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4:45 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.
Specter: ‘The disappointment runs in both directions’  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — Veteran Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter said Tuesday that he switched from the Republican to the Democratic Party.  —  “I know I'm disappointing many of my colleagues,” he said at a news conference.
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 …
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 …
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.
Human Events:
Arlen Specter Switching Parties Today  —  HUMAN EVENTS has learned from staff sources that Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa) is about to announce his switch to the Democratic Party.  —  Specter, a five-term Republican and ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, is facing …
The Politico:
Specter: I'm not an automatic 60th vote  —  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 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.) …
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.
Discussion: DownWithTyranny!
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
WHY SPECTER'S SWITCH MATTERS.... Following up on the last item, talk of a “filibuster-proof” Democratic majority is a stretch.  For one thing, Norm Coleman just received a powerful reminder incentive to keep his legal fight going for as long as humanly possible.
Snowe calls Specter move ‘devastating’  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Olympia Snowe — one of the three moderate Republicans including Arlen Specter who supported President Obama's stimulus package — told CNN Tuesday that she has also been approached many times about becoming a Democrat, but that it hasn't happened for a while.
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 …
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 …
Discussion: The Politico and Ben Smith's Blog
The New Republic:
Unprincipled Hack (D-PA)
Discussion: Commentary
David Weigel / The Washington Independent:   Club for Growth Speechless on Specter Switch
Eric Kleefeld / TPMDC:
Why Specter Did It — And Had To Do It
Specter to face a Democratic primary
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Jennifer Parker / George's Bottom Line:
Specter Switches Sides; Tells Obama: 'I'm a Loyal Democrat'
Discussion: The Note, TQIA and Taylor Marsh
Timothy P. Carney /
Did DeMint's endorsement of Toomey set off Specter?
Discussion: Eschaton and Politics Daily
Alex Isenstadt / The Politico:
GOP leaders: It's not our fault
The Campaign Spot:
Specter Flips; Guess Toomey's Got the GOP Primary Won, Huh?
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Steele: Specter move not ‘based on principles of any kind’
Discussion: On Deadline and MyDD
David Espo / Associated Press:
Specter says he's switching from GOP to Dems
Discussion: Shadow Government and Neuroworld
Matt Welch / Reason:   Arlen Specter, Democrat
Michael Barone /
Specter's switch: He's done it before
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Specter and EFCA  —  Grover Norquist tells the Washington Independent …
David Espo / Associated Press:
Sources: Specter intends to switch parties
Megan McArdle:
Arlen Specter switches parties
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Kos / Daily Kos:
Specter switches to Democratic Party
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: Donklephant
Washington Times:
Barack's in the basement  —  Obama is less popular than Nixon and Carter  —  President Obama's media cheerleaders are hailing how loved he is.  But at the 100-day mark of his presidency, Mr. Obama is the second-least-popular president in 40 years.  —  According to Gallup's April survey …
Discussion: RedState
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?
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Media Matters:
Kilmeade opines that McCain “should not be allowed to talk …
Discussion: Think Progress
 Earlier Items: 
Josh Gerstein / The Politico:
Liberals push Bybee impeachment
Discussion: The Swamp
Lyle Denniston / SCOTUSblog:
Court partly upholds “dirty words” ban
Iain Martin / Telegraph:
Britain is going to need far more people like Sir Michael Caine
Pianist stops show with anti-US rant