Our daily look at stories and topics that are lighting up the Internets:
News broke today that Supreme Court Justice David Souter will retire in June. And it didn't take long for bloggers to begin speculating on Souter's replacement. One liberal blogger fictionalizes a transcript of Souter's call to President Obama (the gist: Souter's old and boring). Liberal Ryan Powers examines candidate Obama to find what he'll be looking for in a Supreme Court justice. Bonnie Erbe just won't believe that Hillary Clinton is a candidate to replace Souter. Conservative Ed Morrissey sums up the problems Obama will face in nominating a replacement: "The biggest tension will come from the far-Left activists of Obama's party... They can't afford to have Souter replaced by a middle-ground justice who may not vote as reliably liberal as Souter." Joe Gandelman does the same. This liberal blogger asks, and answers, a number of great questions here. And liberal Meteor Blades looks into 15 possible replacements for Souter (photos).
The torture debate has been steadily rolling along in the blogosphere ever since Obama released the Bush administration's interrogation memos just weeks ago. Conservative Ramesh Ponnuru wonders what offense the Bush lawyers who drafted the memos could be charged with. Liberal Steven Benen reacts angrily to this survey which finds that churchgoers are more likely to approve of torture than those who don't regularly attend church. He quotes Adam Serwer: "[T]here is a large number of people committed to preventing consenting adults from having sex or getting married because of their sexual orientation who nevertheless think it's okay to beat or waterboard people and shove them in tiny boxes." Conservatives applaud this column by Charles Kruathammer. Conservative Kathryn Jean Lopez sees an inconsistency between Obama's takes on torture and abortion. Conservative Warner Todd Huston thinks Condoleezza Rice took a "college punk" to school. Liberal Marjorie Cohn sees things differently. And Andrew Sullivan is all over the "London Cage" story on torture in Britain during WWII.
"Why do I feel pretty good about things?" asks economist/blogger Ryan Avent. "Recessions end. They always do... This is now the longest postwar recession that we've ever had, and based on how aggressively the world has pursued monetary and fiscal stimulus, it's about time for it to start wrapping up." Mark Halperin, however, prefers to listen to Warren Buffett. Or the host of world economists who don't think the economy will get better anytime soon. According to Dan Dorfman, even caviar consumption is taking a beating from the economic slump. And Seth Greenland finds the recession's making him optimistic.
... Meanwhile ...
The Kenyan prime minister's wife joins the "nationwide sex boycott aimed at forcing the country's leaders to break a political impasse"... Sears Tower to open up an all-glass skydeck in June... One third of Georgia Republicans approve of secession... And swine flu prompts this Pennsylvania university to hold two graduations: one for regular students, and one for students who recently visited Mexico.