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8:35 AM ET, December 21, 2009


 Top Items: 
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
CBO pegs Nelson's Nebraska Medicaid deal cost at $100 million  —  Nebraska will receive $100 million in assistance for its state Medicaid program under provisions in the Senate's healthcare reform bill negotiated by Sen. Ben Nelson (D).  —  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) …
Kevin Bogardus / The Hill:
Cloture vote foreshadows conference tussle over final healthcare 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.
Wall Street Journal:   Change Nobody Believes In
Robert Pear / New York Times:
Deep in Health Bill, Very Specific Beneficiaries
Discussion: Prairie Weather
Riverdaughter / The Confluence:
The abortion “compromise” doesn't make the health care reform bill good
Discussion: Reclusive Leftist
New York Times:
Health Bill Passes Key Test in the Senate With 60 Votes  —  WASHINGTON — After a long day of acid, partisan debate, Democrats held ranks early Monday in a dead-of-night procedural vote that proved they had locked in the decisive margin needed to pass a far-reaching overhaul of the nation's health care system.
Washington Post:
Health-care bill clears crucial vote in Senate, 60 to 40  —  Senate Democrats won a milestone victory early Monday in the health-care debate, approving a procedural motion to move the reform legislation to final passage later this week, and without a single vote to spare.
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
An ugly finale for health-care reform  —  Going into Monday morning's crucial Senate vote on health-care legislation, Republican chances for defeating the bill had come down to a last, macabre hope.  They needed one Democratic senator to die — or at least become incapacitated.
Discussion: Prairie Weather and Swampland
Jeffrey Young / The Hill:
Senate Democrats unite for landmark healthcare vote
Discussion: The Politico
David Espo / Associated Press:
Health Care bill clears key Senate test
Discussion: Gateway Pundit
The Politico:
Senate advances landmark health bill
Discussion: The Hill and Flopping Aces
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 …
Washington Post:
Fed's approach to regulation left banks exposed to crisis  —  Foreclosures already pocked Chicago's poorer neighborhoods but the downtown still was booming as the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago convened its annual conference in May 2007.  —  The keynote speaker, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke …
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
A Dangerous Dysfunction  —  Unless some legislator pulls off a last-minute double-cross, health care reform will pass the Senate this week.  Count me among those who consider this an awesome achievement.  It's a seriously flawed bill, we'll spend years if not decades fixing it, but it's nonetheless a huge step forward.
Discussion: MyDD and Prairie Weather
Auschwitz theft suspects detained  —  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 are being questioned by police.  —  The five suspects …
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.
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: TPMDC and The Politico
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
CBO issues correction: Health bill nixes deficit less than thought
Paul Krugman:
The WYSIWYG president  —  There's a lot of dismay/rage on the left over Obama, a number of cries that he isn't the man progressives thought they were voting for.  —  But that says more about the complainers than it does about Obama himself.  If you actually paid attention to the substance …
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 …
Kpicket / The washington times Blogs:
Sen. Whitehouse: foes of health care bill are birthers, right-wing militias, aryan groups  —  ****Updated with video link and more transcript  —  Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) today took shots at those who are not supporting the health care legislation.
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 More Items: 
Bill Nichols / The Politico:
Ahmadinejad dismisses secret doc
Discussion: The Page
James Hider / Times of London:
Hamas using English law to demand arrest of Israeli leaders for war crimes
Discussion: Power Line and Israel Matzav
Chicagoan Said to Have Helped Terrorists Target Nuclear Plant
Discussion: Israel Matzav
Edward Wong / New York Times:
China's Export of Labor Faces Growing Scorn
Adams tells of father's sex abuse
Robynn Tysver / Omaha World-Herald:
Huckabee leads rally to try to change Nelson's mind
Discussion: NO QUARTER
 Earlier Items: 
Mark Moyar / New York Times:
An Officer and a Creative Man
Manu Raju / The Politico:
Cooped-up senators turn cranky
Discussion: Wonkette and Raw Story
CK MacLeod / Hot Air:
Don't despair about ObamaCare
New York Post:
Dreading our future  —  I am a baby boomer, which is to say my life …