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9:45 AM ET, March 17, 2010


 Top Items: 
5 more Dems will vote against health care  —  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 …
Jennifer Bendery / Roll Call:
Pelosi Calls All Female Democratic Members Into Meeting  —  Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is asking all female Democratic Members to attend a hastily called meeting Wednesday morning but isn't saying what the meeting is about.  —  Pelosi's office sent an e-mail out Tuesday evening requesting …
Lori Montgomery / Washington Post:
House Democrats scramble to ensure adequate deficit reduction in health bill  —  Congressional Democrats rushing to push President Obama's health-care initiative to final passage this week hit a new snag Tuesday, as the final piece of the package was held up by concerns that it would do too little to reduce the nation's budget deficit.
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.
Alex Isenstadt / The Politico:
GOP casts Pelosi as health care villain
Discussion: The Page
Steve Krakauer / Mediaite:
Fox News To Conduct “Extended, Exclusive” Interview With Pres. Obama
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 …
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.
Mark Murray /
Public split on support for health care bill  —  Pollster: ‘There is no easy place right now in the health care debate’  —  As Congress prepares for a crucial and possibly decisive vote on the fate of President Barack Obama's health care plan, the American public is evenly divided about whether …
Mary Lu Carnevale / Washington Wire:
WSJ/NBC News Poll: Throw 'Em All Out
Discussion: Wizbang and Newsweek Blogs
Herb Keinon / Jerusalem Post:
Softer tone coming from Washington  —  Clinton reaffirms “unshakable bond” in first public sign crisis winding down.  —  Talkbacks (173)  —  Make JPOST.COM your Home Page  —  Iranian Threat  —  Jewish World  —  Local Israel  —  Arts & Culture  —  Français  —  Classifieds
Discussion: Commentary and Gateway Pundit
Josh Rogin / Foreign Policy:
Cantor: U.S.-Israel row aids Iran
Jeff Schogol / Mobile:
Could Airborne Bears Catch Bin Laden?  —  ARLINGTON, Va. — Could parachute-wearing bears sniff out Osama bin Laden?  —  That's one suggestion the Pentagon has received from someone who noted, quite correctly, that a bear's sense of smell is much more powerful than a bloodhound's.
Grace-Marie Turner / Wall Street Journal:
The Failure of RomneyCare  —  The former Massachusetts governor enacted something very similar to the Obama health plan.  It isn't working well.  —  Former Massachusetts governor and likely 2012 presidential aspirant Mitt Romney has been on the wrong side of the defining political battle of our time.
Discussion: Boston Globe and Betsy's Page
Jack Chang / Sacramento Bee:
Field Poll: Meg Whitman trounces Steve Poizner, edges Jerry Brown  —  Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman has built a massive edge over her GOP rival Steve Poizner while taking a narrow lead over likely Democratic nominee Jerry Brown, according to results released today by the nonpartisan Field Poll.
New York Times:
McConnell Strategy Shuns Bipartisanship  —  WASHINGTON — Before the health care fight, before the economic stimulus package, before President Obama even took office, Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader, had a strategy for his party: use his extensive knowledge of Senate procedure …
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Sen. Lincoln says Obama never lobbied her on healthcare  —  President Barack Obama hasn't reached out to lobby Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) on healthcare, the senator said Wednesday.  —  Lincoln, a key Senate centrist who's facing a tough reelection challenge, said that Obama had barely reached …
The Huffington Post:
Rep. King Calls For Velvet Revolution Against The Government  —  WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?  —  Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) urged a smaller-than-expected crowd of Tea Party protesters on Tuesday to launch a Velvet Revolution-style uprising against the federal government, saying the parallels …
Peter Wallsten / Wall Street Journal:
Obama's New Partner: Al Sharpton  —  The Rev. Al Sharpton was known for his activist, racially polarizing views.  Recently, he has become a key ally for President Obama, pictured in an Oval Office meeting last year.  —  WASHINGTON—With his wavy bouffant and medallion necklaces …
Erickson joins the Best Political Team  —  Erick Erickson has joined CNN.  —  (CNN) - Prominent conservative commentator and editor Erick Erickson will join CNN as a political contributor, appearing primarily on CNN's new show John King, USA¸ the network announced Tuesday.
Discussion: Mediaite and The Reaction
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.
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 More Items: 
Robert Kagan / Washington Post:
Allies everywhere feeling snubbed by President Obama
Discussion: Commentary and Weekly Standard
Mike / Rortybomb:
The Jenner & Block Lehman Report and Lack of Financial Reform
Agence France Presse:
Malaysian minister rejects child marriage reform
Discussion: Jihad Watch and Weasel Zippers
David M. Halbfinger / New York Times:
Christie Seeks Spending Cuts to Close Gap in New Jersey
Discussion: Firedoglake
Jen DiMascio / The Politico:
Napolitano halts Mexico fence plan
Discussion: Hot Air
James Moore / The Huffington Post:
On the Matter of Karl Rove's Father
Michael Kinsley / The Atlantic Online:
My Inflation Nightmare  —  RIGHT-WING TALK RADIO these days …
Discussion: Grasping Reality … and Hit & Run
 Earlier Items: 
Eric Zimmermann / The Hill:
Reid wary of earmark restrictions; defends Congress's constitutional authority
Discussion: The Politico and Riehl World View
Anzalone Liszt Research Swing District Healthcare Polling Memo
New Deal 2.0:
Time for Truth: Three Card Monte is for Suckers
Discussion: Mother Jones, Hullabaloo and Eschaton