By Mark Memmott

Good morning.

As the day gets going, there's more news about the efforts in Washington to "overhaul" the nation's health care system. On Morning Edition just a short time ago, Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa told co-host Steve Inskeep that a bipartisan group of top Senate lawmakers is "on the edge" of getting a compromise bill done by this weekend. They're "almost there," Grassley said.

And, Grassley counseled his fellow Republicans to think "about what you're doing right for the country and not just what's right for your political party." In other words: Don't just use the health care debate to hurt Democratic President Barack Obama politically.

Here's Steve's conversation with the senator:

The Washington Post, meanwhile, summarizes the health care news this way:

An emerging consensus among a bipartisan group of senators is poised to shift the dynamic in the congressional debate over health-care reform and could lead to a final product that sheds many of the priorities that President Obama has emphasized and that have drawn GOP attacks.

Obama will again be out touting his health care ideas today, at town hall meetings in Raleigh, N.C., and Bristow, Va.

Among the other news making headlines:

-- BBC News -- Blast Rocks Civil Guard Barracks In Spain: "A car bomb has exploded in the northern Spanish city of Burgos. The blast tore the front off a high-rise barracks of the paramilitary Civil Guard, injuring 46 people, mainly with flying glass. Police blamed the attack, which took place at around 4:30 (a.m.) local time on the Basque separatists Eta."

Related story by The Associated Press -- Attack "Wounds Dozens."

-- The Wall Street Journal -- "Microsoft, Yahoo Near Search Deal": "Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp. are close to sealing an Internet-search partnership, said people familiar with the matter, ending a protracted dance and uniting the rivals against Google Inc."

Related post at All Things Digital: "Microsoft-Yahoo Deal Struck -- Will Be Announced Within Next 24 Hours."

-- NPR News -- "NPR Poll Finds Tough Sledding For Obama": "President Obama has hit a rough patch this summer, squeezed between a lingering recession and rising questions about the health care overhaul he has made the centerpiece of his first-year agenda. The nation is close to evenly split in its assessment of the president's policies to date, and there is great intensity on both sides of the debate with dwindling numbers in the middle. Those are the chief findings of the latest NPR poll of registered voters conducted nationwide Wednesday through Sunday by a bipartisan team. The pollsters found 53% approving of the president's handling of his job, while 42% disapproved -- the narrowest gap of the Obama presidency to date. ... But if the president saw his numbers down, Congress fared far worse, with just 7% saying they approved strongly and 25% saying they approved somewhat. A 61% majority said they disapproved of Congress, with 2 out of 3 of them doing so strongly."

Related report on Morning Edition -- Health Care Is Particularly Tough To Sell:

-- The Wall Street Journal -- "Napolitano To Unveil New Anti-terror Plans": "Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is expected to outline Wednesday the Obama administration's domestic approach to preventing terrorist attacks -- a strategy that will rely in large measure on refining and expanding initiatives launched under President George W. Bush."

-- CNN's Larry King Live -- Colin Powell Says He's Been Profiled, But Prof. Gates Should Have Taken It Easy:

Related story by ABC News -- "Harvard Prof. Gates Is Half-Irish, Related To Cop Who Arrested Him."

-- The Associated Press -- Ireland Agrees To Take Two Guantanamo Detainees: "Ireland has agreed to accept two inmates from the Guantanamo prison camp in Cuba, Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern announced Wednesday. Ahern said the two men belong to a group of about 50 inmates who are 'no longer regarded as posing a threat to security but who cannot return to their own countries.' He declined to identify them, but other officials confirmed that both are from Uzbekistan and seized in neighboring Afghanistan in bitterly disputed circumstances."

categories: Morning Roundup

7:45 - July 29, 2009