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1:25 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.
Longtime Republican 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 …
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 Swamp and The Huffington Post
Carl Hulse / The Caucus:
Specter To Switch Parties  —  Senator Arlen Specter was surrounded by reporters on Tuesday after it was announced that he will switch parties.  —  Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania said on Tuesday he would switch to the Democratic party, presenting Democrats with a possible 60th vote …
Discussion: Prairie Weather
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
Cheney for President  —  Watching Dick Cheney defend the Bush administration's interrogation policies, it's been hard to escape the impression that both the Republican Party and the country would be better off today if Cheney, rather than John McCain, had been a candidate for president in 2008.
Veteran GOP Sen. Specter switches parties  —  ‘Political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans,’ he says  —  WASHINGTON - Veteran Republican Sen. Arlen Specter announced Tuesday that he is switching parties, a move would give Democrats a filibuster-proof 60 seats if Al Franken is seated in the Minnesota race.
Washington Wire:   Sen. Specter To Switch Parties, Democrats Near 60 Vote Majority
Jonathan Cohn / The New Republic:
What a Specter Shift Means—and Doesn't Mean
Discussion: Washington Monthly and TPMDC
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Specter courts conservatives in Pa. rematch
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
David Espo / Associated Press:
Sources: Sen. Specter intends to switch parties
The New Republic:
Arlen Specter Switching Parties? [CONFIRMED]
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 …
John D. Sutter / CNN:
Swine flu creates controversy on Twitter  —  (CNN) — The swine flu outbreak is spawning debate about how people get information during health emergencies — especially at a time when news sources are becoming less centralized.  —  Some observers say Twitter — a micro-blogging site …
David Brooks / New York Times:
Globalism Goes Viral
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.
Discussion: Jules Crittenden and
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 …
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: Sister Toldjah
Wall Street Journal:
The Politics of Liberal Amnesia  —  Nancy Pelosi is “pushing back” against charges that she was aware of — and acquiesced in — the CIA's harsh interrogations of terrorist detainees nearly from the moment the practice began, reports the Politico Web site.  Maybe she's suffering from amnesia.
Discussion: Wake up America
Media Matters:
Kilmeade opines that McCain “should not be allowed to talk on torture” because “he was tortured”  —  From the April 28 edition of Fox News Radio's Brian & The Judge:
Discussion: D-Day
Pianist stops show with anti-US rant  —  • ‘Get your hands off my country’ audience told  —  • Polish player protests over missile defence shield  —  Krystian Zimerman, the great Polish concert pianist, is usually a man of few words.  He doesn't, as a rule, talk to the audience during performances.
Lyle Denniston / SCOTUSblog:
Court partly upholds “dirty words” ban  —  Splitting 5-4, the Supreme Court upheld the government's power under existing law to ban the use on radio and TV of even a single four-letter word that is considered indecent — but left open the question of whether the ban might violate the First Amendment, at least in some situations.
Discussion: Salon
Associated Press:
Chrysler latest: Union eyes majority ownership  —  STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. — The United Auto Workers union will own 55% of a restructured Chrysler LLC and its retiree health care trust will get a seat on the board if union members vote to approve contract concessions this week.
Discussion: Taylor Marsh and Balloon Juice
Jeffrey Goldberg:
Libyans Sure Do Know How to Dress to Impress  —  Libyan national security advisor Mutassim Qadhafi, who visited Secretary of State Clinton last week:
Discussion: Democracy in America
Josh Gerstein / The Politico:
Liberals push Bybee impeachment  —  Liberal activists are pressing for the impeachment of federal Judge Jay Bybee over the Bush administration's “torture memos” in part because there is virtually nothing that President Barack Obama, congressional Republicans or conservative Senate Democrats …
Henry Kaufman / Financial Times:
How libertarian dogma led the Fed astray  —  The Federal Reserve has been hobbled by at least two major shortcomings that were primarily responsible for the current and several previous credit crises.  Its failure to spot the importance of changing financial markets and its commitment …
Discussion: EconLog
Richard Cohen / Washington Post:
Why We Ban Torture  —  On April 16, President Obama released the now-infamous torture memos along with a covering statement that said the CIA's old interrogation methods not only failed to “make us safer” but undermined “our moral authority.”  A week later, a woman holding the hand …
Discussion: TalkLeft and First Draft
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 More Items: 
Elizabeth Williamson / Wall Street Journal:
Some Lobbyists Try to Skirt Stimulus Ban
Discussion: Sunlight Foundation
Associated Press:
Poll: Public Does Not Want Torture Probe
Discussion: Commentary and CBS News
CBS News:
AIG's Fall: Bad Business Or Criminal Acts?
Discussion: Clusterstock
New York Times:
U.S. Steps Up Effort on Digital Defenses
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Despite D.C. Media Reticence, Huge Majority Says Waterboarding Is “Torture”
Discussion: Think Progress and The Daily Dish
 Earlier Items: 
Mike Allen / The Politico:
New for GOP: Resurgent Republic
Jack Cafferty / CNN:
Cafferty: Time for Cheney to go hunting
John Blake / CNN:
Why Michelle Obama inspires women around globe
Mark Thiessen / Associated Press:
Palin's legal fund challenged as ethics violation
Discussion: Politics Daily
Gary Fineout / New York Times:
Keeping Jobless Rules Intact, Florida Declines Stimulus Money
Brad Friedman / The BRAD BLOG:
In Memoriam: John Gideon, 1947 - 2009
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Dan Eggen / Washington Post:
Plan to Cut Weapons Programs Disputed
Discussion: The Reaction