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1:35 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 …
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.
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.
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 …
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.
Ben Armbruster / Think Progress:
Army Lt. discharged under DADT writes to Obama: ‘I beg you today: Do not fire me.’  —  Last week, the U.S. Army discharged National Guard Lt. Daniel Choi — who served in Iraq and is fluent in Arabic — because he came out of the closet as a gay man.  “Why didn't I just shut up and not say anything?”
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: The Daily Dish, VetVoice and #gay
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.
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
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
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?
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
THE DREADED ‘E’ WORD.... When Justice David Souter announced his retirement from the Supreme Court, President Obama described his ideal justice as a person of intelligence, excellence, integrity, and empathy.  “I will seek someone who understands that justice isn't about some abstract legal theory …
Discussion: Balloon Juice and
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.
Peter Hamby / CNN:
Romney camp hits back at Steele for Mormonism comments  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) - In an unusual move for the person tasked with being his party's top cheerleader, Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele is shining a light on the political vulnerabilities of one of the GOP's top figures …
Reid Wilson / The Hill:
Romney slaps Steele over Mormon comments
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.
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.
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.
The Hill:
Stopping Dem 60 ‘real hard,’ Cornyn fears  —  Simmons is set to face at least two primary opponents, including former Ireland Ambassador Tom Foley, and Portman also faces a potential primary with state Auditor Mary Taylor, though he would be heavily favored.
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Eli Lake / Washington Times:
Obama threatens to limit U.S. intel with Brits  —  The Obama administration says it may curtail Anglo-American intelligence sharing if the British High Court discloses new details of the treatment of a former Guantanamo detainee.  —  A court filing from the British Foreign Office released recently includes …
Discussion: Salon, The Daily Dish and Wonk Room
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 …
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog and marbury
Associated Press:
Social Security, Medicare may run dry sooner  —  Recession produces bleak forecast for two biggest benefit programs  —  WASHINGTON - The financial health of the government's two biggest benefit programs may have slipped over the past year, reflecting the deep recession that has already bitten into other areas of the budget.
Discussion: Associated Press and
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 More Items: 
Rick Hasen / Election Law:
Discussion: TPMDC
Washington Post:
For Tourism, A One-Man Stimulus Package
Discussion: Newsweek Blogs
Hilzoy / Washington Monthly:
Comparative Effectiveness Research
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blog:
Another Dem casts doubt on CIA briefing memo
Discussion: The Politico and TPMMuckraker
Nicholas Kulish / New York Times:
Accused Nazi Arrives in Munich
Discussion: Law Blog
 Earlier Items: 
Joe Klein / Swampland:
More on McKiernan  —  The Washington Post has an interesting …
Discussion: Slate, Washington Monthly and MSNBC
Ylan Q. Mui / Washington Post:
Prices Fall To Match A New Frugality
Discussion: Wonkette and The Impolitic
Kleinheider / Nashville Post:
Ford, Jr. Would Have Voted For Torture
Discussion: Hot Air and Think Progress
Richard A. Epstein / Forbes:
The Deadly Sins Of The Chrysler Bankruptcy
Discussion: Reason
Michael Ledeen / The Corner:
Saberi: Who Paid What to Whom?
Discussion: BBC, The Daily Dish, Time and Israel Matzav
Peter Hamby / CNN:
Actor Gary Sinise floated as possible GOP savior