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12:05 PM ET, March 18, 2010


 Top Items: 
Carrie Budoff Brown / The Politico:
CBO numbers  —  House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) just released the first set of Congressional Budget Office numbers to reporters this morning.  —  The bill would cost $940 billion, and reduce the deficit by $130 billion over the first 10 years and $1.2 trillion in the second 10 years.
Ezra Klein:
CBO: Health-care reform bill cuts deficit by $1.3 trillion over 20 years, covers 95%  —  Washington has spent the past week or so waiting for the Congressional Budget Office to release its preliminary estimate of the Senate bill with the reconciliation fixes.
The Politico:
GOP plots Senate health roadblock  —  Democrats might like to think that health care reform is all but a done deal if it clears the House, but the Senate is where Republicans have been plotting for months to sentence it to a painful procedural death.  —  Republican aides have been mining …
The Hill:
CBO: Health package costs $940 billion; Hoyer says vote will come on Sunday  —  Democrats are lauding a CBO report that found their healthcare package will cut the deficit by $130 billion.  —  House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer hailed the figures from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office during …
Fox News:
Fate of Health Care Bill Rests on Looming Budget Office Estimate  —  The fate of the Democrats' health care reform effort hinges on a report expected Wednesday morning from the congressional budget scorekeepers — an estimate of what a follow-up bill could cost that already is running into trouble.
The Politico:
CBO releases health bill estimates  —  The Democratic health care bill would cost $940 billion over 10 years and cut the federal deficit over the next two decades — figures that should help ease the worries of fiscal hawks who have been reluctant about supporting the sweeping measure.
Health Care Bill to Cost $940B, Reduce Deficit by $100B in First 10 Years  —  House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer Confident of a Weekend Vote on Bill  —  The controversial health care bill that the House is slated to vote on this weekend will cost $940 billion over ten years and reduce …
Washington Post:
CBO: Health bill would cut $138 billion from deficit in 10 years  —  Congressional Democrats say the final version of their comprehensive health-care plan — set to be unveiled Thursday and likely to be voted on Sunday — would cut the federal deficit by $138 billion over the next decade and $1.2 trillion 10 years after that.
Discussion: Hit & Run
Matthew Continetti / Weekly Standard:   Preliminary CBO Numbers Are In (BUMPED & UPDATED, 11:30 a.m.)
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Waxman: CBO numbers ‘go a long way’ toward winning undecided votes
Discussion: The Page
The Note:
New Dawns: Glimmers of Sunlight on Democratic Horizons
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
Dem Source: CBO Says Health Bill Cuts Deficit, Costs $940 Billion
Fox News:
President Barack Obama Talks to Bret Baier About Health Care Reform Bill  —  This is a rush transcript of “Special Report With Bret Baier” from March 17, 2010.  This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.  —  BRET BAIER, “SPECIAL REPORT” HOST: Welcome to Washington.
Seth Leibsohn / The Corner on National Review Online:
Bret Baier — By: Seth Leibsohn  —  Bret Baier just concluded the single best interview of President Obama in a year, by any reporter.  He was resilient in the face of the president's obvious attempts to run down the clock by stonewalling; Bret continually hammered a series of questions …
Discussion: Don Surber and Pundit & Pundette
Dave /
PUZZLING STATEMENT: OBAMA SAYS ‘LOUISIANA PURCHASE’ WILL HELP WITH THE EARTHQUAKE IN HAWAII  —  Gateway Pundit: What earthquake in Hawaii?  In 1868 there was a major earthquake in Hawaii that killed 77 people.  In 1975 an earthquake in Hawaii killed 2 people.
Discussion: National Review
Jon Perr / Crooks and Liars:
Before Badgering Obama, Bret Baier Compared Bush to Lincoln
Discussion: and Gateway Pundit
The Hill:
Stupak: Health fight has been ‘a living hell’  —  Leading a revolt against President Barack Obama's healthcare legislation over abortion has been a “living hell” for Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.).  —  The telephone lines in his Washington and district offices have been “jammed” …
Jodi Jacobson /
Bart Stupak: “I Don't Listen To Nuns”
Jake Gibson / The Speakers Lobby:
Rep. Stupak Dismisses Letter from Nuns
Discussion: Think Progress
Jennifer Rubin / Commentary:
Don't Be Morose!  Get Even!  —  David Brooks says he's out on the ledge, morose, and about to have a “Howard Beale” moment.  Just last week he was telling us that Obama was a misunderstood moderate.  Now he confesses that Obama is aiding and abetting unlawfulness of the worst kind.  He explains:
Discussion: Pundit & Pundette
Is Passing the Health Care Bill Really a Bad Idea?
