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2:00 AM ET, April 16, 2010


 Top Items: 
Obama orders hospital visitation rights for gays, lesbians  —  Washington (CNN) — President Obama has asked the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a rule that would prevent hospitals from denying visitation privileges to gay and lesbian partners.
Matea Gold / Show Tracker:
Fox News yanks Sean Hannity from Cincinnati Tea Party rally he was set to star in  —  Angry Fox News executives ordered host Sean Hannity to abandon plans to broadcast his nightly show as part of a Tea Party rally in Cincinnati on Thursday after top executives learned that he was set to headline the event …
Sam Youngman / The Hill:
Obama ‘amused’ by Tea Party rallies  —  President Barack Obama struck a hyperpartisan note Thursday, telling Democrats that he was “amused” by the Tax Day Tea Party rallies.  —  Obama, addressing a Democratic National Committee (DNC) fundraiser in Miami, did little to endear himself …
The Huffington Post:
Tea Parties Protest Tax Day 2010 (PICTURES, VIDEO)
Michelle Malkin:
How to spot and tag a Tea Party infiltrator
Norm Eisen / White Blog Feed:
President Obama and Vice President Biden's Tax Returns  —  Today, the President released his 2009 federal income and gift tax returns.  He and the First Lady filed their income tax return jointly and reported an adjusted gross income of $ 5,505,409.  The vast majority of the family's 2009 income …
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Obama's tax return: $5.5 million earned
Discussion: CNN and The Politico
Robert J. Samuelson / Newsweek:
Today Is the Best Tax Day of Your Life  —  Looking back, we may all remember April 15, 2010, as the day we got off cheaply.  Why a growing deficit and increased spending on health care and Social Security nearly guarantee higher tax bills in our future.  —  Almost nobody likes tax day …
Michelle Malkin:
Obama mocks, we remember  —  President Obama derided the Tea Party activists at a Miami fund-raiser tonight.  You keep laughing, chump: … Yeah?  Thanks a lot: … Like the Tea Party sign says: “We'll remember in November.”  —  I like this one even better: “We can see November from our house.”
Discussion: Associated Press and Hot Air
Stephanie Condon / CBS News:
What's Obama Doing to Your Taxes?
St. Petersburg Times:
Gov. Crist vetoes teacher tenure bill  —  TALLAHASSEE — After weeks of protest and a deluge of messages, Gov. Charlie Crist on Thursday vetoed a bill that would link teacher pay to student test scores and wipe out tenure for new teachers.  —  “I know in my heart it's the right thing to do,” Crist said of his veto.
Brent Kallestad /
Former Sen. Mack withdraws as Crist campaign chair  —  TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Gov. Charlie Crist's political mentor, former U.S. Sen. Connie Mack, resigned Thursday as Crist's campaign chairman in his race for the U.S. Senate.  —  Mack wrote a terse, two-paragraph letter to his one-time protege …
Clark Hoyt / The Public Editor's Journal:
Dueling Columnists  —  A surprising disagreement has broken out between two Times columnists, with Paul Krugman demanding an apology from Andrew Ross Sorkin and Sorkin so far refusing to back down.  —  The argument is over what approach Krugman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist who writes …
Victor Zapanta / Think Progress:
Steve King Blows Up, Physically Grabs TP Blogger When Asked About His Justification Of IRS Attack  —  In February, a software engineer named Joseph Stack flew a small aircraft into an IRS building in Texas, killing two people and leaving another two hospitalized.
John P. Martin /
Lawyer: Laptops took thousands of images  —  The system that Lower Merion school officials used to track lost and stolen laptops wound up secretly capturing thousands of images, including photographs of students in their homes, Web sites they visited, and excerpts of their online chats …
Stephanie Condon / CBS News:
Poll: “Birther” Myth Persists Among Tea Partiers, All Americans  —  CBS News Poll analysis by the CBS News Polling Unit: Sarah Dutton,Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus and Anthony Salvanto.  —  Although the Constitution requires American presidents to be natural born citizens …
Spencer S. Hsu / Washington Post:
Former NSA executive charged with leaking information to newspaper  —  A former senior executive with the National Security Agency has been indicted on 10 felony charges related to the alleged leaking of classified information to a national newspaper in 2006 and 2007, the Justice Department announced Thursday morning.
