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9:15 AM ET, February 20, 2010


 Top Items: 
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Breaking: Reid Signals Support For Reconciliation Vote On Public Option  —  In another surprising step forward for the public option, Senator Harry Reid's office says that if a final decision is made to pass health reform via reconciliation, the Majority Leader would support holding a reconciliation vote on the public option.
Donna Smith / Reuters:
Obama to spell out new healthcare plan  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama is expected to publish his healthcare plan as early as Sunday or Monday, combining features of the two Democratic bills passed by the Senate and House of Representatives, congressional aides and healthcare advocates said on Friday.
Ezra Klein:
The strange politics of the public option revival  —  Trying to figure out the politics of this public option revival has been a bit of a strange experience.  On the one hand, momentum seems to be building: The letter asking Reid to run the public option through the reconciliation process has 18 senators attached.
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Holder admits nine Obama Dept. of Justice officials worked for terrorist detainees, offers no details  —  Attorney General Eric Holder says nine Obama appointees in the Justice Department have represented or advocated for terrorist detainees before joining the Justice Department.
New York Times:
Report Faults 2 Authors of Bush Terror Memos  —  WASHINGTON — After five years of often bitter internal debate, the Justice Department concluded in a report released Friday that the lawyers who gave legal justification to the Bush administration's brutal interrogation tactics …
Carrie Johnson / Washington Post:
Bush lawyers who approved waterboarding to face no discipline  —  Bush administration lawyers who wrote memos blessing the waterboarding of terrorism suspects and other harsh interrogation tactics “exercised poor judgment” but will not face discipline for their actions, according …
Ari Shapiro / NPR:
Terror Memos Didn't Violate Legal Ethics, Report Finds
Discussion: TalkLeft
Heather / Crooks and Liars:
Bob Barr shouted down at CPAC for saying waterboarding is torture  —  Oh what a lovely crowd, huh?  Bob Barr is booed and yelled at loudly by the crowd until the moderator, Jay Sekulow, calms them down, for daring to point out that waterboarding is torture.
Zaid Jilani / Think Progress:
CPAC audience boos former GOP Rep. Bob Barr for saying waterboarding is torture.
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
The Note:
Far-Right John Birch Society 2010  —  ABC's Jonathan Karl reports: This week's Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington has a co-sponsor from the far-right fringe of American politics: The John Birch Society.  —  According to Ian Walters, a spokesman for CPAC …
Jeff Poor /
Breitbart to NY Times Reporter for Alleging Racial Tones at CPAC: 'You're a Despicable Human Being'  —  After Barack Obama's election as the first black president of the United States, we were supposed to have entered a new, post-racial era.  However, as many feel it has turned out …
Scott Shane / New York Times:
F.B.I., Laying Out Evidence, Closes Anthrax Letters Case  —  WASHINGTON — More than eight years after anthrax-laced letters killed five people and terrorized the country, the F.B.I. finally closed its investigation of the matter on Friday.  The bureau released a 92-page report adding eerie …
Discussion: Politics Daily
Joby Warrick / Washington Post:
FBI closes investigation into 2001 anthrax attacks
Discussion: The Hill
E.J. Dionne / PostPartisan:
Palin and Brown: Mitt Romney's best friends  —  Mitt Romney got a rousing reception at the Conservative Political Action Conference.  And why not?  He was introduced by the new conservative hero, Scott Brown, the Massachusetts senator whose election Romney played an important role in bringing about.
Discussion: Hot Air
Theresa Poulson / Insider Interviews:
Cook: Health Care Is Obama's Iraq  — last month sat down with Charlie Cook to talk about how Democrats can improve their image with voters, particularly those who identify with the Tea Party movement.  —  Cook gave his assessment of the job Obama has done so far …
Discussion: Commentary
Macroeconomic Advisers / Macroadvisers:
MA on fiscal stimulus, the definitive answer: it works.  MA refutes the demagoguery.  —  It's the first anniversary of the American Recovery and Re-Investment Act of 2009 (ARRA).  Politicians, economists, and the public are either celebrating or bemoaning the event, while the media is delighted to report anyone's viewpoint.
