TPM News

Universal health care advocates called on President Obama and progressives in Congress the scrap both reform bills on Capitol Hill and "start from scratch" on a bill that creates single payer coverage for all Americans at at press conference today. They specifically aimed fire at Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who they called too weak to vote no on the Senate health care reform package they say doesn't go far enough.

Russell Mokhiber, the president of Single Payer Action, said he had "low expectations" that Sanders would vote to stop the bill his group says is nothing more than a "bailout for health insurance companies."

"We have had a history of fighters in the Senate," Mokhiber said today. "Bernie Sanders is apparently not that."

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Earlier this month, Republican and Democratic deficit hawks in the Senate, led by Kent Conrad issued a veiled threat to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: let us set up an entitlement-reform commission to address budget deficits, or we'll kill annual legislation raising the country's debt ceiling.

That may sound like a bunch of jargon, but loosely translated it means they want to get their hands on Social Security and they're willing to let America default on its debt, potentially unleashing economic catastrophe, if they don't get their way.

That has touched off a game of chicken as Congress counts down to the new year. Though she's somewhat handcuffed by Blue Dogs, who could join Republicans in forcing legislation calling for such a commission through the House, Pelosi is adamantly opposed to the idea. One side or the other will have to budge. For her part, Pelosi will have progressive organizations on her side.

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The Marco Rubio campaign has now posted a very interesting YouTube video, in which the conservative insurgent candidate for Senate wins the praise of a notable right-wing activist and Florida resident: Rush Limbaugh.

"I like Rubio," said Limbaugh, in a guest appearance on a local Florida radio show. "I've never met him, nor have I met Crist, but I know that there's a sea change brewing and effervescing in this country."

And Limbaugh took aim at Charlie Crist's provocative insistence that he's a conservative, and Crist's ridicule of his detractors: "I noticed that Crist is out there now, 'Hey what do you mean, who says I'm not conservative? I'm pro-life, I'm pro-gun, well I don't know what more I have to be, except angry.' That's not gonna sit well."

It's the question on literally every mind in America today: what are the chances Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck could run on the same presidential ticket in 2012? Finally Fox & Friends's intrepid Gretchen Carlson stepped up and posed the question to Sarah Palin herself.

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Lou Dobbs is looking at any number of possibilities for a political career, such as running for Senator from New Jersey, or even the presidency. And he would of course be running on a signature issue of...his great friendship with the Latino community, and support for amnesty for illegal immigrants, and a path to citizenship???

This does seem quite odd, for a man who made his career denouncing illegal immigrants for several years on his CNN show. But as the Wall Street Journal points out:

In a little-noticed interview Friday, Mr. Dobbs told Spanish-language network Telemundo he now supports a plan to legalize millions of undocumented workers, a stance he long lambasted as an unfair "amnesty."

"Whatever you have thought of me in the past, I can tell you right now that I am one of your greatest friends and I mean for us to work together," he said in a live interview with Telemundo's Maria Celeste.

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When the Obama Administration argued in a filing earlier this month that the Supreme Court should not consider an appeal by Don Siegelman, the former Alabama governor wasn't surprised, even though the Obama filing maintained the Bush-era stance in Siegelman's controversial corruption case.

"There's really been no substantial change in the heart of the Department of Justice from the Bush-Rove Department of Justice," Siegelman tells TPMmuckraker in an interview.

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This past Saturday, at the beginning of a marathon health care debate, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took a pot shot at Washington Post columnist, and liberal bête noir David Broder.

"To focus on a man who has been retired for many years and writes a column once in a while is not where we should be," Reid said.

Well now Broder, typically not much one for diving into the mud, is hitting back.

"I hope he's more accurate about the [health care] bill than he is about me," Broder told Politico. "And I'm not retired."

Broder didn't limit his critique to Reid's accuracy, and hammered the Nevada senator for his parochial approach to leadership.

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The White House this afternoon will be releasing more names of visitors who came through the gates at Pennsylvania Avenue this year.

Last month the administration for the first time offered citizens a look at names - requested by watchdog groups and press - and starting at the end of this year they will release every name.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters in his morning gaggle this morning there are about 1,600 names on this list that covers requests before Sept. 15.

The names would normally come out at the end of the day the last Friday of the month. They are being posted at early due to the holiday.

President Obama will address the nation from West Point Military Academy at 8 p.m. Tuesday to explain his decision on sending more troops to Afghanistan, Robert Gibbs told reporters in his morning gaggle.