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9:25 PM ET, December 20, 2009


 Top Items: 
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 …
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
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.
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 …
Joe Biden / New York Times:
Why the Senate Should Vote Yes on Health Care  —  IF I were still a United States senator, I would not only vote yes on the current health care reform bill, I would do so with the sure knowledge that I was casting one of the most historic votes of my 36 years in the Senate.
Jon Walker / Firedoglake:
The Insidious Myth Of The Progressive “Bill Killers”  —  There is a very insidious myth right now that there is a large group of progressive leaders who want to “kill” health care reform in its entirety.  While there might be some progressive leaders out there who have advocated for this position, I have yet to hear from them.
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.
Kevin Bogardus / The Hill:
Cloture vote foreshadows conference tussle over health bill
Discussion: The Politico
John McCormack / Weekly Standard:
Can Stupak Kill Obamacare in the House?
Discussion: Scared Monkeys and Don Surber
Chris Frates / The Politico:
House Dems cool to Nelson compromise
Discussion: Wonk Room and The Page
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?
Discussion: TalkLeft and Matthew Yglesias
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 …
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 …
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...
Dec. 20: Axelrod, Dean, roundtable  —  David Axelrod, Howard Dean, Joe Scarborough, Markos Moulitsas, Ed Gillespie, Tavis Smiley  —  MR. DAVID GREGORY: This Sunday: The Democrats now appear to have the votes to pass sweeping healthcare reform in the Senate, and the president stands at the brink of a major legislative victory.
RELATED:   ‘This Week with George Stephanopoulos’ Transcript: Axelrod, Durbin, Kyl
Kevin Bogardus / The Hill:
Axelrod promises to push for drug re-importation after healthcare reform
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: Power Line, Hot Air and Wonkette
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.
Timothy Noah / Slate:
The deal that won Sen. Harry Reid (we think) a filibuster-proof majority for health reform.  —  That sound you hear (assuming you're reading this during daylight hours on Dec. 19) is the compromise that Sen. Harry Reid worked out late Friday night with Sen. Ben Nelson, D.-Neb. …
Questions over business deals of UN climate change guru Dr Rajendra Pachauri  —  The head of the UN's climate change panel - Dr Rajendra Pachauri - is accused of making a fortune from his links with ‘carbon trading’ companies, Christopher Booker and Richard North write.
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 More Items: 
Mark Moyar / New York Times:
An Officer and a Creative Man
US general defends pregnancy ban
Discussion: Pam's House Blend and Neptunus Lex
CK MacLeod / Hot Air:
Don't despair about ObamaCare
Discussion: Weekly Standard
China blamed for weak climate deal
Discussion: AMERICAblog News
Michael Yon / Online Magazine:
As Christmas Approaches
Angie Drobnic Holan / PolitiFact:
The story:  —  PolitiFact's Lie of the Year: ‘Death panels’
Discussion: Video Cafe's feed
 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
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
A President Who Loves Deadlines
Discussion: Politics Daily