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4:00 AM ET, March 19, 2010


 Top Items: 
Ezra Klein:
Democrats get the bill, and the score, they needed  —  The question people generally ask about the final health-care reform vote is, “Won't it be politically difficult for many House Democrats to vote yes?”  But with the release of the CBO report (pdf), I'd flip that question a bit …
Alex Seitz-Wald / Think Progress:
Rep. Steve King and Glenn Beck agree: Voting for health reform on Sunday is ‘an affront to God.’  —  With this morning's release of the Congressional Budget Office's reconciliation package score, the House appears ready to vote on health care reform this Sunday.
Coloradoan Online:
(2 of 2)  —  She also said state insurance exchanges included in the latest bill will help control costs.  She also said the new bill is better for small businesses because it allows them to pool together for lower rates, and exempts businesses with less than 50 employees from the mandate that employers provide coverage.
Megan McArdle / The Atlantic Online:
First Thoughts on the CBO Score  —  As fate would have it, on the day that the CBO report is released, I am in standby hell, and running low on laptop juice.  So my thoughts on the CBO score, and the revised reconciliation bill, are necessarily somewhat preliminary.  But here is what I've noticed so far:
Jeffrey H. Anderson / Weekly Standard:
CBO: Obamacare Would Cost Over $2 Trillion  —  The CBO's most recent analysis is out, and it's not likely to convince wavering House Democrats to jump to the Obamacare side of the fence.  Even the Democrats are granting that the latest version of their proposed health care overhaul would cost $69 billion more than the previous version.
Kbh /
Understanding the new health reconciliation bill
Discussion: New York Times and Hot Air
Obama blocks delivery of bunker-busters to Israel  —  WASHINGTON — The United States has diverted a shipment of bunker-busters designated for Israel.  —  Officials said the U.S. military was ordered to divert a shipment of smart bunker-buster bombs from Israel to a military base in Diego Garcia.
Michelle Malkin:
The House vote on the Slaughter Solution: Update: Constitution-butchers prevail, 222-203; Roll call vote added; Calling out Dems Altmire, Lynch; Barone's analysis added  —  Photoshop credit: Big Fur Hat at and Applecross Media  —  You'll recall that House Republicans unveiled …
Michael Barone / Washington Examiner:
Projections from the House's “deem to pass” roll call  —  The House voted this afternoon by a 222-203 margin to pass the “Slaughter solution” rule authorizing a single vote on the Senate health care bill which the House leadership wants to send to the president for signature plus …
Eric Zimmermann / The Hill:
Top Blue Dog: Slaughter solution is ‘poison’
Ed O'Keefe / Federal Eye:
Ex-general links gay troops to Bosnian genocide  —  A retired Marine general told senators on Thursday that the Dutch Army failed to protect the city of Srebrenica during the Bosnian war partly because of the presence of gay soldiers in its armed forces.  —  John J. Sheehan …
Erin McPike / Hotline On Call:
Rules Panel Dem To Vote Against Bill  —  A key House Dem has begun informing party leaders he plans to vote against health care legislation both on the House floor and in the rules committee, on which he sits.  —  Rep. Michael Arcuri (D-NY), a sophomore Dem who had a tougher …
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Conrad drops support for North Dakota provision to avoid controversy  —  Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) has asked House negotiators to scrap a provision in the reconciliation package that would have benefited his home state.  —  Conrad had won a carve-out for the Bank …
Chris Frates / The Politico:
BREAKING — Reconciliation bill posted
Discussion: Maggie's Notebook, Open Left and CNN
Paul Basken / Chronicle of Higher Education:
Democrats Outline Compromise Student-Loan Bill, With $36-Billion for Pell Grants
Discussion: protein wisdom
Alan Colmes' Liberaland:
Michele Bachmann Means No Disrespect When She Accuses Media Of “Treason”  —  BACHMANN (On Bill Bennett's radio show 3/18/10): Well, I'm amazed that they actually were willing to be shocked.  Because for most of the time they have been, and you know, I don't mean any disrespect, but they've been treason media.
Discussion: Pam's House Blend
Matt Corley / Think Progress:   Bachmann: 'I don't mean any disrespect' when I accuse the media of ‘treason.’
Yossi Verter / Haaretz:
Haaretz Poll: Most Israelis see Obama as fair and friendly  —  U.S. President Barack Obama's popularity may be declining in American public opinion, but a sweeping majority of Israelis think his treatment of this country is friendly and fair, according to a Haaretz-Dialog poll conducted this week.
