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1:50 PM ET, April 23, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Ali Soufan / New York Times:
My Tortured Decision  —  FOR seven years I have remained silent about the false claims magnifying the effectiveness of the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques like waterboarding.  I have spoken only in closed government hearings, as these matters were classified.
RELATED:
Scott Shane / New York Times:
Interrogations' Effectiveness May Prove Elusive  —  WASHINGTON — Even the most exacting truth commission may have a hard time determining for certain whether brutal interrogations conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency helped keep the country safe.  —  Last week's release …
Ed Rollins / CNN:
Commentary: Obama waffled on torture, looks weak
Discussion: Big Brass Blog and The Reaction
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Flashback: Bush's FBI Director Said Torture Didn't Foil Any Terror Plots
Discussion: CNN, Washington Monthly and CJR
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Hoekstra: Capitol Hill a glass house on interrogations
Ceci Connolly / Washington Post:
GOP Stymies Vote on Sebelius  —  President Obama will have to wait a bit longer to round out his Cabinet.  Senate Republicans refused today to allow a confirmation vote on his health secretary nominee Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D-Kan.).  She is the last Cabinet member awaiting Senate approval.
RELATED:
David M. Drucker / Roll Call:
GOP Plots Revenge  —  Reconciliation May Shut Down Senate  —  As Senate Democrats move closer to using reconciliation to pass health care reform this year, key GOP Senators are signaling plans to avenge the move by employing parliamentary tactics to trip up even the most noncontroversial of agenda items.
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
John Ensign's Unapologetic Critique
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
Joe Klein / Time:
Sizing Up Obama's First 100 Days  —  The President almost seemed apologetic.  “This may be a slightly longer speech than I usually give,” he told his audience at Georgetown University on April 14.  “This is going to be prose and not poetry.”  What followed, as promised, was not poetry.
RELATED:
Jeff Stein / SpyTalk:
Intelligence Officials Tipped Pelosi To Harman Wiretap  —  Intelligence officials, angry that former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales had blocked an FBI investigation into Democratic Rep. Jane Harman's interactions with a suspected Israeli agent, tipped off Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader …
RELATED:
The Hill:   Wiretap: The plot thickens in Harman drama
CNN:
Levi Johnston: 'It's pretty crazy'  —  (CNN) — A year ago, few outside of Wasilla, Alaska, had ever heard of Levi Johnston.  All that changed last summer when Gov. Sarah Palin accepted the Republican vice presidential nomination.  —  Soon after she entered the national spotlight …
RELATED:
Drudge Report:
CNN ASKS PALIN DADDY IF SEX WAS IN THE HOUSE
Michael Calderone / Michael Calderone's Blog:
WaPo hires Prospect's Klein  —  The American Prospect's Ezra Klein, one of the top bloggers on politics and policy, is heading to the Washington Post.  —  Rumors about Klein's upcoming move spread on Wednesday night during a reception thrown by The Nation magazine in honor of D.C. bureau chief Chris Hayes.
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
Rep. Joe Barton: I ‘Stumped’ Nobel Prize Winning Scientist  —  Oh the (rare, but occasionally exceptional) joys of Twitter.  Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX)—the ranking member on the House Energy & Commerce Committee—says (tweets?)  “I seemed [sic] to have baffled the Energy Sec with basic question - Where does oil come from?”
Discussion: The Huffington Post and D-Day
RELATED:
Pew Research Center:
Obama at 100 Days: Strong Job Approval, Even Higher Personal Ratings  —  Better Ratings for Foreign Policy than Domestic Issues  —  As he approaches the 100-day mark of his presidency, Barack Obama's job approval ratings are higher than those of his most recent predecessors.
