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12:40 PM ET, April 23, 2010


 Top Items: 
Daniel Wagner / Associated Press:
SEC staffers watched porn as economy crashed  —  WASHINGTON - Senior staffers at the Securities and Exchange Commission spent hours surfing pornographic websites on government-issued computers while they were being paid to police the financial system, an agency watchdog says.
Jonathan Karl / ABCNEWS:
SEC Officials Surfing Porn During Financial Crisis, Report Finds  —  SEC Employees Exposed Downloading, Uploading Pornography at Work  —  The Securities and Exchange Commission is the sheriff of the financial industry, looking for crimes such as Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme …
Report: SEC staffers watched porn as economy crashed  —  (CNN) — As the country was sinking into its worst financial crisis in more than 70 years, Security and Exchange Commission employees and contractors cruised porn sites and viewed sexually explicit pictures using government computers, according to an agency report obtained by CNN.
Daniel Indiviglio / The Atlantic Online:
Did Porn Cause the Financial Crisis?
Discussion: Wonkette
Jonathan Karl / ABCNEWS:
SEC Officials Surfed Porn, Ignored Fraud
Zachary A. Goldfarb / Washington Post:
SEC divided on vote to file Goldman lawsuit
David Brooks / New York Times:
The Government War  —  In these columns I try to give voice to a philosophy you might call progressive conservatism.  It starts with the wisdom of Edmund Burke — the belief that the world is more complex than we can know and we should be skeptical of handing too much power to government planners.
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Party Affiliation Gap in U.S. Narrowest Since 2005  —  Democratic advantage shrinks as more independents lean to the Republican Party  —  PRINCETON, NJ — The advantage in public support the Democratic Party built up during the latter part of the Bush administration and the early part …
The Politico:
White House leaves Durbin hanging  —  Sen. Dick Durbin slipped into the West Wing last week to ask Rahm Emanuel for White House help in saving Barack Obama's old Senate seat.  —  But he didn't leave with any ironclad commitments.  —  Durbin told Emanuel that Democratic nominee Alexi Giannoulias …
NBC Chicago:
Redactions Revealed: The Six Secrets You Need to Know From the …
Wall Street Journal:
The Real Republican Civil War  —  The struggle between Marco Rubio and Charlie Crist for the Florida Senate seat symbolizes the rift between the reformers and the establishment in the GOP.  —  Marco Rubio appeared on a Sunday talk show this month to say something remarkable.
Discussion: Commentary
Reid Wilson / Hotline On Call:
LeMieux Considering His Own Future
Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute:
Barack Obama Strangelove Backing A Weapon Too Crazy For Bush/Cheney  —  The NY Times continues to present the Administration spin in favor of reducing our nuclear arsenal.  Part of the rationale was that our conventional weapons, such as smart bombs and cruise missile, are much more accurate and powerful.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Schumer: Obama's ‘counter-productive’ Israel policy ‘has to stop’  —  New York Senator Chuck Schumer harshly criticized the Obama Administration's attempts to exert pressure on Israel today, making him the highest-ranking Democrat to object to Obama's policies in such blunt terms.
Carol D. Leonnig / Washington Post:
Potential Supreme Court pick Garland could find foes on left  —  Unlike several other possible candidates to succeed retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Merrick B. Garland probably won't face conservative opposition.  Instead, it could be liberals lining up against him.
Discussion: The Caucus and DC Dicta
Dan Eggen / Washington Post:
Democrats plan to introduce bill to blunt ruling on political spending
Discussion: The Plum Line
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / The Caucus:
A Brisk First Round on Supreme Court Search
Discussion: The Page
Stephanie Schriock / EMILY's List:
GOP: Put Betty Sutton ‘back in the kitchen’?!  —  What's the best way to move women back decades?  Just ask the GOP.  —  The Republican Review, an apparent newsletter produced by the Medina County (Ohio) Republican Executive Committee, states the following:
Amanda Terkel / Think Progress:
GOP newsletter: 'Let's take Betty Sutton out of the House and put …
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Don't Cry for Wall Street  —  On Thursday, President Obama went to Manhattan, where he urged an audience drawn largely from Wall Street to back financial reform.  “I believe,” he declared, “that these reforms are, in the end, not only in the best interest of our country, but in the best interest of the financial sector.”
Wall Street Journal:
Greece Requests Financial Aid  —  Bowing to market pressure, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said Friday he will ask for the European Union and International Monetary Fund to activate an emergency financial support package to help shore up public finances.
New York Times:
Greece Calls for Activation of Financial Rescue
Discussion: Associated Press and Mother Jones
Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar / Associated Press:
Report says health care will cover more, cost more  —  WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law is getting a mixed verdict in the first comprehensive look by neutral experts: More Americans will be covered, but costs are also going up.  —  Economic experts at the Health …
The Hill:
Obama slams Arizona bill as fight lifts immigration to top of agenda  —  A controversial bill approved by Arizona's state legislation pushing the immigration debate to the forefront of the U.S. Senate.  —  President Barack Obama on Friday criticized the legislation, which would allow Arizona's state police …
Discussion: The Swamp
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Votes in doubt as Reid sets Wall St. showdown  —  The Senate has scheduled a showdown early next week on Wall Street reform, and lawmakers familiar with negotiations say a deal is unlikely by then.  —  Democrats have set a 5 p.m. vote for Monday to begin consideration of the bill …
Martin Finucane / Boston Globe:
Scott Brown rules out 2012 presidential run, backs Romney  —  Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown said this morning he was ruling out a presidential run in 2012 and that he supported former Bay State governor Mitt Romney in the race.  —  “Yes, absolutely, 2012, I'm ruling it out …
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Kate Sheppard / Mother Jones:
Kerry: Three Big Oil Companies Likely to Back Climate Bill  —  When Sens. John Kerry, Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman release their climate bill on Monday, they expect to have the backing of three of the five major oil companies, Mother Jones has learned.  In a conference call with a coalition …
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Obama Blasts Arizona Illegal Immigration Effort  —  This is pretty big: Obama just now sharply condemned the controversial anti-illegal immigration effort in Arizona, calling it “misguided” and “irresponsible” — and even said his administration could insert itself into the fight if civil rights are found to be violated.
US News:
Hoyer Sees Election Trouble for House Democrats  —  Nationally-recognized election prognosticator Charlie Cook isn't the only one who sees the majority for House Democrats slipping away.  Today, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer agreed, but said that he and others will mount a strong campaign …
Discussion: The Eye
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 More Items: 
Agence France Presse:
Poll says Obama, Dalai Lama world's most popular
Discussion: The Hill and The Page
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Majority of Americans ‘confused’ about health care law
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Dodd: Fannie and Freddie must be addressed in ‘next wave’ of legislation
Sewell Chan / New York Times:
Senate Panel to Release Documents in Inquiry of Ratings Agencies
Discussion: DailyFinance, Clusterstock and DealBook
Sarah Palin / Facebook:
Institutionalizing Crony Capitalism
Discussion: Hot Air and Pajamas Media
Arizona Republic:
Arizona immigration bill: Both sides continue to pressure Gov. Brewer
Discussion: and Taegan Goddard's …
 Earlier Items: 
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Key local to back Henry, likely foiling Stern succession plans
Discussion: Washington Wire
Rush Limbaugh / Wall Street Journal:
Liberals and the Violence Card
Ben Smith / Reuters:
Spitzer slated for red-carpet rebirth
Dana Blanton / Fox News:
Fox News Poll: Obama Approval Up; Most Say Stop Blaming Bush
Joe Gandelman / The Moderate Voice:
Democrat “Outs” Another Democrat For Being Straight