By Senior producer
msnbc.com
updated 5/10/2005 11:13:44 AM ET 2005-05-10T15:13:44

5 p.m. ET
I've got to hand it to the bloggers. They've done a much better job of tracking the day to day machinations in the Senate Judiciary Committee than MSM has.  Every day I learn something new from either TalkLeft or Confirm Them, and others.

Today, quite a bit of chatter about Senator Hagel's appearance on ABC this weekend.  He called for compromise on judicial nominations. The message sat well with America Blog, but the conservatives were not as happy.

Another story I am tracking--the graduate student in Singapore whose blog was silenced by a defamation suit from the government.  The Committee to Protect Journalists is worried that this is a new defense tactic for Singapore: Stop bloggers by threatening to sue.

And again, I wish I could have been at BlogNashville. I read lots of tidbits about it from the people who attended. Glenn Reynolds did a particularly good job of recapping the events.  I'll share today at 5 p.m.

On our program this afternoon, Craig Crawford joins us to discuss his new book "Attack the Messenger."  It's his theory that politicians have demonized MSM and turned America against traditional journalism. We'll discuss some specific examples from current news stories.  Be prepared for a debate.

Later in the hour, pharmaceutical ads dominate broadcast television. Are they impacting the way doctors treat patients?

Send me your thoughts. We'll keep you Connected.

12 p.m. ET
When the winds of change hit the chilly air in Russia, there is bound to be a storm brewing.

President Bush delivered some of his toughest words yet for his "friend" Vlad Putin, but the Russian president had a few for him.  Essentially, Putin's message was stop trying to force American democracy on everyone.

After the Iron Curtain fell and the Soviet Union crumbled, Russia made a rapid progression toward democracy.  Today it seems that Putin's regime is rolling back some of that progress.  Fixing the problems in Russia will not easy.  Unlike Iraq, a relatively weak nation with a corrupt regime of its own to deal with, Russia need not take orders from the USA.  How do you help foster democratic change in that nation?  Is it wise to try?  Jon alter and John Fund join us.

Also this hour, the Detroit mayor has proposed a sin tax on fast food.  Sure, Big Mac's aren't the healthiest food, but should it be taxed like cigarettes and alcohol?  Critics say that discriminates against poorer people who need to eat at fast food restaurants.  We'll discuss.

And then a look at beauty pageants.  Are the Vaselined-tooth beauties at all relevant today?

Join us.

Send us your e-mails and favorite blog suggestions to Maciulis@MSNBC.com and Connected@MSNBC.com!

Click here to find a list of blogs featured on 'Connected.'

And watch us tackle these stories of the day at 12 noon, and 5 p.m. ET.

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