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9:45 AM ET, May 19, 2009


 Top Items: 
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
GOP Losses Span Nearly All Demographic Groups  —  Only frequent churchgoers show no decline in support since 2001  —  PRINCETON, NJ — The decline in Republican Party affiliation among Americans in recent years is well documented, but a Gallup analysis now shows that this movement away …
Michael Steele / The Politico:
The Republican Party turns a corner  —  The Republican Party finds itself the minority party in America for the first time in more than 15 years.  I'll be the first to admit it has taken some adjustment.  Republicans have engaged in some healthy soul-searching since Election Day …
Daniel Larison / Eunomia:
Not To Worry-Pretty Soon, No Republicans Will Be Influential  —  Gallup finds that the GOP is in retreat among almost all demographics.  Meanwhile, Robert Stacy McCain does fierce battle against that most dangerous of creatures: the conservative who is taken seriously outside of the confines of the cocoon.
Mark Preston / CNN:
Steele: GOP must focus on conservative principles  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele will tell GOP state leaders Tuesday that they must embrace conservative principles, focus their efforts on rebuilding the party and highlight the policy differences …
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Reid Wilson / The Hill:   RNC members hope to bury the past, plan for the future
The Nation:
‘US special squad killed Benazir’  —  NEW YORK (Online) - Former prime minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on the orders of the special death squad formed by former US vice-president Dick Cheney, which had already killed the Lebanese Prime Minister Rafique Al Hariri and the army chief of that country.
US journo claims Bhutto was killed on Cheney's orders
Discussion: Raw Story and Gateway Pundit
CNN Poll: Pelosi facing Gingrich-like approval ratings  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — As Nancy Pelosi continues to face a firestorm over what she may have known about aggressive government interrogation techniques, and when, a new survey has more unpleasant news for the House Speaker.
Andrew Martin / New York Times:
Credit Card Industry Aims to Profit From Sterling Payers  —  Credit cards have long been a very good deal for people who pay their bills on time and in full.  Even as card companies imposed punitive fees and penalties on those late with their payments, the best customers racked up cash-back rewards …
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
Palin camp eyed Clinton alliance  —  In an unusual attempt to forge an alliance between two of the most prominent families in American politics, John Coale, a Washington-area Democratic donor and onetime adviser to Sarah Palin, urged the conservative Alaska governor to use her political action committee …
Steven Mufson / Washington Post:
Vehicle Emission Rules to Tighten  —  U.S. Would Also Raise Fuel Mileage Standards by 2016  —  The Obama administration today plans to propose tough standards for tailpipe emissions from new automobiles, establishing the first nationwide regulation for greenhouse gases.
John M. Broder / New York Times:
U.S. to Issue Tougher Fuel Standards for Automobiles
Wall Street Journal:
Obama Avoids Test on Gays in Military  —  WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has decided to accept an appeals-court ruling that could undermine the military's ban on service members found to be gay.  —  A federal appeals court in San Francisco last year ruled that the government must justify …
Discussion: Think Progress and Newsweek Blogs
Carrie Budoff Brown / The Politico:
Talk of insurance mandate growing  —  Health care could soon go the way of the automobile, with users having no choice but to buy insurance coverage.  —  Within four years, every American could be required to own health insurance or pay their way through tax penalties.
Michelle Malkin:
Obama's $1,300 car tax  —  Nobody in the White House is going to call the president's “mileage and pollution” plan what it is.  —  It's a $1,300 car tax.  On the working class.  On the middle class.  On everyone who has responded to the government's consumption-mania incentives …
Discussion: The Other McCain
Associated Press:   Automakers, Obama announce mileage, pollution plan
Walter Pincus / Washington Post:
CIA Officials Fear That New Rules May Hinder Interrogations  —  Intelligence Officials Privately Warn That New Rules May Hinder Their Interrogations  —  Battered by recriminations over waterboarding and other harsh techniques sanctioned by the Bush administration, the CIA is girding itself …
Discussion: cab drollery
Associated Press:
Steelers' Harrison won't visit Obama … PITTSBURGH — James Harrison plans to pass on another trip to the White House with the Pittsburgh Steelers.  —  Harrison, the NFL Defensive Player of the Year, says he'll skip the Super Bowl champion's visit to the White House to meet President Barack Obama …
Discussion: Blog and The Plank
William Glaberson / New York Times:
Changes Planned for Guantánamo Trials May Lead to Familiar Challenges  —  When he announced changes to the military commission system for prosecuting detainees at Guantánamo Bay on Friday, President Obama said his reforms “will begin to restore the commissions as a legitimate forum.”
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and The Hill
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
George Will's Irritable Mental Gestures  —  It's probably not fair to say that conservatives have no idea, but this entire George Will column is basically the same as the column he wrote about how he hates jeans, except this time it's about how he hates Portland.
Discussion: MyDD and Streetsblog
U.S. airstrikes in Pakistan called ‘very effective’  —  LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) — U.S. airstrikes aimed at al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan have been “very effective,” with few civilian deaths as a result, CIA Director Leon Panetta said Monday in a rare public acknowledgment of the raids.
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
LEARNING THE WRONG LESSONS.... I don't want to dwell on the controversy surrounding Maureen Dowd using content from TPM without attribution, but some on the right are using the incident to draw the wrong conclusion.  A prominent conservative site called Hot Air, a project created by Michelle Malkin …
Helene Cooper / New York Times:
Ex-U.S. Envoy May Take Key Role in Afghan Government  —  WASHINGTON — Zalmay Khalilzad, who was President George W. Bush's ambassador to Afghanistan, could assume a powerful, unelected position inside the Afghan government under a plan he is discussing with Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president …
Greg Hengler /
Helen Thomas To Gibbs: ‘What Is The Threat From Iran?’  Prove It!  —  Here we have the ultimate head-in-your-hands moment.  I understand societal standards of decency and respect for the elderly, but every day this woman sits in the front row during the White House Press Briefing asking...
Los Angeles Times:
Campaigning for budget measures ends in a whimper  —  Conceding that passage by angry voters seems unlikely, the governor makes a final pitch before leaving to join President Obama at a White House news conference.  —  The battle over six state budget propositions on today's ballot sputtered …
Spencer S. Hsu / Washington Post:
U.S. to Check Immigration Status of People in Local Jails  —  Obama Administration's Enforcement Push Could Lead to Sharp Increase in Deportation Cases  —  The Obama administration is expanding a program initiated by President George W. Bush aimed at checking the immigration status of virtually every person booked into local jails.
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 More Items: 
The White House:
Discussion: Commentary and The Huffington Post
Jeremy P. Jacobs / The Hill:
Dem candidates race to replace Hilda Solis in California's 32nd
Discussion: Calitics
Maggie Fox / Reuters:
U.S. health officials troubled by new flu pattern
Lanny Davis / Washington Times:
The Cheney dare
Discussion: RedState
Suzanne Goldenberg / Guardian:
China and US had secret climate talks
Discussion: AMERICAblog News
Sabrina Tavernise / New York Times:
Young Pakistanis Take One Problem Into Their Own Hands
Discussion: Washington Monthly
David G. Savage / Los Angeles Times:
Supreme Court upholds California medical pot law
Discussion: The Stimulist, Raw Story and L.A. Now
 Earlier Items: 
Pundit Review Radio / BLACKFIVE:
Introducing The Warrior Legacy Foundation
Christopher Hitchens / Slate:
As Wanda Sykes showed, comedians aren't funny when they try …