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9:05 PM ET, April 28, 2009


 Top Items: 
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Specter To Switch Parties  —  UPDATED, 2:10 p.m. Continue following the story here.  —  Original Post  —  Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter will switch his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat and announced today that he will run in 2010 as a Democrat, according to a statement he released this morning.
Statement by Senator Arlen Specter  —  I have been a Republican since 1966.  I have been working extremely hard for the Party, for its candidates and for the ideals of a Republican Party whose tent is big enough to welcome diverse points of view.  While I have been comfortable being a Republican, my Party has not defined who I am.
Lisa Lerer / The Politico:
Two Republicans blame conservatives  —  Two leading Republicans say Sen. Arlen Specter's decision to become a Democrat highlights the hostility moderates feel from an increasingly conservative GOP.  —  “You haven't certainly heard warm encouraging words about how [the GOP] views moderates …
The New Republic:
Unprincipled Hack (D-PA)  —  When a politician switches parties, it's customary for the party he's abandoned to denounce him as an unprincipled hack, and the party he's joined to praise him as a brave convert who's genuinely seen the light.  But I think it's pretty clear that Specter is an unprincipled hack.
Amanda Terkel / Think Progress:
CNN's Rick Sanchez calls out DeMint's vapid talking point: ‘What the hell does that mean?’  —  Today, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) appeared on CNN to talk about Sen. Arlen Specter's switch to the Democratic party.  Host Rick Sanchez asked DeMint about Specter's statement that the Republican party …
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Sen. Arlen Specter to become Democrat  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — Veteran Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter switched from the Republican to the Democratic Party on Tuesday, saying he has found himself increasingly “at odds with the Republican philosophy.”  —  “This is a painful decision.
The New Majority:
Another Triumph for the Club for Growth  —  With Arlen Specter's defection, all that stands between the Democrats and a 60-seat Senate majority are Norman Coleman's lawyers.  I wish them every success - but they have not exactly been on an winning streak to date.
The Huffington Post:
Snowe: GOP Has Abandoned Principles; Specter Switch “Devastating”  —  Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, one of the few remaining moderate Republicans in the Senate, said Tuesday that Arlen Specter's abandonment of the GOP is “devastating,” both “personally and I think for the party.”
Ramesh Ponnuru / The Corner:
Specter on Jeffords  —  When Jim Jeffords became an “Independent” in 2001, Specter wasn't happy.  He said, “I intend to propose a rule change which would preclude a future recurrence of a Senator's change in parties, in midsession, organizing with the opposition, to cause the upheaval which is now resulting.”
Discussion: The Plank and Weekly Standard
Carl Hulse / The Caucus:
Specter Switches Parties  —  Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania said on Tuesday he would switch to the Democratic party, presenting Democrats with a possible 60th vote and the power to break Senate filibusters as they try to advance the Obama administration's new agenda.
Limbaugh to Specter: Please take McCain with you  —  (CNN) — Conservative host Rush Limbaugh said Tuesday he isn't sorry to see Arlen Specter leave the GOP — and that many Republicans wish the Pennsylvania senator would take a few others with him when he goes.
Discussion: Hot Air
The Huffington Post:
Limbaugh To Specter: Take McCain And His Daughter With You
David Waldman / Daily Kos:
Memo to GOP: Seat Franken or we'll keep Specter's committee seats
Discussion: AMERICAblog News
Snowe calls Specter move ‘devastating’
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
What Specter's switch says about him, the Democrats and our political spectrum
William Kristol / PostPartisan:   Good News for Republicans!
The Politico:
GOP is Specter of its old self
Eric Kleefeld / TPMDC:
Why Specter Did It — And Had To Do It
Discussion: The New Republic
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Specter and the Flat Tax
Discussion: Open Left
Alexander Mooney / CNN:   Steele: Specter ‘flipped the bird’ at GOP
David Weigel / The Washington Independent:   Club for Growth Speechless on Specter Switch
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
WHY SPECTER'S SWITCH MATTERS.... Following up on the last item …
Timothy P. Carney /
Did DeMint's endorsement of Toomey set off Specter?
