In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Obama Plays Comedian At Correspondents' Dinner President Obama told all manner of jokes last night at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, roasting himself, his administration, his party, the opposition, and the press:

My personal favorite: "Now Sasha and Malia aren't here tonight, because they're grounded. You can't just take Air Force One on a joyride to Manhattan. I don't care whose kids you are."

Cheney: Opponents "Prepared To Sacrifice American Lives" Former Vice President Dick Cheney appeared today on Face The Nation, and he had a tough response to the Obama Administration's opposition to his approved methods of interrogation: "Well, then you'd have to say that, in effect, we're prepared to sacrifice American lives rather than run an intelligent interrogation program that would provide us the information we need to protect America."

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Obama Calls For Credit Card Reforms In this weekend's Presidential YouTube Address, President Obama spoke of the need for a bill to reform the credit-card industry, and called upon Congress to have it ready for him to sign by Memorial Day:

"There is no time for delay," said Obama. "We need a durable and successful flow of credit in our economy, but we can't tolerate profits that depend upon misleading working families. Those days are over."

GOP YouTube Address Blasts Obama On Gitmo In this weekend's Republican YouTube, Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) criticized President Obama for planning to close the detainee camp at Guantanamo Bay:

"Closing our terrorist-detention facility with no backup plan is one campaign promise that can't hold up to national security realities," said Bond. "While the President has made closing Guantanamo Bay a priority, the highest priority must be keeping America safe."

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As we reported earlier this week, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) was spiked in 1986 from becoming a district court judge by the Republican controlled Senate Judiciary Committee. Sessions was known to be, at least, insensitive to minorities, and his nomination was considered too controversial to advance. Now that he's the ranking member on that very committee, it's news all over again. But it was a big deal then, too. Watch:

Yesterday we obtained over 500 pages of testimony from the 1986 hearings, and are still dutifully scouring them for interesting nuggets.

One-time presidential candidate, failed MSNBC talk show host, and U.S. Senate hopeful Alan Keyes was one of 22 people arrested this morning on charges of trespassing. The group--26 in total--had convened to protest President Barack Obama's upcoming commencement speech at Notre Dame University.

Anti-abortion groups have been livid ever since the Catholic school invited Obama (who is pro-choice) to address this years graduating class a couple months ago, and the fact that, as part of the arrangement, Obama will receive an honorary degree has, in their minds, added insult to injury.

Without questioning the sincerity of most of these protestors, it's worth pointing out that Keyes may have a wee bit of a score to settle. It was Obama, after all, who defeated Keyes in that 2004 Senate race, and in recent months he's been on a one man campaign to "prove" that Obama isn't a "natural born citizen."

If Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) faces a primary challenger in the Pennsylvania Senate race next year, it's likely to be from Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA). Sestak was considering a run before Specter switched parties, but that development undoubtedly turned his game plan on its head. Now, winning the Democratic nomination will be much harder than it would otherwise have been, but he has a much more compelling raison d'être. Now, if he runs, he'll be fighting a man who he says is an unreliable steward of Pennsylvania's interests, and a weak choice for Democratic voters who want a real Democratic senator.

Sestak told me that he'll be inclined to primary Specter if he doesn't prove a reliable Democratic vote on all major Democratic issues. But how reliable is Sestak?

Pretty reliable on the whole. According to the Washington Post votes database, Sestak has voted with his party 97.8 percent of the time.

But he has bucked his party on a number of key votes, particularly on national security issues.

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RNC chairman Michael Steele guest-hosted on Bill Bennett's radio show today, and had an interesting take on President Obama's call for a Supreme Court Justice with a sense of "empathy," which has been criticized throughout the right:

"Crazy nonsense, empathetic," said Steele. "I'll give you empathy. Empathize right on your behind. Craziness."

Here are the line-ups for the Sunday talk shows this weekend:

• ABC, This Week: Gen. David Petraeus, Commander of CENTCOM; Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

• CBS, Face The Nation: Former Vice President Dick Cheney.

• CNN, State Of The Union: Gen. David Petraeus, Commander of CENTCOM.

• Fox News Sunday: Gen. David Petraeus, Commander of CENTCOM; former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA).

• NBC, Meet The Press: Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan; Asif Ali Zardari, President of Pakistan.

A new Gallup analysis of party identification, compiled from their national polling over the last five months, paints an astonishing picture of how party ID spreads across every age group from 18 to 85 -- and a very tough demographic picture for the Republican Party:

Democrats outpace the GOP across every age group, but the gap varies from one cohort to another, with the greatest differences among the Baby Boomers and Generation Y. The GOP nearly achieves parity among Generation X (ages 30-44), people in their late 60s, and the 85-year old group.

The pollster's analysis goes through several theories, noting that younger voters often tend to be more liberal. But one interesting hypothesis is floated, noting the extent of these differences and where they occur: That these groups are heavily influenced by the eras when they came of political age, -- the Baby Boomers in the 60s, Generation X in the Reagan/Bush Sr. years, etc. And it should be noted that Generation Y came of age during the George W. Bush years, and have now entered the Obama period.

Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA)--two time survivor of Hodgkins disease--is no stranger to cancer, cancer awareness, and cancer research funding. But he's using his hard earned credibility as a national spokesperson on the issue to fight the disease in a roundabout way.

He's touting--and raising money from--a website called, which he describes as "a bold new initiative to reform our government's medical research efforts, cut red tape and unstrangle the hope for accelerated cures."

But the money he's raising isn't funding research grants, or advocacy, or treatment for patients who can't afford it. It's funding the Senate re-election campaign of one Arlen Specter.

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Cheney Says GOP Shouldn't Moderate Itself, Stresses "Our Commitment To The Constitution" During an appearance on a right-wing talk radio show, former Vice President Dick Cheney said the Republican Party should not moderate itself. Cheney explained: "This is about fundamental beliefs and values and ideas ... what the role of government should be in our society, and our commitment to the Constitution and constitutional principles."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will be speaking at 11:30 a.m. ET from the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, on the subjects of job creation and job training. At 3:15 p.m. ET, he will meet in the Oval Office with Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA).

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