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10:25 PM ET, April 16, 2009


 Top Items: 
Abuse of Power: The Bush Administration's Secret Legal Memos  —  On April 16, 2009, the Department of Justice released four secret memos used by the Bush administration to justify torture:  —  A 18-page memo, dated August 1, 2002, from Jay Bybee, Assistant Attorney General, OLC, to John A. Rizzo, General Counsel CIA.
Mark Mazzetti / The Caucus:
Obama Releases Interrogation Memos, Says C.I.A. Operatives Won't Be Prosecuted  —  Updated After a tense internal debate, President Obama officially announced this afternoon that his administration would not prosecute C.I.A. operatives for carrying out controversial interrogations of terrorist suspects …
Jeffrey Toobin In / New Yorker:
JEFFREY TOOBIN: HIDING JAY BYBEE  —  The newest round of “torture memos” have just been released by the Department of Justice.  I'm only just beginning to go through them, but I have a preliminary thought.  —  The first, and very chilling memo in the group is an analysis of the various techniques …
Discussion: and The Plank
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
The Banality Of Evil  —  Perhaps you are reading these documents alongside me.  I've only read the Bybee memo, as chilling an artefact as you are ever likely to read in a democratic society, the work clearly not of a lawyer assessing torture techniques in good faith, but of an administration official tasked …
Discussion: Firedoglake and Hullabaloo
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
Obama Explains Memo Release Decision  —  In sum: he's decided to redact the identities of the CIA officers who conducted the interrogations, but everything else will be released without censorship.  The full statement is after the jump; here's the part that reflects, I think, what Obama really thinks:
New York Times:
Interrogation Memos Detail Harsh Tactics by the C.I.A.  —  WASHINGTON — The Justice Department made public on Thursday detailed memos describing harsh interrogation techniques used by the Central Intelligence Agency, as President Obama said that C.I.A. operatives who carried out the techniques would not be prosecuted.
New York Times:
President Obama's Statement on the Memos  —  Following is President Obama's statement on the release of memos by the Office of Legal Counsel, as provided by the White House.  —  The Department of Justice will today release certain memos issued by the Office of Legal Counsel between 2002 and 2005 as part of an ongoing court case.
US Department of Justice:
Department of Justice Releases Four Office of Legal Counsel Opinions  —  In connection with ongoing litigation, the Department of Justice today released four previously undisclosed Office of Legal Counsel ("OLC") opinions - one that OLC issued to the Central Intelligence Agency in August 2002 …
Discussion: PERRspectives, D-Day and Daily Kos
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:   For The Record  —  No mention of the torture memos appears right …
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:   CIA Officers Granted Immunity From Torture Prosecution *** UPDATE ***
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Obama's huge test today: do we believe in secret law?
Fox News:
Cable Anchors, Guests Use Tea Parties as Platform for Frat House Humor  —  Cable anchors and guests covered the anti-tax tea party protests by cracking a litany of barely concealed sexual references.  —  —  For thousands of Americans, Tax Day was a moment to protest …
Eric Zimmermann / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:
Schakowsky: Tea parties ‘despicable’  —  Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) blasted “tea party” protests yesterday, labeling the activities “despicable” and shameful.  “The ‘tea parties’ being held today by groups of right-wing activists, and fueled by FOX News Channel, are an effort to mislead …
Discussion: The Market Ticker and Babalú Blog
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
“Tea Party” Protests Appear to Draw At Least 250,000
David Neiwert / Crooks and Liars:
Shepard Smith blows the ‘DHS is picking on the Tea Parties’ meme out of the water
Discussion: The Caucus
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
Fox News Anchor: We Did Public Relations For Tea Parties
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Gateway Pundit:
Gutter Journalism: Angry Mainstream Media Reporters Use Nasty …
Jay Bookman:
Georgia Senate threatens dismantling of USA  —  It wasn't quite the firing on Fort Sumter that launched the Civil War.  But on April 1, your Georgia Senate did threaten by a vote of 43-1 to secede from and even disband the United States.  —  It was not an April Fool's joke.
