TPM News

Former President George W. Bush has got a whole new gang. Goodbye, Condi, Cheney and Rumsfeld. Hello, Terry Bradshaw, Zig Ziglar and Rudy Giuliani.

Bradshaw, Ziglar and Giuliani are among the other featured speakers at an Oct. 26 "Get Motivated!" business seminar in Fort Worth, TX, where the former president will be the "special guest speaker." That won't be Bush's only Get Motivated appearance. See the full image promoting his Dec. 2 seminar here.

Read More →

President Barack Obama, who's in New York for a big DNC fundraiser, among other things, spoke a few minutes ago at the Joint Terrorism Task Force Headquarters. He told law enforcement officials there that "you should all be extremely proud" and that "the record of your service is written in the attacks that never occur."

"Obviously, you're not doing it for the glamor or the glory or the pay," Obama said. "You do it to serve and protect your country."

The president said that the U.S. is "making real progress" in its battle against al Qaeda and other extremists, and that while "no one can ever promise that there won't be another attack on American soil," "I will stay as focused on this mission as you are."

"I pledge to give all of you the tools and support you need to get the job done," Obama said, adding that "I'm going to continue to be standing behind you each and every step of the way."

President Barack Obama spoke on the phone today with both Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his main challenger Abdullah Abduallah. The White House issued a press release on the calls. The full text is below.

President Obama expressed his appreciation for President Karzai's decision to accept the certification of Afghanistan's first round election results, and to agree to a second round of voting. President Obama underscored that this decision was in the best interests of the Afghan people, and reiterated the ongoing United States commitment to an outcome that reflects the will of the Afghan people. President Obama also called Dr. Abdullah Abdullah to express appreciation for his constructive efforts.

President Obama received an update from Ambassador Einkenberry on developments related to the Afghan elections. President Obama thanked Ambassador Eikenberry and his team for their hard and exceptional work in recent days, and discussed his appreciation for Senator John Kerry's collaboration with the Ambassador.

The Congressional switchboards have been lighting up all day with health care supporters calling members through the Organizing for America call parties, and OFA is about to hit its second goal of 150,000 calls.

A staffer for Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) called to detail that office's experiences with the calls today, saying the volunteers offer a sample of varying perspectives on health care. Some are calling for a single-payer system, some are asking the Congresswoman to stand firm for a public option, while others are offering general support for President Obama's plan.

The staffer told TPMDC that more than 100 calls flooded in today. During a daily staff meeting they usually can have one person listen for the calls, but today they had to halt the meeting so a handful of aides could answer the phones.

"It's more calls in a single day than we've ever received on health care, and pales in comparison to efforts done by opponents. It's no small feat," the Schakowsky staffer told me. "It's definitely noticed and having an effect."

Work for a member of Congress? Is your phone ringing? Please share your stories with us.

Read More →

It has now been determined who it was on the Dede Scozzafava campaign, the moderate Republican in a three-way race with a Democrat and a Conservative Party candidate in NY-23 campaign, that called the police against Weekly Standard reporter John McCormack for following her and asking questions: Scozzafava's husband, Ron McDougall.

The Watertown Daily Times reports:

Ronald P. McDougall, shortly before 9 p.m., called county dispatchers from the Lowville Elks Lodge on Shady Avenue to request patrol for a nuisance report and hung up, according to a dispatch report of the incident. Upon a call back from dispatchers, Mr. McDougall identified himself and suggested the media was too close to his wife -- state Assemblywoman Dierdre K. Scozzafava, R-Gouverneur -- and that he was uncomfortable with a reporter.

"I think he was just pressing," village Police Chief Eric F. Fredenburg said of John McCormack, deputy online editor of the Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine.

For weeks now, Greg Sargent has been making the point that, though polling shows the public wants health care reform to be bipartisan, what it really shows is that people think bipartisanship is nice, they'd happily scotch it if that's what it takes to secure a public option.

That doesn't exactly square with the pronouncements of some conservative Democrats--particularly Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE)--who say bipartisanship is a crucial part of health care reform's legitimacy with the public. I caught up with Nelson earlier today and asked him to speak to the poll's findings.

"Well, there are different kinds of public options.... What was interesting in the poll numbers that I saw, that while there's support for public option generally, generically, when you start talking about it specifically as it relates to states being able to opt out or opt in, have their own, the support overwhelmingly goes up to 76 percent."

Read More →

Appearing on Hannity Monday night, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich promised that if health care reform passes, Republicans will make repealing it a major campaign issue in 2010 and 2012.

"Let me make a straightforward promise. These bills can't be implemented before 2013. If they pass a bill which is a disaster, the number one campaign issue in 2010 and 2012 is going to be repeal the bill," he said.

"We repealed the catastrophic health legislation that was a disaster. We can repeal this monstrosity. If they're determined to put something bad in the country, the country can rise up, defeat the people who do it and repeal it," he went on.

Video after the jump.

Read More →

Rep. Paul Hodes (D-NH) called today for the State Department to investigate the election in Afghanistan. In a press release, Hodes said:

Ensuring that the elections are free, fair, and accurate is essential to the security of our troops and the future of the region. I strongly urge Secretary Clinton and the State Department to fully investigate these allegations of fraud and ensure that the people of Afghanistan are governed by leaders that they, the Afghan people, have chosen.

Read More →

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid played coy on health care reform today, saying he hopes to get legislation to CBO "soon," and that he, along with other senators and White House officials, are "leaning toward talking about a public option."

But he did have one somewhat telling thing to say: "I've had a number of meetings in my office, dealing with Democrats and Republicans on the public option aspect of it...when the decision's made to send this on to the CBO, I will have made a decision as to what we're going to do with the public option. It's not done yet."

This confirms to some extent what I reported last week--that though Reid isn't taking members to task publicly for standing in the way of the public option, he's meeting with them behind the scenes. But it also show's that he's not willing to pose the question of the public option as starkly as is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who will ask the CBO to analyze different versions of the public option, and then employ those numbers to convince skeptics in her own party that the public option is the fiscally responsible course.

Reid, by contrast, says he will make the decision about the public option based on negotiations with his members and the White House, but won't use so blunt an object as a CBO analysis to pressure conservative Democrats to get on board.

What's the deal with conservatives saying they're going to contact law enforcement over their political opponents' latest outrage -- before turning out to apparently be full of it?

Last week, Rep. Sue Myrick's office told us that, despite her claims to have uncovered a plot by radical Islamists to use interns to infiltrate Capitol Hill, they hadn't actually gotten around to formally asking the authorities to investigate.

Read More →