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1:00 PM ET, May 21, 2009


 Top Items: 
NY Daily News:
FBI arrest four in alleged plot to bomb Bronx synagogues, shoot down plane  —  The FBI busted a homegrown terror cell late Wednesday night as the men sneaked around a Jewish temple in Riverdale planting what they thought were packages of C-4 explosives, sources told the Daily News.
William Kristol / Weekly Standard:
Text of Cheney's AEI Speech  —  THE WEEKLY STANDARD has obtained an advance copy of VP Cheney's remarks as prepared for delivery later this morning at the American Enterprise Institute.  I've read it quickly.  I think fair-minded people will find it very well-argued and powerful.
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
Obama Is Said to Consider Preventive Detention Plan  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama told human rights advocates at the White House on Wednesday that he was mulling the need for a “preventive detention” system that would establish a legal basis for the United States to incarcerate terrorism suspects …
New York Times:
4 Accused of Bombing Plot at Bronx Synagogues  —  Four men were arrested Wednesday night in what the authorities said was a plot to bomb two synagogues in the Bronx and shoot down military planes at an Air National Guard base in Newburgh, N.Y.  —  The men, all of whom live in Newburgh …
New York Times:
Text: Obama's Speech on National Security  —  Following is a text of President Obama's prepared speech on Thursday on national security issues.  —  These are extraordinary times for our country.  We are confronting an historic economic crisis.  We are fighting two wars.
Jules Crittenden:
Split-Screen Irony Alert  —  Politico on a remarkable moment in the political history of television: … That's fascinating.  Couldn't agree more.  Living through the last 8 years of “Bush lied, people died,” Code Pink outrages, Cindy Sheehan being a shrill demented moonbat …
New York Times:
Police Say Terror Suspects Acted Alone  —  The four men arrested Wednesday night in what the authorities said was a plot to bomb two synagogues in the Bronx and shoot down military planes at an Air National Guard base in Newburgh, N.Y. were petty criminals who appeared to be acting alone …
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Don't Forget the Mockery  —  Vice President Cheney's crew is putting out advances this morning on today's speech at AEI, offering ‘praise’ for Obama when he deserves an answer when he leads the country in the wrong direction.  Clearly there's going to be a lot of mano a mano razzmatazz that the media tries to gin up around this.
Fox News:
RAW DATA: Text of Dick Cheney's National Security Speech at AEI
Michelle Malkin:
Dueling banjos in Washington; Updated
Discussion: The Anchoress and Weasel Zippers
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Obama vs Cheney: A (Polling) Mismatch from the Start
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog and TVNewser
City Room:
Latest Updates in Terror Plot
Discussion: Jihad Watch and Hot Air
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
Obama's Speech: A Preview
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Elisabeth Bumiller / New York Times:
1 in 7 Freed Detainees Said to Be Militant Fighters
Bill Sammon / Fox News:
Obama ‘Distracted’ by Biden's ‘Indiscipline,’ Book Asserts  —  The president is so “distracted by his vice president's indiscipline” that he has been forced to rebuke privately Vice President Biden, according to a new book by Richard Wolffe.  —
Directorblue / Doug Ross:
Sacramento Bee publishes vicious screed bashing taxpayers, gets caught, then scrubs with milquetoast replacement  —  Early this morning, the failing Sacramento Bee published a “vicious screed” that pilloried taxpayers for refusing to feed California's insatiable state government.
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Obama's Pronunciations  —  I don't have a problem with the fact that Barack Obama says “Pah-kee-stahn” when referring to the country to the west of India.  Nor do I have a problem with the fact that Obama says “Afghanistan” in the customary American manner.
Discussion: Think Progress
Erika Lovley / The Politico:
Congressman: We're going to Disney  —  Rep. Alan Grayson was standing in the middle of Disney World when it hit him: What Americans really need is a week of paid vacation.  —  So on Thursday, the Florida Democrat will introduce the Paid Vacation Act — legislation that would be the first …
Howard Fineman / Newsweek:
Ignore the party, Rush, Newt and Cheney are the muscle  —  Right now there are two RNCs here in Washington, side by side.  The contrast is instructive.  —  One, the Republican National Committee, is a clueless self-parody.  The other, the (R)ush-(N)ewt-(C)heney tag team …
Agence France Presse:
Republicans to seek Pelosi investigation: source  — Republicans to seek Pelosi investigation: source  —  WASHINGTON (AFP) - Republicans in the House of Representatives will call Thursday for a formal probe into Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's charges that the CIA misled her on alleged torture, an official said.