John Aravosis / AMERICAblog News:
Georgia Senate threatens to secede  —  What do they plan on fighting with, peaches?  Mind you, this comes on yesterday's threat by the GOP governor of Texas to secede as well.  —  Of course, what's really going on here is that Republicans are intentionally fanning the flames of violence …
Discussion: Liberty Street
Alexander Mooney / CNN:   Texas governor says secession possible
Little Green Footballs:
LGF on Glenn Beck  —  I still don't have a working cable TV connection in my new top-secret underground facility, so I missed Glenn Beck's show today (I wouldn't have been watching anyway, to be honest), but I understand from several lizardoid reports that Beck had some things to say about me.
Jay / Stop The ACLU:
( Video) Glenn Beck Vs. Charles Johnson
Discussion: Macsmind and Atlas Shrugs
Matt Corley / Think Progress:
Politico's Mike Allen claims that author of DHS report on right-wing extremism couldn't be from ‘real America.’  —  On Tuesday, the Washington Times revealed a recent Department of Homeland Security assessment that warned about increased activity by “rightwing extremists.”
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:   Democrat Who Blasted “Right Wing Extremism” …
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Frum on Conservative Paranoia  —  David Frum's Spectator article on the political challenges facing the modern Republican Party has a nice ditty on the tide of extreme paranoia sweeping the conservative mediaverse: … Now to be fair, during the Bush years more than one person passed me this …
Discussion: TPMDC
David Frum / Spectator:   The Long Road Back  —  British Conservatives may be reaching …
Newsdesk / Clout St:
Burris fundraising total: $845  —  U.S. Senator Roland Burris, the controversial appointee to the seat once held by President Barack Obama, is holding his first campaign fundraiser since he took office this weekend—and the financial report he filed this week shows he could use some political donations.
Discussion: Scorecard's Blog and Eye on 2010
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Go Rick!  —  MSNBC is now picking up on the story of Gov. Perry of Texas hinting that the Stimulus Bill may be such a blow to the constitution that Texas may have to secede from the Union.  But according to MSNBC, while Perry was making the comments, the crowd started chanting, “Secede …
Discussion: Open Left
New York Post:
CNBC SWEATS ‘OBAMA-BASHING’  —  THE top suits and some of the on-air talent at CNBC were recently ordered to a top-secret meeting with General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt and NBC Universal President Jeff Zucker to discuss whether they've turned into the President Obama-bashing network, Page Six has learned.
Discussion: TPMMuckraker, TVNewser and PoliGazette
Aaron Deslatte / Central Florida Political Pulse:
Florida Senate passes budget that taps fees, taxes, casinos  —  TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Senate passed a stitched-together $65.6 billion spending plan Thursday that pays the bills with a huge infusion of federal stimulus cash, higher taxes on tobacco and fees on motorists and court-filers, along with a dramatic expansion of gambling.
Discussion: Hot Air and RedState
ProgressNow Colorado:
CONTACT: Michael Huttner at 303-931-4547  —  DENVER: ProgressNow Colorado staff once again braved a crowd of belligerent right-wing protesters at today's “Tea Party” protest event at the Colorado State Capitol.  And once again, ProgressNow recorded for posterity shameful displays of both ignorance …
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Perry: No Secession, At Least for Now!  —  We've just gotten comment from Gov. Perry's press spokesman on the governor's apparent interest in seceding from the union.  It's pretty vague but basically it seems like he's saying no need to secede for now.  But in the future, who knows.
Discussion: TPMDC
Rasmussen Reports:
Election 2009: Virginia Governor Election  —  GOP's McDonnell Pulls Further Ahead in Virginia Governor's Race  —  Republican Bob McDonnell has lengthened his lead on all three Democratic hopefuls in the race to be Virginia's next governor, but it's a long way to Election Day.
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Video: John Ziegler's arrest  —  From the Someone Left the Irony On Department, John Ziegler gets arrested by security guards outside USC's Annenberg School of Journalism for committing ... er ... journalism.  He wanted to ask people attending their ceremony honoring Katie Couric …
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 More Items: 
John Amato / Crooks and Liars:
Did the GOP in Oregon really send these PSA scripts out to be made?
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
Obama to Push to Ratify Treaty on Gun Trafficking
Discussion: Washington Post
Stephanie Clifford / New York Times:
Video Prank at Domino's Taints Brand
Discussion: Hot Air
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
The Immunity Question: What's Obama's Angle?
 Earlier Items: 
Arianna Huffington / The Huffington Post:
Amid All the Madness, the One Thing That Might Rescue the Republican …
Domenico Montanaro / MSNBC:
Discussion: Politicker NY
The Dangers Of The Drinking Age
Discussion: Reason