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2:34 AM ET, March 17, 2010


 Top Items: 
Health care foes 11 votes shy of defeating bill  —  Washington (CNN) — Five more House Democrats said Tuesday that they will vote against Senate health care legislation, which puts opponents of reform just 11 votes shy of the 216 needed to prevent President Obama from scoring a major victory on his top domestic priority.
The Note:
Do Pelosi and the Democrats Have the Health Care Votes?  Here's the Math  —  ABC's David Chalian reports: President Obama and Speaker Pelosi have each spent some quality time with Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, in the last 36 hours.  They probably have a pretty good idea …
Alex Spillius / Telegraph:
Barack Obama threatens to withdraw support from wavering Democrats  —  Barack Obama has said he will not campaign for any Democratic congressmen who fails to support health care reform.  —  The president will refuse to make fund-raising visits during November elections to any district whose representative has not backed the bill.
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Clyburn says health vote could push past Easter holiday
Discussion: Pajamas Media and Wonk Room
Norman J. Ornstein / The Enterprise Blog:
Hypocrisy: A Parliamentary Procedure  —  Any veteran observer of Congress is used to the rampant hypocrisy over the use of parliamentary procedures that shifts totally from one side to the other as a majority moves to minority status, and vice versa.  But I can't recall a level …
Jeffrey Goldberg / The Atlantic Online:
What Obama is Actually Trying to Do in Israel  —  There is much speculation that this kerfluffle over 1,600 theoretical apartments on the wrong side of the green line in Jerusalem will lead to a rupture in American-Israeli relations, but analysts who suggest this are missing the point of President Obama's maneuverings.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Palin: Hit ‘reset’ — with Israel
Roger Cohen / New York Times:
The Biden Effect  —  NEW YORK — I'm tempted to see Vice …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
THIS IS CNN?.... If I didn't get independent confirmation of this, I honestly would have assumed the announcement was some elaborate practical joke.  Alas, it's true. … This is easily the worst decision CNN has ever made.  That the network probably reviewed Erickson's work before hiring him …
Erickson joins the Best Political Team
Discussion: Mediaite
Please Welcome Erick Erickson!
Erick Erickson / RedState:
Here's My News: Erick Erickson Joins CNN's Roster of Political Contributors
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Fineman Reports Kucinich to Vote “Yes”  —  Dennis Kucinich has called a press conference for tomorrow.  Howard Fineman is reporting that Kucinich will vote “yes” on health care.  —  Kucinich told Obama that he wants a full ERISA waver and a public option in exchange for his vote.
Wall Street Journal:
Opinions Harden on Health  —  Nearly half call plan a ‘bad idea’ in latest Journal/NBC poll, but Democrats who oppose it risk alienating base  —  Democratic lawmakers may be tempted to vote against the health-care overhaul plan pending in Congress because it remains unpopular with a broad swath of the public.
Mary Lu Carnevale / Washington Wire:
WSJ/NBC News Poll: Throw 'Em All Out
Discussion: Newsweek Blogs
Josh Gerstein / The Politico:
Eric Holder: Osama bin Laden won't be brought in alive  —  Attorney General Eric Holder told a congressional panel Tuesday that the question of reading Osama bin Laden his Miranda rights is absurd - because he won't be brought in alive.  —  “Let's deal with reality,” Holder said.
Jeff Schogol / Mobile:
Could Airborne Bears Catch Bin Laden?
Discussion: Indecision Forever and The Awl
Ezra Klein:
Everything David Brooks says about reconciliation is wrong  —  Jon Chait did a very funny job taking apart David Brooks's column on reconciliation.  I want to do a serious job on it.  The factual statements Brooks uses in his argument are wrong.  Not arguable, or questionable, or suspicious.
Jonathan Chait / The New Republic:
David Brooks At His David Brooksiest
James Moore / The Huffington Post:
On the Matter of Karl Rove's Father  —  In his book and the various interviews and speeches surrounding publication, Karl Rove has made a point of attacking information Wayne Slater and I reported and published regarding Rove's background and the formative years of his political belief system.
Michael Kinsley / The Atlantic Online:
My Inflation Nightmare  —  RIGHT-WING TALK RADIO these days is carrying fewer commercials for second mortgages.  (Consolidate your debts, lower your monthly payments, and have enough left over for that dream vacation!)  They've been replaced by commercials for gold.
Discussion: Hit & Run and Grasping Reality …
Igor / Wonk Room:
Petraeus: 'I Believe The Time Has Come To Consider A Change To Don't Ask, Don't Tell'  —  “I believe the time has come to consider a change to Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” General David Petraeus told the Armed Services Committee today, in his most direct public comments about the policy.
Discussion: GayPatriot, Obsidian Wings and Guardian
Philip Klein / AmSpecBlog:
Dems Still Don't Have the CBO Score They Want  —  As Democrats have delayed releasing their final health care reconciliation bill, they've consistently tried to create the impression that they're essentially finished, but are merely waiting on the Congressional Budget Office.
Anzalone Liszt Research Swing District Healthcare Polling Memo  —  Anzalone Liszt Research recently did a poll on health insurance reform for AFSCME, CWA and NEA - polling over 1,000 likely voters across 92 Blue Dog, Rural Caucus, and Frontline districts between February 26 and March 4, 2010.
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
Reid Wilson / Hotline On Call:
Advice To Dems: Sell The Bill
Fred Barbash / The Politico:
‘Slaughter Solution’ not bulletproof  —  The so-called “Slaughter solution” for enacting health care reform without a conventional House vote on an identically worded Senate bill would be vulnerable to credible constitutional challenge, experts say.  —  No lawyer interviewed by POLITICO thought …
Jen DiMascio / The Politico:
Napolitano scraps U.S.-Mexico fence  —  Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has put the brakes on SBInet, the $3 billion plan to build a virtual fence along the U.S. border with Mexico.  —  “Not only do we have an obligation to secure our borders, we have a responsibility …
Discussion: Hot Air
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
DNC mocks tea party numbers  —  Tea Partiers planned to “flood the halls of Congress” to protest health care legislation, a plan that prompted Democratic leaders to instruct their members to respond with politeness and Twinkies.  —  The 10 a.m. Washignton, D.C. rally, though, wasn't quite on the scale of some earlier events.
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 More Items: 
David M. Halbfinger / New York Times:
Christie Seeks Spending Cuts to Close Gap in New Jersey
Discussion: Firedoglake
Thoreau / Unqualified Offerings:
Libertarians are way too hip on double entendre to ever call themselves “Teabaggers”
Discussion: Salon and Hit & Run
Eric Zimmermann / The Hill:
Reid wary of earmark restrictions; defends Congress's constitutional authority
Discussion: The Politico and Riehl World View
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
SEIU Keeps Up Pressure On Wavering House Dem With Brutal Ad
Jason F. / Signal vs. Noise:
Karl Rove's book vs. REWORK - what the American People need to know
Discussion: Ezra Klein and Newsweek Blogs
Jordy Yager / The Hill:
Limbaugh prompts healthcare calls, ties up House phone lines
 Earlier Items: 
New Deal 2.0:
Time for Truth: Three Card Monte is for Suckers
Discussion: Hullabaloo and Eschaton
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
US forces not flying the flag in Haiti?
CBS News:
Andrew Young Fires Back at Rielle Hunter
Discussion: PostPartisan