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3:15 PM ET, April 8, 2009


 Top Items: 
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.
Katharine Houreld / Associated Press:
US crewman: Somali pirates hold captain hostage  —  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, according to Pentagon officials and a member of the crew.
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 …
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
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 …
Discussion: Washington Monthly and Lean Left
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’
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 …
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 and Think Progress
The Huffington Post:
Palin Legal Defense Fund Launched, Supporters Drawn To Her Maternal Instinct  —  Defenders of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin have created a defense fund to help pay for her legal fees, including those stemming from the now-famous Troopergate probe.  —  Clayton Paslay, director …
The Sarah Palin Blog:
A Sarah Palin Defense Fund Is Up And Running
Discussion: Balloon Juice
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 …
Discussion: TalkLeft and The Moderate Voice
Adam Serwer / American Prospect:
ACORN DIRECTOR: WHAT ARE TEA PARTIES?  —  I'm sort of fascinated by the latest ACORN conspiracy theory, that ACORN activists are crashing right wing “tea parties” in order to sabotage them.  I'm fascinated, because like Steve Benen, I don't know anyone who actually cares about these things.
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: Don Surber and Reason
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 …
Joe Strupp / Editor and Publisher:
Frankel and Raines: ‘NY Times’ Needs to Reinvent Itself, Again
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.
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.
Discussion: Us Weekly and Taegan Goddard's …
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 …
“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 …
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 More Items: 
Nazila Fathi / New York Times:
Iran Responds Cautiously to Obama's Gesture
Pew Research Center:
Partisan Bickering Is Back, Says Public
Discussion: The Swamp and Washington
Rick Warren on the Newsweek ‘End of Christian America’ article, Pt. 1
 Earlier Items: 
James Hibberd / Hollywood Reporter:
Fox orders downsizing reality series
Discussion: Think Progress and UPI
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
New campaign fights same-sex marriage
Noah Shachtman / Danger Room:
Gates: Why I Kept Troubled Ship, Swimming Vehicle