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8:30 AM ET, December 18, 2009

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Washington Post:
GOP senators to block defense bill in bid to delay health-care vote  —  Senate Republicans said Thursday that they would try to filibuster a massive Pentagon bill that funds the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, an unusual move that several acknowledged was an effort to delay President Obama's health-care legislation.
Washington Post:
Senate Democrats block GOP filibuster  —  Senate Republicans failed early Friday in their bid to filibuster a massive Pentagon bill that funds the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, an unusual move designed to delay President Obama's health-care legislation.  —  On a 63 to 33 vote …
The Hill:
Nelson a ‘no’ on health reform bill pending further changes
Kbh / KeithHennessey.com:
Updated health care reform projections
Discussion: Reuters and Weekly Standard
Mary Katharine Ham / Weekly Standard:
Nelson on Health-Care Deadline: ‘This Christmas or Next Christmas?’
Discussion: Politics Daily and On Politics
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
Liberal Revolt on Health Care Stings White House  —  WASHINGTON — In the great health care debate of 2009, President Obama has cast himself as a cold-eyed pragmatist, willing to compromise in exchange for votes.  Now ideology — an uprising on the Democratic left — is smacking the pragmatic president in the face.
RELATED:
Kenneth P. Vogel / The Politico:
Obama troops break ranks on health  —  The foot soldiers of Barack Obama's 2008 campaign, organized to go into action when key elements of his agenda are at stake, aren't universally enthusiastic about fighting for the health care compromise now before the Senate.
The Nation:
Axelrod Walks Back Insanity Defense on WH Blogger Call BY ARI MELBER
Associated Press:
Franken shuts down Lieberman on Senate floor  —  WASHINGTON — Democratic Sen. Al Franken took the unusual step Thursday of shutting down Sen. Joe Lieberman on the Senate floor.  —  Lieberman, a Connecticut independent, currently is the target of liberal wrath over his opposition …
RELATED:
Michelle Malkin:
Franken's little snit fit against Lieberman; Reid moves to adjourn Senate until 12:01am; cloture vote on defense authorization to follow; McConnell: Demcare is a “literal political nightmare”  —  “As the Senator from Minnesota, I object.”  —  Sen. Joe Lieberman is on board with Demcare now …
Rachel Slajda / TPM LiveWire:
Franken Cuts Lieberman Off, Won't Let Him Finish Floor Speech (VIDEO)  —  In a fun bit of drama on the Senate floor today, Sen. Al Franken cut off Sen. Joe Lieberman during a speech, angering Lieberman's good friend Sen. John McCain.  —  Here's what happened; Lieberman was giving a ten-minute speech on health care reform.
Ben Geman / The Hill:
President enters fray in Denmark  —  President Barack Obama will arrive in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Friday for the culmination of a climate change summit that has captured the world's attention.  —  Obama has made overhauling the U.S. climate and energy economy a signature issue for his presidency …
Discussion: The Swamp and The Politico
RELATED:
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Palin cuts vacation short  —  Sarah Palin announced Thursday night that she ended a Hawaii vacation early because of the ruckus raised after she blacked out “McCain” on her sun visor in an effort to elude paparazzi.  —  After the former Alaska governor was photographed on the beach earlier this week …
Ivan Watson / CNN:
Rare gender identity defect hits Gaza families  —  Editor's Note: Watch Connect the World tonight 9pm GMT, 4pm ET.  —  Gaza City (CNN) — Two Palestinian teenagers stroll amid the mounds of rubble left by last year's Israeli military offensive, listening to the tinny beat of a Turkish pop song playing on a cell phone.
Thomas J. Sheeran / Associated Press:
Ohio's Traficant contemplates return to Congress  —  CLEVELAND — Former Rep. James Traficant, who was recently released from prison after serving seven years for corruption, said Thursday that he is “proud of being an ex-con” and may try to return to Congress.
Discussion: JammieWearingFool
RELATED:
Jim Geraghty / National Review Online:   Traficant 2010?  It Doesn't Get Any Better Than That.  — By: Jim Geraghty
Linda Greenhouse / Opinionator:
Hurry Up and Wait  —  A woman whose name I didn't recognize left a message on my office telephone a few weeks ago.  Identifying herself as a member of Congress, but without telling me what she wanted, she asked me to call her at a private number, not the 225 prefix for telephones in the House of Representatives office buildings.
