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2:15 PM ET, February 25, 2010

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Laura Meckler / Wall Street Journal:
Obama Readies a Fallback Proposal  —  Scaled-Down Plan Would Expand Insurance to About Half as Many People as Pending Bill Envisions  —  President Barack Obama will use a bipartisan summit Thursday to push for sweeping health-care legislation, but if that fails to generate enough support …
RELATED:
Ezra Klein:
There's no plan B for health-care reform  —  The Wall Street Journal has a splashy piece this evening on the White House's plan B for health-care reform: a fallback approach that would cover 15 million people, do less to reform the system and cut costs, and carry a lower price tag.  Call it health-care lite.
Frank Newport / Gallup:
Americans Tilt Against Democrats' Plans if Summit Fails  —  Most doubt an agreement will result from Thursday's summit  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Americans are skeptical that lawmakers will agree on a new healthcare bill at Thursday's bipartisan healthcare summit in Washington …
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Exclusive: What happens next  —  After a brief period of consultation following the White House health reform summit, congressional Democrats plan to begin making the case next week for a massive, Democrats-only health care plan, party strategists told POLITICO.
New York Times:
Preparing for Health Debate, and Its TV Audience  —  WASHINGTON — In convening Thursday's bipartisan health session, President Obama is angling to recreate the kind of spontaneous, unscripted debate that gave him a decided advantage when he took questions on live television at a House Republican retreat in Baltimore last month.
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Will Dr. Obama go for Plan B-1, or Plan B-2?  — Dems' post-summit message: POTUS was ‘thoughtful, comprehensive,’ Rs ‘insulted the summit’ — New NYT expose may finish Gov. Paterson  —  EXCLUSIVE — Speaker Pelosi's prepared remarks for the Blair House summit: “[I]naction and incrementalism are simply unacceptable.
Discussion: The Page and The Daily Caller
John Kass / Chicago Tribune:
Obama to deliver health care The Chicago Way  —  President Barack Obama will star in his very own televised entertainment spectacular on Thursday — let's call it Federal Health Care Kabuki Theater.  —  The Republicans wanted to dance.  Now they'll have to step lightly.
Carrie Budoff Brown / The Politico:
The big bipartisan lie
CNN:
Partisan bickering continues as bipartisan summit nears
Discussion: The Politico and Washington Post
R. H. Potfry / The Nose On Your Face:
Photo Emerges Of Murderous Killer Whale At Tea Party Rally  —  Some quick investigate reporting by the folks at Daily Kos and Democratic Underground has unearthed a photo of Tilikum, the killer whale who yesterday killed a trainer at Sea World, at a Tea Party event in Omaha, Nebraska.
RELATED:
Orlando Sentinel:
SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau dies in killer-whale attack
Ezra Klein:
Did the Congressional Budget Office find that premiums costs will go down?  —  Lamar Alexander and Barack Obama just had a contentious exchange on this point, so it's worth settling the issue: Yes, the CBO found health-care reform would reduce premiums.  The issue gets confused because it also found …
RELATED:
MiamiHerald.com:
Marco Rubio charged personal bills on GOP card  —  Senate candidate Marco Rubio said he reimbursed the state GOP for expenses put on an American Express card given to him by his party.  —  BREINHARD@MIAMIHERALD.COM  —  U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio charged grocery bills …
New York Times:
Questions of Influence in Abuse Case of Paterson Aide  —  Last fall, a woman went to court in the Bronx to testify that she had been violently assaulted by a top aide to Gov. David A. Paterson, and to seek a protective order against the man.  —  In the ensuing months, she returned to court twice …
Los Angeles Times:
Most ‘tea party’ followers are baby boomers reliving the '60s  —  A poll debunks assumptions about the movement, showing that it's largely middle-class, college-educated, white and male.  —  Oceans of ink, terabytes of blog space and an eternity of television time have been devoted …
Jeremy W. Peters / New York Times:
Campaign Goes After Opponents of Gay Marriage  —  ALBANY — Angered by the defeat last year of a bill that would have allowed same-sex couples to marry, a group of well-financed gay rights advocates has started a political action committee to take aim aggressively at state senators who have opposed same-sex marriage.
