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9:55 AM ET, March 19, 2010


 Top Items: 
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.
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:
Ezra Klein:
Democrats get the bill, and the score, they needed
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.
Shmuel Rosner / Jerusalem Post:
Is Obama “fair and friendly”?
Discussion: Commentary
Barak Ravid / Haaretz:
Israel to engage in ‘trust-building’ moves in wake of East Jerusalem row
Amos Harel / Haaretz:
There's more to U.S.-Israel crisis than Netanyahu vs. Obama
New York Times:
From Bitter Campaign to Strong Alliance  —  WASHINGTON — On a snowy Thursday shortly before her weekly meeting with President Obama last month, Hillary Rodham Clinton got a distressing phone call: her husband, Bill Clinton, was in a hospital with chest pains and needed an urgent heart procedure.
Discussion: The Moderate Voice and Swampland
Grant McCool / Reuters:
Obama, Clinton fundraiser admits $292 million fraud
US Department of State:
Joint Statement by the Quartet  —  Washington, DC  —  The Quartet - U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell, and High Representative for Foreign Affairs …
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 …
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
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.
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Op-Ed Columnist: Closing Arguments on Health Care  —  One way or another, the fate of health care reform is going to be decided in the next few days.  If House Democratic leaders find 216 votes, reform will almost immediately become the law of the land.  If they don't, reform may well be put off …
Discussion: Washington Post
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 …
Michelle Malkin:
The House vote on the Slaughter Solution: Update: Constitution …
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 …
Tory Newmyer / Roll Call:
Setbacks Zero Out Gains in Whip Count  —  House Democrats officially gained two and lost two on Thursday as they continued their painstaking zigzag toward 216 votes and final passage of a sweeping health care overhaul, now likely on Sunday.  —  Leaders got two pieces of good news …
Wall Street Journal:
Now for the Slaughter  —  On the road to Demon Pass, our leader encounters a Baier.  —  Excuse me, but it is embarrassing—really, embarrassing to our country—that the president of the United States has again put off a state visit to Australia and Indonesia because he's having trouble passing …
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: Think Progress
Jay Fitzgerald / Boston Herald:
Stephen Lynch strong ‘no’ on health bill despite talk with President Obama  —  Not even President Barack Obama could sway U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch from voting against a health-care reform package now headed for a dramatic weekend showdown.  —  After emerging from a 40-minute Oval Office meeting …
Ed Whelan / The Corner on National Review Online:
It's Now or Never — By: Ed Whelan  —  If you want to make your voice heard on the health-care bill before the House votes on Sunday, you'd better do so quickly.  To make things easier for you, here, organized in alphabetical order by state, are the 40 key Democratic members …
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 …
Henny Sender / Financial Times:
Rival warned regulators over Lehman  —  Securities and Exchange Commission and Federal Reserve officials were warned by a leading Wall Street rival that Lehman Brothers was incorrectly calculating a key measure of its financial health months before its collapse in 2008, people familiar with the matter say.
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
As Dems struggle, GOP candidates line up to run  —  Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass.(AP Photo/Cliff Owen) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)  —  For some of the brightest, most politically aware people in the country, the yearlong debate over the Democrats' national health care plan has been an inspiring experience.
Discussion: Power Line and Betsy's Page
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
CONFUSION-BASED RAGE, CONT'D.... Former Bush speechwriter David Frum enlisted some interns this week to survey Tea Party activists protesting in D.C. earlier this week.  The goal was to get a sense of the activists' understanding of taxes — ostensibly, the “movement's” raison d'etre — and factual knowledge.
Discussion: Forbes
Mickey Kaus / Kausfiles:
Kausfiles is out there.  Somewhere.  —  When I took out papers to run for the U.S. Senate in California, I figured I would probably have to give up blogging for this magazine.  I couldn't quite see what would be wrong with it, but it's just not something that's done at a respectable news organization …
Discussion: LA Observed
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.
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 …
Ellen Nakashima / Washington Post:
Dismantling of Saudi-CIA Web site illustrates need for clearer cyberwar policies  —  By early 2008, top U.S. military officials had become convinced that extremists planning attacks on American forces in Iraq were making use of a Web site set up by the Saudi government and the CIA to uncover terrorist plots in the kingdom.
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 More Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
Deal Near on Gitmo, Detainee Trials
Alexander Burns / The Politico:
Arizona exec. eyes McCain challenge
Collateral damage  —  Neither comrades nor spouses
Discussion: The Peking Duck
How I Ran an Ad on Fox News
Discussion: The Impolitic
New York Times:
German Diocese Ignored Abuse Warnings, Doctor Says
Dana Blanton / Fox News:
Fox News Poll: 55% Oppose Health Care Reform
Harry Kresky / The Huffington Post:
Words Matter: Voters to Get Fair Wording of California Open Primary Initiative
 Earlier Items: 
Jon Voight / Big Government:
Call to Arms: Join Me in DC Saturday to Stop ObamaCare
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Conrad drops support for North Dakota provision to avoid controversy
Coloradoan Online:
(2 of 2)  —  She also said state insurance exchanges included …
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Moving The Center  —  Matt Steinglass parses CNN's hiring …
Erin McPike / Hotline On Call:
Rules Panel Dem To Vote Against Bill