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9:15 PM ET, March 1, 2010


 Top Items: 
The World Newser:
Sen. Bunning is Angry: ‘This Is a Senators Only Elevator!’  —  ABC's Jonathan Karl and Z. Byron Wolf report from Washington:  —  An angry Senator Jim Bunning refused to answer questions from ABC News about his decision to block a bill extending unemployment benefits.
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
Bunning Blockade Leads To 21 Percent Fee Cut For Doctors  —  Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) is already infamous for blocking a temporary extension of unemployment and COBRA benefits for out of work Americans.  But included in that package is legislation to prevent a mandatory pay cut for doctors …
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Top Democrats look to shame Bunning on unemployment benefits filibuster  —  Top Democrats sought to shame Republican Sen. Jim Bunning (Ky.) for holding up a 30-day extension in unemployment benefits before the Senate.  —  Democrats took Bunning to task for what they said was an “abuse” …
Discussion: The Politico and Wizbang
Republican senator gives journalist the middle finger
Discussion: Raw Story
Michael Barbaro / City Room:
Ford Decides Not to Run  —  Under intense pressure from Democratic Party officials, Harold E. Ford Jr., the former Tennessee congressman, has decided not to challenge Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand in the primary this fall, according to two people told of his plans.
Harold Ford Jr / New York Times:
Why I'm Not Running for the Senate  —  WHEN it was reported two months ago that I was thinking seriously about running for the United States Senate from New York, Democratic Party insiders started their own campaign to bully me out of the race — just as they had done with Representatives Carolyn Maloney, Steve Israel and others.
Dennis Romero / LA Daily:
CORRECTED: Mickey Kaus Takes Out Papers For U.S. Senate Run  —  ​Pioneering political blogger Mickey Kaus took out papers [filed] to run for U.S. Senate in California, he told LA Weekly.  The Venice resident said he'll run this year against Barbara Boxer for her seat.
The Note:
Pelosi Catches a Break: House Magic Number Set to Drop to 216  —  ABC News' Rick Klein reports: Democrats may or may not be advancing the ball on health care reform.  But the goal line is set to move a little closer.  —  Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Ga., announced today that he plans to resign his seat …
Charles Babington / Associated Press:
Some House foes eye switch to ‘yes’ on health care
Discussion: The Atlantic Online
The Politico:
Pelosi's brutal reality check
Ann Althouse / Althouse:
How many beers a day would Obama need to be drinking before his doctor would recommend “moderation of [in?] alcohol intake”?  —  Drudge picks out this bit from Obama's health report:  —  The link goes to this report — which stresses the advice to “continue smoking cessation efforts” …
Mark Murray /
Moderation, please  —  From NBC's Mark Murray, Chuck Todd and Domenico MontanaroThe Drudge Report has a provocative photo and link to a story on President Obama's recent physical exam.  It shows Obama drinking a beer at a basketball game with this headline: “PAPER: Obama doctors recommend 'moderation …
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Tancredo: Palin not fit for the presidency  —  The decision by Sarah Palin to campaign for John McCain has opened up a Tea Party tiff between two of its firebrand conservatives.  Former Congressman Tom Tancredo, who has campaigned among Tea Party activists for his long-standing fight …
Tom-Jan Meeus / NRC Handelsblad:
Tea Party prominent: Palin not presidential
Jim Hoft / Gateway Pundit:
Baby Survives 3 Days With Shot in Chest After Parents Commit Global Warming Suicide  —  A seven-month old baby girl survived a shot to the chest after her parents shot themselves and their two-year-old in a global warming murder-suicide pact.  —  This is the last public photo of Francisco Lotero …
Andy Barr / The Politico:
Buffett would scrap health bill  —  Billionaire investor Warren Buffett advised President Barack Obama on Monday to scrap the health care bill and start over.  —  In an interview with CNBC, Buffett said the current bill does not focus on controlling costs, which he sees as the central problem …
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Harkin fears reviving public option could kill whole health bill  —  Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) said Monday he's unlikely to support reintroducing the public option into healthcare legislation out of fear it could kill the entire bill.  —  Harkin, the chairman of the Senate Health, Education …
Associated Press:
Official: Substance at IRS building not a hazard  —  FBI says those with medical emergencies were unrelated to the incident  —  OGDEN, Utah - An official with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service says a suspicious substance found at an IRS building in Ogden, Utah, is not hazardous.
Discussion: KSL-TV and TPM LiveWire
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Obama's Drop  —  Barack Obama now has a negative approval rating in every state he flipped from the Bush column to his in 2008.  In each of those places his level of support is now in the 44-46% range.  It's probably a good thing he doesn't have to run for reelection this year.
