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6:05 PM ET, February 26, 2010


 Top Items: 
The Politico:
Bunning holds floor: ‘Tough s—t’  —  Senate Democrats spent Thursday night hammering away at Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) for single-handedly holding up action in the upper chamber - but he blurted out a message to one of them on the Senate floor: “Tough s—t.”
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Top Dem chairman signals House will act first on healthcare  —  The House could act first to pass a healthcare bill within the next month, a top House chairman signaled Thursday.  —  Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee and a close ally …
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Greenwald, Weiner Talk Health Care on Morning Joe: No Reason Not to Vote on Public Option  —  I still don't think the Senate/White House bill is going anywhere, either with or without a public option, for reasons I've outlined before — though some seem to be hell-bent on forcing House Democrats to throw themselves on its funeral pyre.
Discussion: Economix
Jim Bunning Repeatedly Blocks Unemployment Benefits Extension, Tells Dem ‘Tough S**t’  —  WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?  —  Jim Bunning, a Republican from Kentucky, is single-handedly blocking Senate action needed to prevent an estimated 1.2 million American workers from prematurely losing their unemployment benefits next month.
Tuathadedannan / Associated Press:
Unemployment Extension Fails in Senate
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
The Reconciliation Ball Moves Forward...
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
Professor Obama schools lawmakers on health-care reform  —  Republicans had been hesitant to accept President Obama's invitation to participate in Thursday's White House health-care summit.  Their hesitance turned out to be justified.  —  An equal number of Democratic and Republican lawmakers …
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Afflicting the Afflicted  —  If we're lucky, Thursday's summit will turn out to have been the last act in the great health reform debate, the prologue to passage of an imperfect but nonetheless history-making bill.  If so, the debate will have ended as it began: with Democrats offering moderate plans …
Darleen Click / protein wisdom:
Full speed off the cliff  —  A roundup of reactions of Obama's Kabuki Theatre yesterday here.  —  Not that any minds were changed.  Obama kept trying to strike a pose for the cameras as Serious Contemplator — stroking his chin, pursing lips, scribbling notes, picking his nose …
Brooks Jackson /
Health Care Summit Squabbles
Discussion: Hit & Run and Washington Post
Lynn Sweet / Chicago Sun Times:
White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers to step down  —  WASHINGTON—White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers told me Friday she will step down next month, after presiding over 330 events in the White House in 14 months.  —  Rogers is departing after achieving a major goal …
The Politico:
Desiree Rogers will resign
CNN:   White House social secretary to step down
Kenneth Lovett / NY Daily News:
Gov. David Paterson pulls plug on election bid, but will not resign: insider  —  Embattled Gov. Paterson has pulled the plug on his election bid, a source close to the governor said Friday.  —  Paterson will announce the decision later Friday.  —  Paterson has been under fire for having contacted …
Danny Hakim / City Room:
Paterson to Drop Out of Race for Governor
Huma Khan / ABCNEWS:
McCain Warns Dems on Health Care  —  Former GOP Presidential Candidate Says Democrats Need to Start Over on Health Care  —  President Obama's health care summit was a good opportunity for Americans to consider the contentious issue, but passing a Senate bill with 51 votes …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
MEET THE NEW WAY FORWARD (SAME AS THE OLD WAY FORWARD).... The road to legislative success on health care reform has been readily apparent for several weeks: the House passes the Senate bill, the Senate approves changes through reconciliation.  It's been the pass-the-damn-bill solution since last month's unpleasantness in Massachusetts.
Ezra Klein:
Judd Gregg: 'If you've got 51 votes, you win'  —  “The point is this,” Sen. Judd Gregg says in this 2005 defense of the Republicans' use of the budget reconciliation process.  “If you've got 51 votes, you win.”  —  The idea “that it is outside the rules to proceed within the rules,” Gregg laughs, “is a very unique view on the rules.”
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
Gregg: Reconciliation Is The Rule Of The Senate (VIDEO)
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Teddy Partridge / Firedoglake:
Judd Gregg Loved Reconciliation, Defended It on Senate Floor in 2005
Discussion: Blue Virginia
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Ben Nelson: Dems may have to abandon comprehensive health bill, go step-by-step  —  Democrats may have to abandon their effort for comprehensive healthcare legislation in favor of a piecemeal approach, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) said Friday.  —  Nelson, a centrist Democrat whose vote is critical …
Discussion: The New Republic
Political Punch:
Is There a Plan C?: …
Jared Allen / The Hill:
Democratic leaders scramble to find support for Senate job-creation bill
Discussion: The Politico
The Politico:
Dems call for Rangel's gavel  —  After months of holding ranks, Democrats are finally turning on House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) in the wake of an ethics committee finding that he violated House rules by accepting a Caribbean junket.  —  Early Friday, Rep. Paul Hodes …
Mike Stark /
Bipartisanship is dead  —  At yesterday's health care discussion, Louise Slaughter told a moving story.  —  An elderly woman needed dentures but couldn't afford them.  Her sister had dentures.  When she passed, the surviving sister “inherited” the dentures and used them as her own.
Walid Zafar / Media Matters Action Network:
Rep. Trent Franks: Blacks Better Off Under Slavery
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Bush endorses Cheney role  —  For the first time, former President George W. Bush has said publicly that he approves of former Vice President Dick Cheney's high-profile role in defending the past administration's national security policies.  —  “I'm glad Cheney is out there,” …
Nick O'Neill / All Facebook:
Facebook Patents The News Feed (Updated)  —  On Tuesday, Facebook was awarded a major patent for “Dynamically providing a news feed about a user of a social network”.  This is a huge deal for a number of reasons, most significantly that it grants Facebook the opportunity to pursue …
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 More Items: 
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Republicans eye Phoenix, Tampa, and Salt Lake City for 2012 convention
Discussion: CNN
Democrats back down on controversial interrogation proposal
Donna Bowater / Daily Express:
Michelle Malkin:
Have you forgotten? World Trade Center bombing, 17 years later
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
‘Mitch the knife’ eyes 2012 run
Discussion: The New Republic and Hot Air
James Corum  —  James Corum is Dean of the Baltic Defence College in Estonia.
Discussion: Eunomia, Chicago Boyz and
 Earlier Items: 
The Atlantic Online:
Thoughts on the Health Care Summit
Discussion: JustOneMinute and Slate
Associated Press:
After Canadian gold, cigars and champagne
Alex Pappas / The Daily Caller:
Defeated congresswoman's car still in House parking lot …