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6:35 PM ET, May 13, 2009


 Top Items: 
Roger Simon / The Politico:
GOP to rebrand Dems as ‘socialists’  —  A member of the Republican National Committee told me Tuesday that when the RNC meets in an extraordinary special session next week, it will approve a resolution rebranding Democrats as the “Democrat Socialist Party.”  —  When I asked if such a resolution …
Ed Kilgore / Democratic Strategist:
The GOP's New “Evil Empire”  —  Like a lot of non-Rush-Limbaugh listeners, when I first heard that a large faction of Republican National Committee members was pushing for a formal resolution calling on GOPers to start referring to the Democratic Party as the “Democrat Socialist Party,” …
Digby / Hullabaloo:
Socialist Schmocialist  —  They're finally getting serious: … Awesome.  But they've missed a huge opportunity here.  They could try to “rebrand” the Democrats as the National Socialist American Worker's Party, which would have been rilly, rilly kewl cuz then they could have merged Obama's picture with Hitler 'n stuff.
Discussion: Open Left
Pat Toomey / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Welcome to our tent  —  The GOP has plenty of room for honest debate  —  Arlen Specter's defection to the Democratic Party provoked a firestorm of debate about the future of the Republican Party and its ability to become a majority party once again in America.
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog and TPMDC
Huma Khan / Political Punch:
President Obama Reverses Course on Releasing More Detainee Abuse Photographs  —  President Obama defended his decision to fight the release of photos showing detainee abuse Wednesday afternoon, saying it would only put American troops in harms way and create a backlash against Americans.
Washington Post:
Obama Reverses Position on Release of Photos of Detainee Abuse  —  President Obama will oppose the release of several dozen photos depicting abuse of detainees held in U.S. military custody abroad, reversing his previous position on the grounds that the pictures could inflame anti-American sentiment and endanger U.S. troops.
Ed Hornick / CNN:
Obama orders stop to detainee photo releases  —  (CNN) — President Obama has ordered government lawyers to object to the planned release of additional detainee photos, according to an administration official.  —  The Defense Department was set to release hundreds of photographs showing alleged abuse …
In reversal, Obama seeks to block abuse photos  —  Images reportedly depict the abuse of prisoners by U.S. military in Iraq  —  WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama will try to block the court-ordered release of hundreds of photos showing U.S. troops allegedly abusing prisoners …
Josh Gerstein / The Politico:
Obama reverses on releasing photos
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog and HotMES
David Kurtz / Talking Points Memo:   Very Lame  —  The White House has decided to reverse course …
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Obama Reverses Course On Torture Photos
Erick Erickson / Erick's blog:
Not one dime to the NRSC  —  If you have Facebook, I encourage you to join the group.  —  You know, I can slightly understand the NRSC getting into the Chaffee race, though it was a stupid waste and mismanagement of funds.  —  I can kind of understand them getting behind Specter.
Reihan Salam / Blogs and Stories:
Charlie Crist's Secret
Discussion: Politics Daily, Daily Kos and GOP 12
J. Taylor Rushing / The Hill:
GOP senators back move to center with Crist
Discussion: GOP 12 and Political Insider
Frank Newport / Gallup:
No Clamor for High Court Appointee to Be Woman, Minority  —  As in 2005, majority of Americans say gender, race, and ethnicity of appointee don't matter  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Despite the widely reported expectation that President Barack Obama will be looking for a qualified woman …
The Huffington Post:
Sotomayor's Medical History Sparks Wider Debate
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog and Wonkette
Jeff Zeleny / New York Times:
A Premium on Secrecy in Vetting of Court Pick
Jessica Brady / Roll Call:
Reid: Johnsen Doesn't Have Votes for DOJ Post  —  As Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) moves to ease a backlog of executive branch nominations, he suggested on Tuesday that he does not have the votes to bring up President Barack Obama's pick to run the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel.
Obama Official Expected to be rejected by Senate Wednesday
Rick Hasen / Election Law:
PREDICTION: PRESIDENT OBAMA WILL NOMINATE JUDGE DIANE WOOD OF SEVENTH CIRCUIT  —  With all the talk about whom the President should nominate, there's been less focus on whom the president will nominate.  You can look at the Intrade predictions market here, which reflects Judge Sotomayor in the lead …
Dana Goldstein / American Prospect:   ASK A FEMINIST: IS IT SEXIST? SOTOMAYOR EDITION.
Kathleen Parker / Washington Post:
Barack Obama, Wanda Sykes and the Politics of Humorlessness  —  There's nothing un-funnier than Saturday night's jokes reviewed by the caffeinated light of Monday morning.  —  Which is why we probably shouldn't quarterback a comedian over coffee when she was performing for a crowd primed on cocktails.
Deirdre Walsh / CNN:
Source: Aide told Pelosi about waterboarding  —  CNN Congressional Producer  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — A source close to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi now confirms that Pelosi was told in February 2003 by her intelligence aide, Michael Sheehy, that waterboarding was actually used on CIA detainee Abu Zubaydah.
