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Just a week after White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel let a bunch of progressive groups know he thinks targeting conservative Democrats is "f@cking stupid," the campaign Health Care for America Now is expanding a television ad campaign to target a handful of key Blue Dogs and conservative Democrats in the Senate.



The ad will run for a week, starting today, in congressional districts represented by Reps. Jason Altmire (D-PA), Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD), and Rick Boucher (D-VA), and in New Mexico and Deleware, aimed at Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Tom Carper (D-DE). A version of it is also running in upstate New York, urging constituents to call their Congressmen to support reform.

We can add another name to the list of Republican officeholders who won't say that President Obama is a citizen, thus playing into the Birther movement: Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC).

McHenry was asked by a constituent at a town hall meeting whether he thinks Obama is a citizen. "I haven't seen enough evidence one way or the other," said Mchenry, who also added that the issue is being addressed "in the courts."

Late Update: McHenry's office has given this statement to Greg Sargent, backtracking and seeming to affirm that yes, Obama is an American:

"As I stated last night, I have not carefully reviewed the evidence as a jurist would. However, from what I have read, I have absolutely no reason to question President Obama's citizenship. I anticipate that as a legal matter the courts will continue to come to the same conclusion."

Betsey Wright, chief of staff to Bill Clinton when he was Arkansas governor and deputy chief of his 1992 presidential campaign, has been accused of trying to smuggle 48 tattoo needles in a Doritos bag into a death row prison.

An Arkansas court issued a warrant for Wright's arrest yesterday. She faces 51 felony counts of attempting to bring prohibited items into a prison. In addition to the needles, officers found a knife and box cutter, plus tweezers and another needle hidden inside a pen, among Wright's things on a May 22 visit to the prison in Grady, Ark.

Wright, an advocate for prisoners, will turn herself in next week, her lawyer said.

According to court documents, Wright said she found the Doritos bag at the bottom of a vending machine at the prison and thought she was getting a free bag of chips.

"I guess you don't get nothing free," she reportedly told officers.

Wright coined the famous "bimbo eruption" phrase when dismissing accusations of Clinton's alleged extramarital affairs. She is widely believed to be the inspiration for the Libby Holden character, played by Kathy Bates, in the movie Primary Colors.

Sarah Palin is sticking to her point about the death panels -- with footnotes!

In a new Facebook post entitled "Concerning the 'Death Panels,'" Palin further explores her insistence that the health care bill's provisions for voluntary counseling on end-of-life decisions constitutes a government plan to get rid of undesirable patients.

"With all due respect, it's misleading for the President to describe this section as an entirely voluntary provision that simply increases the information offered to Medicare recipients," Palin says. "The issue is the context in which that information is provided and the coercive effect these consultations will have in that context."

She later adds: "Is it any wonder that senior citizens might view such consultations as attempts to convince them to help reduce health care costs by accepting minimal end-of-life care?"

Note, however, that many of Palin's footnotes are to other people's statements of opinion, which in turn don't create anything that approximated Palin's original statement: "The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil."

So the real question for evaluating her statement, is whether counseling on end-of-life decisions -- which patients are not required to go through -- constitutes a "death panel" that would condemn a senior citizen or Palin's baby to death by depriving health care.

There might be one beneficiary of the flame war between Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) and Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA): Republican Pat Toomey.

Whomever wins the Democratic Senate primary in Pennsylvania next year will battle Toomey in the general election, and now, for the first time, Toomey shows a lead over both men. A Rasmussen telephone survey of likely voters, released today, shows 48 percent would vote Toomey, 36 Specter if the election were held today. Four percent opt for a third option, and 12 are not sure.

Specter's taken a beating in recent months for switching parties at a crucial political moment, and though he enjoys extremely wide name recognition, the attacks seem to be taking their toll. But the situation's no better for Sestak, who until recently was also beating Toomey. Toomey now has a 43-35 lead over Sestak, down from June, when Sestak enjoyed a six point lead over Toomey.

Report: Cheney Frustrated That Bush Went Soft, Didn't Follow His Advice The Washington Post reports that former Vice President Dick Cheney's upcoming memoirs will show a great sense of disappointment at former President George W. Bush -- that Bush didn't take his advice as much in the second term. "The implication was that Bush had gone soft on him, or rather Bush had hardened against Cheney's advice," said a participant at a recent gathering. "He'd showed an independence that Cheney didn't see coming. It was clear that Cheney's doctrine was cast-iron strength at all times -- never apologize, never explain -- and Bush moved toward the conciliatory."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will receive his routine daily briefings this morning. There are no scheduled public events.

