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6:15 PM ET, April 8, 2009


 Top Items: 
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
New York Times:
U.S. Crew in Standoff With Pirates Off Somalia Coast  —  Hours after pirates commandeered a United States-flagged container ship with 20 American crew members off the coast of Somalia on Wednesday, the pirates and crew appeared to be in a standoff, with the ship under control of its crew once again …
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.
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 …
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.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
‘Common Purpose’
Discussion: Firedoglake
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Keith Olbermann's scathing criticism of Obama's secrecy/immunity claims  —  (updated below - Update II)  —  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 …
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?
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
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 …
Discussion: Tammy Bruce
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
White House: No bow to Saudi  —  The White House is denying that the president bowed to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia at a G-20 meeting in London, a scene that drew criticism on the right and praise from some Arab outlets.  —  “It wasn't a bow.  He grasped his hand with two hands …
Siobhan Gorman / Associated Press:
Electricity Grid in U.S. Penetrated By Spies  —  Robert Moran monitors an electric grid in Dallas.  Such infrastructure grids across the country are vulnerable to cyberattacks.  —  WASHINGTON — Cyberspies have penetrated the U.S. electrical grid and left behind software programs …
Alec Baldwin / The Huffington Post:
Why We Need the New York Times  —  For many years, I was a devoted reader of the New York Times.  An unusually devoted one.  —  I picked up the habit from David O'Brien, an actor who played my father on a soap opera I appeared on over 25 years ago.  It was my first professional job …
Discussion: JammieWearingFool
Joe Strupp / Editor and Publisher:   Frankel and Raines: ‘NY Times’ Needs to Reinvent Itself, Again
Paul Foy / Associated Press:
Mitt Romney sells Utah ski house … SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Race-car driver and money manager Hal Prewitt bought Mitt Romney's ski house at Deer Valley Resort for “a little less” than the asking price of $5.25 million, his agent said  —  Tuesday.  —  “It's beautiful.
Discussion: Truthdig, Ben Smith's Blog and Salon
Carrie Johnson / Washington Post:
Justice Dept. to Name New Leader of Internal Ethics Unit  —  Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is preparing to name a new person to lead the Justice Department's internal ethics unit, moving to put his stamp on a department reeling from the dismissal of criminal charges against former senator Ted Stevens …
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
For Ted Stevens, Rough Justice
Discussion: Prairie Weather and TPMMuckraker
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:
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.
New York Times:
U.S. to Join Iran Talks Over Nuclear Program  —  WASHINGTON — The Obama administration said Wednesday that the United States for the first time would participate regularly with other global powers in negotiations with the Iranian government about its nuclear program.
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 …
“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 …
Ramesh Ponnuru / The Corner:
Why Coleman Should Drop Out  —  If he keeps up the fight, he is likely to lose, unnecessarily deprive Minnesota of a second senator, end his political career seen as a sore loser, and hurt his party in a state that is eager for this fight to be over.  His team has talked enough …
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
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
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
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 More Items: 
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
The Best State Political Blogs
Discussion: Minnesota Independent
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Big Liberal Bloggers Tee Off On Progressive Groups For Not Sharing Ad Wealth
Ruth Gledhill / Times of London:
Tony Blair tells the Pope: you're wrong on homosexuality
Discussion: The Daily Dish
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Bunning popularity hits new low
Discussion: Senate Guru and MyDD
Chris Irvine / Telegraph:
South Park creators given signed photo of Saddam Hussein
Juliet Eilperin / Washington Post:
White House May Postpone Auctioning Emissions
Howie Klein / Crooks and Liars:
C&L Welcomes Rep. Barney Frank, chair of the Financial Services Committee
Discussion: DownWithTyranny!
 Earlier Items: 
Pew Research Center:
Partisan Bickering Is Back, Says Public
Discussion: The Swamp and Washington
James Hibberd / Hollywood Reporter:
Fox orders downsizing reality series
Discussion: UPI and Think Progress
CBS News:
Levi Johnston: My Family's Not White Trash
Noah Shachtman / Danger Room:
Gates: Why I Kept Troubled Ship, Swimming Vehicle