Todd J. Zywicki / Wall Street Journal:
Chrysler and the Rule of Law  —  The Founders put the contracts clause in the Constitution for a reason.  —  Printer  —  Friendly  —  The rule of law, not of men — an ideal tracing back to the ancient Greeks and well-known to our Founding Fathers — is the animating principle of the American experiment.
Les Christie /
Foreclosures: ‘April was a shocker’  —  A record number of foreclosure filings took place during April, but the number of repossessions fell 11%.  —  NEW YORK ( — Foreclosures in April exceeded even March's blistering pace with a record 342,000 homes receiving notices of default …
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
GOP PAC warns Senate Republicans  —  The National Republican Trust PAC, currently the best-funded and most aggressive independent Republican group, has dispatched a round of letters to Republican senators threatening to go after senators who back President Obama's judicial nominees.
Discussion: DownWithTyranny! and Daily Kos
Wall Street Journal:
SEC Considers Charging Mozilo  —  Staff at the Securities and Exchange Commission have decided to recommend filing civil fraud charges against Angelo Mozilo, the co-founder of Countrywide Financial Corp., according to people familiar with the investigation.  —  The SEC sent a so-called Wells notice …
Discussion: Law Blog and Zero Hedge
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Obama, Neocon In Chief  —  From extending and deepening the war in Afghanistan, to suppressing evidence of rampant and widespread abuse and torture of prisoners under Bush, to thuggishly threatening the British with intelligence cut-off if they reveal the brutal torture inflicted on Binyam Mohamed …
David Harsanyi / Denver Post:
Rise of the soda jerks  —  “And he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the Pepsi drinker!”  —  There has to be a statement about soft drinks tucked somewhere in Leviticus.  I have assurances, after all, that such beverages are wicked.
New York Post:
HILL THRILLED BY CAMPAIGN ‘CHEAT’  —  CLINTON'S ‘FAWN’ CALLS AIRED AT $$-RAISER TRIAL  —  Hillary Rodham Clinton gushed to disgraced Democratic fund-raiser Norman Hsu that he would “single-handedly” help her win the presidency because nobody “has been more loyal and been more effective” in landing donations.
Discussion: The Plank
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
The Fierce Urgency Of Whenever  —  I lived through eight years of the Clintons and then eight years of Bush.  Through it all, gay people were treated at the federal level like embarrassments or impediments.  With Clinton, we were the means to raise money.  With Bush, we were the means to leverage votes by exploiting bigotry.
Andy McCarthy / The Corner:
Re: Did the President Read Andy McCarthy Today?  —  K-Lo, that's welcome news and let's hope the president does the patently obvious right thing.  But speaking of “patently obvious,” what really concerns me relates to Bill's second point: “The Obama DOJ is full of left-wing ideologues.
Discussion: The Daily Dish and Fausta's Blog
Eric Zimmermann / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:
Graham: Bush admin saw law as unaffordable ‘nicety’  —  In the midst of a spirited defense of the Bush administration's intentions in developing interrogation techniques, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) dropped a phrase that liberals may seize upon.  —  The Bush administration did not commit any crimes …
Greg Hengler /
MSNBC Reporter Furious Over ASU Denying Obama A Honorary Degree; Students Not Upset  —  MSNBC's Contessa Brewer has been riding on Susan Roesgen's hate-spewing coattail lately.  Just yesterday, Brewer said Miss California “hates gay marriage but likes to take her shirt off.”
Robert Reich / Robert Reich's Blog:
The Truth Behind the Social Security and Medicare Alarm Bells  —  What are we to make of yesterday's report from the trustees of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds that Social Security will run out of assets in 2037, four years sooner than previously forecast, and Medicare's hospital fund …
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 More Items: 
The Huffington Post:
Ben Nelson All Alone In Quest To Block Health Care Reform
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias and Open Left
Stephen Labaton / New York Times:
Obama Pushes Broad Rules for Oversight of Derivatives
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
‘A small number of individuals’
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Judson Berger / Fox News:
Murtha Rival Says Congressman's Top Aide Threatened to Have Him Court-Martialed
Kathryn Jean Lopez / The Corner:
On Approval
Michael Gerson / Washington Post:
The GOP's Driving Desire for Defeat
Eric Boehlert / Media Matters for America:
Working the refs. It works!
Discussion: Crooks and Liars and Daily Kos
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
David Axelrod: 'Wait, wait, don't tell me'
Discussion: Chicago Breaking News
 Earlier Items: 
Chris Good / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
Billboard: Certify Franken
Discussion: MyDD and skippy the bush kangaroo
Greg Hengler /
‘Angels & Demons’ Star: 'There's No Anti-Catholicism or Anti …
Aaron Blake / The Hill:
Whoops: Utah official accidentally tweets Senate bid
Discussion: DownWithTyranny! and Gawker
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Cheney in Manhattan: ‘A giant conspiracy’ on Iran