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2:20 PM ET, April 17, 2009


 Top Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
The President Ties His Own Hands on Terror  —  The point of interrogation is intelligence, not confession.  —  The Obama administration has declassified and released opinions of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) given in 2005 and earlier that analyze the legality …
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
The significance of Obama's decision to release the torture memos  —  (updated below)  —  Numerous commentators are objecting to the idea that Barack Obama deserves credit for his release of the OLC torture memos yesterday in light of his accompanying pledge that CIA officials relying in good faith on those memos won't be prosecuted.
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
The Bigger Picture  —  It will take some time to absorb the full implications of the ICRC report and the OLC memos.  Right now, many are understandably focused on the legal details, the grotesque specifics of the techniques ("insects", “walling”?), the inconsistencies of the memos …
William Kristol / Weekly Standard:
“On a bright, sunny, safe day in April 2009.”  —  It wasn't really a surprise that President Obama sided with leftist lawyers in his Justice Department and released, over the objections of the intelligence community, four Office of Legal Counsel memos that concluded certain interrogation techniques used …
Melinda Henneberger / AOL News:
Palin Says She Considered Abortion  —  In her first out-of-state political appearance since last fall's presidential election, former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin confided to 3,000 at a right-to-life event here that she had “just for a fleeting moment” contemplated seeking …
Discussion: The Sleuth and The Campaign Spot
Kate Snow / ABCNEWS:
Sarah Palin: I Had to ‘Walk the Walk’  —  At Anti-Abortion Rights Event, Gov. Palin Gets Personal About her Last Pregnancy  —  Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin doesn't get out much.  Out of Alaska that is.  —  Last night, on her second trip outside the state this year, Palin reflected a bit …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
STEVE SCHMIDT HAS SOME ADVICE FOR HIS PARTY.... Steve Schmidt, the top strategist for the McCain/Palin presidential campaign, will appear before the Log Cabin Republicans and urge his party to embrace marriage equality. … While the argument seems to be primarily about principle …
Teddy Davis / The Note:
McCain Guru Urges GOP to Back Gay Marriage
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Katharine Q. Seelye / The Caucus:   Top G.O.P. Consultant Endorses Gay Marriage
Rasmussen Reports:
In Texas, 31% Say State Has Right to Secede From U.S., But 75% Opt To Stay  —  Thirty-one percent (31%) of Texas voters say that their state has the right to secede from the United States and form an independent country.  —  However, the latest Rasmussen Reports poll in the state finds …
John M. Broder / New York Times:
E.P.A. to Clear the Way for Regulation of Warming Gases  —  WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday is expected to formally declare carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases to be pollutants that threaten public health and welfare, setting in motion a process …
EPA says greenhouse-gas emissions a threat to public health  — TWITTER - NEWSVINE - GOOGLE BOOKMARKS - STUMBLEUPON  —  The Environmental Protection Agency today said it has determined that planet-warming greenhouse gases pose a danger to public health and welfare.
Max Twain /
One of the most hateful rants in history  —  v=jAAHMDpk7Ik  —  Surprisingly, Olbermann is not the craziest person in this video.  That alone puts this into a special category of left-wing vile that stands out as some of the most hateful speech you will ever hear on television.
David Neiwert / Crooks and Liars:
Pat Robertson urges his callers to crash Homeland Security hotline  —  You can view this video right here by getting the latest version of Flash Player!  —  Pat Robertson, on The 700 Club yesterday, got in on the collective right-wing teeth-gnashing over that Department of Homeland Security bulletin …
Ellen Nakashima / Washington Post:
Role of Bush NSA Plan Under Review
Discussion: New York Times
Bruce Bartlett / Forbes:
Tax Tea Party Time, Part Two  —  A look at today's taxes compared to those in the past.  —  Last week, I presented data comparing taxation in the United States to other major countries and concluded that Americans are not especially overtaxed.  The almost universal reaction to this analysis was, “So what?”
Jamie Larson / The Register Star Online:
Tedisco asks to be declared winner  —  COLUMBIA COUNTY — 20th Congressional District candidate Republican Jim Tedisco submitted a petition to the Dutchess County Supreme Court Thursday asking the judge to declare him the winner of the extremely close special election race …
Dafna Linzer / ProPublica:
Newly Released Memo Inadvertently Reveals CIA Held (and Abused) Missing Prisoner  —  Among the OLC memos released today, one appears to inadvertently reveal that a top al-Qaida suspect captured in northern Iraq in January 2004 was held by the CIA in a secret prison.
