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5:15 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 …
Tuathadedannan / Associated Press:
Unemployment Extension Fails in Senate  —  GOP Sen. Jim Bunning Blocks Action over Concerns About Swelling Deficit  —  (AP) The Senate failed late Thursday to extend programs for laid-off workers, jeopardizing unemployment benefits scheduled to expire over the weekend.
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
The Reconciliation Ball Moves Forward...
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Greenwald, Weiner Talk Health Care on Morning Joe: No Reason …
Discussion: Economix
Political Punch:
Is There a Plan C?: …
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 …
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 …
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 …
Joseph Curl / Washington Times:
At summit, Obama mostly hears Obama
Tunku Varadarajan / The Daily Beast:
What Was Obama Thinking?
Discussion: Newsweek Blogs and Power Line
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
Discussion: Gawker and Wilshire & Washington
CNN:   White House social secretary to step down
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,” …
Mike Allen / The Politico:
One last health-reform sprint: House, Senate race to an Easter deadline for ‘the big bill’ — Mitch ‘The Knife’ Daniels eyes '12 prez run — N.Y. tabs say Paterson must go  —  BREAKING — George W. Bush, whose book will be out Nov. 8, at this morning's closed-door Bush-Cheney alumni reunion breakfast …
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.
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
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
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 …
Erica Ogg / CNET News:
Al Gore a lightning rod at Apple shareholder meeting  —  CUPERTINO, Calif.—The presence of one of the world's pre-eminent environmentalists at Apple's shareholder meeting Thursday was the subject of much of the morning's pointed discussion.  —  As expected, Apple's attitude on environmental …
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 …
National Journal Online:
Senate Ratings  —  HOW SENATORS SCORED ON LIBERAL-CONSERVATIVE SCALES IN THREE ISSUE CATEGORIES AND OVERALL. … In the following list, senators are assigned separate scores for their roll-call votes on key economic, social and foreign-policy issues during 2009.
Associated Press:
After Canadian gold, cigars and champagne  —  VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The women of the Canadian hockey team politely accepted their gold medals and waved to an adoring crowd.  And then the real celebration began.  —  More than half an hour after they beat the United States 2-0 on Thursday …
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 More Items: 
Democrats back down on controversial interrogation proposal
Jared Allen / The Hill:
Democratic leaders scramble to find support for Senate job-creation bill
Discussion: The Politico
Donna Bowater / Daily Express:
Michelle Malkin:
Have you forgotten? World Trade Center bombing, 17 years later
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Pawlenty heading back to Iowa
Discussion: CNN and Ben Smith's Blog
Walid Zafar / Media Matters Action Network:
Rep. Trent Franks: Blacks Better Off Under Slavery
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
‘Mitch the knife’ eyes 2012 run
Discussion: Hot Air and The New Republic
 Earlier Items: 
The Atlantic Online:
Thoughts on the Health Care Summit
Discussion: JustOneMinute and Slate
Linda Greenhouse / Opinionator:
Missing the Tea Party
Discussion: Prairie Weather and Opinion L.A.
Alex Pappas / The Daily Caller:
Defeated congresswoman's car still in House parking lot …