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5:00 PM ET, February 19, 2010


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Obama to Offer Health Bill to Ease Impasse as Bipartisan Meeting Approaches  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama will put forward comprehensive health care legislation intended to bridge differences between Senate and House Democrats ahead of a summit meeting with Republicans next week …
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.
Adam Green / Open Left:
BREAKING: Obama will support the public option if Reid will  —  From Rachel Maddow's interview tonight with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius: … Wow.  That's news.  —  What will Reid do?  If it's up to Nevada voters, the answer's obvious.  From reporter Jon Ralson in today's Las Vegas Sun:
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Fish White House Logic On Public Option Revival  —  I don't understand this White House logic reported by Ezra Klein: … Rewind the tape 12 months and this makes perfect sense to me.  Progressives talk up public option through reconciliation.  They write a letter.  Senators start signing the letter.
Discussion: TalkLeft
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Health Care Proposal Takes Shape For Obama To Bring To Summit
Discussion: The Hill, Wonk Room, TPMDC and Sadly, No!
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Cantor: Obama must take reconciliation off the table for healthcare reform
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Josh Margolin / New Jersey Online:
U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg is diagnosed with cancer … U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, New Jersey's 86-year-old senior senator, was diagnosed with treatable stomach cancer in the last 24 hours and will begin chemotherapy today.  —  The Democrat still plans to finish out his current term …
Associated Press:
NJ Sen. Frank Lautenberg, 86, has stomach lymphoma
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Pawlenty compares administration to Tiger Woods, voters to scorned wife  —  Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) on Friday told voters to follow the lead of Tiger Woods' wife Elin Nordegren and “take a nine-iron and smash the window out of big government.”  —  Pawlenty, who is considered …
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Ellsworth to run for Indiana Senate  —  Indiana Rep. Brad Ellsworth announced today that he will seek the seat being vacated by Sen. Evan Bayh.  —  “After many conversations with Hoosiers this week, and with the love and support of my family, I have decided to run for the U.S. Senate,” Ellsworth said in a statement.
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
A Sensible Response to Terrorism  —  As you probably know, a white guy entranced by an extremely version of Tea Party-style right-populist paranoia deliberately crashed an airplane into an IRS building in Texas yesterday.  I'm not especially interested in debating semantics …
Thomas Fitzgerald /
Sestak says federal job was offered to quit race  —  Not so, says White House  —  Rep. Joe Sestak (D., Pa.) said yesterday that the White House offered him a federal job in an effort to dissuade him from challenging Sen. Arlen Specter in the state's Democratic primary.
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
In U.S., Canada Places First in Image Contest; Iran Last  —  Favorable views of Russia, Palestinian Authority up slightly; views of Iraq down  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Americans' perceptions of 20 nations that figure prominently in the news or U.S. foreign policy held quite steady in the first year of the Obama administration.
Discussion: RealClearWorld and FP Passport
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Congressional Republicans Viewed Less Favorably Than Russia, Saudi Arabia
Discussion: The New Republic
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Is the next GOP presidential candidate a CPAC speaker?  —  There's no question that the next GOP presidential nominee will have spoken at this year's CPAC conference, a top Republican lawmaker said Friday.  —  Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the ranking member of the House Oversight …
Dave Itzkoff / ArtsBeat:
‘Family Guy’ Voice Actor Says Palin ‘Does Not Have a Sense of Humor’  —  Since it was shown on Sunday, an episode of the Fox animated comedy “Family Guy” has drawn the repeated condemnation of Sarah Palin, the former Republican governor of Alaska and 2008 vice-presidential nominee.
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
California Death Spiral  —  Health insurance premiums are surging — and conservatives fear that the spectacle will reinvigorate the push for reform.  On the Fox Business Network, a host chided a vice president of WellPoint, which has told California customers to expect huge rate increases …
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Poll: Majority Backs Mirandizing Of Xmas Plotter And Other Terror Suspects  —  CNN has released a new poll with toplines showing a big majority thinks Iran has nukes.  —  But forget that finding.  The internals are even more interesting, because they show that the public is overwhelmingly rejecting …
CNN:   CNN Poll: American believe Iran has nuclear weapons
Mitt Romney's Alleged Attacker — Major Rap Star  —  The mystery man who was tossed off an airplane for allegedly attacking Mitt Romney has finally been revealed — it was one of the guys from LMFAO ... and he claims Romney is the one who got physical first!
Frustrated Owner Bulldozes Home Ahead Of Foreclosure  —  Man Says Actions Intended To Send Message To Banks  —  MOSCOW, Ohio — Like many people, Terry Hoskins has had troubles with his bank.  But his solution to foreclosure might be unique.  —  Hoskins said he's been in a struggle …
Discussion: Outside The Beltway
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: CNN
Randy Haddock:
Response to Olbermann: ‘People of color’ at Tea Parties  —  So last night that race-peddlin' buffoon over at MSNBC... wait, that's pretty much everyone on that network.  Let me be more specific.  OK, so, last night Keith Olbermann used his self-parodying Special Comment segment to ask …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
ACROSS STATE LINES.... When it comes to the Republican approach to health care reform, the single most popular idea is encouraging consumer to purchase coverage across state lines.  It appears that major news outlets tend to do a very bad job of explaining how this would work, and why the GOP plan …
Subir Bhaumik / BBC:
India row over Jesus beer image  —  The government in the Indian state of Meghalaya has confiscated textbooks showing pictures of Jesus Christ holding a cigarette and a can of beer.  —  The book has been used for primary classes and has caused a furore in the north-eastern state, where more than 70% of the population are Christians.
Discussion: The Stranger … and Althouse
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 More Items: 
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Volatile environment endangers more governors
James Hohmann / The Politico:
Lincoln will back cloture on jobs bill
Alan S. Blinder / Washington Post:
Getting the biggest bang for job-creation bucks
 Earlier Items: 
David Brooks / New York Times:
The Power Elite  —  One of the great achievements of modern times …
Discussion: Ezra Klein, Commentary and TPMCafe
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
In The Navy  —  “You know in the Navy in the late nineteen hundreds …
Discussion: The New Republic
Michael Gerson / Washington Post:
A primer on political reality
Discussion: Blog and EconLog