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2:10 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, BLACKFIVE and MoJo Blog Posts
Washington Wire:
Live Blog of Maersk Conference Call  —  Somali pirates on Wednesday hijacked a U.S.-flagged cargo ship with 21 crew members aboard, a diplomat and a U.S. Navy spokesman said.  The shipping company, Maersk, scheduled a noon news conference in Norfolk, Va., which was scheduled to start …
Discussion: Clusterstock, and Neptunus Lex
Stephanie McCrummen / Washington Post:
U.S. Crew Members Retake Ship Seized by Somali Pirates
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Associated Press:
Somali Pirates Said to Seize Ship With U.S. Crewmen
Discussion: Los Angeles Times
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.
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 …
Greg Stohr / Bloomberg:
Coleman-Franken Senate Race May Hinge on Bush v. Gore Decision
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 …
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 …
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: Lean Left
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: Think Progress and Gateway Pundit
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 …
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.
Discussion: Washington Monthly and Daily Kos
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: Reason, pw and Blog
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.
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Want to Join Marcy and Me to Protest Banks on Saturday, April 11?  —  On Saturday, April 11, there are going to be demonstrations all across America to protest what the banks are doing to the country.  —  No, not the stupid teabagger protests, where people who never cared about George Bush spending …
Discussion: Hullabaloo and The Impolitic
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.
“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 …
Bridget Johnson / The Hill:
Report: Pakistan rejects U.S. plan, wants drones  —  U.S. envoys met with Pakistani leaders on Tuesday to ensure that the $7.5 billion that President Obama plans to send their way over the next five years will be used to achieve common goals in the fight against extremism.
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 More Items: 
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
‘Common Purpose’
Joe Strupp / Editor and Publisher:
Frankel and Raines: ‘NY Times’ Needs to Reinvent Itself, Again
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
For Ted Stevens, Rough Justice
Discussion: TPMMuckraker and Prairie Weather
Allan Kozinn / New York Times:
Original Beatles Albums to Be Reissued
Discussion: The Huffington Post
James Hibberd / Hollywood Reporter:
Fox orders downsizing reality series
Discussion: Think Progress and UPI
Bill Sammon / Fox News:
Ex-POW McCain Returns to ‘Hanoi Hilton’ Prison
Discussion: Tammy Bruce
 Earlier Items: 
Steve Thomma / Washington:
White House press stranded in Istanbul