TPM News

The feathers are flying in the political attacks over Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sue Lowden's declarations that people could control health care costs through the use of barter.

On Monday, Lowden doubled down on the barter idea. "Let's change the system and talk about what the possibilities are. I'm telling you that this works," Lowden said. "You know, before we all started having health care, in the olden days, our grandparents, they would bring a chicken to the doctor. They would say I'll paint your house."

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee rolled out its new satirical website, "Chickens For Checkups," in which readers can send a form letter to Lowden asking how they can find a doctor who would treat various olden-days ailments such as rickets, "ill humours," "the vapors" and others, in exchange for various types of livestock or even "indentured servitude." (Hat tip to Greg Sargent.)

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General James Jones will speak tonight at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy on America's relationship with Israel. Here are excerpts from his prepared remarks:

Since taking office, President Obama has pursued a two-state solution--a secure, Jewish state of Israel living side by side in peace and security with a viable and independent Palestinian state. This is in the United States' interest. It is in Israel's interest. It is in the Palestinians' interest. It is in the interest of the Arab countries, and, indeed, the world. Advancing this peace would also help prevent Iran from cynically shifting attention away from its failures to meet its obligations.

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House Republicans' top vote counter predicted today that if the Senate passes a bipartisan financial regulatory reform bill that mirrors a White House plan to impose stricter rules on Wall Street, his members will oppose it broadly.

"If this bill that emerges from the Senate is anything like what the Obama administration is talking about in terms of its idea of quote-unquote Wall Street regulation I don't see overwhelming support in the House on our side of the aisle, no," said Minority Whip Eric Cantor at a press event this evening, in response to a question from TPMDC.

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House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-IN), a potential presidential candidate, has waded into the Republican Senate primary in his home state to endorse former Sen. Dan Coats.

"Dan Coats' integrity and conservative record make him the best candidate for the job. Dan is a proven conservative leader who is trusted by Hoosiers," Pence said in a statement. "I know Dan Coats well and I have long admired his personal faith, his devotion to family and his service to the people of Indiana."

This puts Pence on the opposite side of many conservative activists, such as Red State's Erick Erickson, who are supporting state Sen. Marlin Stutzman, and who consider the Senator-turned-lobbyist Coats to be a Washington insider. But as Pence notes in his endorsement, he's known Coats for a long time.

President Obama said in an interview on CNBC today that the White House had no advance notice of or involvement in the SEC's civil fraud suit against Goldman Sachs.

"The SEC is an entirely independent agency that we have no day-to-day control over. And they never discussed with us anything with respect to the charge that would be brought. So this notion that somehow there would be any attempt to interfere in an independent agency is completely false," he said.

"We found out about it on CNBC," Obama smiled.

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Two of the hosts of a fundraiser for Ohio GOP gubernatorial candidate John Kasich have some interesting items on their resumes: One was a senior executive and top lobbyist for alleged Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford, while another is a former Bush administration official who threatened to fire a subordinate if he revealed to Congress the true cost of a major bill.

This afternoon, Washington's tony Capitol Hill Club was the scene of a fundraiser for Kasich, the former Ohio congressman who is the presumptive Republican nominee to take on the incumbent Democratic governor, Ted Strickland, this fall. According to an invitation obtained by TPMmuckraker, the 15-person host committee includes Jim Conzelman and Tom Scully.

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