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3:50 PM ET, May 12, 2009


 Top Items: 
Josh Kraushaar / The Politico:
Conservatives may buck Crist  —  The expected announcement Tuesday by Florida Gov. Charlie Crist that he's running for the Senate would seem to be a rare bit of good news for beleaguered Republicans.  —  But while Crist is a brand-name recruit with sky-high approval ratings and bipartisan appeal …
Josh Kraushaar / Scorecard's Blog:
NRSC endorses 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 …
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
White House Cheat Sheet: What Crist Means
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:   Crist's moderation  —  Cillizza offers a smart take on the meaning …
Erick Erickson / Erick's blog:
Tax Hiker Runs for Senate in Florida
Discussion: The Plum Line and CBS News
Josh Kraushaar / Scorecard's Blog:   Cornyn on Crist endorsement
Alexander Burns / The Politico:
Trump on Prejean: Same as Obama  —  President Barack Obama ended up in the middle of an unlikely controversy this morning — the debate over Miss California's position on gay marriage.  —  At a press conference addressing Carrie Prejean's disputed title in the Miss USA competition …
Miss California Topless — Oops, She Did It Again  —  Carrie Prejean must have a really, really bad memory — because TMZ uncovered a brand new set of topless photos “biblically correct” Miss California took before she applied for the crown.  —  These pics were taken just last year — meaning Carrie was the ripe ol' LEGAL age of 20.
Katharine Q. Seelye / The Lede:
Trump Rules: Miss California Is Not Fired
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.
Brent Baker /
Koppel: ‘Enhanced Interrogation Technique’ …
Discussion: and Media Blog
Janet Adamy / Wall Street Journal:
Soda Tax Weighed to Pay for Health Care  —  Senate leaders are considering new federal taxes on soda and other sugary drinks to help pay for an overhaul of the nation's health-care system.  —  The taxes would pay for only a fraction of the cost to expand health-insurance coverage to all Americans …
Heather / Crooks and Liars:
Jesse Ventura: You Give Me a Water Board, Dick Cheney and One Hour, and I'll Have Him Confess to the Sharon Tate Murders  —  You can view this video right here by getting the latest version of Flash Player!  —  On Larry King Live Jesse Ventura takes on the Bush administration chickenhawks and Rush Limbaugh, and defends Colin Powell.
Discussion: The Impolitic and Raw Story
Lt. Daniel Choi / CNN:
Gay soldier: Don't fire me  —  • Military … Open Letter to President Obama and Every Member of Congress:  —  I have learned many lessons in the ten years since I first raised my right hand at the United States Military Academy at West Point and committed to fighting for my country.
Ben Armbruster / Think Progress:
Army Lt. discharged under DADT writes to Obama: ‘I beg you today: Do not fire me.’
Discussion: Neptunus Lex
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Obama administration threatens Britain to keep torture evidence concealed  —  (updated below)  —  Ever since he was released from Guantanamo in February after six years of due-process-less detention and brutal torture, Binyam Mohamed has been attempting to obtain justice for what was done to him.
Discussion: TalkLeft
Eli Lake / Washington Times:
Obama threatens to limit U.S. intel with Brits
Discussion: The Daily Dish and Wonk Room
Washington Post:
Hispanics See Stars Aligned on High Court  —  For President, Diversity Is One Of Many Factors  —  Justice David H. Souter's departure from the Supreme Court gives the first African American president a historic opportunity to break another barrier by appointing the first Hispanic to the nation's highest court.
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
THE DREADED ‘E’ WORD.... When Justice David Souter announced …
Discussion: Balloon Juice
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.
Declan McCullagh / CBS News:
It's A Good Time To Work For Uncle Sam  —  President Obama's call last year for “shared sacrifice” doesn't extend to federal employees, at least based on the details of his administration's 2010 budget released this week.  —  At a time when the official unemployment rate is nearing double digits …
Discussion: and Pajamas Media
The Plank:
Obama Breaks With Gates, Cancels Nuke Program  —  Obama's new budget plan includes a little-noted sea change in U.S. nuclear policy, and a step towards his vision of a denuclearized world.  It provides no funding for the Reliable Replacement Warhead program, created to design a new generation …
William Kristol / Washington Post:
An Anti-Obama Agenda for the GOP  —  The Republican Party's navel is a pretty unattractive thing.  —  So maybe Republicans should stop obsessively gazing at it.  Instead, the GOP might focus on taking on the Obama administration, whose policies are surprisingly vulnerable to political and substantive attack.
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?
Charlie Cook / National Journal Online:
Sometimes Silence Is Golden  —  The GOP Would Be Well-Advised To Take A Page From The Democratic Playbook And Steer Clear Of Politically Divisive Issues  —  The other day, a Republican campaign operative whose experience dates back to George H.W. Bush's White House political office was lamenting …
Discussion: Balloon Juice and Open Left
Robert Frank / The Wealth Report:
Oprah: It's Great to Have a Private Jet  —  The private-jet industry may have finally found its savior.  —  During a speech to Duke University's graduating class, Oprah talked about the secrets and joys of success.  Among them: owning a mansion and a jet.  —  “It's great to have a nice home.
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Obama plans Las Vegas getaway to help Harry Reid get big money  —  Harry Reid's no slouch in the fundraising department, with $3.3 million already on hand for next year's reelection campaign, which has thus far drawn lots of press too.  —  And no viable opponent from the state's battered Republican Party.
Associated Press:
Social Security and Medicare finances worsen  —  Recession hurts latest forecast for two biggest benefit programs  —  WASHINGTON - The financial health of Social Security and Medicare, the government's two biggest benefit programs, have worsened because of the severe recession, and Medicare is now paying out more than it receives.
Michael J. Totten:
The Future of Iraq, Part I  —  During my last trip to Baghdad I tried to figure out if the worst in Iraq is over or if the dramatic reduction in violence is just a long lull.  Half the Iraqis and half the Americans I spoke to were optimistic.  The other half think Iraq is probably doomed.
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 More Items:
Mike  —  Obama is a self-deceived person.  In the end America …
Megan McArdle:
The Risk of Debt  —  So why should we worry about the ability of the government to borrow?
Henry Fountain / New York Times:
Plugging Holes in the Science of Forensics
Greg Hengler /
Health Policy Professor Discusses The ‘Cost-Benefit’ …
Discussion: Hot Air
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Can Mitch Daniels Save the GOP?
Discussion: AmSpecBlog and Weekly Standard
Edwin Mora / CNSNews:
U.S. Will Pay $2.6 Million to Train Chinese Prostitutes to Drink …
Discussion: Hot Air
 Earlier Items: 
John H. Richardson / Esquire:
Acts of Conscience  —  As President Obama taps Lt. Gen. Stanley …
Discussion: Raw Story
Jennifer Finney Boylan / New York Times:
Is My Marriage Gay?
Discussion: Pam's House Blend and Salon
Rick Hasen / Election Law:
Discussion: TPMDC
The Hill:
Stopping Dem 60 ‘real hard,’ Cornyn fears
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Ylan Q. Mui / Washington Post:
Prices Fall To Match A New Frugality
Neil A. Lewis / New York Times:
Potential Justice Offers a Counterpoint in Chicago