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11:35 PM ET, December 20, 2009


 Top Items: 
Kevin Bogardus / The Hill:
Cloture vote foreshadows conference tussle over health bill  —  As the Senate prepares for the dead-of-night cloture vote on its healthcare reform bill, lawmakers in both chambers have already begun jockeying over what the final bill should look like.  —  Starting with the dramatic announcement Saturday …
Discussion: The Politico
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
CBO pegs Nelson's deal for Nebraska at $100 million  —  Nebraska will receive $100 million in assistance for its Medicaid program under provisions in the Senate's healthcare bill negotiated by Sen. Ben Nelson (D).  —  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) informed lawmakers on Sunday night …
Sue / ChattahBox News Blog:
Stupak Ready to Pounce, Vows to Kill ‘Unacceptable’ Nelson Abortion Deal  —  (ChattahBox)— Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) is not finished making trouble for his Democratic colleagues, as the Senate's health reform bill makes its way to the House to be reconciled with the House bill.
Wall Street Journal:
Pivotal Senate Health Vote Looms  —  WASHINGTON — The Senate is marching toward a Christmas Eve vote on the biggest health-care legislation since the passage of Medicare 45 years ago, and its version is likely to form the template for the final bill that President Barack Obama hopes to sign next month.
John McCormack / Weekly Standard:
Can Stupak Kill Obamacare in the House?
Discussion: Scared Monkeys and Don Surber   ‘This Week with George Stephanopoulos’ Transcript: Axelrod, Durbin, Kyl
Chris Frates / The Politico:
House Dems cool to Nelson compromise
Discussion: Wonk Room and The Page
Jacob S. Hacker / The New Republic:
Why I Still Believe in This Bill  —  Jacob S. Hacker is the Stanley B. Resor Professor of Political Science at Yale University.  An expert on the politics of U.S. health and social policy, he is author, coauthor, or editor of numerous books and articles, both scholarly and popular …
The Huffington Post:
Feingold: Obama Responsible For Loss Of Public Option  —  WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?  —  Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) formally announced on Sunday that he would support the Senate's final version of health care reform.  But in doing so he cast blame for the loss of a public option …
Jon Walker / Firedoglake:
The Insidious Myth Of The Progressive “Bill Killers”
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
POOR CHESS PLAYERS.... If it seemed as if the vast majority of Senate Democrats were acting with a stronger-than-expected commitment to getting health care done this year, it wasn't an accident. … Now, I happen to like that sentiment quite a bit, but let's pause to appreciate who made it: Evan Bayh?
Dec. 20: Axelrod, Dean, roundtable
Kevin Bogardus / The Hill:
Axelrod promises to push for drug re-importation after healthcare reform
Douglas Elmendorf / Director's Blog:
Correction Regarding the Longer-Term Effects of the Manager's Amendment to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act  —  CBO has discovered an error in the cost estimate released yesterday related to the longer-term budgetary effects of the manager's amendment to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Discussion: The Politico
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
CBO issues correction: Health bill nixes deficit less than thought  —  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) corrected its estimate of the Senate health bill's costs on Sunday, saying it would reduce deficits slightly less than they'd predicted.  —  In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid …
Brittany Murphy Dies  —  Brittany Murphy died early this morning after she went into full cardiac arrest and could not be revived, multiple sources tell TMZ.  —  She was 32.  —  A 911 call was made at 8:00 AM from a home in Los Angeles that is listed as belonging to her husband …
Annalee Newitz / io9:
When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like “Avatar”?  —  Critics have called alien epic Avatar a version of Dances With Wolves because it's about a white guy going native and becoming a great leader.  But Avatar is just the latest scifi rehash of an old white guilt fantasy.  Spoilers...
The Note:
A Whodunit: The $100 million mystery hospital  —  ABC News' Z. Byron Wolf reports:  —  The health reform Christmas gifts for Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Ben Nelson of Nebraska are well known .  But somewhere out there is another good little legislator who got funding for a hospital in their state.
Discussion: Hot Air and Power Line
Manu Raju / The Politico:
Cooped-up senators turn cranky  —  Senators are suffering from cabin fever — and it has nothing to do with the snowstorm that socked Washington over the weekend.  —  A marathon session of early-morning, late-night and weekend votes — all coming after senators are typically home for the holidays …
Police find stolen Auschwitz sign  —  Hundreds of thousands of people passed under the sign to their deaths  —  The “Arbeit macht frei” sign stolen from Auschwitz in southern Poland has been found in the north and five men have been arrested, police say.  —  They said the metal sign …
Discussion: Truthdig and The Moderate Voice
New York Post:
Dreading our future  —  I am a baby boomer, which is to say my life has coincided with turbulent and awesome times.  From the Cold War to Vietnam, from Watergate to Monicagate, through the horrors of 9/11 and the stunning lifestyle advances, my generation's era has been historic and exciting.
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 More Items: 
Mark Moyar / New York Times:
An Officer and a Creative Man
US general defends pregnancy ban
Discussion: Neptunus Lex and Pam's House Blend
CK MacLeod / Hot Air:
Don't despair about ObamaCare
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Bryan Caplan / EconLog:
The Dining Room Table Responds
Michael Yon / Online Magazine:
As Christmas Approaches
 Earlier Items: 
Colombia beefs up Venezuelan border forces
Discussion: Truthdig
Kenneth P. Vogel / Politico Live's Blog:
McCain: GOP can't stop health care
Discussion: Gateway Pundit
Robert F. Worth / New York Times:
Ayatollah Montazeri, Iranian Cleric, Dies at 87
Discussion: AmSpecBlog, ATTACKERMAN and Swampland