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10:55 AM ET, December 21, 2009


 Top Items: 
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.
New York Times:
Health Bill Passes Key Test in the Senate With 60 Votes  —  WASHINGTON — After a long day of acid, partisan debate, Senate 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.
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.
Robert Pear / New York Times:
Deep in Health Bill, Very Specific Beneficiaries  —  WASHINGTON — Buried in the deal-clinching health care package that Senate Democrats unveiled over the weekend is an inconspicuous proposal expanding Medicare to cover certain victims of “environmental health hazards.”
Charles Lemos / MyDD:   A Broken United States Senate
Byron York / Washington Examiner:   Who's responsible for the Senate's middle-of-the-night vote?
Martina Stewart / CNN:
CNN Exclusive: Nelson answers his critics on health care reform
Discussion: Raw Story
Los Angeles Times:   Senate Democrats get 60 votes to move healthcare bill along
Wall Street Journal:
Change Nobody Believes In  —  A bill so reckless that it has to be rammed through on a partisan vote on Christmas eve.  —  Printer  —  Friendly  —  And tidings of comfort and joy from Harry Reid too.  The Senate Majority Leader has decided that the last few days before Christmas …
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
Heaven and Nature  —  It's fitting that James Cameron's “Avatar” arrived in theaters at Christmastime.  Like the holiday season itself, the science fiction epic is a crass embodiment of capitalistic excess wrapped around a deeply felt religious message.  It's at once the blockbuster to end …
Discussion: Politics Daily and TBogg
Martina Stewart / CNN:
Obama gets an ‘A’ for effort from Schwarzenegger  —  Washington (CNN) - Not every Republican is a critic of President Obama.  At least one thinks the president is doing a fine job - at least when it comes to the effort involved in being the country's chief executive.
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.
Con Coughlin / Telegraph:
Hamas helping British lawyers target Israel  —  Activists from Hamas, the Palestinian group, have been helping British lawyers bring war crimes prosecutions against Israeli officials in London.  —  The group, considered a terrorist organisation in Britain, is believed to have provided information …
Discussion: Jihad Watch
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:
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 …
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 …
Rasmussen Reports:
Election 2010: North Dakota Senate  —  2010 North Dakota Senate: Hoeven 58%, Dorgan 36%  —  Incumbent Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan may have a serious problem on his hands if Republicans recruit Governor John Hoeven to run for the U.S. Senate in North Dakota next year.
Current Decade Rates as Worst in 50 Years  —  Internet, Cell Phones Are Changes for the Better  —  As the current decade draws to a close, relatively few Americans have positive things to say about it.  By roughly two-to-one, more say they have a generally negative (50%) …
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 More Items: 
Jonathan Chait / The New Republic:
The Rise of Republican Nihilism
Discussion: Democratic Strategist
Drew Westen / The Huffington Post:
Leadership, Obama Style, and the Looming Losses in 2010 …
Discussion: AMERICAblog News
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
After criticism, Reid vindicated by early-morning healthcare vote
Discussion: The Nation and Open Congress
Louis Uchitelle / New York Times:
Labor Data Show Surge in Hiring of Temp Workers
Discussion: Beat the Press and Wonk Room
Luke Mitchell / Harper's:
Understanding Obamacare … The idea that there is a competitive …
 Earlier Items: 
Christine Harper / Bloomberg:
Taxpayers Help Goldman Reach Height of Profit in New Skyscraper
Washington Post:
The Salahis' night at the White House and a contentious day after
Discussion: The Page
Bill Nichols / The Politico:
Ahmadinejad dismisses secret doc
Discussion: The Page
Edward Wong / New York Times:
China's Export of Labor Faces Scorn
Robynn Tysver / Omaha World-Herald:
Huckabee leads rally to try to change Nelson's mind
Discussion: NO QUARTER