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9:25 AM ET, May 12, 2009


 Top Items: 
James Taranto / Wall Street Journal:
The Two Jokes  —  What makes Wanda Sykes's witless vulgarity amusing to the president?  —  Printer  —  Friendly  —  The White House Correspondents Dinner took place this weekend.  As usual, the president was in attendance and a comedian provided the evening's entertainment.
Fox News:
Did Wanda Sykes Go Too Far at the White House Correspondents' Dinner?  —  This is a rush transcript from “On the Record,” May 11, 2009.  This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.  —  GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Tonight: 9/11, waterboarding and wishing for kidney failure …
Discussion: The Swamp and NY Daily News
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Wanda Sykes sees the humor of 9/11; White House not
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
White House Cheat Sheet: What Crist Means  —  Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is set to announce his Senate candidacy today, a decision that has national implications and says a great deal about the current political landscape, from Republicans rebuilding efforts to the treacherous political position for governors heading into 2010.
Josh Kraushaar / Scorecard's Blog:
NRSC to endorse Crist  —  Even as Gov. Charlie Crist comes under fire from Florida conservatives, he will be getting some important political backing today as he announces that he's running for the Senate in Florida.  —  The National Republican Senatorial Committee will be endorsing Crist …
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Richard Cohen / Washington Post:
What if Cheney's Right?  —  Blogger Alert: I have written a column in defense of Dick Cheney.  I know how upsetting this will be to some Cheney critics, and I count myself as one, who think — in respectful paraphrase of what Mary McCarthy said about Lillian Hellman — that everything he says is a lie, including the ands and the thes.
Megan McArdle:
Obama's Magical Mystery Tour of Health Care Savings  —  This weekend, I was on a panel where the other economics journalist and I spent a great deal of time belaboring the obvious: Obama's health care plans are very, very expensive, and they mean higher taxes for everyone …
Andy Kessler / Wall Street Journal:
Was It a Sucker's Rally?  —  You can have a jobless recovery but you can't have a profitless one.  —  Printer  —  Friendly  —  The Dow Jones Industrial Average has bounced an astounding 30% from its March 9 low of 6547.  Is this the dawn of a new era?  Are we off to the races again?
Discussion: Clusterstock and The Big Picture
Kenneth P. Vogel / The Politico:
W.H. lobbies for Olympics in Chicago  —  The Obama White House is playing an unprecedented role in the bid to bring the 2016 Summer Olympics to Chicago, with top adviser Valerie Jarrett spearheading an effort that draws on the international symbolism of his presidency.
Discussion: Outside The Beltway and The Page
The Politico:
Pelosi defense: couldn't object in '03  —  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi learned in early 2003 that the Bush administration was waterboarding terror detainees but didn't protest directly out of respect for “appropriate” legislative channels, a person familiar with the situation said Monday.
David Paul Kuhn / Real Clear Politics:
Social Conservative Leaders Feel Scapegoated  —  There is a brooding sense within top social conservative circles that they have become the revolving scapegoat of the Republican Party.  Many of the longtime leaders of the Christian right, from Richard Land to Tony Perkins to Gary Bauer …
Discussion: and GOP 12
John Amato / Crooks and Liars:
Huckabee speaks out against alienating social conservatives.
Discussion: BitsBlog
Peter Finn / Washington Post:
Detainee Who Gave False Iraq Data Dies In Prison in Libya  —  A former CIA high-value detainee, who provided bogus information that was cited by the Bush administration in the run-up to the Iraq war, has died in a Libyan prison, an apparent suicide, according to a Libyan newspaper.
Satyam Khanna / Think Progress:
Lieberman breaks with Cheney: 'We're not less safe' under Obama.  —  Yesterday on CBS's Face the Nation, former Vice President Cheney repeated his claim that President Obama is making the country less secure.  Notably, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), who has largely agreed with Cheney on national security policy, disagrees.
Discussion: The Reaction and Associated Press
Reid Wilson / The Hill:
Hoekstra calls for CIA documents to be declassified  —  Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) has called on the intelligence community to declassify documents showing what certain members of Congress were told about harsh interrogation techniques employed in the war on terrorism.
Michael Evans / Times of London:
Taleban using white phosphorus, some of it made in Britain  —  Taleban fighters have been using deadly white phosphorus munitions, some of them manufactured in Britain, to attack Western forces in Afghanistan, according to previously classified United States documents released yesterday.
Discussion: Chris Floyd Online and MyDD
Peter Hamby / CNN:
Actor Gary Sinise floated as possible GOP savior  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — Nicolle Wallace, a top adviser to George W. Bush and John McCain's presidential campaign, is adding a few names to the list of Republicans who might lead the GOP out of the wilderness.  —  Top among them?  Actor Gary Sinise.
Dahlia Lithwick / Slate:
The GOP's misguided and confused campaign against judicial empathy.  —  One is surely entitled to say that President Obama's repeated claim that he seeks “empathy” in a replacement for Justice David Souter is something less than a crisp constitutional standard.
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Michael Ledeen / The Corner:
Saberi: Who Paid What to Whom?  —  Years ago, after I had negotiated with the Iranians about many things — including the release of American hostages — the first hostage, the Reverend Weir, returned to Washington.  A friend at the New York Times called and said, “I know I'm missing something here; can you help me?”
Leigh Hornbeck / Capitol Confidential:
726  —  59, 47, 168, 273, 365....It won't be technically official until tomorrow, but according to the state Board of Elections, Scott Murphy won his seat in Congress over Jim Tedisco by 726 votes.  The final tally, which the commissioners will meet to certify at a noon meeting in Albany, is 80,833 to 80,107.
Discussion: the albany project
Jay Cost / HorseRaceBlog:
It's Time for Michael Steele To Resign  —  On Friday, Michael Steele guest hosted Bill Bennett's radio show - and he got into a conversation with a caller on the subject of Mitt Romney's presidential candidacy.  This caller - “Jay” (not me!)  - had suggested that Mitt Romney could have won …
Paul Ingrassia / Wall Street Journal:
How Ford Restructured Without Federal Help  —  The company is now at a disadvantage to its less prudent rivals.  —  Printer  —  Friendly  —  Dearborn, Mich.  —  You're forgiven if you think the Chrysler Bailout is a hot new car that competes with another model called the GM Rescue.
Digby / Hullabaloo:
De-basing Torture  —  The argument against torture is slipping away from us.  In fact, I'm getting the sinking feeling that it's over.  What was once taboo is now publicly acknowledged as completely acceptable by many people.  Indeed, disapproval of torture is now being characterized …
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 More Items: 
Richard Posner / The Becker-Posner Blog:
Is the Conservative Movement Losing Steam? Posner
Discussion: The Daily Dish
Robin / American Thinker:
Letter of Amends from a Recovering Liberal in Berkeley
Discussion: AmSpecBlog and Vanity Fair
Mark Halperin / The Page:
Limbaugh on Cheney's Motivations
Discussion: No More Mister Nice Blog and Salon
Mark Blumenthal /
The Edwards 2008 What-If
Los Angeles Times:
Defending Dawn Johnsen
Discussion: Firedoglake and ACS Blog
Fred Kaplan / Slate:
The ouster of Afghanistan commander David McKiernan could make …
 Earlier Items: 
Marisa Guthrie / Broadcasting & Cable:
Jon Stewart to Make History Special
Discussion: Media Blog and Perez Hilton
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
Family ties aid Obama applicants
Discussion: Hot Air and Don Surber
John Podhoretz / Weekly Standard:
Going Boldly
Hugh Hewit /
Here comes California's May 19 Rebellion