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3:25 PM ET, March 17, 2010


 Top Items: 
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.
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Breaking: Kucinich To Vote Yes  —  In a big get for House Dems, Dennis Kucinich just made it official: He's voting for the Senate bill, making him the first member to go on record fliping his vote from No to Yes.  —  “In the past week it's become clear that the vote on the final bill will be very close …
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 (with an apparent assist from Mrs. Kucinich) successfully convinced Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, to change his position and support …
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Dennis Kucinich Will Return Money to Donors
The Hill:
Rep. Kucinich to vote yes on healthcare bill, giving needed boost to Democrats
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Huma Khan / ABCNEWS:
House Majority Leader: 'We're Going to Have a Clean Up or Down Vote'  —  Steny Hoyer, Eric Cantor Spar Over Health Care Vote Count, Parliamentary Tactics  —  House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer today hinted that Democrats may use a controversial parliamentary procedure to pass the health care bill …
5 more Dems will vote against health care
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
GOP senator predicts legal challenges to ‘deem and pass’
Discussion: Balkinization
Think Progress:
Health care reform protesters mock man carrying sign saying he has Parkinson's disease.  —  Activists staged “competing rallies” outside of Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy's (D-OH) district office yesterday, in a noisy, often confrontational attempt to influence the undecided congresswoman's vote.
Discussion: Riehl World View and INSTAPUTZ
Catherine Candisky /
Supporters, opponents of health-care bill square off outside Kilroy's office
Discussion: The Raw Story and Wonkette
Don Gonyea / NPR:
Protesters Focus On Rep. Kilroy As Health Vote Nears
Mark Drajem / Bloomberg:
Schumer, Graham Push Bill to Pressure China on Yuan  —  Senators Charles Schumer, Lindsey Graham and Sherrod Brown revived U.S. legislation that would increase pressure on China to raise the value of its currency.  —  The draft bill, similar to a measure considered in 2007 …
Ezra Klein:
Was Medicare popular when it passed?  —  For some time, I've been trying to find good polling from the passage of Medicare.  According to Greg Sargent, though, the Democrats beat me to it: … I wonder how many of the legislators who took the tough vote to move Medicare forward regret doing that today.
Megan McArdle / The Atlantic Online:
Polling Medicare  —  Ezra Klein writes:
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Obama likes Kansas to win March Madness  —  President Barack Obama is predicting the University of Kansas Jayhawks defeat the University of Kentucky Wildcats for college basketball's championship.  —  According to presidential brackets released to ESPN, the president picked Kentucky and Kansas …
Discussion: CNN, ABCNEWS and TPM LiveWire
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Obama's NCAA: Kansas over Kentucky
Discussion: Washington Wire and D.C. Now
Patrick O'Connor / The Politico:
Oberstar will back final bill  —  Minnesota Rep. James Oberstar, an ardent backer of the House abortion restrictions, will vote for the final package after a further review of the Senate's language, giving top Democrats a critical endorsement as they lean on their rank-and-file to back the Senate bill.
Robert Kagan / Washington Post:
Allies everywhere feeling snubbed by President Obama  —  The contretemps between President Obama and Israel needs to be seen in a broader global context.  The president who ran against “unilateralism” in the 2008 campaign has worse relations overall with American allies than George W. Bush did in his second term.
Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar / Associated Press:
FACT CHECK: Premiums would rise under Obama plan  —  WASHINGTON — Buyers, beware: President Barack Obama says his health care overhaul will lower premiums by double digits, but check the fine print.  —  Premiums are likely to keep going up even if the health care bill passes, experts say.