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At Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill's Aug. 11 rally in Hillsboro, Mo.

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Thousands reportedly lined up for a town hall with Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) Aug. 10 in Clarkston, Ga.

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Outside Rep. Johnson's town hall.

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Security at the Johnson town hall.

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The crowd in Clarkston.

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In Clarkston.

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Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) held a town hall Aug. 10 in Chandler, Ariz.

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A reform opponent waves the American flag at Flake's town hall.

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Opponents and supporters of health care reform butt heads outside the town hall in Chandler.

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Rep. Flake brought the House bill, in white binders, with him to the town hall.

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Lining up at the mic.

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A packed town hall for Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA) Aug. 10 in Monterey, Calif.

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Singing at Farr's town hall.

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A reform opponent brandishes a sign in Monterey.

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A man holds a poster of President Obama as Adolf Hitler at Farr's town hall in Monterey.

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An argument breaks out before an event with Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) Aug. 11 in Alhambra, Calif.

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Thumbs down in Alhambra, Calif.

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A woman blocks the face of a man screaming at Schiff's meeting.

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"ObamaCare is Fishy" in Alhambra, Calif.

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Citizens were eager to ask questions to Schiff.

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Another argument in Alhambra.

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The "Hands Off My Health Care" bus parked outside Sen. Arlen Specter's (D-PA) event in Lebanon, Pa., Aug. 11. The bus is part of a tour paid for by Americans for Prosperity, an industry-backed anti-reform group.

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The AFP folks didn't get into the event, but protested outside.

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At Specter's meeting in Lebanon.

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A protester holds up a sign at Specter's event, one of the most heated of the week.

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A reform opponent gets up to yell at Specter.

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After speaking his piece, and almost getting into a fight, he is escorted out by police.

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A protester holds a sign outside a town hall with Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO).

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Protesters outside Sen. Claire McCaskill's (D-MO) town hall in Hillsboro, Mo.

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A health care reform advocate speaks at a town held held by Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA) in Santa Cruz, Calif.

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A woman strums a ukelele at Rep. Farr's town hall.

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A reform opponent shouts out at Rep. G.K. Butterfield's (D-NC) health care forum in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

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A reform supporter gets passionate at Butterfield's town hall.

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An unhappy audience member in Rocky Mount.

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At a Wednesday morning reception in the East Room of the White House, President Obama honored Justice Sonia Sotomayor, his first appointee to the Supreme Court and the now the first Hispanic member of the Court. "No words can adequately express what I am feeling,'' Sotomayor told the crowd, which included friends, family, members of Congress, and a few of her new colleagues on the Court.

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President Obama called Sotomayor's confirmation to the Court "another step toward that more perfect union that we all seek.''

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Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and First Lady Michelle Obama enter the reception.

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Sen. Leahy and Michelle Obama in the audience.

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at Wednesday's reception.

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Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens speaks to White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett.

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Via Taegan Goddard, Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) is currently sitting on a 13 point lead over Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) in the 2010 Pennsylvania Senate primary. A big lead, to be sure, but one that's dipping rather quickly. In June, Specter's lead was significantly greater. At the time, according to Rasmussen, Specter led Sestak 51-32--a 19 point margin.

Now, the spread is 47-34, meaning, among other things, that his support among Pennsylvania Democrats has dipped under 50 percent for the first time since he switched parties.

According to Rasmussen, "Among voters who favor the congressional health care plan, Specter leads 55% to 26%. However, among those who oppose the plan, Sestak leads 61% to 25%." It's unclear how this divide emerged, but since support for reform among Democrats in the state is around 70 percent, don't be surprised if you see both candidates try to stake out the reformer position on health care.

Check out this new Web ad from Gov. Jon Corzine (D-NJ), which attacks his Republican opponent Chris Christie for discussing a possible gubernatorial bid with none other than Karl Rove when Christie was a U.S. Attorney:



This is now just a Web ad -- but don't be surprised if Rove shows up in a TV ad some time in the future, with the same or similar scary music.

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