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11:45 AM 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 …
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.
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 …
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.
Neil A. Lewis / New York Times:
Potential Justice Offers a Counterpoint in Chicago  —  WASHINGTON — When President Bill Clinton had a rare opportunity in 1995 for a Democratic president to fill a vacancy on the federal appeals court based in Chicago, a bastion of conservative thinking, he received an unusually strong recommendation from Senator Paul Simon.
Discussion: The Page
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?
Discussion: NY Daily News and The Swamp
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?
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.
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
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
THE DREADED ‘E’ WORD.... When Justice David Souter announced …
Discussion: Balloon Juice and
Joe Klein / Swampland:
More on McKiernan  —  The Washington Post has an interesting tidbit today on the McKiernan sacking.  Apparently, the general was cautious about standing up local militias to defend against the Taliban, an experiment that has recently begun in Wardak Province: … But McKiernan's caution may have been the right impulse.
Discussion: Slate and MSNBC
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.
Discussion: Washington Monthly
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.
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.
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: Pajamas Media and Gateway Pundit
Adam Serwer / American Prospect:
CAN RICHARD COHEN REMEMBER THE COLUMN HE WROTE TWO WEEKS AGO?  —  It really takes a startling lack of self-awareness to write a column about how you “know” that no longer torturing people has made America less safe, only to write another thumbsucking column a few weeks later innocently asking, “I have to wonder” whether torture works.
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.
Steven Greenhouse / New York Times:
Workers Pressure Bank to Keep Clothier's U.S. Plants Open  —  DES PLAINES, Ill. — Hartmarx, known for its Hart Schaffner & Marx and Hickey Freeman suits, and for making President Obama's inauguration tuxedo and topcoat, has long been America's leading clothier for men.
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.
Discussion: VetVoice and #gay
Robert Pear / New York Times:
45 Centrist Democrats Protest Secrecy of Health Care Talks  —  WASHINGTON — Forty-five House Democrats in the party's moderate-to-conservative wing have protested the secretive process by which party leaders in their chamber are developing legislation to remake the health care system.
Michael Slackman / New York Times:
Egypt to Be Center Stage in Obama's Address to Arabs  —  CAIRO — President Obama's decision to deliver a speech here next month has given significant encouragement to a once powerful ally that has grown increasingly frustrated over its waning regional influence and its inability to explain …
Discussion: The Plank, and The Page
Richard A. Epstein / Forbes:
The Deadly Sins Of The Chrysler Bankruptcy  —  Why mortgage priorities matter.  —  The proposed bankruptcy reorganization of the now defunct Chrysler Corp. is the culmination of serious policy missteps by the Bush and Obama administrations.  To be sure, the long overdue Chrysler bankruptcy is a welcomed turn of events.
Discussion: Reason
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 More Items: 
Laura King / Los Angeles Times:
Afghan villagers get payments for battle that killed civilians
Amanda Terkel / Think Progress:
Philadelphia Inquirer hires John Yoo as a columnist.
Discussion: Gawker
Reid Wilson / The Hill:
Romney slaps Steele over Mormon comments
Ylan Q. Mui / Washington Post:
Prices Fall To Match A New Frugality
Discussion: The Impolitic and Wonkette
Kleinheider / Nashville Post:
Ford, Jr. Would Have Voted For Torture
Discussion: Think Progress and Hot Air
 Earlier Items: 
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Peace process process  —  The White House makes the key Mideast …
Discussion: The Swamp
Michael Ledeen / The Corner:
Saberi: Who Paid What to Whom?
Discussion: The Daily Dish, BBC, Time and Israel Matzav
Leigh Hornbeck / Capitol Confidential:
726  —  59, 47, 168, 273, 365....It won't be technically …
Discussion: the albany project
Peter Hamby / CNN:
Actor Gary Sinise floated as possible GOP savior
David Paul Kuhn / Real Clear Politics:
Social Conservative Leaders Feel Scapegoated
Discussion: PoliBlog and