I’ll be around tonight to provide some commentary on the President’s Afghanistan speech. Some links, in the meantime:

• The DC City Council passed a same-sex marriage law today, one of two hurdles it would need to go into law. It’s expected to pass, and it’s unlikely that Congress would step in, as is their prerogative, to nullify it. Score another victory in the long struggle for gay rights.

• Meanwhile, in New Jersey, where a gay marriage law looked all but dead, top Democrats in the state are mobilizing to get the legislature to live up to their promises, and they may be succeeding – the state Senate Judiciary Committee may give it a vote.

• Not only did Tom Coburn say today that under health care reform, seniors would “die sooner,” he’s apparently proud of the quote, and denying any relationship to Alan Grayson’s “die quickly” comment that drove the news for about a week.

• Speaking of health care, is Susan Collins’ vote in play? Not if there’s a public option in the bill. Collins is “not a fan,” even of the litany of Tom Carper compromises.

• I had no idea that the Senate bill would end the gouging of the uninsured in ER visits. That sounds positive.

Hospitals would have to limit how much they charge low-income uninsured emergency patients to the lowest amount they receive from insured patients for the same services.

• Some background on Obama’s Afghanistan decision from Christina Bellatoni.

• As the US recognizes the election in Honduras, ousted President Mel Zelaya continues to refer to a state of crisis in the Central American nation. The State Department still wants the Honduran Congress to vote on the restoration of Zelaya to the Presidency until the end of his term, but that day is fast approaching. Zelaya said he would refuse reinstatement. Latin America is basically split on the issue. What a mess.

• Political news – Ed Markey became the latest to endorse Michael Capuano for US Senate in Massachusetts, offering hope that he can make up the big deficit he has against Attorney General Martha Coakley; and Democrats got their Senate candidate in North Carolina in Iraq war vet Cal Cunningham.

• Hawaii wants no part of the health care overhaul, instead requesting a waiver to keep their (mainly decent) state system in place.

• AIDS activists are not happy with the Obama Administration.

• Was Jesse Ventura silenced while under contract at MSNBC for three years because of his anti-Iraq War views?

• Some good news: US manufacturing is up for the fourth straight month.

• The read of the day: Roosevelt Understood the Power of a Public Option.

• Finally, the Romanian President slapped a boy in the face on the campaign trail, proving that old political adage, “don’t slap a boy in the face on the campaign trail.”

David Dayen

David Dayen

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