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2:55 PM ET, April 28, 2009


 Top Items: 
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Specter To Switch Parties  —  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.  —  Specter's decision would give Democrats …
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.
Sen. Arlen Specter to become Democrat  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — Veteran Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter told colleagues Tuesday that he switched from the Republican to the Democratic Party, Sen. Harry Reid says.  —  The Specter party switch would give Democrats a filibuster-proof Senate majority …
Carl Hulse / The Caucus:
Specter To Switch 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.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Specter switching parties  —  A source involved in the talks confirms that Senator Arlen Specter will switch to the Democratic Party, a dramatic move putting the Democrats within reach of two votes in the Senate.  —  The move stands to put the White House's agenda on a fast-track …
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Specter move caught GOP leaders by surprise  —  Senate Republican leaders said they had received no heads-up from Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.) about his decision to leave the Republican Party and run for reelection as a Democrat.  —  Specter told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) …
Discussion: The Politico
Michelle Malkin:
Arlen Specter makes it official; Flashback: Specter's denial  —  Well, it appears that the head of the Turncoat Caucus is finally making it official.  Arlen Specter, we have just 10 words for you:  —  Don't let the door hit you on the way out. … The readers at Human Events give Specter a nice send-off.
The Politico:
Specter to switch to Democratic Party  —  Republican Sen. Arlen Specter has decided to switch parties and become a Democrat, stunning his GOP colleagues in the Senate while pushing Democrats and President Barack Obama one step closer to unfettered power in Washington.
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Specter courts conservatives in Pa. rematch  —  Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) has been laying the groundwork for a grudge rematch against former Rep. Pat Toomey since 2004, when Specter almost lost his seat to the conservative firebrand.  —  Conservative leaders say that Specter's relationship …
Jonathan Cohn / The New Republic:
What a Specter Shift Means—and Doesn't Mean  —  A little while ago, my colleague Mike Crowley heard from sources that Arlen Specter is leaving the Republican Party.  And I see now that the Washington Post is reporting it, as well.  But the headline currently on the Post home page …
Discussion: Wonk Room and Washington Monthly
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Steele: Specter move not ‘based on principles of any kind’
Washington Post:
Penn. Sen. Arlen Specter to Switch to Democratic Party
Discussion: Washington Wire and Truthdig
The Campaign Spot:
Specter Flips; Guess Toomey's Got the GOP Primary Won, Huh?
David Weigel / The Washington Independent:   Club for Growth Speechless on Specter Switch
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Some Questions to Be Answered
Discussion: The New Republic
Megan McArdle:
Arlen Specter switches parties
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
The New Republic:
Arlen Specter Switching Parties? [CONFIRMED]
Eric Kleefeld / TPMDC:
Why Specter Did It — And Had To Do It
Discussion: The New Republic
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
Cheney for President  —  Watching Dick Cheney defend …
David Espo / Associated Press:   Specter says he's switching from GOP to Dems
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Specter switches: GOP ‘far to the right’
Kos / Daily Kos:
Specter switches to Democratic Party
Discussion: AmSpecBlog
Taegan Goddard's Political Wire:   Specter Will Switch Parties
Donald G. McNeil Jr / New York Times:
With Swine Flu Cases Rising, Borders Are Tightened  —  Countries around the world began tightening their border and immigration controls Tuesday as the number of confirmed cases of swine flu continued to rise.  —  The number of deaths believed attributable to swine flu climbed to as many as 152 …
Iain Martin / Telegraph:
Britain is going to need far more people like Sir Michael Caine  —  The son of a charlady from Rotherhithe is an example of social mobility at its best - but try telling that to Labour, says Iain Martin.  —  His name, as they say, is Michael Caine.  And he's not a happy bunny.
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 …
Wall Street Journal:
Fed Pushes Citi, BofA to Increase Capital  —  Regulators have told Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. that the banks may need to raise more capital based on early results of the government's so-called stress tests of lenders, according to people familiar with the situation.
James Kirchick / Los Angeles Times:
Squanderer in chief  —  At a stop on his grand global apology tour this spring, President Obama was asked by a reporter in France if he believed in “American exceptionalism.”  This is the notion that our history as the world's oldest democracy, our immigrant founding and our devotion …
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 More Items: 
Renae Merle / Washington Post:
Mortgage Modification Bill Faces Trouble in Senate
Discussion: Hot Air and Clusterstock
Washington Times:
Barack's in the basement  —  Obama is less popular than Nixon and Carter
Tyler Cowen / Marginal Revolution:
Against torture prosecution
Josh Gerstein / The Politico:
Liberals push Bybee impeachment
Mike Allen / The Politico:
New for GOP: Resurgent Republic
Lyle Denniston / SCOTUSblog:
Court partly upholds “dirty words” ban
 Earlier Items: 
Jeffrey Goldberg:
Libyans Sure Do Know How to Dress to Impress
Discussion: Democracy in America
Richard Cohen / Washington Post:
Why We Ban Torture  —  On April 16, President Obama released …
Discussion: TalkLeft and First Draft
Jack Cafferty / CNN:
Cafferty: Time for Cheney to go hunting
Associated Press:
Chrysler latest: Union eyes majority ownership
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Henry Kaufman / Financial Times:
How libertarian dogma led the Fed astray
Wall Street Journal:
The Politics of Liberal Amnesia
Pianist stops show with anti-US rant
Discussion: Culture Monster