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3:10 PM 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.
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Breaking: CBO releases the actual report; Update: Almost all $940 billion incurred in just six years; Update: Preliminary  —  It's much as advertised.  Thanks to its spending provisions mainly starting in 2014, the reconciliation bill combined with the Senate version has a total cost of $940 billion …
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 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 …
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.
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 …
Matthew Continetti / Weekly Standard:
Preliminary CBO Numbers Are In (BUMPED & UPDATED, 11:30 a.m.)
Discussion: Confederate Yankee
Fox News:
President Barack Obama Talks to Bret Baier About Health Care Reform Bill
Seth Leibsohn / The Corner on National Review Online:
Bret Baier — By: Seth Leibsohn
Discussion: Newsweek Blogs, Don Surber and Hot Air
Dave /
The Hill:
Stupak: Health fight has been ‘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” …
Domenico Montanaro /
FIRST THOUGHTS: START THE CLOCK  —  The CBO score is in... Do the numbers influence House Dems who voted against last year's House bill and also against the Stupak amendment?... NBC/WSJ poll finds that a third of the country knows “a lot” about the filibuster procedure... Jobs bill sent to Obama's desk …
Discussion: The Page
Jonathan Chait / The New Republic:
Health Care Pollyanna Update
Discussion: Ezra Klein and The Daily Dish
Jodi Jacobson /   Bart Stupak: I Don't Listen To Nuns
Jake Gibson / The Speakers Lobby:
Rep. Stupak Dismisses Letter from Nuns
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 …
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blog:
Lynch mobbed  —  Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) is a firm “no” on health care reform — in large measure because he opposes the idea of any kind of excise tax on Cadillac plans, even one that's delayed for years and years.  —  That's put Lynch a former ironworkers union official in Boston …
David Dayen / Firedoglake:
New Health Care Whip Count: 192 Yes, 208 No (205-210 with Leaners)  —  We're getting to an end game here, and so the counts will come fast and furious at this point.  I think that it's good to look at the count right when the CBO numbers have been released as a good baseline for the future.
Jay Fitzgerald / Boston Herald:
Stephen Lynch calls health care vote plan ‘disingenuous’
Andy Towle / Towleroad News #gay:
Photos, Report: Lt. Dan Choi and Cpt.  Jim Pietrangelo Arrested After Chaining Themselves to White House Fence in ‘DADT’ Protest  —  Developing...refresh for updates below...  (images via twitter)  —  According to Tweets from Robin McGehee at GetEqual (see stream below) …
Breaking: Choi Arrested at White House Gates
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:
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Has Rahm's assumption about progressives been vindicated?  —  Politico's Ben Smith yesterday suggested that one important aspect of Rahm Emanuel's health care strategy — to ignore the demands of progressives on the ground that they would fall into line at the end no matter what — has been vindicated.
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Yes, Rahm is Totally Vindicated
The Note:
GOP Doc Asks Pelosi: ‘Are you so arrogant ... ignorant ... incompetent?’  —  ABC's Z. Byron Wolf reports: Democrats might have themselves a health reform bill, but Republicans have doctors - way more doctors in Congress, anyway, than Democrats.  And they're steamed.
Las Vegas Now:
I-Team: DOJ Serves Subpoenas in Senator Ensign Investigation  —  LAS VEGAS — Nevada Senator John Ensign is in the crosshairs of a Department of Justice criminal investigation.  —  The criminal probe stems from a romantic affair Ensign had with the wife of his key staffer and close friend …
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 …
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Canceling the trip  —  The cancellation of President Obama's trip to Asia marks the full reversal of the strategy his presidency began with: Flooding the zone with policy, keeping the President out of the weeds.  —  The decision to cancel his trip may look like a sign of urgency but it's also …
Discussion: The Daily Dish and Swampland
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: Firedoglake
Michiko Kakutani / New York Times:
Texts Without Context  —  In his deliberately provocative — and deeply nihilistic — new book, “Reality Hunger,” the onetime novelist David Shields asserts that fiction “has never seemed less central to the culture's sense of itself.”  He says he's “bored by out-and-out fabrication …
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Washington Post:
Obama postpones overseas trip to focus on health-care debate  —  Bowing to public and private complaints from lawmakers, President Obama decided Thursday to delay his overseas trip to Indonesia and Australia so that he can be in Washington for the culmination of his year-long effort to pass health-care legislation.
Michelle Malkin:
The House vote on the Slaughter Solution: Update: Constitution-butchers prevail, 222-203  —  Photoshop credit: Big Fur Hat at and Applecross Media  —  You'll recall that House Republicans unveiled a resolution two days ago that would force a vote on the Slaughter Solution and call out the Deem-and-Pass-ocrats.
Discussion: Hot Air and Lawyers, Guns & Money
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.
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:
Discussion: Cato @ Liberty and Eschaton
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 More Items: 
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
AFL sees improvements, will back bill
Discussion: The Page
Big Journalism:
President Obama Promotes OFA Astroturf Campaign (with Bonus Plagiarism)
Christina Bellantoni / TPMDC:
From Holding Out To Whipping Health Care …
Discussion: Hullabaloo and Talking Points Memo
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
The 2012 Poll  —  For the third month in a row our look ahead …
Discussion: GOP 12 and TPMDC
Washington Times:
Obama surrenders gulf oil to Moscow
Pew Research Center:
Gloomy Americans Bash Congress, Are Divided on Obama
Discussion: The Swamp and Weekly Standard
 Earlier Items: 
Elizabeth Benjamin / The Daily Politics:
The Return Of Betsy McCaughey? (Updated)
Chris Ariens / TVNewser:
Ailes to the DC Staff: No More Shooting Inside the Tent
Wall Street Journal:
Madoff Was Beaten in Prison
Fred Barnes / Wall Street Journal:
The Health-Care Wars Are Only Beginning
Mark Jenkins / Central Florida News 13:
Homeowner Kills Attempted Robber In Driveway Shootout
Nicholas D. Kristof / New York Times:
Access, Access, Access  —  First, a question: When in American history …
Rob Hotakainen / Fresno Bee:
Field Poll: Campbell leads GOP Senate field; Boxer fades
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …