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1:00 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.
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 …
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 …
Washington Wire:
Sen. Specter To Switch Parties, Democrats Near 60 Vote Majority  —  Susan Davis reports on politics.  —  Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Arlen Specter is switching parties, handing Senate Democrats and President Barack Obama a powerful 60 vote super-majority in the U.S. Senate …
David Espo / Associated Press:
Sources: Sen. Specter intends to switch parties
The New Republic:
Arlen Specter Switching Parties?
Discussion: AmSpecBlog
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
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.
Jack Cafferty / CNN:   Cafferty: Time for Cheney to go hunting
Associated Press:
Poll: Public Does Not Want Torture Probe
Discussion: Commentary, CBS News and Politics Daily
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.
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 …
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.
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.
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.
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 …
Discussion: AmSpecBlog
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 and Donklephant
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
Mike Allen / The Politico:
New for GOP: Resurgent Republic  —  Ed Gillespie, the former GOP chairman and counselor to President George W. Bush, and top pollster Whit Ayres on Tuesday are launching Resurgent Republic, a group aimed at shaping the debate as the party regenerates itself for the upcoming elections.
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: Althouse
Brad Friedman / The BRAD BLOG:
In Memoriam: John Gideon, 1947 - 2009  —  “I will choose to celebrate his life.”  — Ellen Theisen, John Gideon's co-director at on his passing.  —  It was a very lonely time for advocates of democracy in the U.S. when John Gideon posted his first guest blog here in the dark days …
Dan Eggen / Washington Post:
Plan to Cut Weapons Programs Disputed  —  Defense Supporters Say 100,000 Jobs Are in Jeopardy  —  Some of the nation's largest defense contractors, labor unions and trade groups are banding together to argue that the Obama administration is putting 100,000 or more jobs at risk by proposing deep cuts in weapons programs.
Isabel Kershner / New York Times:
Abbas Rejects Calling Israel a Jewish State  —  JERUSALEM — The Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, on Monday dismissed a demand by Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, underscoring the considerable gaps between the sides.
Gary Fineout / New York Times:
Keeping Jobless Rules Intact, Florida Declines Stimulus Money  —  TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Days from the end of the legislative session, Florida lawmakers have refused to move a bill to expand unemployment eligibility in order to accept $444 million in federal stimulus aid.
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 More Items: 
Elizabeth Williamson / Wall Street Journal:
Some Lobbyists Try to Skirt Stimulus Ban
Discussion: Sunlight Foundation and The BLT
CBS News:
AIG's Fall: Bad Business Or Criminal Acts?
Discussion: Clusterstock and CapitalBeat
Dan / Riehl World View:
Get A Clue, Republicans  —  The Wall Street Journal is spot …
Tyler Cowen / Marginal Revolution:
Against torture prosecution
New York Times:
U.S. Steps Up Effort on Digital Defenses
Discussion: JustOneMinute
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: 
Christine Hanley / Los Angeles Times:
Scolding and a stiff sentence for Carona
Discussion: TPMMuckraker
Mike / Rortybomb:
Doing the homework  —  Sorry for the lax updates …
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias and Clusterstock
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
New York Times:
Obama Is Nudging Views on Race, a Survey Finds
Discussion: The Note
Matthew Moore / Telegraph:
Muslimowned shop bans customers wearing veils
Discussion: Don Surber