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5:50 AM ET, April 11, 2010

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 Top Items: 
Evan McMorris-Santoro / TPMDC:
Ron Paul: President Obama Is Not A Socialist  —  Near the end of the third day of this year's Southern Republican Leadership Conference, it was time for Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) to take the stage.  Paul, fresh off his victory in the CPAC straw poll, gave a characteristically fired-up speech …
RELATED:
Washington Wire:
Ron Paul: Barack Obama is Not a Socialist  —  NEW ORLEANS-Republicans and tea party activists are fond of accusing President Barack Obama of being a socialist, but today party gadfly Ron Paul said they had it wrong.  —  “In the technical sense, in the economic definition, he is not a socialist …
Khopkins / Southern Republican Leadership …:
SRLC 2010 Straw Poll Results  —  If the primary election for president were held today, for whom would you vote?  Please check the box by the candidate of your choice.  —  Newt Gingrich 18%  —  Mike Huckabee 4%  —  Gary Johnson 1%  —  Sarah Palin 18%  —  Ron Paul 24% (438 votes)
The Politico:
Romney wins SRLC straw poll  —  NEW ORLEANS — Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won the Southern Republican Leadership Conference's quadrennial straw poll by a narrow margin Saturday while Sarah Palin finished a disappointing third.  —  Romney won with the support of 24% …
Discussion: CNN and Liberty Maven
Brian Montopoli / CBS News:
Mitt Romney Wins GOP Presidential Straw Poll  —  NEW ORLEANS — Mitt Romney won the straw poll at the Southern Republican Leadership conference here Saturday in a victory that will be taken as a sign of the former Massachusetts governor's strength as a 2012 presidential candidate.
David Weigel / Right Now:
The SRLC straw poll, up for grabs  —  NEW ORLEANS — Supporters of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) are amused by the rumors about their straw poll prowess.  —  “We keep hearing about the well-organized Paul machine,” said Tim Shoemaker, a legislative campaigner for Paul's 501(c)4, the Campaign for Liberty …
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Haley Barbour's growing influence  —  A self-described “fat redneck” is the most influential Republican in the country in our latest Friday Line.  —  Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is that rare combination of effective politician and savvy strategist, popular in his home state and revered among …
CNN:
Gingrich says Palin ‘tremendously important’  —  Gingrich is touting Sarah Palin's role in the Republican Party.  —  (CNN) - Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, still considered among the most influential members of the Republican Party, is touting Sarah Palin's impact on the GOP and her future in the party.
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
Amy Gardner / Washington Post:
Palin fires up GOP on Obama, midterm elections at annual conference
Discussion: Dallas Morning News and The Hill
Associated Press:
Polish leader, 96 others dead in Russia jet crash  —  SMOLENSK, Russia - Polish President Lech Kaczynski and some of the country's highest military and civilian leaders died on Saturday when the presidential plane crashed as it came in for a landing in thick fog in western Russia, killing 97, officials said.
RELATED:
CNN:
Poland mourns president killed in plane crash
Bob Herbert / New York Times:
A Voice of Reason  —  The Republican Party is not simply the “just-say-no” party.  It's also a shameless advocate of the free lunch.  Ronald Reagan famously told us he could jack up defense spending, cut taxes and balance the federal budget all at the same time.  —  George W. Bush put two big wars on a credit card.
Discussion: Liberal Values and Newshoggers.com
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
REMEMBER THOSE TAX CUTS?.... April 15 comes this week, so taxes will no doubt be on the minds of many.  President Obama used his weekly address to remind the public about a little detail that usually goes overlooked: he cut taxes.  —  “All across America are good, decent folks who meet …
RELATED:
The White House:   Weekly Address: Recovery Act Benefiting American Families During Tax Season
Adam C. Smith / St. Petersburg Times:
Junior Florida Republican Party staffer had $1.3 million charged to party credit card  —  She was a 25-year-old junior staffer when the Florida Republican Party gave her an American Express card.  —  Over the next 2½ years, nearly $1.3 million in charges wound up on Melanie Phister's AmEx …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Steve Bainbridge / ProfessorBainbridge.com:
The Libertarians and the Democrats
Discussion: Will Wilkinson and Moe Lane
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
“Bias”  —  Not to nitpick too much, but the decision by Andrew Golis …
Discussion: Yahoo! News
 Earlier Items: 
The Politico:
Right gears for fight, not filibuster
M.C. Tracey / The Perspective:
Huckabee Rips Steele, Romney, LGBT Activists