Kahrin Deines / Associated Press:
New gun law aimed at asserting sovereignty  —  Gov. Brian Schweitzer has signed into law a bill that aims to exempt Montana-made guns from federal regulation, adding firepower to a battery of legislative efforts to assert states' rights across the nation.  —  “It's a gun bill …
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Obama Averages 63% Approval in His First Quarter  —  Highest first-quarter average since 1977  — USA - Government and Politics - Presidential Job Approval - The Presidency - Americas - Northern America  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Barack Obama's first quarter in office concludes on Sunday …
Yael T. Abouhalkah / Kansas City Star:
Limbaugh's ‘just an entertainer,’ says GOP congressman  —  U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt of Kansas is a feisty and ardent conservative.  But he said something Tuesday that might irritate Rush Limbaugh's ditto-head followers.  —  Tiahrt was asked by a Kansas City Star Editorial Board member whether Limbaugh …
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Green Shoots and Glimmers  —  Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, sees “green shoots.”  President Obama sees “glimmers of hope.”  And the stock market has been on a tear.  —  So is it time to sound the all clear?  Here are four reasons to be cautious about the economic outlook.
Brian C. Mooney / Boston Globe:
Dodd faces steep road to reelection  —  Conn.'s senior senator trails 3 Republicans  —  HARTFORD - The election is still more than 18 months away, but US Senator Chris Dodd is barnstorming Connecticut this week like an incumbent in trouble.  Voters who have supported him for 29 years …
Wall Street Journal:
Veterans a Focus of FBI Extremist Probe  —  WASHINGTON — The Federal Bureau of Investigation earlier this year launched a nationwide operation targeting white supremacists and “militia/sovereign-citizen extremist groups,” including a focus on veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan …
Megan McArdle:
Do We Hate Credit Default Swaps for The Wrong Reasons?  —  There's a lot of crazy ignorant hating on CDSs out there, especially from certain political journalists who displayed no interest in learning about the financial community until they found that pronouncing the words “credit default swaps” …
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
We Are Now Indonesia  —  Greenwald points to this nugget: … And this is, in fact, the Bush-Cheney position.  Because America did these things, they are not torture.  This is also, by the way, the position of the news reporters and editors at the New York Times and the Washington Post.
Discussion: Blog of Rights and NO QUARTER
Jonah Goldberg / The Corner:
Taxes & Tyranny  —  Amidst all of the hooplah, I've heard a lot of complaints from liberals.  Here are the most frequent complaints and my responses.  1. All of this tyranny talk is overheated and idiotic.  Well, some of it surely is.  But look.  According to that reason video I posted below …
Discussion: protein wisdom and Vox Popoli
Steven Erlanger / New York Times:
3 Courses With Sarkozy, Skewered Leaders on Side  —  PARIS — President Nicolas Sarkozy is known for his love of action.  But he also likes to brag and run down his fellow world leaders in not-so-private gatherings, like a cross-party lunch on Wednesday for 24 members of Parliament engaged in economic issues.
K. Daniel Glover / Accuracy in Media:
Direct Your Tweet Outrage To Katie Couric  —  Two days ago, journalist John Ziegler was arrested for trying to ask questions at an event where Katie Couric of CBS News received an award for her interview with Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin last fall.
Discussion: AmSpecBlog
Media Matters for America:
On the house: Fox aired 107 ads for its coverage of tea party protests over 10 days … From April 6 to April 15, Fox News aired at least 107 commercial promotions for their coverage of the tea party protests that took place on April 15.  As Media Matters for America has documented …
Paul Demko / Minnesota Independent:
Tinklenberg v. Bachmann redux?  DFLers already eyeing 2010  —  Michele Bachmann represents the most Republican-friendly congressional district in Minnesota.  John McCain carried the area by eight percentage points in 2008 — the largest spread in the state.
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 More Items: 
Mickey Kaus / Kausfiles:
New Dem Health Care Pitch: “We'll Deny Treatments!”
Court jails Pirate Bay founders
Discussion: Truthdig
Adam Serwer / American Prospect:
Accounts of Torture, Abstract and Experienced
Paul Kane / Washington Post:
3 Lawmakers Report Drop in Donations After Lobby Firm Closes
Michelle Malkin:
The Million Taxpayer March
Discussion: Riehl World View
 Earlier Items: 
Barry Ritholtz / The Big Picture:
Stiglitz: Blame Summers
Discussion: Obsidian Wings and Eschaton
Wall Street Journal:
Alternative Fuel Folly
Discussion: Blue Crab Boulevard
Joshua Stanton / The New Ledger:
Christopher Hill: Deep Kimchee for Iraq
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
White House Cheat Sheet: Influencing the Influencers
Discussion: Alex Conant
Sam Youngman / The Hill:
Obama: ‘I have not backed off’ on assault weapons ban
Discussion: The Reaction and Think Progress
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
Barack Obama's ‘New Foundation’ - a Sting in Four Parts
Discussion: Power Line, Hot Air and Betsy's Page