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10:45 AM ET, March 18, 2010


 Top Items: 
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 …
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.
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 …
The Hill:
No CBO score released Wednesday; Saturday healthcare vote unlikely  —  House Democratic leaders on Wednesday night said the long-awaited Congressional Budget Office score of the reconciliation bill will not come out until Thursday, forcing an acknowledgement that a Saturday healthcare vote is likely off the table.
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.
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.
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
Dem Source: CBO Says Health Bill Cuts Deficit, Costs $940 Billion  —  They're here!  They're here!  —  A Democratic source provides TPM with the CBO's final top-line numbers on the health care reform bill—the cost-estimate of the Senate health care bill as amended by a soon-to-be-released reconciliation bill.
Discussion: Washington Monthly and AmSpecBlog
Perry Bacon Jr / Washington Post:
GOP lawmakers, candidates pledge to repeal health-care legislation
The Note:
New Dawns: Glimmers of Sunlight on Democratic Horizons
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.
Steve Krakauer / Mediaite:
Bret Baier Keeps Pres. Obama On Track In Combative Fox News Exclusive Interview
Seth Leibsohn / The Corner on National Review Online:
Bret Baier — By: Seth Leibsohn
Jon Perr / Crooks and Liars:
Before Badgering Obama, Bret Baier Compared Bush to Lincoln
Discussion: Gateway Pundit
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
Opinionator:   Is Passing the Health Care Bill Really a Bad Idea?
Fred Barnes / Wall Street Journal:
The Health-Care Wars Are Only Beginning
Discussion: NY Daily News and USA Today
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Bush, Clinton set to travel to Haiti  —  Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton will travel to Haiti next week as part of their relief efforts for the earthquake-stricken nation.  —  The two former presidents, who have administered a relief fund for the country after it suffered …
Discussion: CNN and D.C. Now
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Clinton, Bush Haiti-bound: $31 m so far  —  Remember Haiti?  —  Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush are working to ensure that the world doesn't forget the suffering that remains from a catastrophic earthquake.  —  The two plan to travel to Haiti on Monday, according to the Clinton Foundation.
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 …
Mark Jenkins / Central Florida News 13:
Homeowner Kills Attempted Robber In Driveway Shootout  —  OCOEE — An Orange County man is recovering after a shootout in front of his home.  —  It happened around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday in the 1800 block of Pomegranate Court.  —  Police said the homeowner, Dave Henry, had just returned home …
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: The Swamp and Weekly Standard
Elizabeth Benjamin / The Daily Politics:
The Return Of Betsy McCaughey?  —  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 for either governor or the US Senate.
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 …
Hasnain Kazim / Spiegel Online:
Germans Cringe at Hitler's Popularity in Pakistan  —  Germans are popular in India and Pakistan, but not always for the right reasons.  Many in South Asia have nothing but admiration for Adolf Hitler and still associate Germany with the Third Reich.  Everyday encounters with the love of all things Nazi makes German visitors cringe.
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.
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 …
Rosalind Helderman / Virginia Politics Blog:
Cuccinelli's office confirms Virginia will sue over health care  —  A spokesman for Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) said this afternoon that Virginia will file suit against the federal government if the Democratic health care reform bill is approved by the U.S. Congress.
Natasha Chart / Open Left:
He Took My Lunch Money, Or, Why Women Need Full Health Care  —  Once more, with feeling ...  I'm not the only woman in the country who once had a partner who took my paychecks and deposited them in an account that I had no access to; not by debit card, not by checkbook.
Discussion: TalkLeft
Dave Itzkoff / ArtsBeat:
Alex Chilton, Rock Musician, Dies  —  Alex Chilton of the rock band Big Star performed at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple last November.  —  Alex Chilton, the mercurial if influential rock musician, whose work spanned an eclectic gamut from the soul songs of the Box Tops to the multiple incarnations …
Washington Post:
Al-Qaeda crippled as leaders stay in hiding, CIA chief says  —  Relentless attacks against al-Qaeda in the Pakistan tribal region appear to have driven Osama bin Laden and other top leaders deeper into hiding, leaving the organization rudderless and incapable of planning sophisticated operations …
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 More Items: 
Jake Gibson / The Speakers Lobby:
Rep. Stupak Dismisses Letter from Nuns
Matt Apuzzo / Associated Press:
AP IMPACT: Gov't bank auditors got big bonuses
Discussion: Wonk Room
Devin Leonard / New York Times:
The Beat Goes Online, Minus the Glitz
Discussion: The Awl and Silicon Alley Insider
Blue Texan / Firedoglake:
Early Morning Swim: Markos Moulitsas and Lawrence O'Donnell Discuss …
Discussion: CNN and TalkLeft
Wall Street Journal:
Madoff Was Beaten in Prison
Discussion: Washington Post and TPMMuckraker
Idaho challenges national health care plan; more states may follow
Stephanie Strom / New York Times:
Army Sees Document Web Site as a Potential Threat
Discussion: Silicon Alley Insider
 Earlier Items: 
Nicholas D. Kristof / New York Times:
Access, Access, Access  —  First, a question: When in American history …
National Post:
Muslims seeking female clerk can ‘line up again’
Discussion: Jihad Watch
Lee Smith / Slate:
A Middle East Without American Influence?
Discussion: Commentary and Washington Post
Driehaus against Senate health plan
Silla Brush / The Hill:
Unions flex muscle with bank protests
Discussion: The Politico