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9:20 PM ET, May 6, 2009


 Top Items: 
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
TRANSPARENT BIGOTRY.... Following up on an earlier item, at least one high-profile Republican senator announced he doesn't want to see President Obama nominate a gay American for the Supreme Court. … I don't expect much from Thune, but I have to wonder if he realizes how incredibly ridiculous this is.
Discussion: Majikthise and MyDD
J. Taylor Rushing / The Hill:
Sessions would consider gay SCOTUS nominee  —  Sen. Jeff Sessions (Ala.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Wednesday he could consider a gay nominee for the nation's highest court.  —  “I'm not inclined to think that's an automatic disqualification,” Sessions said of a gay nominee.
The Politico:
The GOP's new point man  —  By elevating Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions to their top spot on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Republicans have selected their chief inquisitor for President Barack Obama's first Supreme Court nominee: a Southern, white conservative man who has drawn fire for racially insensitive comments in the past.
Ben Evans / Associated Press:
Top Republican inclined against Scotus filibuster
Discussion: The Caucus and Whiskey Fire
Governor Signs LD 1020, An Act to End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedom  —  AUGUSTA - Governor John E. Baldacci today signed into law LD 1020, An Act to End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedom.  —  “I have followed closely the debate on this issue.
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
UPDATED: Steele Condemns Maine Decision, Revealing Split With Snowe and Collins
Discussion: AMERICAblog News and TPMDC
Daily Oklahoman:
House bypasses governor's veto to claim Oklahoma's sovereignty  —  Although Gov. Brad Henry vetoed similar legislation 10 days earlier, House members Monday again approved a resolution claiming Oklahoma's sovereignty.  —  Unlike House Joint Resolution 1003, House Concurrent Resolution 1028 does not need the governor's approval.
Discussion: Liberty Street, TPMDC, Hot Air and HazZzMat
Mother Jones:
A Cheney Cover-Up?  —  Someone in the White House tried to deep-six Philip Zelikow's anti-torture memo.  Welcome to the latest Bush-era whodunit.  —  Post Comment  —  Who in the George W. Bush White House tried to shred a memo challenging the use of torture?
Fox News:
White House to Release Photo From New York Flyover
The Politico:
Meltdown: Specter stands alone  —  Arlen Specter infuriated Senate Republicans when he bolted from their party last week.  Now he's alienated just about everybody in the Senate Democratic caucus, too.  —  Since declaring himself a Democrat last Tuesday, Specter has defied Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid …
Poll: Don't investigate torture techniques  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — A new national poll indicates that most Americans don't want to see an investigation of Bush administration officials who authorized harsh interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists, even though most people think such procedures were forms of torture.
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Polling the Torture Debate
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Ryan Powers / Think Progress:
Limbaugh Responds To Powell: He Needs To ‘Close The Loop And Become A Democrat’  —  On Monday, former Secretary of State Colin Powell said that he believed the Republican party is in “deep trouble,” “getting smaller,” and being led by polarizing figures like Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) and Rush Limbaugh.
Jennifer Parker / George's Bottom Line:
Did Elizabeth Edwards Know When She Said This?  —  Elizabeth Edwards' admission that she knew about her husband's affair “days after” his presidential announcement back in 2006 puts this interview I had with the two of them in a new light.  —  It came just two days after Edwards announced his presidential bid.
Discussion: Top of the Ticket
Ali Frick / Think Progress:
Ed Gillespie: There wasn't a single woman of comparable ‘temperament and intellect’ to Alito.  —  On “The Situation Room” this afternoon, former Bush counselor Ed Gillespie said that “it would be wrong” if President Obama looks at only women for potential Supreme Court nominees …
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Pakistan-US Relations Are Upside Down  —  I think the headline “U.S. Presses Visiting Pakistani Leader on Taliban Threat” pretty much sums up what's gone wrong in the US-Pakistan relationship.  The Pakistani Taliban are waging a war whose aim is to overthrow the government of Pakistan.