Discussion: RedState
Jeremy W. Peters / New York Times:
Steve Levy Plans Switch to G.O.P., Stirring Governor's Race  —  ALBANY — A governor's race that seemed all but settled is about to be upended again, by a popular Democrat from Long Island who is set to announce that he is switching parties.  The move is certain to excite Republican leaders pessimistic …
Glenn Thrush / The Politico:
Obama's pitch: Fate of presidency on the line  —  President Barack Obama had exhausted most of his health care reform arguments with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus during a White House meeting last Thursday when he made a more personal pitch that resonated with many skeptics in the room.
Pew Research Center:
Gloomy Americans Bash Congress, Are Divided on Obama  —  Health Care Reform - Can't Live With It, or Without It  —  As the day of reckoning for health care reform approaches, Americans have little to cheer about.  Nearly everyone (92%) gives the national economy a negative rating.
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Mark Silva / The Swamp:   ‘Gloomy’ America: Congress, Obama
Chris Ariens / TVNewser:
Ailes to the DC Staff: No More Shooting Inside the Tent  —  Fox News founder and chairman Roger Ailes dropped in to the Washington Bureau this afternoon for an impromptu talk to the troops ahead of tonight's RTCA dinner.  —  Sources inside the packed newsroom tell TVNewser Ailes started …
Elizabeth Benjamin / The Daily Politics:
The Return Of Betsy McCaughey?  (Updated)  —  Just when you thought things couldn't possibly get any weirder in NYS politics...  A reader who lives in Manhattan reports he received a poll call last night that appeared to be testing the viability of former LG Betsy McCaughey as a statewide candidate …
Nicholas D. Kristof / New York Times:
Access, Access, Access  —  First, a question: When in American history did life expectancy improve the most?  —  Was it the late 1800s, when anesthesia made surgery easier and far more common?  Was it the 1930s, when antibacterial medicines became available?  Or recent decades, when CAT scans and heart bypasses proliferated?
Rob Hotakainen / Fresno Bee:
Field Poll: Campbell leads GOP Senate field; Boxer fades  —  WASHINGTON - Former Rep. Tom Campbell has a six-point lead over his closest challenger in the three-way Republican primary to face Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, whose popularity has significantly eroded in the past two months, according to a Field Poll released today.
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Wall Street Journal:
Madoff Was Beaten in Prison  —  Ponzi Schemer Was Assaulted by Another Inmate in December; Officials Deny Incident  —  The Butner federal prison in July.  A man who served time with Bernard Madoff there says the financier gave him investment advice.  —  Bernard Madoff, who is serving …
Janet I. Tu / Seattle Times:
Walgreens: no new Medicaid patients as of April 16  —  Effective April 16, Walgreens drugstores across the state won't take any new Medicaid patients, saying that filling their prescriptions is a money-losing proposition — the latest development in an ongoing dispute over Medicaid reimbursement.
Michael Calderone / Michael Calderone's Blog:
NYT changes politics team; new roles for Zeleny, Bai, Rutenberg  —  With chief political correspondent Adam Nagourney heading off to run the Los Angeles bureau, the New York Times is taking the opportunity to switch things up on the politics desk.  —  But instead of one reporter filling Nagourney's shoes …
Discussion: Mediaite
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 More Items: 
Associated Press:
Biden mistakenly blesses Irish leader's mother
Gil Hoffman / Jerusalem Post:
Goldberg: Obama wants Livni in coalition
Washington Times:
Obama surrenders gulf oil to Moscow
Discussion: Atlas Shrugs
Wall Street Journal:
SEC Tried to Ease Curbs
Israel vows strong response to deadly Gaza rocket strike
Washington Post:
KSM's dispensable trial
Discussion: Main Justice and Emptywheel
Natasha Chart / Open Left:
He Took My Lunch Money, Or, Why Women Need Full Health Care
Discussion: TalkLeft
Blue Texan / Firedoglake:
Early Morning Swim: Markos Moulitsas and Lawrence O'Donnell Discuss …
Discussion: CNN and TalkLeft
 Earlier Items: 
Stephanie Strom / New York Times:
Army Sees Document Web Site as a Potential Threat
Discussion: Silicon Alley Insider
Mark Jenkins / Central Florida News 13:
Homeowner Kills Attempted Robber In Driveway Shootout
Driehaus against Senate health plan
Dave Itzkoff / ArtsBeat:
Alex Chilton, Rock Musician, Dies
Washington Post:
Al-Qaeda crippled as leaders stay in hiding, CIA chief says