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The Rundown

8 a.m. ET: The traditional narrative for any big Washington policy fight is typically Democrats vs. Republicans, or occasionally, "change" vs. "more of the same." But the increasingly heated debate over health care reform isn't quite breaking down along those lines yet, as the primary battles today are happening within the Democratic party.

The contours of a health care bill, particularly whether it should include a public plan or "option," Politico writes, "has touched off an increasingly fierce Democratic civil war on Capitol Hill." It appears likely there will be some sort of public option. Nancy Pelosi said on MSNBC Wednesday that no bill would pass the House without one, though the American Medical Association is opposed to the idea. The current debate is focused mostly on how the new health care system would work, and not as much on what will be an equally contentious issue -- who's going to pay for it. "To date, interest groups remain reluctant to appear intransigent and risk getting shut out of negotiations," the Los Angeles Times notes, but that will change soon as funding plans get clearer on the Hill.

President Obama will be in Green Bay this afternoon to hold a town hall meeting on health care. (Will he get a question on Brett Favre? Can he invoke some sort of emergency powers to force Favre to stay retired? We digress.) The event, Ceci Connolly writes, is designed to spotlight the Wisconsin town's smart health care practices and how other cities could become more effective and efficient by adopting similar strategies. On the other end of the spectrum, experts continue pointing at McAllen, Texas, as an illustration of how health care shouldn't work, following Atul Gawande's story on the subject in The New Yorker that has been the talk of the health care commentariat for several days. Ezra Klein jokes (we think) that "all health-care-related commentary must now, by law, include a reference" to Gawande's story.

As for Wednesday's tragic lead story -- the shooting at the Holocaust Memorial Museum -- there does seem to have emerged a political angle. Specifically, some liberal critics are pointing to the incident as evidence that the Department of Homeland Security's now-infamous report on "rightwing extremism" was prescient. The Washington Times points to the DHS report as evidence that "right-wing extremists have come under increased scrutiny" even before Wednesday's shooting. Allahpundit, meanwhile, couldn't resist pointing out that Obama counseled vigilance against anti-Semitism on the same day that Jeremiah Wright emerged to say he hasn't seen Obama because, "Them Jews aren't going to let him talk to me."

And on the 2012 front, Sarah Palin continues to get skepticism and/or scorn from the media for her "bungling" political organization. Flaws aside, The Fix says "Palin's appeal within the GOP is derived from the sense that she 'gets' the hopes, dreams and worries of the average Republican footsoldier." On a positive note, the Palins actually managed to get an apology of sorts out of David Letterman, who on Monday had made an off-color joke that seemed aimed at 14-year-old Willow Palin.

By Ben Pershing  |  June 11, 2009; 8:00 AM ET
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