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In advance of President Obama's State Of The Union address tonight, Gallup polled the country to gauge America's take on the the state of things one year after Obama took office. What Gallup found was a nation collectively shrugging its shoulders, saying "M'eh."

About a fourth of Americans are "satisfied with the way things are going in the United States," according to the poll released this evening. That's up from 13% of Americans who told Gallup the same thing in January of last year. But 76% percent of respondents this week said they were dissatisfied, a big increase over the 57% dissatisfaction average Gallup has recorded since 1976.

There have been slight upticks in the national feeling about the economy and in the number of Americans who say their company is hiring since this time in 2009. Overall, though, the country is still in a funk over the national economy and Obama's performance in office.

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They declared their independence from health care, decried socialized medicine and said health care reform would be much simpler with Rep. Michele Bachmann's 32-page bill.

Conservative Republicans at first billed their new "Declaration of Health Care Independence" rollout as a sort of sequel to the Bachmann "House Call" rally that attracted thousands of tea partiers last fall. But with fewer than 50 people including reporters in the room, it didn't match up.

The smaller venue and muted message was thanks in part because a similarly massive event wasn't possible from a security standpoint for a day when President Obama would be giving an address to a joint session of Congress.

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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who is facing a challenge in the Democratic primary by former Rep. Harold Ford (D-TN), is already using tonight's State of the Union address to take a shot at her rival.

Gillibrand posted this on Twitter: "Looking forward to the #SOTU tonight. If HF were here, he would probably be sitting on the Republican side."

The really funny part about all of this is that when Gillibrand was appointed to the Senate a year ago, the conventional wisdom was that she would face a Democratic primary challenge on the grounds that she allegedly wasn't progressive enough. But since then, one potential liberal challenger after another has bowed out of the race, thanks in part to pressure from the White House and the Democratic establishment. And her new challenger, Ford, is a former chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, who talked up his pro-life, pro-gun and anti-gay marriage credentials when he ran for Senate in Tennessee back in 2006.

A new survey by Public Policy Polling (D) shows that Rep. John Spratt (D-SC), a 14-term Democrat from a district that has reliably voted Republican for president, is facing a tough fight this year.

Spratt was tested against two Republican candidates, and comes in under the 50-percent support mark in each match. He leads state Sen. Mick Mulvaney by 46%-39%, and leads college professor and 2008 nominee Albert Spencer by 46%-37%. President Obama's approval rating in the district is 46%, to 49% disapproval, while Spratt's own approval numbers are at 41%-42%. The margin of error is ±4%.

"John Spratt is going to have to fight for reelection but he's in better shape than a lot of southern Democrats in conservative districts," said PPP president Dean Debnam, in the polling memo. "Most of his constituents still see him as a centrist, even as they see his Congressional Democratic brethren as too liberal."

Politico is reporting that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pursuing a dual-track strategy for health care reform.

"We believe that it's possible to have comprehensive health care reform as we go forward, but at the same time, it can be on another track where some things can just be passed outside of that legislation, and we'll be doing both," Pelosi said.

But what exactly does that mean? A top House aide clarifies.

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While initial media reports (including on TPM) described the episode at Sen. Mary Landrieu's New Orleans office as an attempted bugging, that term does not appear in the affidavit and the lawyer for one of the charged men tells TPMmuckraker, "the complaint is not about a wiretap."

It's still a mystery what exactly filmmaker James O'Keefe and his companions intended to do when they allegedly arrived at Landrieu's office. But the accurate way to describe what allegedly happened would be attempted phone tampering.

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The so-called purity test touted by some in the Republican party as a way to ensure they field conservative candidates hit a major hurdle today. The Republican National Committee's State Chairman's Committee voted unanimously to oppose a purity resolution that some members of the GOP wanted to use to decide whether candidates culd get party funding, CNN is reporting.

The chairman's committee rejected a resolution requiring that GOP candidates to prove they hold conservative positions on eight out of ten key conservative positions, such as opposing President Obama on health care and the stimulus, in order to receive RNC funding.

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