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6:55 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 …
Republican senator gives journalist the middle finger  —  An angry Sen. Jim Bunning refused to answer questions from CNN and ABC News Monday afternoon.  An ABC News producer who was there says Bunning gave him the middle finger in response to a question.  —  Washington (CNN) …
Discussion: Raw Story
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
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 …
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 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” (which means he's still smoking, apparently) — and ends:
Ewen MacAskill / Guardian:
Doctors tell Barack Obama to quit smoking  —  The american president has been trying to kick the habit for sometime, apart from the smoking he is in excellent health  —  Barack Obama is still struggling to kick smoking, according to his first medical examination since becoming president.
Steven R. Hurst / Associated Press:
Analysis: Republicans setting filibuster record  —  WASHINGTON — The filibuster — tool of obstruction in the U.S. Senate — is alternately blamed and praised for wilting President Barack Obama's ambitious agenda.  Some even say it's made the nation ungovernable.  —  Maybe, maybe not.
Amanda Terkel / Think Progress:
Scott Brown And Jeff Bingaman To Be Added To Senate Armed Services Committee
Discussion: TPM LiveWire
Tom-Jan Meeus / NRC Handelsblad:
Tea Party prominent: Palin not presidential  —  Former Republican congressman Tom Tancredo was the opening speaker at the recent Tea Party conference with Sarah Palin.  In an interview with NRC Handelsblad, he spoke his mind about Palin.  “I really don't have this feeling about her as being presidential.”
Mark B. Evans / Tucson Citizen:
Arizona Tea Party Leaders Decline to Endorse in AZ Senate Race
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.
Discussion: Hot Air and Taylor Marsh
Hazmat crews respond to Utah IRS office  —  Two people removed on stretchers; decontamination showers deployed  —  A hazmat crew takes a stretcher from an IRS building in Ogden, Utah.  —  OGDEN, Utah - Hazardous materials crews and the FBI were on the scene Monday at the IRS building in Ogden …
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 …
Adam Green / The Huffington Post:
Public Option Garners Avalanche of Support in Senate  —  In the wake of last week's “bipartisan summit” — which proved that no Republicans in Congress will vote for health care reform — an avalanche of Democratic senators are announcing today that they will vote YES for the public health insurance option …
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
30!  Five More Democrats—Including Durbin—Say They Support …
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?
Mitch Daniels / Wall Street Journal:
Hoosiers and Health Savings Accounts
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.
Robert Barnes / Washington Post:
Gun case presents quandary for Supreme Court justices  —  As a member of the Junior ROTC, teenager Antonin Scalia toted his rifle on the subway ride back and forth to Queens.  As a hunter, he speaks lyrically of stalking wild turkeys.  And as a justice, he may have reached the pinnacle …
Discussion: Stop The ACLU and
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
Supreme Court Won't Hear Case of Uighur Detainees
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 …
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.
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Financial Reform Endgame  —  So here's the situation.  We've been through the second-worst financial crisis in the history of the world, and we've barely begun to recover: 29 million Americans either can't find jobs or can't find full-time work.  Yet all momentum for serious banking reform has been lost.
New York Times:
Network News at a Crossroads  —  ABC News is making no secret about what is behind the sweeping staff cuts it now faces: raw survival instinct.  —  “I just looked out at the next five years and was concerned that we could not sustain doing what we were doing,” said David Westin …
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: The Hill, TPMMuckraker and Main Justice
Alex Isenstadt / The Politico:
Halter declares against Lincoln  —  Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter is moving ahead with a primary challenge to Sen. Blanche Lincoln, he announced Monday.  —  “Washington is broken,” Halter said in a video on his campaign website.  “Bailing out Wall Street with no strings attached …
Walter Alarkon / The Hill:
Hoyer: Raising taxes a realistic option for cutting $12 trillion debt  —  Tax increases may be necessary to rein in $12 trillion in federal debt, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Monday.  —  Hoyer emphasized the need to reform Social Security and Medicare …
Discussion: The Politico and CNN
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 …
David Brody / The Brody File:
Source: Ralph Reed “Seriously” Considering Run for Congress  —  Sources close to Ralph Reed tell The Brody File that the former Executive Director of the Christian Coalition is “seriously” considering running for Congress in Georgia.  According to one well-placed source …
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.
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 More Items: 
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 …
Pew Internet:
Understanding the Participatory News Consumer
Discussion: Politics Daily
Ezra Klein:
The 1982 election and pundit fallability
Discussion: The Daily Dish and Ross Douthat
Angela Sachitano / WPTV:
Ex-Congressman opens consignment shop
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog and TPM LiveWire
Kenneth Anderson / Weekly Standard:
Predators Over Pakistan  —  The U.S. drone campaign is effective—and legal.
Discussion: The Huffington Post
 Earlier Items: 
Jake Sherman / The Politico:
Pete Stark's bizarre ethics interview
Discussion: The New Editor
David Corn / Politics Daily:
Are Democratic Presidents Smarter Than Republican Presidents?