Discussion: Eschaton and Power Line
Kos / Daily Kos:
The RNC responds  —  Not a bad response from RNC Chairman Michael Steele:
Discussion: Scorecard's Blog and MyDD
Emily Kaiser / City Pages:
Bachmann: ‘Interesting coincidence’ that Dems in power during swine flu outbreak  —  Rep. Michele Bachmann came up with another doozy during her interview Monday with Pajamas TV.  Does anyone think it's “interesting” that the last time we saw swine flu was during another Democratic president?
Ryan Powers / Think Progress:
Bachmann: It's ‘interesting’ …
Discussion: Toronto Star
Andrew Blankstein / L.A. Now:
Two L.A. County deaths possibly related to swine flu, coroner says [Updated]  —  The Los Angeles County coroner's office is investigating two recent deaths that officials say could be related to the recent global swine flu outbreak.  However, no tests have come back positive for the swine flu …
Andie Coller / The Politico:
Dems put swine flu to good use
Discussion: The Swamp
Declan McCullagh / CBS News:
DHS Sets Guidelines For Possible Swine Flu Quarantines
Discussion: Raw Story
Spencer S. Hsu / Washington Post:
With Eye on Industry, Ag Secretary Stops Calling Outbreak ‘Swine Flu’
Discussion: The New Republic
FAA Memo: Feds Knew NYC Flyover Would Cause Panic  —  Threatened Federal Sanctions Against NYPD, Secret Service, FBI & Mayor's Office If Secret Ever Got Out  —  Furious Obama Apologizes: “It Will Never Happen Again”  —  CBS News Interactive: Sept. 11 And Since
Joseph Abrams / Fox News:
Despite Reports, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Was Not Waterboarded 183 Times  —  The number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded was the focus of major media attention — and highly misleading.  —  —  The New York Times reported last week that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed …
Discussion: JustOneMinute and Commentary
HHS secretary confirmed in midst of outbreak  —  (CNN) — The Senate confirmed former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as secretary of Health and Human Services Tuesday on a 65-31 vote.  —  The timely vote will put Sebelius in office as the Obama administration is up against its first public health outbreak.
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
Sebelius Confirmed To Health & Human Services, With Specter's Support
Discussion: D-Day and
News7 Poll: Terry McAuliffe holds double digit lead over Brian Moran & Creigh Deeds  —  A new poll gives Terry McAuliffe a double digit lead over Brian Moran and Creigh Deeds, his Democratic rivals for Governor.  —  But a majority of likely Democratic voters who responded to the News7 SurveyUSA poll …
Discussion: Blue Virginia
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Major defeat for Bush/Obama position on secrecy  —  (updated below - interview with lead counsel Ben Wizner of the ACLU)  —  The first sign that the Obama DOJ would replicate many of the worst and most radical arguments of the Bush DOJ was in the Jeppesen case, a lawsuit brought by five victims …
Sharon Waxman / The Wrap:
Exclusive: Fox Pollster Goes Hollywood  —  “I'm tired of selling reality,” Frank Luntz tells TheWrap.  “It's mean.  Divisive.  Negative.  What Hollywood offers is a chance to create a new reality, in two hours time.”  —  One of politics' unlikeliest figures has come to Hollywood, looking to change his stripes.
Discussion: Silicon Alley Insider
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Lugar to support IU law professor's nomination
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Sam Dillon / New York Times:
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Discussion: Room for Debate and Cato @ Liberty
Robert Tait / Guardian:
Ahmadinejad tells voters: Yes, we can
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
 Earlier Items: 
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Miraculous Compromise  —  TPM Reader FB may be on to something ...
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UAW Said to Get 55% Chrysler Ownership, Board Seats
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Washington Times:
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