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
McConnell lacks support to block Wall Street reform bill  —  Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) does not have enough solid commitments from GOP lawmakers to block consideration of a Democratic Wall Street reform bill.  —  McConnell has circulated a letter within the GOP conference …
John Blake / CNN:
Socialists weigh in on Obama  —  (CNN) — Billy Wharton should be happy.  —  “Socialized health care” is on its way.  The “socialist agenda” is taking over America.  And best of all, Barack Obama, a “committed socialist ideologue,” is in the Oval Office.
Massive fireball reported across Midwestern sky  —  (CNN) — Authorities in several Midwestern states were flooded Wednesday night with reports of a gigantic fireball lighting up the sky, the National Weather Service said.  —  The fireball was visible for about 15 minutes beginning about 10 p.m. …
Associated Press:
Obama Sees Manned Missions to Mars  —  CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — President Barack Obama predicted Thursday his new space exploration plans would lead American astronauts to Mars and back in his lifetime, a bold forecast relying on rockets and propulsion still to be imagined and built.
Sam Youngman / The Hill:
Obama brushes off criticism, says he's ‘100 percent’ committed to NASA
Discussion: The Swamp
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Dobbs-Mania Explodes Over Manhattan  —  TPM's Versha Sharma was minding her own business walking down 8th Avenue when she stumbled upon a Manhattan Tea Party event featuring Lou Dobbs.  —  Versha reports in by iPhone: “Lou dobbs was just introduced as the brave man who left CNN when it got too liberal.
Eric Boehlert / Media Matters for America:
Did Glenn Beck just post a new ratings low for 2010?  —  It sure looks that way, as Beck's ratings continue to sag.  —  Bottom line: Over the last nine months, Beck gained and then lost nearly one million viewers.  Trust me, in the world of cable news, that's not small feat.
Mark Mazzetti / New York Times:
C.I.A. Document Details Destruction of Tapes  —  WASHINGTON — Porter J. Goss, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, in 2005 approved of the decision by one of his top aides to destroy dozens of videotapes documenting the brutal interrogation of two detainees, according to an internal C.I.A. document released Thursday.
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
“A Half-Term Former Governor With A TV Show”  —  David Brooks wants everyone to stop talking about her: … I understand why David would rather she go away; but like his dismissal of the power of the Christianist right in American conservatism and culture, this dismissal of Palin misses, I think, several critical things.
Tom Madigan / The Hotline's Blogometer:
BLOGGERS POLL: Immigration Hesitation  —  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says “we're going to have comprehensive immigration reform now.”  Top political bloggers don't see it.  —  Majorities on both the left and the right in this week's Bloggers Poll call comprehensive reform unlikely this year.
Discussion: TalkLeft and The Volokh Conspiracy
Lance Burri / The TrogloPundit:
The Madison, Wisconsin, Tax Day Tea Party  —  More pictures coming soon.  I'd put them all up right away, but I had to work late and my wife made barbeque pork chops for dinner.  I have my priorities.  —  And anyway, this is the one you're all waiting for.  The crowd shot:
Discussion: The Other McCain
McLaughlin & Associates Poll: National Survey of Jewish Voters  —  Re: National Survey of Jewish Voters  —  Major Findings:  —  I. A plurality of Jewish voters would consider someone else for President.  —  According to the 2008 exit polls, Barack Obama won 78% to 21% among Jewish voters.
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 More Items: 
J. Matt Barber / Washington Times:
Barney and Barack's anti-religion agenda
E.J. Dionne Jr / Washington Post:
As taxes come due, let's give the IRS some credit
Discussion: BLACKFIVE
Chris Rovzar / New York Magazine:
Spitzer Compares Himself to Icarus
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog and Vanity Fair
J. Taylor Rushing / The Hill:
Pataki eying higher prize than Senate says GOP campaign chief
Discussion: GOP 12
 Earlier Items: 
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
The Closing Of The Conservative Mind, Ctd
J. Taylor Rushing / The Hill:
Lieberman warns he'll issue subpoenas over Ft. Hood shootings
Mike Donahue / Wall Street Journal:
A Message from ‘Henry’  —  We're high earners not yet rich …