Peter Beinart / The Daily Beast:
The Photo That Could Doom the Democrats  —  Blogs and Stories  —  Nancy Pelosi is protecting Rep. Charles Rangel, who failed to pay taxes on his Caribbean villa, among other miscues.  But the ethically challenged congressional baron is endangering the Democrats' control of Congress.
Winter storms to distort US jobless figures-Summers  —  White House economic adviser Larry Summers said on Monday winter blizzards were likely to distort U.S. February jobless figures, which are due to be released on Friday.  —  “The blizzards that affected much of the country during …
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
A Republican Surprise  —  Set a group of plugged-in conservatives to talking presidential politics, and you'll get the same complaints about the 2012 field.  —  Mitt Romney?  He couldn't make the voters like him last time ... Sarah Palin?  She'd lose 47 states ... Mike Huckabee?
Stan Isaacs /
Obama should expand court  —  writes a weekly column on  —  This may come as a surprise to some people, but the U.S. Constitution does not specify the size of the Supreme Court.  —  The original Judiciary Act of 1789 set the number of justices at six.  It shrank to five in 1801.
Ezra Klein:
A reconciliation primer  —  It is amazing how few reporters understand what the budget reconciliation process is: Either how it works, or what it's traditionally been used for, or what Democrats are proposing to use it for.  That confusion creates comical exchanges like this one …
John Yoo /
Closing Arguments: Finally, an end to Justice Dept. investigation  —  I've been under investigation for more than five years for legal advice that I gave in the immediate wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.  This month, the Justice Department's top career lawyer finally put an end to the farce.
Discussion: TPMMuckraker, Main Justice and The Hill
Taniel / Campaign Diaries:
Where the House stands on health-care  —  A lot of attention has been devoted to the Senate in recent months, but as we approach make-or-break time in the health-care debate it has become clear that the suspense lies in the House.  —  The approach Democrats are now openly pursuing …
Scott Shifrel / NY Daily News:
B'klyn ACORN cleared over giving illegal advice on how to hide money from prostitution  —  Brooklyn prosecutors on Monday cleared ACORN of criminal wrongdoing after a four-month probe that began when undercover conservative activists filmed workers giving what appeared to be illegal advice on how to hide money.
Ezra Klein:
Paul Ryan and the true cost of health-care reform  —  After the Blair House Summit, a bunch of you e-mailed to ask what I thought of Rep. Paul Ryan's argument that the bill “does not control costs” and it “does not reduce deficits.”  There's a lot going on in Ryan's remarks (which you can read here), so this might take awhile.
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Kent Conrad Rips Media: Yes, We Can Do Reform Via Reconciliation  —  In an interview with me just now, Senator Kent Conrad tore into the media for repeatedly botching its reporting on reconciliation, and confirmed that in his view, the current plan being entertained by Obama and Dems …
Discussion: Ezra Klein and The Page
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Obama's No F.D.R. — Nor Does He Have F.D.R.'s Majority  —  Every time I read an article like this from the Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes: … ...I wonder why there's no mention of this:  —  When F.D.R. took over the Presidency in 1933, the Democrats controlled 64 percent of the Senate seats …
The Note:
Sen. Bunning Single-handedly Causes 2,000 Federal Worker Furloughs  —  ABC News' Lisa Stark reports: Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., didn't just stop extensions of unemployment and health insurance benefits with his “hold' on these funding measures last week, he also stopped an extension of the Highway Trust Fund for 30 days.
Binyamin Appelbaum / Washington Post:
Sen. Shelby proposes options for new financial regulatory authority  —  Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) proposed two options this weekend for a new regulatory authority to protect bank customers, the key sticking point in negotiations over legislation to reform financial regulation …
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 More Items: 
James Blitz / Financial Times:
Five European states back burka ban
Discussion: The Atlanticist and Weasel Zippers
Reid Wilson / Hotline On Call:
Pence Promises New Kind Of Congress
Discussion: The Atlantic Online
Brown to announce gubernatorial bid Tuesday
Discussion: The Note
Amanda Terkel / Think Progress:
Scott Brown And Jeff Bingaman To Be Added To Senate Armed Services Committee
Discussion: TPM LiveWire
Maxim Tkachenko / CNN:
Medvedev rips Olympic ‘fat cats’
Discussion: Althouse and American Power
Hendrik Hertzberg / New Yorker:
COME TOGETHER  —  Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House …
Walter Alarkon / The Hill:
Hoyer: Raising taxes a realistic option for cutting $12 trillion debt
Discussion: CNN and The Politico
 Earlier Items: 
Ezra Klein:
The 1982 election and pundit fallability
Discussion: The Daily Dish and Ross Douthat
Robert Barnes / Washington Post:
Gun case presents quandary for Supreme Court justices
Discussion: Stop The ACLU and
E.J. Dionne Jr / Washington Post:
Living with partisanship