not to diagnose post-traumatic stress disorder.  The Army and Senate have ignored the implications. … Listen to a segment of the recording of an Army psychologist at Fort Carson …
Seth Borenstein / Associated Press:
AP Newsbreak: Obama looks at climate engineering … WASHINGTON (AP) - The president's new science adviser said Wednesday that global warming is so dire, the Obama administration is discussing radical technologies to cool Earth's air.  —  John Holdren told The Associated Press …
Reid Wilson / The Hill:
Anti-terrorism expert tapped for fifth administration  —  Rand Beers, the longtime anti-terrorism expert who has served four presidents, will be nominated to take up a key post in a fifth administration as one of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) top deputies.
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Juliet Eilperin / Washington Post:
White House May Postpone Auctioning Emissions  —  The Obama administration might agree to postpone auctioning off 100 percent of emissions allowances under a cap-and-trade system to limit greenhouse gas pollution, White House science adviser John P. Holdren said today, a move …
Nazila Fathi / New York Times:
Iran Issues Cautious Response to Obama  —  TEHRAN — President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday that Iran would welcome talks with the United States but said that any change in American policy toward Iran should be “honest.”  —  President Obama said in a message late last month …
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
New campaign fights same-sex marriage  —  The National Organization for Marriage, a prominent backer of the successful campaign against same-sex marriage in California, is launching a $1.5 million ad campaign this morning aimed at forestalling same-sex marriage support in other key states.
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 More Items: 
Paul Foy / Associated Press:
Mitt Romney sells Utah ski house
Discussion: Salon and Ben Smith's Blog
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Bunning popularity hits new low
Discussion: Senate Guru and MyDD
David S. Cloud / The Politico:
U.S. could join direct talks with Iran
Discussion: The Swamp
Washington Post:
Judge Reduces Shoe-Thrower's Sentence by Two Years
Discussion: The BLT and Harry's Place
Chris Irvine / Telegraph:
South Park creators given signed photo of Saddam Hussein
Howie Klein / Crooks and Liars:
C&L Welcomes Rep, Barney Frank, chair of the Financial Services Committee
Discussion: DownWithTyranny!
Pew Research Center:
Partisan Bickering Is Back, Says Public
Discussion: The Swamp and Washington
 Earlier Items: 
Alec Baldwin / The Huffington Post:
Why We Need the New York Times
James Hibberd / Hollywood Reporter:
Fox orders downsizing reality series
Discussion: Think Progress and UPI
Noah Shachtman / Danger Room:
Gates: Why I Kept Troubled Ship, Swimming Vehicle