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2:50 PM ET, December 16, 2009


 Top Items: 
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
White House as helpless victim on health care  —  Of all the posts I wrote this year, the one that produced the most vociferious email backlash — easily — was this one from August, which examined substantial evidence showing that, contrary to Obama's occasional public statements in support …
The Huffington Post:
Labor Holds Emergency Meetings To Discuss Senate Bill, May Formally Oppose  —  WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?  —  Two of the country's largest labor groups, the SEIU and the AFL-CIO, are each holding emergency executive meetings today to discuss whether they should support the latest round of health care compromises made by Senate Democrats.
Michael D. Tanner / Cato Institute:
Five Health Reform Whoppers  —  This article appeared on (AOL) on December 14, 2009. … When it comes to health care reform, the White House and its allies on Capitol Hill seem to live in an alternate universe.  —  The White House Council of Economic Advisers just released …
Howard Dean: Health Care Bill ‘Bigger Bailout for the Insurance Industry Than AIG’  —  Top Democrat Urges Lawmakers to Kill the Bill and Start Over  —  President Obama said he likes the Senate health care compromise and wants it passed by Christmas, but he faces a revolt from liberals …
The Huffington Post:
Gibbs: Obama Demanded As Much From Lieberman As Progressives
Anne Schroeder Mullins / The Politico:
SHENANIGANS: SCHUMER HAS A FLIGHT TO FORGET  —  Schumer has a flight to forget  —  Sen. Chuck Schumer loves the sound of his own voice, but it carried a bit farther than he might have liked on the US Airways shuttle from New York to Washington on Sunday.  —  According to a House Republican aide …
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Gillibrand spox: ‘Nothing more to add’
Michael Grunwald / Time:
Person of the Year 2009  —  The story of the year was a weak economy that could have been much, much weaker.  Thank the man who runs the Federal Reserve, our mild-mannered economic overlord  —  Ben Bernanke  —  A bald man with a gray beard and tired eyes is sitting in his oversize Washington office, talking about the economy.
Tony Romm / The Hill:
Republican sens. slow health debate; Sanders's amendment read aloud  —  Senate Republicans fulfilled a threat on Wednesday to require chamber staffers to read Democrats' healthcare amendments aloud on the floor of the Senate.  —  When Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) took the floor to begin debate …
Discussion: The Note and The Hill
Philip Klein / AmSpecBlog:
Coburn Forces Reading of 767-Page Single Payer Amendment  —  Sen. Tom Coburn has just demanded that the Senate clerk read the single-payer amendment offered by Sen. Bernie Sanders — and it's 767 pages.  —  Typically, Senators offering amendments will ask for unanimous consent to avoid reading …
The Hill:   Senate GOP forces reading of 767-page healthcare amendment
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:   COBURN SLAMS HIS FOOT ON THE BRAKE.... There was a point …
Thomas L. Friedman / New York Times:  —  Let's not fool ourselves.  Whatever threat the real Afghanistan poses to U.S. national security, the “Virtual Afghanistan” now poses just as big a threat.  The Virtual Afghanistan is the network of hundreds of jihadist Web sites that inspire, train, educate and recruit young Muslims …
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
President Obama writes a new health reform prescription  —  On the campaign trail, Barack Obama vowed to take on the drug industry by allowing Americans to import cheaper prescription medicine.  “We'll tell the pharmaceutical companies ‘thanks, but no, thanks’ for the overpriced drugs …
Glenn Thrush / The Politico:
Chaos at climate conference  —  COPENHAGEN — The Copenhagen climate change conference appeared to be imploding from within and exploding from without on Wednesday.  —  Police fired tear gas, brandished batons and detained more than 200 protesters who tried to push through the security cordon around …
Discussion: QandO
Times of London:
Mystery as Lockerbie bomber goes missing from home and hospital  —  Mystery surrounded the Lockerbie bomber last night after he could not be reached at his home or in hospital.  —  Libyan officials could say nothing about the whereabouts of Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi, and his Scottish monitors could not contact him by telephone.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Dean group attacks mandate  —  Democracy for America, the successor to the Dean campaign, which is now run by his brother, is out today with an email attacking health care legislation on a vulnerable point: The individual mandate.  That's the feature candidate Obama used against Hillary Clinton …
Discussion:, Swampland and The Plum Line
Jared Allen / The Hill:
Speaker Pelosi to shield vulnerable members from controversial votes  —  Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has privately told her politically vulnerable Democratic members that they will not vote on controversial bills in 2010 unless the Senate acts first.  —  After a year of bruising legislative …
