TPM News

Anderson Cooper, the master of the TV match-up, had on both terrorism "expert" and sharia alarmist Frank Gaffney and Suhail Khan, a board member of the Amercian Conservative Union whom Gaffney has accused of being an operative of Muslim jihadists.

Earlier this month, Gaffney took to World Net Daily to accuse Khan, a Republican who served in the second Bush administration, of being a jihadist infiltrator to the Conservative Political Action Conference. Gaffney said Khan was an operative of the Muslim Brotherhood, a catch-all group that no longer operates in the United States, but which Gaffney and others connect to prominent Muslim groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations and Muslims For America.

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Get ready for a lot of verbs, nouns and talk of 9/11: Rudy Giuliani says he's seriously considering another run at the White House. In an interview with CNBC's Larry Kudlow last night, Giuliani said he's "absolutely" open to a second bite at the presidential campaign apple, despite the spectacular failure of his highly-touted 2008 run.

"I will take a look at 2012. It's really a question of can I play a useful role? Would I have a chance at getting the nomination?" Giuliani told Kudlow. "Those are the things that I'll have to evaluate, you know, as the year goes along."

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Senate Democrats might not let Republicans' health care repeal efforts die quietly after all.

A top Democratic aide tells me that leadership staffers are considering ways to make Republicans take tough votes on popular elements of the bill, as Republicans figure out if and how they'll force a vote on full repeal.

Nothing's been finalized, including precisely how they'd go about it. But the point would be to turn a global health care repeal push into something more piecemeal -- should seniors pay back their $250 doughnut hole check? Should children with pre-existing conditions be stripped of insurance?

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Obama To Meet House Democrats At Retreat The Hill reports from the House Democratic Issues Conference in Maryland: "House Democrats are projecting a sense of unity with the White House, but President Obama's appearance here Friday at their annual retreat will be his first collective meeting with the caucus since lawmakers roundly rebuked his tax cut deal last month."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will host a reception for Mayors at 10:15 a.m. ET. He will depart from the White House at 10:50 a.m. ET, and depart from Andrews Air Force Base at 11:05 a.m. ET, arriving at 12:10 p.m. ET in Albany, New York. He will tour the General Electric Plant in Schenectady at 12:45 p.m. ET, and deliver remarks on the economy at 1:05 p.m. ET. He will depart from Albany at 2 p.m. ET, arriving at Andrews Air Force Base at 3:05 p.m. ET, and will arrive back at the White House 3:20 p.m. ET. He will depart the White House against 6:30 p.m. ET, and attend the Democratic Issues Conference at 7:30 p.m. ET in Cambridge, Maryland. He will arrive back at the White House at 9:45 p.m. ET.

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Some Louisiana residents have recently been attending firearms training sessions so they can carry concealed weapons into churches, in accordance with a law passed over last summer.

Back in July, Gov. Bobby Jindal signed a law that allows churches, mosques, and synagogues in Louisiana to establish a "security plan" for their constituents, permitting members of the congregation with concealed weapons permits to carry guns during services. Part of the law requires eight hours of tactical training with local law enforcement before someone can begin carrying inside a house of worship.

And now, it seems, members of Bossier Parish churches have begun to take up the state on its offer, purportedly so they can protect their fellow churchgoers in the event of some kind of an attack.

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In reclaiming the House last November, Republicans framed their victory as a clear mandate from the American people to scrap 'Obamacare.' A cursory scan of the polling data suggests they were right, with some polls pegging support for repeal as high as 60%.

Yet a closer examination of the numbers reveals that the claim is considerably overblown.

The primary problem with polling data on the issue is that surveys tend to oversimplify the debate. Many polls present respondents with just two options: repeal the whole shebang, or do nothing at all. What those polls fail to take into account is the fact that some parts of the law are widely popular, while others are disliked, and still others are unknown or misunderstood.

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by Dafna Linzer ProPublica, Jan. 20, 2011, 2:23 p.m.

Last August, President Obama's national security advisers, including Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, met in the White House situation room to decide whether and how to go forward with trials for some Guantanamo prisoners.

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Gay servicemembers aren't in the clear quite yet.

As the Pentagon begins its work to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, a process that is expected to take several months, a Republican congressman from California has introduced legislation that would likely delay the process.

Rep. Duncan Hunter's proposed bill would require the chief of staff of each military branch to sign off on repeal before it could be fully implemented. As the law currently stands, the President, the defense secretary and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff all have to certify that repeal will not hurt military readiness. After that, the policy can be officially repealed in 60 days.

Hunter calls it the "Restore Military Readiness Act."

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Police have taken a "large amount" of weapons and revoked a firearms license from a man in Arlington, Massachusetts, after investigating potentially threatening comments he made online, the Boston Globe reports.

Travis Corcoran, who owns the online comic book store heavyink.com, allegedly wrote "one down 534 to go," in reference to the mass shooting in Arizona, causing police to investigate whether he poses a real threat to lawmakers.

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The Progressive Change Campaign Committee will go live Saturday with a new TV ad, targeting Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) over his position on Social Security.

Graham's one of many Republicans withholding his vote to raise the country's debt ceiling unless the legislation is paired with significant spending cuts.

"I will not vote for the debt ceiling increase until I see a plan in place that will deal with our long-term debt obligations, starting with Social Security, a real bipartisan effort to make sure that Social Security stays solvent, adjusting the age, looking at means tests for benefits," Graham said on Meet the Press earlier this month.

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