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Obama agenda: Wed. speech preview

The New York Times: "President Obama this week will begin a climactic push to rally restive Congressional Democrats to pass major health care legislation by hammering the argument that the costs of failure will be higher insurance premiums and lost coverage for individuals and businesses… Mr. Obama on Wednesday 'will talk about the merits of the legislation, mainly about the costs of doing nothing versus the cost of doing something and what this will accomplish,' said his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel." 

"Obama will discuss both the 'process and policy' of his plan during a speech that he will deliver somewhere in the Washington, D.C., area, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday," Roll Call adds. "Gibbs said Obama has 'absolutely' been involved in crafting a final proposal since last week's bipartisan health care summit. He said Obama will post his revised plan -- which will not be in legislative form and which will be smaller than the House bill -- on the White House Web site that day." 

Obama's Organizing for America is running a full-page ad in USA Today pledging support for members of Congress who vote for health reform. OFA says it's pledging "over 8 million hours to support members of Congress who fight for real health reform."

Palace intrigue, courtesy of the Washington Post: "Rahm Emanuel is officially a Washington caricature. He's the town's resident leviathan, a bullying, bruising White House chief of staff who is a prime target for the failings of the Obama administration. But a contrarian narrative is emerging: Emanuel is a force of political reason within the White House and could have helped the administration avoid its current bind if the president had heeded his advice on some of the most sensitive subjects of the year: health-care reform, jobs and trying alleged terrorists in civilian courts."

"The right to bear arms is back before the Supreme Court. This time the focus is on handgun bans in Chicago and one of its suburbs," AP writes. "The justices were hearing arguments Tuesday in a case that asks them to extend their 2008 decision striking down a Washington, D.C., gun ban to state and local laws."