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias and Econbrowser
The Huffington Post:
Feds Bullied Kerik Into 4-Year Term, Hurting Us All  —  What's Your Reaction: … White Plains, NY - The corruption case of former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik shouldn't end with the four-year prison sentence imposed on him Feb. 18 here in a federal courtroom.
Discussion: TalkLeft and The Huffington Post
The Note:
Ron Paul supporters are taking over CPAC!  —  ABC News' Bret Hovell reports: Libertarian Texas Congressman Ron Paul - who has a large and occasionally rowdy backing throughout the country - was scheduled to speak here at the Conservative Political Action Conference at 4:30  —  Friday afternoon.
Jared Allen / The Hill:
Obama slams Anthem rate increase in pushing healthcare bill  —  President Barack Obama on Saturday joined the chorus of Democratic lawmakers using news of pending health insurance premium hikes in California as a rallying cry for enactment of a long-stalled comprehensive healthcare reform bill.
Discussion: The Politico
Thom Shanker / New York Times:
Afghan Push Went Beyond Traditional Military Goals  —  WASHINGTON — Before 10,000 troops marched through central Helmand Province to wrest control of a small Afghan town from a few hundred entrenched Taliban fighters, American officials did something more typical of political than military campaigns: they took some polls.
Discussion: Swampland and
Michael F. Cannon / Cato @ Liberty:
Krugman Don't Know Health Insurance  —  When I debated Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman on health care reform, I asked him if he was familiar with the work of University of Pennsylvania economist Mark Pauly.  Pauly is a leader in the economics of health insurance.
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
Why Obama needs Rahm at the top  —  Let us now praise Rahm Emanuel.  —  No, seriously.  —  It is the current fashion to blame President Obama's disappointing first year on his chief of staff.  “First, remove Rahm Emanuel,” writes Leslie Gelb in the Daily Beast, because he lacks …
Discussion: Prairie Weather
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Gays, gay marriage foes spar at CPAC  —  The young crowd at CPAC doesn't seem terribly interested in the issue of same-sex marriage, but there's been a bit of shadow boxing between the gay Republican group GOProud, which got a booth over objections from social conservatives …
Ben Geman / The Hill:
Al Gore slams Exxon's ‘lies’ as advocates seek to regain momentum  —  Al Gore used Twitter Thursday to allege that oil giant Exxon Mobil has lied about its commitment not to fund organizations that dispute the science behind global warming.  —  “No surprise.
Andy Barr / The Politico:
Bachmann: Obama ‘intending to fail’  —  Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) urged conservatives on Friday to fight to prevent an American “decline” created by the policies of President Barack Obama.  —  In a long and meandering speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference evoking …
Discussion: Gateway Pundit, The Note and CNN
Sally Quinn / Washington Post:
Sally Quinn's The Party: No ÂÂ'dueling' Bradlee weddings, just scheduling mistake  —  People often ask me how to make conversation at dinner parties.  I always tell them to ask about their dinner partner's family — once they get started, they won't stop.  Everyone has a dysfunctional family.
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 More Items: 
New York Times:
Greece Inches Back  —  After weeks of denial, the European Union …
Discussion: New York Magazine
Tyler Cowen / Marginal Revolution:
New Zealand and the VAT and the critics
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
 Earlier Items: 
Suicidal Pilot's Wife Reacts to ‘Tragic’ Attack
Discussion: American Power and Infowars
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
ACROSS STATE LINES.... When it comes to the Republican approach …
Discussion: Mother Jones and The Mahablog
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Is the next GOP presidential candidate a CPAC speaker?
Subir Bhaumik / BBC:
India row over Jesus beer image
Discussion: The Stranger … and Althouse