Liz Rappaport / Wall Street Journal:
Lewis Testifies U.S. Urged Silence on Deal  —  Bank of America Chief Says Bernanke, Paulson Barred Disclosure of Merrill Woes Because of Fears for Financial System  —  Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and then-Treasury Department chief Henry Paulson pressured Bank of America Corp …
Associated Press:
AP Poll: Americans high on Obama, direction of US  —  Featured Topics: - Barack Obama - Presidential Transition  —  WASHINGTON - For the first time in years, more Americans than not say the country is headed in the right direction, a sign that Barack Obama has used the first 100 days …
The Huffington Post:
Shepard Smith Uncensored: “We Are America, We Do Not F**king Torture!”  (VIDEO)  —  Update: scroll down for Smith's uncensored comments  —  Fox News viewers witnessed a rather incredible scene on Wednesday as anchor Shepard Smith and Fox contributor Judith Miller (of CIA leak infamy) …
Randy E. Barnett / Wall Street Journal:
The Case for a Federalism Amendment  —  How the Tea Partiers can make Washington pay attention.  —  In response to an unprecedented expansion of federal power, citizens have held hundreds of “tea party” rallies around the country, and various states are considering “sovereignty resolutions” …
Discussion: TalkLeft and AmSpecBlog
New York Times:
Pakistan Sends Special Police to Taliban-Held Area  —  ISLAMABAD — Pakistani authorities on Thursday deployed special constabulary forces to a strategically important district only 70 miles from the capital, Islamabad, that has come under the effective control of the Taliban in the last several days, police and residents said.
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Why is the GOP Throwing Senate Races?  —  Dave Weigel notes that Senator Jon Cornyn (R-TX), in charge of helping GOP Senate candidates, is being surprisingly friendly with former Rep. Pat Toomey who's mounting a challenge-from-the-right to Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA).
Karl Rove / Wall Street Journal:
The President's Apology Tour  —  Great leaders aren't defined by consensus.  —  President Barack Obama has finished the second leg of his international confession tour.  In less than 100 days, he has apologized on three continents for what he views as the sins of America and his predecessors.
George F. Will / Washington Post:
Obama's Budget Satire  —  Monday morning the government braced for austerity, as the government understands that.  Having sent Congress a $3.5 trillion budget, the president signaled in advance — perhaps so his Cabinet members could steel themselves for the new asceticism …
Discussion: Reason, Commentary and Betsy's Page
Jackie Kucinich / Roll Call:
Conservatives Call on Napolitano to Resign  —  Several conservative Republicans took to the House floor Wednesday night to call for Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to resign in the wake of the department's new report that identifies “right wing extremists” as potential terrorists.
Faiz Shakir / Think Progress:
Bill O'Reilly's response to waterboarding: ‘Torture, my ass.’  —  Last night on The Factor, Bill O'Reilly hosted Newsday columnist Ellis Henican, who criticized O'Reilly's tolerance of torture.  “You disappoint me, you disappoint me,” Henican said, pointing his finger at O'Reilly.
James T. Madore / Newsday:
Paterson backpedals on gay marriage  —  ALBANY - Gov. David A. Paterson, in an apparent reversal, said Wednesday he would go along with a plan by State Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith not to put a same-sex marriage bill to a vote without knowing it would pass.
Andy Barr / The Politico:
McCain: Obama starting ‘witch hunt’  —  Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) warned Thursday that any attempt by the Obama administration to prosecute the Bush-era lawyers who wrote memos signing off on waterboarding would start a “witch hunt.”  —  “If you criminalize legal advice …
Discussion: Weekly Standard and Hot Air
 
 
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 More Items: 
Rebekah Kebede / Reuters:
Recession linked to more abortions, vasectomies
Discussion: Townhall.com
Quinnipiac University:
More New Jersey Voters Back Same-Sex Marriage, Qunnipiac University …
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
Dan Mangan / New York Post:
'TAMPER WITH MARRIAGE & WE'RE IN BIG TROUBLE'
Discussion: New York Magazine
 Earlier Items: 
Timothy Williams / New York Times:
At Least 75 People Are Killed in Two Attacks in Iraq
Wall Street Journal:
Democracy Kung Fu
Discussion: Reason
Pew Research Center:
Fox News Stands Out as “Too Critical” of Obama
Kevin Jon Heller / Opinio Juris:
Want to Prosecute the Lawyers?  Cite Ministries — Not the Justice Case
Discussion: JustOneMinute and Salon
Elspeth Reeve / Blogs and Stories:
Serving Under the Army's Most Ruthless Soldier