Caitlin Taylor / The Note:   House GOP to Force Vote on Pelosi
Paul Steinhauser / CNN:
Poll: Favorable opinions of Cheney rise  —  CNN Deputy Political Director  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — As Dick Cheney prepares to give a major speech on the battle against terrorism, a new national poll suggests that favorable opinions of the former vice president are on the rise.
Pew Research Center:
Independents Take Center Stage in Obama Era  —  Trends in Political Values and Core Attitudes: 1987-2009  —  Centrism has emerged as a dominant factor in public opinion as the Obama era begins.  The political values and core attitudes that the Pew Research Center has monitored since 1987 show little overall ideological movement.
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Geopolitics and Democracy  —  True, President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela was democratically elected.  But you can discern his authoritarian tendencies in the fact that he had the constitution changed to allow him to run for a second term, and currently he's working on changing the constitution again to allow for a third term.
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Porter Goss Won't Say Whether He And Pelosi Were Told About Use Of Torture  —  Porter Goss, the former GOP Congressman who was in the room with Nancy Pelosi during their 2002 CIA briefing on interrogations, is declining through a spokesperson to say whether the two of them were told that enhanced interrogation techniques had been used.
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Obama's civil liberties speech  —  Obama's speech this morning, like most Obama speeches, made pretty points in rhetorically effective ways about the Constitution, our values, transparency, oversight, the state secrets privilege, and the rule of law.  But his actions, in many critical cases, have repeatedly run afoul of those words.
Discussion: TPMDC, The Daily Dish and The Plank
William Kristol / Weekly Standard:
Cheney vs. Obama: A Mismatch  —  I've read both speeches.  —  Obama's is the speech of a young senator who was once a part-time law professor—platitudinous and preachy, vague and pseudo-thoughtful in an abstract kind of way.  This sentence was revealing: “On the other hand …
Adam Nagourney / The Caucus:
R.N.C. Votes Down the ‘Democrat Socialist Party’  —  The Republican National Committee backed away Wednesday from a resolution that officially called Democrats the “Democrat Socialist Party,” but instead voted to condemn Democrats for what it called a “march toward socialism.”
David S. Broder / Washington Post:
President Obama as Commander in Chief  —  No new president finds that every aspect of the job suits him at once; some duties are inevitably more comfortable than others.  What we have witnessed in the past few weeks is Barack Obama trying on and fitting himself to the role of commander in chief.
Jennifer Steinhauer / New York Times:
California, a Broke State, Reels as Voters Rebuff Leaders  —  LOS ANGELES — Direct democracy has once again upended California — enough so that the state may finally consider another way by overhauling its Constitution for the first time in 130 years.  —  Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger returned home …
Daniel Woolls / Associated Press:
Spain: new homicide charges against US soldiers  —  MADRID (AP) — A Spanish judge reinstated charges Thursday against three American soldiers in the death of a Spanish journalist covering the Iraq invasion in 2003.  —  Judge Santiago Pedraz said he had obtained new testimony …
Discussion: Jules Crittenden and Barcepundit
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 More Items: 
Randy E. Barnett / Forbes:
A Bill Of Federalism  —  A detailed proposal to redress …
Discussion: The Volokh Conspiracy
Ryan Singel / Threat Level:
FCC's Warrantless Household Searches Alarm Experts
Discussion: Raw Story
Timothy J. Burger / Bloomberg:
Jesse Jackson Jr. Pays Campaign Funds to Chicago Alderman Wife
Discussion: Moonbattery and The Swamp
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Distributing The Regulatory Surplus
Gateway Pundit:
Lib California Speaker Karen Bass Says Voters Rejected Tax Hikes …
Discussion: theblogprof
Michelle Malkin:
NO KOH; Updated
 Earlier Items: 
Bob Davis / Wall Street Journal:
World Economies Plummet
Discussion: The Page
Jared Allen / The Hill:
Cap-and-trade showdown  —  A committee chairman is threatening …
Discussion: Grist and The Politico
Bret Baier / Fox News:
The Death of the Republican Party May Have Been Greatly Exaggerated
Discussion: MSNBC and Gateway Pundit
Fox News:
Trebek Makes Bush Joke as Texas Teen Wins Geography Bee
Discussion: PoliGazette and
Steve Stecklow / Wall Street Journal:
Sexual-Harassment Cases Plague U.N.