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Majority of Americans Still Not Backing Healthcare Bill  —  Forty-six percent would advise their member to vote for it, or lean in that direction  —  PRINCETON, NJ — As the U.S. Senate continues working to craft a filibuster-proof healthcare reform bill, a new USA Today/Gallup poll finds public support …
Exclusive: Former Edwards Aide Speaks Out on Scandal, Affair  —  Exclusive: Bob Woodruff to Interview Andrew Young for ‘20/20’; Live Interview With George Stephanopoulos for ‘GMA’  —  Sen. John Edwards' former longtime aide and one of his most trusted friends, Andrew Young will speak exclusively …
Akiva Eldar / Haaretz:
U.S. planning to restart Israel-PA talks based on '67 borders  —  The United States and Egypt, along with France, are planning a joint move to restart Israeli-Palestinian talks on the basis of the June 4, 1967, borders, territorial exchanges and a complete freeze of construction beyond the Green Line, including East Jerusalem.
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
THE SOURCE OF THE DEFICIT MESS.... Republican lawmakers and far-right activists have suddenly discovered, after eight years of dramatic fiscal irresponsibility, that they care deeply about deficit reduction again.  Worse, they're absolutely convinced that President Obama and those free-spending Democrats …
Pew Research Center:
Mixed Views of Obama at Year's End  —  Unabated Economic Gloom, Divides on Afghanistan and Health Care  —  Public opinion about President Barack Obama and his major polices continues to be divided as the year comes to a close.  His overall approval rating is 49%, which is largely unchanged from November (51%).
Discussion: Politics Daily, The Swamp and D.C. Now
Paul Krugman:
Would cutting the minimum wage raise employment?  —  It seems that more and more Serious People (and Fox News) are rallying around the idea that if Obama really wants to create jobs, he should cut the minimum wage.  —  So let me repeat a point I made a number of times back when the usual suspects …
Ezra Klein:
A bailout for insurers?  —  There's an argument on the left that the health-care bill represents a “bailout” to the insurance companies.  Matt Yglesias puts this in the proper context: … To put this a bit more sharply, if I could construct a system in which insurers spent 90 percent …
Discussion: TalkLeft and Matthew Yglesias
Stephanie Clifford / New York Times:
Never Listen to Céline?  Radio Meter Begs to Differ  —  American men have a naughty little secret.  Sometimes, they like to relax with a little Céline Dion.  Professed classical music fans have one, too: as it turns out, they don't tune into classical radio nearly as much as they claim.
Star Bulletin:
Salvage the special election  —  U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie has every reason to resign his congressional seat so he can devote full attention to his candidacy for governor in the months leading up to the September primary election.  His opponents for governor are naturally critical of such a move …
Mark Murray /
NBC POLL: PUBLIC SOURS ON HEALTH REFORM  —  From NBC's Mark Murray  —  As the Senate sprints to pass a health-care bill by Christmas, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that those believing President Obama's health-reform plan is a good idea has sunk to its lowest level.
Discussion: The Page, Hot Air and The Foundry
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
The Leader of the Pack  —  Ezra Klein hails the people he regards as the heroes of health reform: … Ezra wants to single them out for recognition for not taking the opportunity to “go Lieberman” and hold the entire project hostage to their particular concerns.
Discussion: Ezra Klein, American Tory and TalkLeft
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 More Items: 
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Michael Moore calls for boycott of Connecticut
Discussion: The Politico and RedState
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
McConnell: ‘Highly likely’ all GOP senators will oppose health bill
Paul Greenberg / New York Times:
A Fish Oil Story
Discussion: The Awl
Michael F. Cannon / Cato @ Liberty:
Bland CBO Memo, or Smoking Gun?
Glenn Thrush / The Politico:
Kerry: COP-15 needs to jolt Senate
Discussion: The Page
 Earlier Items: 
Verena Burns / Daily Mail:
NHS maternity services in meltdown: A former midwife reveals …
Wall Street Journal:
Congress Travels More, Public Pays
Discussion: Scared Monkeys
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Norwegian Socialists  —  Dave Weigel thought I would like this sign …
Discussion: American Tory
Allison J. Waldman /
President to Appear on WWE Special
Jerry Seper / Washington Times:
Justice Department restrains lawyers in Panther probe
Discussion: Commentary

From Techmeme:

Kyle Wiggers / TechCrunch:
OpenAI gives premium ChatGPT users access to an updated GPT-4 Turbo, promising “more direct, less verbose” responses that “use more conversational language”

Jonathan Greig / The Record:
Palo Alto Networks alerts customers that hackers are exploiting a zero-day in its popular GlobalProtect VPN product and promises a patch by April 14

Tom Warren / The Verge:
Microsoft starts testing ads inside the Start menu on Windows 11 in the Insider builds in the US, and says the app promotions can be disabled in Settings

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