Ezra Klein:
Five cost controls in the Senate health-care bill  —  One of the impulses you have to resist as a writer is the desire to say things that are new, as opposed to things that you've already learned.  A lot of this post will be stale to longtime readers, but in my chat today, someone asked after the cost controls in the Senate.
RELATED:
Ezra Klein:
Chat transcript: Reconciliation, cost controls and Lieberman, oh my!
The Politico:
Monica's back - says Clinton lied  —  In the years since their bitter battle, both former President Bill Clinton and independent counsel Ken Starr have predicted they'd be vindicated in the history books.  —  Now the first definitive history of the Clinton scandal is about to arrive …
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Pass the Bill  —  A message to progressives: By all means, hang Senator Joe Lieberman in effigy.  Declare that you're disappointed in and/or disgusted with President Obama.  Demand a change in Senate rules that, combined with the Republican strategy of total obstructionism, are in the process of making America ungovernable.
Discussion: Hit & Run and Prairie Weather
Media Czech / Barefoot and Progressive:
Rand Paul's spokesperson is a Satanic Metal God in KKK gear (5 UPDATES)  —  I know that sounds like quite a statement, but it's, uh, the straight dope.  —  Chris Hightower is the campaign spokesperson for Rand Paul.  The same campaign spokesperson who made an ass of himself a few weeks ago …
Kevin G. Hall / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Homeowners often rejected under Obama's loan plan  —  WASHINGTON — Ten months after the Obama administration began pressing lenders to do more to prevent foreclosures, many struggling homeowners are holding up their end of the bargain but still find themselves rejected …
Discussion: CANNONFIRE
Washington Post:
Six Yemeni detainees at Guantanamo Bay to be repatriated  —  The Obama administration is planning to repatriate six Yemenis held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a transfer that could be a prelude to the release of dozens more detainees to Yemen, according to sources with independent knowledge of the matter.
Discussion: Weekly Standard and The Page
Dan Levy / Bloomberg:
Morgan Stanley to Give Up 5 San Francisco Towers Bought at Peak  —  Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) — Morgan Stanley, the securities firm that spent more than $8 billion on commercial property in 2007, plans to relinquish five San Francisco office buildings to its lender two years after purchasing …
Susie Madrak / Crooks and Liars:
White House Blogger Call: Axelrod Answers Questions on Healthcare Bill  —  Home » Blogs » Susie Madrak's blog  —  You can view this video right here by getting the latest version of Flash Player!  —  DOWNLOADS: 103  —  Information always has a soothing effect on me …
Discussion: The Politico
Amanda Terkel / Think Progress:
Matthews: The netroots ‘get their giggles from sitting in the backseat and bitching.’  —  Today on MSNBC's Hardball, Chris Matthews brought on John Heilemann from the New Yorker to talk about President Obama's popularity with Democrats.  When Heilemann noted that the “Democratic left” …
Discussion: Open Left and Daily Kos
Foreign Policy:
The 10 Worst Predictions for 2009  —  Ten pundits and politicians whose prognostications for this year completely missed the mark. … —Rahm Emanuel on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, April 19, 2009  —  The bill the White House chief of staff was optimistically referring to …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Telegraph:
Copenhagen climate conference: Leaked UN document shows deal …
Discussion: Hot Air
Carla Marinucci / San Francisco Chronicle:
Whitman has wide lead over her GOP rivals
Tony Romm / The Hill:
DOJ urges federal court to re-open ACORN case
Toni O'Loughlin / Guardian:
Semi-nude Mary and Joseph spark outrage
Discussion: The Reaction and The Agonist
Ezra Klein:
Private insurance in theory and in practice
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Less Than One Fourth Of Dems And Liberals Have Very Positive View Of Their Party
 Earlier Items: 
Mark Hemingway / Washington Examiner:
Report: Democratic districts received nearly twice the amount …
Anthony Watts / Watts Up With That?:
Lord Monckton reports on Pachauri's eye opening Copenhagen presentation