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12:15 PM 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.
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.
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.
M.I.T. Economist Rebuts Insurance Industry Report  —  After an insurance industry report said that premiums would rise sharply with the passage of comprehensive health care legislation, Jon Gruber, a health care economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said he evaluated …
Catherine Dodge / Bloomberg:
Snowe Vote Shows Obama Whether Republicans Help on Health Care
David M. Herszenhorn / New York Times:
Senate Panel Is Set for Vote on Health Care 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.
MSteele /
Let me ask you  —  The Internet has been around a while, now.  But, I still find it an amazing platform for innovation, not just in technology, but in life.  Beyond admiring the way it powers so many inventions and businesses, it has become a personal thing for me.
Discussion: Sadly, No!
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Missing from Future  —  This is, a youngish Republican points out to me this morning, a bit of an unfortunate place for an empty page on the Republican National Committee's nifty new website.  —  That would be the “Future Leaders” page.  —  Post Comment  —  Pages  —  HILARIOUS!
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.”
Richard Cohen / Washington Post:
Obama's Peace Prize Should Belong to the American Electorate
Discussion: Commentary
Letters to The Star-Ledger:
President Obama's Nobel Prize is meaningless; Students shine in Solar Decathlon
Discussion: Get Energy Smart!
Washington Post:
Leadership on Gay Rights  —  FULL EQUALITY for gays and lesbians is the civil rights issue of our time.  Men and women who want to preserve and protect the ideals of this nation are being booted from the military because of who they are.  Same-sex couples who seek the recognition …
Discussion: TalkLeft and AMERICAblog Gay
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Focus On Pelosi And Reid
Discussion: The Stranger … and The Plum Line
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.
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.
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
The Cable Effect  —  I got to the office a bit before 9AM today and within 20 minutes I felt incredibly agitated.  I was pissed off.  I also had a feeling of despair about the prospects for health reform.  I was mad, and I also felt helpless.  What was wrong?  Was it just a bad case of the Mondays?
Discussion: MoJo Blog Posts and Eschaton
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 …
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.”
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Dems undermine free speech in hate crimes ploy  —  What does a hate crimes bill have to do with money for U.S. troops fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq?  —  Nothing, except that the National Defense Authorization Act, which will win final passage in Congress and be sent to the president's desk this week …
Discussion: QandO, Power Line and Coyote Blog
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 …
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.
Spiegel Online:
German Ship Transporting Arms for Iran  —  US troops boarded a German-owned freighter in early October and found eight containers full of ammunition, allegedly headed to Syria from Iran.  The shipment is in violation of a UN weapons embargo and has become a source of chagrin in Berlin.
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 More Items: 
David Weigel / The Washington Independent:
Orly Taitz Sanctioned for $20,000
Discussion: Politics Daily and TPMMuckraker
Patrick Gavin / The Politico:
D. Aristophanes / Sadly, No!:
Racism Is The New Black
Discussion: Shakesville
David Brooks / New York Times:
The Young and the Neuro
Discussion: The Daily Dish and Neuroworld
Lyle Denniston / SCOTUSblog:
Court to hear new Enron case
 Earlier Items: 
Lee Ferran / ABCNEWS:
Afghan President: War on Terror Not in Afghanistan, Election Was Legitimate
Discussion: Washington Wire
Thomas Beaumont / Des Moines Register:
Political seas calm ahead of visit by Pawlenty
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
Wall Street Journal:
A Property Rights Foul