RELATED:
Frank Gaffney / Big Government:
Can This Possibly Be True?  New Obama Missile Defense Logo Includes A Crescent  —  The Obama administration's determined effort to reduce America's missile defense capabilities initially seemed to be just standard Leftist fare — of a piece with the Democratic base's visceral hostility …
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
The Myth of the Incumbent 50% Rule  —  I don't like criticizing our good friends over at Pollster.com, but a Tuesday article by Pollster correspondent Robert Moran, also the Executive Vice President at StrategyOne, espouses a bit of conventional wisdom which happens to be completely wrong.
New York Times:
Banks Bet Greece Defaults on Debt They Helped Hide  —  Bets by some of the same banks that helped Greece shroud its mounting debts may actually now be pushing the nation closer to the brink of financial ruin.  —  Echoing the kind of trades that nearly toppled the American International Group …
Alan I. Abramowitz / Sabato's Crystal Ball:
What to Expect in November  —  An Update on the House of Representatives  —  Just about everyone agrees that Republicans will be gaining a sizeable number of U.S. House seats come November, but this far in advance, few agree on the exact number.  We've seen a couple of dozen predictions so far …
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias and WILLisms.com
Michael Calderone / Michael Calderone's Blog:
Olbermann swings back at Mediaite (and Abrams)  —  Keith Olbermann called Mediaite “gullible” earlier this week for questioning if there's a lack of diversity on MSNBC and calling attention to a critical video from the Dallas Tea Party.  And last night the “Countdown” host followed up by awarding …
Chris Frates / The Politico:
Dems focus on anecdotes, not legislation  —  In their opening statements, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid focused largely on the why of health care reform instead of the how.  They told the stories of people struggling with their health insurance and didn't do much to tie …
Discussion: Townhall.com and The Other McCain
New Orleans Times-Picayune:
Former police officer pleads guilty to Danziger Bridge shooting cover-up of stunning breadth  —  Laura Maggi and Brendan McCarthy wrote this story  —  Admitting a cover-up of shocking breadth, a former New Orleans police supervisor pleaded guilty to a federal obstruction charge on Wednesday …
Discussion: TPMMuckraker, RedState and First Draft
Daily Mail:
Up to 1,200 needless deaths, patients abused, staff bullied to meet targets... yet a secret inquiry into failing hospital says no one's to blame  —  Up to 1,200 patients died unnecessarily because of appalling care  —  Labour's obsession with targets and box ticking blamed for scandal
Fox News:
New Jobless Claims Jumped to 496,000 as Heavy Snow Caused Rise in Layoffs  —  The number of new claims for unemployment benefits jumped unexpectedly last week as heavy snows caused layoffs to rise.
Washington Post:
Obama may compromise on consumer agency to pass financial regulation  —  The Obama administration is no longer insisting on the creation of a stand-alone consumer protection agency as a central element of the plan to remake regulation of the financial system.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Emptywheel:
The Mock Burial in the OPR Report
Discussion: Raw Story
Tom Ricks / Foreign Policy:
Odierno requests more combat forces in Iraq — beyond the Obama deadline
Discussion: Cato @ Liberty and ATTACKERMAN
Heather Stewart / Guardian:
Global trade slumped 12% last year
Chris Frates / The Politico:
Republicans watching the clock
Discussion: Townhall.com
Larry Margasak / Associated Press:
Democrats retreat on new privacy protections
Rasmussen Reports:
Election 2010: Delaware Senate
Mark Blumenthal / Pollster.com All Content:
Health Summit Reality Check
Pejman Yousefzadeh / The New Ledger:
An Interview With Bruce Bartlett
Discussion: Outside The Beltway
 Earlier Items: 
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
LIVEBLOG: Bipartisan healthcare summit at the White House
Molly K. Hooper / The Hill:
House GOP: No hypocrisy in seeking stimulus dollars after voting against bill
Discussion: Indecision Forever
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Not in Vermont's Back Yard  —  Trouble at the nuclear renaissance:
Discussion: The New Republic
John Bresnahan / The Politico:
Dems say they're down but not out  —  Charlie Cook is warning …
Discussion: Politics Daily
The Hill:
Sen. McCain: I 'don't understand' Sen. Reid's repeated attacks against me
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard / Telegraph:
Greek rescue in danger as deputy prime minister attacks ‘Nazi’ Germany
Discussion: Power Line and The Market Ticker