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10:11 AM ET, October 13, 2009


 Top Items: 
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Sens: Snowe's healthcare vote puts her top Commerce perch at risk  —  Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine) is risking a shot at becoming the top Republican on an influential Senate committee by backing Democratic healthcare legislation, according to senators on the panel.
New York Times:
Congress Is Split on Effort to Tax Costly Health Plans  —  WASHINGTON — A proposed tax on high-cost, or “Cadillac,” health insurance plans has touched off a fierce clash between the Senate and the House as they wrestle over how to pay for legislation that would provide health benefits to millions of uninsured Americans.
Washington Post:
As Panel Votes Today, Democrats Look Ahead  —  The Senate Finance Committee will hold a landmark vote on health-care reform legislation Tuesday that is expected to underscore the deep partisan divisions that have emerged and hardened over five months of debate.
Catherine Dodge / Bloomberg:
Snowe Vote Shows Obama Whether Republicans Help on Health Care  —  Oct. 13 (Bloomberg) — U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe's independent streak showed up early.  —  Orphaned at age 9, she took the train by herself as a young girl from boarding school in upstate New York to Maine to see her aunt and uncle on weekends and holidays.
Sarah Lovenheim / Capitol Briefing:
All Eyes on Snowe as Finance Committee Prepares to Vote
John / Power Line:
Dumb “Reform”  —  Today's big news story is the release of a report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers on the impact the Senate Finance Committee's health care “reform” bill will have on health insurance premiums.  PWC concluded that the cost of health insurance for the average family will rise by $4,000 by 2019, as compared with doing nothing:
Gov. Tim Pawlenty / Big Government:
The Baucus Prescription: Higher Taxes and Higher Premiums  —  Today, the Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to vote on Senator Max Baucus' health care overhaul.  Like most Americans, I believe that our health care system needs to be reformed.  However, this bill is a tax and spending bill masquerading as a health reform bill.
Ann Scott Tyson / Washington Post:
Number of U.S. Troops in Afghanistan Overlooks Thousands of Support Troops  —  Additional Deployments Not Announced and Rarely Noted  —  President Obama announced in March that he would be sending 21,000 additional troops to Afghanistan.  But in an unannounced move, the White House has also authorized …
New York Times:
Views on Afghanistan Buildup Bring Clinton and Gates Together in an Alliance  —  WASHINGTON — The last time the Obama administration arrived at a moment of truth in the debate over what to do about Afghanistan, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Robert M. Gates delivered a one-two punch in favor of a more ambitious approach.
John Nichols / The Nation:
Whiner-in-Chief  —  The Obama administration really needs to get over itself.  —  First, the president and his aides go to war with Fox News because the network maintains a generally anti-Obama slant.  —  Then, an anonymous administration aide attacks bloggers for failing to maintain a sufficiently pro-Obama slant.
Fox News:
White House Escalates War of Words With Fox News  —  Anita Dunn, White House communications director, calls Fox News a “wing of the Republican Party,” after the White House began using its government blog to criticize “Fox lies.”  —  —  Calling Fox News “a wing of the Republican Party …
The Politico:
BRUCE JENNER: BARACK OBAMA UNDESERVING OF NOBEL AWARD  —  TMZ has a video of former Olympian and “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” reality star Bruce Jenner weighing in on President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize win.  —  “He's done nothing,” Jenner said.  “He's done absolutely nothing.”
Discussion: Balloon Juice, and Gawker
Eugene Robinson / Washington Post:
Obama's Peace Prize Won't Reset His Agenda  —  Somebody explain this to me: The president of the United States wins the Nobel Peace Prize and Rush Limbaugh joins with the Taliban in bitterly denouncing the award?  Glenn Beck has a conniption fit and demands that the president not accept what may be the world's most prestigious honor?
Discussion: TalkLeft and The Moderate Voice
Hendrik Hertzberg / New Yorker:
NOBEL SURPRISE  —  If President Obama really had to get a gift …
Discussion: Prairie Weather
Brendan Murray / Bloomberg:
Obama Dollar Retreats Most Against Commodities in Wealth Shift  —  Oct. 13 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama's effort to lead the world economic recovery by spending the U.S. out of its recession is undermining the dollar, triggering record commodities rallies as investors scour the globe for hard assets.
Discussion: NPR Blogs
Ben Smith / The Politico:
Liz Cheney takes on ‘radical’ W.H.  —  Former Vice President Dick Cheney's eldest daughter Liz will launch a new group aimed at rallying opposition to the “radical” foreign policy of the Obama administration which it says has succeeded only in undermining the nation's security.
Vernon L. Smith / Forbes:
Governing The Commons  —  No one should now say “Elinor who?” Nobel Laureate, Elinor Ostrom, Oct. 12, 2009  —  I have just returned from an undergraduate multidisciplinary class that my colleague (Bart Wilson) and I teach, “Foundations of Economic Exchange.”
David R. Henderson / Wall Street Journal:
A Nobel for Practical Economics
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
A Question of When Dishonesty Becomes Criminal  —  In February, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote that federal prosecutors had developed an unseemly crush on a particularly vague law, one that had “been invoked to impose criminal penalties upon a staggeringly broad swath of behavior.”
Adam Nagourney / New York Times:
Second Thoughts in Battle for Virginia  —  WASHINGTON — When State Senator R. Creigh Deeds defeated Terry McAuliffe, the former Democratic Party chairman and confidante of Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton, to be the Democratic nominee for governor of Virginia, the argument among many Democrats …
Washington Post:
McDonnell, Deeds Face Off in Televised Debate
David Leigh / Guardian:
Gag on reporting MP's Trafigura question lifted  —  The question from Paul Farrelly MP which was subject to a gagging order related to the Trafigura toxic waste scandal  —  How the Guardian reported the Trafigura dumping story  —  The existence of a previously secret injunction against the media …
Discussion: Crooked Timber
David Leigh / Guardian:
Guardian gagged in parliament
Discussion: Harry's Place and Boing Boing
Andrew Ross Sorkin / New York Times:
Don't Fail, or Reward Success  —  “Compensation continues to generate controversy and anger,” Lloyd Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, said last month.  “And, in many respects, much of it is understandable and appropriate.”  —  On Thursday, Mr. Blankfein and his colleagues …
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 More Items: 
Washington Post:
Leadership on Gay Rights
Discussion: The Daily Dish and
New York Times:
Deal Advice on Merrill Will Be Aired
Discussion: Clusterstock and Law Blog
Stuart Pfeifer / Los Angeles Times:
Deadline looms for Americans to disclose accounts in foreign tax havens
Discussion: Hit & Run
Al-Qaeda ‘faces funding crisis’
Discussion: On Deadline, PoliBlog and Truthdig
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Dems undermine free speech in hate crimes ploy
Discussion: Power Line
Herb Keinon / Jerusalem Post:
Turkey sends ten ministers to Syria for strategic talks
Discussion: Israel Matzav and Jihad Watch
 Earlier Items: 
Jennifer Steinhauer / New York Times:
California Tries to Solve Water Woes
Discussion: Eschaton
Wall Street Journal:
Business Fends Off Tax Hit
Discussion: Clusterstock and FT Alphaville
Rebecca Sinderbrand / CNN:
Limbaugh: 'The media didn't make me, and they can't break me'
Reid Wilson / The Hill:
Pawlenty nabbing big GOP names
Discussion: Hot Air and 24Ahead
The Rothenberg / The Rothenberg Political Report:
Nevada Senate Moved to Toss-Up