New York Times:
With Taliban Threat Rising, Obama Presses Visiting Allies
Ezra Klein / American Prospect:
IS CONGRESS TURNING TOWARDS SOCIAL SECURITY REFORM?  —  Steny Hoyer, it seems, is making some noises about Social Security reform.  Good luck with that, I guess.  The interesting nugget in the article, however, is that “House and Senate leaders have resisted the idea of naming a special commission …
Discussion: MoJo Blog Posts
Lori Montgomery / Washington Post:
Lawmakers Seeking Consensus On Social Security Overhaul
Discussion: The Note and White House Watch
Wall Street Journal:
Stress Tests Separate Strong From Weak  —  Fed Separates Strong From Weak in Stress-Test Results; Six Get Clean Bill of Health, Seven Told to Shore Up Balance Sheets  —  The Federal Reserve directed at least seven of the nation's biggest banks to bolster their capital levels by $67 billion …
Shailagh Murray / Washington Post:
Obama Offers D.C. Voucher Program Extension for Existing Students  —  President Obama will seek to extend the controversial D.C. school voucher program until all 1,716 participants have graduated from high school, although no new students will be accepted, according to an administration official …
Nick Gillespie / Reason:
Obama's Brave Burger Run; Even Takes Biden Along (And You Know How Risky That Can Be)  —  All D.C. is a-twitter with yesterday's big burger run by the White House's answer to the Venture Bros.  —  President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden jaunted off to an Arlington …
Philip Rucker / Washington Post:
Say Cheese: Obama Lunch Turns Juicy Eat-and-Greet
Discussion: Needlenose and The Impolitic
Wall Street Journal:
Obama's Global Tax Raid  —  President Obama revealed Monday that he's half a supply-sider.  If only someone could explain to him the other half.  We have a tax code, the President said, “that says you should pay lower taxes if you create a job in Bangalore, India, than if you create one in Buffalo, New York.”
Megan McArdle:
The Price of the King's Shilling  —  Apparently, the $34 billion figure is good news because BAC has all those preferreds at Treasury that can be converted to common stock, leaving Treasury with $34 billion of common and $11 billion of preferreds.  But Joe Weisenthal asks a good question:
Lee Fang / Think Progress:
EXCLUSIVE AUDIO: Limbaugh Mocks Recession During Speech To Wealthy Right-Wing Donors  —  Last night, Rush Limbaugh came to Washington, D.C. to address the President's Club Dinner, a meeting of wealthy donors and supporters of the Heritage Foundation.  The audience included Supreme Court …
Jitendra Joshi / Agence France Presse:
US votes for 9/11-style commission to probe financial crisis  —  WASHINGTON (AFP) - US lawmakers voted Wednesday to create a 9/11-style commission of experts to probe the causes of last year's devastating financial meltdown and to draw lessons to prevent its recurrence.
David Weigel / The Washington Independent:
Too Much, Magic Bus  —  PajamasTV hasn't really been in the news since it hired Sam “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher to report on the war in Gaza, but it's still kicking.  Some of its most popular content is coming from black conservative comic Alphonzo Rachel, who sometimes appears as “President Zobama.”
Discussion: Indecision Forever and Wonkette
Eco-sailors rescued by oil tanker  —  An expedition team which set sail from Plymouth on a 5,000-mile carbon emission-free trip to Greenland have been rescued by an oil tanker.  —  Raoul Surcouf, Richard Spink and skipper Ben Stoddart sent a mayday because they feared for their safety amid winds of 68mph (109km/h).
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 More Items: 
Mary Katharine Ham / Weekly Standard:
Meet the ‘Save Our D.C. Opportunity Scholarship’ Activists
Discussion: AmSpecBlog
Steven Greenhouse / New York Times:
Bright Spot in Downturn: New Hiring Is Robust
Jimmy Vielkind / Politicker NY:
Dalai Lama Prays for Senate, Sympathizes With Republicans
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Israel's Nuclear Closet, Ctd
Discussion: Commentary and Swampland
Josh Kraushaar / Scorecard's Blog:
Sestak: Specter's not a reliable Democrat
 Earlier Items: 
Ken Belson / Wheels:
Congress Close on ‘Cash for Clunkers’
Discussion: Reason, Big Brass Blog and Wonkette
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
The North Repopulates, Ctd.
Wesley Young / Winston-Salem Journal:
Foxx sends note of apology to gay man's mother
Discussion: Think Progress and Joe. My. God.
Jeffrey Young / The Hill:
Grassley plots backup healthcare plan
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
The Confederate Legacy  —  Ed Kilgore has a very interesting post …
Discussion: The New Republic