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Marcia Angell, M.D., is one of the nation's most well-respected experts on health care issues. And with good reason. A board-certified pathologist who also trained in internal medicine, she's a former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine and senior lecturer at Harvard Medical School. Her writing credits include The Truth About Drug Companies and an award-winning article at TNR on the same subject.

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Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). To read and subscribe to MERIA, GLORIA articles, or to order books.To see or subscribe to his blog, Rubin Reports. When John Wilkes Booth opened fire on President Abraham Lincoln in Ford’s Theatre in April 1865, the media was puzzled.

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Matthew Continetti's editorial in last week's issue of the Weekly Standard--"The Inevitability Myth: Health care reform is not a fait accompli"--makes the case that, despite all evidence, health care reform may not be enacted after all. (Continetti does concede that "the chances of some sort of health bill passing, at some point, are by no means negligible." So he's telling us there's a chance.) This sort of argument is actually the signature style of the Standard. A magazine like National Review specializes in making the case for conservative ideas.

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Jacob S. Hacker is the Stanley B. Resor Professor of Political Science at Yale University, author of The Great Risk Shift: The New Economic Insecurity and the Decline of the American Dream, and an occasional contributor to The Treatment. Diane Archer is the director of the Health Care Project at the Institute for America's Future and the founder and past president of the Medicare Rights Center. How short memories are in Washington.

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Almost three decades ago, a group of radical Islamist students, dressed in army fatigues or covered in scarves and black chadors, forced their way into the American embassy in Tehran. According to some accounts, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, then a student at a second-tier technical college in Tehran, was invited to join the hostage takers. He declined, saying he would join only if they would also occupy the Soviet embassy in Tehran.

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Politico owner Robert Allbritton is planning to launch a local Washington D.C news website, TNR has learned. In his most direct challenge to The Washington Post since launching Politico, Allbritton is putting former Washingtonpost.com editor Jim Brady in charge of the new Metro site, sources said. Details are still emerging, but this is what I've learned so far: The new site will feature a mix of original reporting, aggregation, and GPS-map features. The site will cover D.C and the suburbs, and echo Politico's aggressive, scoop-oriented focus. Allbritton's spokesperson couldn't be reached.

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Washington Post opinion page editor Fred Hiatt frets that health care reform will likely be counterproductive. Hiatt argues that Congress is afraid to do the two most potentially effective reforms, changing the tax treatment of health care and creating an independent panel to control Medicare spending: From the start, the Obama administration has said that health-care reform has to make health care both more accessible and less costly .

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New York magazine's Vulture demonstrates that it is no longer possible to be ironic when it comes to Broadway: A little over a year ago, this Vulture editor wrote a silly comic for New York's 2008 Fall Preview issue imagining Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes's life in Manhattan during the time she was performing in Broadway's All My Sons. In said comic's last panel, Tom made his own stage debut in Cocktail: the Musical, a made-up show we thought was so stupid-seeming that no producer could ever pitch it to backers with a straight face. Oops!

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Just when you had recovered from Rick Santelli's infamous rant on CNBC, TNR senior editor Jonathan Chait offers his own tirade. Except this time, the target is Santelli himself.

Trigger Unhappy

Jacob S. Hacker is the Stanley B. Resor Professor of Political Science at Yale University. An expert on the politics of U.S. health and social policy, he is author, coauthor, or editor of numerous books and articles, both scholarly and popular, including The Great Risk Shift: The New Economic Insecurity and the Decline of the American Dream (2006; paperback, January 2008) and Health At Risk: America’s Ailing Health System and How to Heal It (2008). As closed-door discussions continue in the Senate, the idea of triggering the public health insurance option is once again on the table.

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