Michael Calderone / Michael Calderone's Blog:
Why's Obama going on Fox?  —  With Robert Gibbs appearing on “Fox News Sunday” and Timothy Geithner stopping by Fox Business yesterday, it's clear that top administration officials are willing to engage the much-criticized network a lot more these days.  —  Now tonight, President Obama sits …
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Obama returns to ‘the scene of the crime’ …
Mar / Find Physician Jobs at the NEJM CareerCenter:
The Medicus Firm Physician Survey: Health Reforms Potential Impact on Physician Supply and Quality of Medical Care  —  Key Findings from The Medicus Firm Survey  —  Physician Support of Health Reform in General  —  62.7% of physicians feel that health reform is needed but should be implemented …
Julie Millican / Media Matters for America:   UPDATED EXCLUSIVE: New England Journal of Medicine says it didn't …
Marjorie Margolies / Washington Post:
Democrats: Vote your conscience on health care  —  I feel your pain.  Eighteen years ago, I was elected on the coattails of a popular young Democratic president who promised a post-partisan Washington.  A year later, with partisan gridlock capturing the Capitol, there was a razor-thin vote …
Carl Hulse / New York Times:
Jobs Bill Passes in Senate With 11 Votes From Republicans  —  WASHINGTON — The Senate approved and sent to President Obama on Wednesday what Congressional Democrats hope will be the first in a series of bills spurring employment by providing tax breaks and other hiring incentives to businesses.
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 …
Ezra Klein:
Sometimes you have to burn a village to rule it  —  I'm going to pull a reverse-Brooks in this post, but break the rules and simply tell you what I'm doing at the beginning: On the deem and pass question, Democrats are wrong, but Republicans are wronger.  —  The problem with deem and pass isn't, well, deem and pass.
Discussion: The New Republic
The New Republic:
The Crisis  —  Was Obama's confrontation with Israel premeditated?  —  JERUSALEM—Suddenly, my city feels again like a war zone.  Since the suicide bombings ended in 2005, life in Jerusalem has been for the most part relatively calm.  The worst disruptions have been the traffic jams resulting …
Discussion: The Atlantic Online and Commentary
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Foxman Calls Petraeus A Jew-Baiter  —  The man with the fax machine has declared that Petraeus' recent comments on Israel “[smack] of blaming the Jews for everything.”  Yglesias yawns.  Meanwhile, back on planet earth, Josh Marshall highlights the unavoidable truths Petraeus said in his prepared remarks to Congress this week:
Tom Coghlan / Times of London:
Combat dogs take to the skies for secret missions in Afghanistan  —  Two members of the Austrian special forces join Nato's Operation Cold Response, one of Europe's biggest military exercises, in Narvik, Norway.  —  Dropping from 10,000ft, they glide in order to land unnoticed.
David Dayen /
The Kucinich Switch And The Whip Count  —  Dennis Kucinich's reversal and decision to support the health care bill changes the dynamic around the vote, but the ultimate question of whether or not the bill will pass was always going to be decided by the right flank of the caucus.
Associated Press:
If bin Laden is found, he'll be killed, Holder says  —  Holder: If bin Laden found, he'll be killed  —  Osama bin Laden “will never appear in an American courtroom,” Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. told House members at a hearing Tuesday.  —  “Let's deal with the reality here,” …
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 …
Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar / Associated Press:
Catholic nuns urge passage of Obama's health bill  —  WASHINGTON — Catholic nuns are urging Congress to pass President Barack Obama's health care plan, in an unusual public break with bishops who say it would subsidize abortion.  —  Some 60 leaders of religious orders representing 59,000 …
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 More Items: 
Catholic Sisters Support Passage of Healthcare Bill
Michelle Malkin:
In response to amnesty stooge Dick Armey
Erika Lovley / The Politico:
CBO crumbles under health workload
Discussion: The New Republic
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
PhRMA's closing spot
Discussion: MyDD and The Plum Line
Paul Krugman:
How Much Of The World Is In a Liquidity Trap?
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias and Free exchange
Justin Elliott / TPMMuckraker:
In It For The Money?  Conservative PAC Spends Big, But Not On Candidates
Discussion: The Awl
 Earlier Items: 
Jack Shafer / Slate:
What's Wrong With the Post Op-Ed Page?
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Krauthammer's Amateur Sociology
Discussion: The New Republic