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8:55 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  —  Everybody's a comedian until they have to actually be funny.  And that is an awful lot harder.  —  As The Ticket noted here with a full transcript, President Barack Obama pulled off his written jokes Saturday night …
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.
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 …
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
Mark Blumenthal /
The Edwards 2008 What-If  —  The publication of a new book by Elizabeth Edwards, and especially the revelation that she advised her husband against running in 2008, has created a lot of “what if” speculation about how the race might have been different.  Two weeks ago, for example …
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 …
Fred Kaplan / Slate:
The ouster of Afghanistan commander David McKiernan could make—or break—the Obama presidency.  —  Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced this afternoon that he has “asked for the resignation” of Gen. David McKiernan, commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, and that he plans to replace him with Gen. Stanley McChrystal.
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.
Fox News:
Pageant Double Standard?  Steamy Photos of Miss Rhode Island Won't Threaten Her Crown  —  While racy photos of Miss California Carrie Prejean could cost the outspoken first runner up in the Miss USA pageant her crown, pageant officials don't seem to care about even steamier photos of Miss Rhode Island that appeared in a men's magazine.
Hotline On Call:
Should Coleman Concede?  Steele Says, “Hell No”  —  Embattled RNC Chair Michael Steele let his 100th day at the GOP helm slip by with little fanfare amid last weekend's White House Correspondents Dinner festivites.  But in an interview after the gala, Steele said that if the state Supreme Court …
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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
Los Angeles Times:
Defending Dawn Johnsen
Discussion: Firedoglake and ACS Blog
Marisa Guthrie / Broadcasting & Cable:
Jon Stewart to Make History Special
Discussion: Media Blog and Perez Hilton
 Earlier Items: 
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
Room for Debate:
Why Iran Freed Roxana Saberi
Financial Times:
Shortages stir coffee and sugar prices

From Mediagazer:

Mike Vorkunov / New York Times:
Sources: the WNBA's media rights deals mirror the NBA's, and the league is set to get at least $2.2B over 11 years or $200M/year, up from the current ~$50M/year

Hong Kong Free Press:
Hong Kong-based reporter Selina Cheng says she was fired by The Wall Street Journal for taking up the position of chair of the Hong Kong Journalist Association

Peter White / Deadline:
Emmy nominations numbers: Netflix took top spot with 107; FX, 93; HBO/Max, 91; Apple TV+, 72; ABC and CBS, 38 each; Prime Video, 37; Hulu, 26; and Disney+, 19

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