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2:30 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
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  —  John Ensign wants to make one thing very clear: he's not sorry for saying it was “irresponsible” of President Obama to be seen laughing with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez at last week's Summit of the Americas.  —  “That visual image is going to be used …
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.
Discussion: Weekly Standard, Reason and The Page
RELATED:
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.
Discussion: TalkLeft and ATTACKERMAN
RELATED:
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Ezra Klein Hired by Washington Post
Discussion: Outside The Beltway
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 …
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Drudge Report:
CNN ASKS PALIN DADDY IF SEX WAS IN THE HOUSE  —  CNN's Larry King turned horndog Wednesday night during his controversial interview with the father of Sarah Palin's grandchild.  —  KING: Where — was — did sex occur in their house?  —  LEVI JOHNSTON, EX-FIANCE OF BRISTOL PALIN …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
CHU WASN'T THE ‘BAFFLED’ ONE.... Arrogance is almost always unseemly, but I think there's an important distinction to be made between conceit and misplaced arrogance.  The prior is merely unseemly; the latter is humiliating.  —  Yesterday, at a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee …
RELATED:
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
Rep. Joe Barton: I ‘Stumped’ Nobel Prize Winning Scientist
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  —  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was notified that intelligence agents had eavesdropped on Rep. Jane Harman's conversations three years ago.  —  This means the Speaker knew about the wiretap when she decided to stop Harman from becoming chairwoman of the House Intelligence Committee.
Discussion: The Note
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.
Ralph Z. Hallow / Washington Times:
Steele urged to label Obama a socialist  —  State RNC leaders raise dissent  —  Republican state party leaders are rebelling against new Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele for failing to dub President Obama and the Democrats as “socialists.”  And the rebels insist that the label matters.
RELATED:
Stuart Rothenberg / Roll Call:
April Madness: Can GOP Win Back the House in 2010?
Discussion: Glenn Thrush's Blog
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Why Debate The T-Word?  —  Steve Chapman asks the torture supporters a question: … Trying to find a consistently principled position among these people is hard.  Why?  Because their arguments, like those of Yoo, Bradbury and Bybee, are entirely designed to legitimize decisions already made.
Discussion: Obsidian Wings
RELATED:
Steve Chapman / Reason:   Torturing the Truth  —  It's time to face the ugly reality …
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 …
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 …
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
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.
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).
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.
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) …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Samuel Maull / Associated Press:
Author Jared Diamond sued for libel
Paul Bond / Hollywood Reporter:
Drama at GE shareholders meeting
The Huffington Post:
Boehner: Memos Outline “Torture Techniques”
James T. Madore / Newsday:
Paterson backpedals on gay marriage
Rebekah Kebede / Reuters:
Recession linked to more abortions, vasectomies
Discussion: Townhall.com and Left in the West
Andy Barr / The Politico:
McCain: Obama starting ‘witch hunt’
Discussion: Weekly Standard and Hot Air
 Earlier Items: 
Jackie Kucinich / Roll Call:
Conservatives Call on Napolitano to Resign
Discussion: Minnesota Independent
Timothy Williams / New York Times:
At Least 75 People Are Killed in Two Attacks in Iraq
Wall Street Journal:
Democracy Kung Fu
Discussion: Reason
The Huffington Post:
Hannity Offers To Be Waterboarded For Charity (By Charles Grodin!)
Pew Research Center:
Fox News Stands Out as “Too Critical” of Obama
George F. Will / Washington Post:
Obama's Budget Satire
Discussion: Reason and Commentary