Amos Harel / Haaretz:
There's more to U.S.-Israel crisis than Netanyahu vs. Obama
Spencer Ackerman / The Washington Independent:
Anti-Defamation League Goes After Gen. Petraeus  —  The Anti-Defamation League takes the unexpected step of criticizing Gen. David Petraeus, the widely respected commander of U.S. troops in the Middle East and South Asia, for his recent comments to the Senate Armed Services Committee that lack …
Jackson Diehl / PostPartisan:
Obama-Israel negotiating agreement: don't ask, don't tell on settlements
Discussion: Laura Rozen's Blog and Israpundit
Jeff Zeleny / New York Times:
In Health Vote, Democrats Weigh Success vs. Survival  —  WASHINGTON — In the homestretch of the health care debate, one obvious question being asked across the capital is whether Speaker Nancy Pelosi will find 216 votes to pass the bill.  For a group of particularly jittery Democrats …
Discussion: Hot Air
Robert Costa / The Corner on National Review Online:
Exclusive: House Minority Leader John Boehner on the Health-Care Vote …
Discussion: The Other McCain and GayPatriot
James Richardson / RedState:
Coburn Promises to Hold Future Nominations of Ex-House Democrats  —  Senator Tom Coburn Thursday put his colleagues in the lower chamber on advance notice, vowing to torpedo any promises of patronage made by President Barack Obama to wavering House Democrats.
Harry Kresky / The Huffington Post:
Words Matter: Voters to Get Fair Wording of California Open Primary Initiative  —  The battle over the wording of CA prop 14 — sometimes called the top two or open primary initiative — likely ended yesterday with a ruling by a California Court of Appeals upholding the lower court's refusal …
Les Blumenthal / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
State of the health care debate: Talk radio attacks an 11-year old  —  WASHINGTON — Conservative talk show hosts and columnists have ridiculed an 11-year-old Washington state boy's account of his mother's death as a “sob story” exploited by the White House and congressional Democrats like a …
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
“Libertarians,” Sprawl, and Land Use  —  Randal O'Toole has a baffling and bafflingly long post dedicated to trying to rebut my very simple view of the relationship between “sprawl” and land-use regulations.  So I'll just restate my argument in briefer form and ask O'Toole to say what, if anything, in it he disagrees with:
Randal O'Toole / Cato @ Liberty:
A Libertarian View of Urban Sprawl
Washington Post:
The right way to mend immigration  —  Our immigration system is badly broken.  Although our borders have become far more secure in recent years, too many people seeking illegal entry get through.  We have no way to track whether the millions who enter the United States on valid visas each year leave when they are supposed to.
Kos / Daily Kos:
FL-Sen: Crist is broken  —  Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 3/15-17.  Likely voters.  MoE 4% (5% for primary samples).  (11/16-18/2009 results)  —  GOP Senate Primary  —  Charlie Crist (R) 30 (47)  —  Marco Rubio (R) 58 (37)  —  Other polling has shown Rubio blowing past Crist, so that's not so much news.
New York Times:
German Diocese Ignored Abuse Warnings, Doctor Says  —  ESSEN, Germany — The German archdiocese led by the future Pope Benedict XVI ignored repeated warnings in the early 1980s by a psychiatrist treating a priest accused of sexually abusing boys that he should not be allowed to work with children, the psychiatrist said Thursday.
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Obama's Approval Rating Lowest Yet, Congress' Declines  —  Slightly more disapprove than approve of Obama  —  PRINCETON, NJ — President Barack Obama's job approval is the worst of his presidency to date, with 46% of Americans approving and 48% disapproving of the job he is doing as president …
Dana Blanton / Fox News:
Fox News Poll: 55% Oppose Health Care Reform  —  As Americans wait for Congress to act on health care, a Fox News poll released Thursday finds 55 percent oppose the reforms being considered, while 35 percent favor them.
Choi Arrested at White House Gates  —  In an act of civil disobedience, Lt. Dan Choi and Jim Pietrangelo have been arrested at the White House gates on Thursday while protesting the military's “don't ask, don't tell” policy.  —  Following a Human Rights Campaign rally for DADT repeal …
Pete Winn / CNSNews:
CBO: Health Bill Would Force Families to Buy Insurance Costing a Minimum of $12,000 Per Year—Whether Government or Employer Helps Them or Not  —  ( - If Congress passes the Senate health-care plan, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
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 More Items: 
Collateral damage  —  Neither comrades nor spouses
Discussion: The Peking Duck
Daniel Blumenthal / Foreign Policy:
Is the West turning on China?
Discussion: China Digital Times
How I Ran an Ad on Fox News
Discussion: The Impolitic
Steven Shepard / Hotline On Call:
Poll: Boxer Suddenly In Trouble
Jon Voight / Big Government:
Call to Arms: Join Me in DC Saturday to Stop ObamaCare
Discussion: Riehl World View
Grant McCool / Reuters:
Obama, Clinton fundraiser admits $292 million fraud
 Earlier Items: 
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Moving The Center  —  Matt Steinglass parses CNN's hiring …
Igor / Wonk Room:
Comparing The CBO Scores For Different Health Care Bills
Nitya Venkataraman / ABCNEWS:
Christiane Amanpour Is ‘This Week’ Anchor
Domenico Montanaro /
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Canceling the trip  —  The cancellation of President Obama's trip …
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Breaking: CBO releases the actual report; Update: Almost all $940 …