TPM News

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) told reporters today that Democrats should take a "breather" on health care reform, the Associated Press reports.

Democrats should "maybe take a breather for a month, six weeks" and focus on other issues, Dodd said today.

Yesterday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said President Obama wants to let the "dust settle" in Congress after Sen.-elect Scott Brown (R-MA) won a special election.

"There's plenty of work for the president to do in the meantime," Gibbs said.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee announced today that it raised $43.6 million in 2009 -- $2.4 million more than its GOP counterpart -- and has $12.5 million in the bank -- $4.3 million more than the NRSC.

DSCC Executive Director J.B. Poersch made this statement about the numbers:

"Even with the continued economic problems, Democrats around the country are united and pro-active heading into the election year. Republicans continue to choose obstructionism and delay over getting America back on track, and that is a losing strategy. Rest assured that the DSCC will be quick and aggressive in drawing distinctions between the two parties and will work tirelessly in the months ahead to raise the funds necessary to maintain and expand our Democratic majority in the Senate."

Sen.-elect Scott Brown's (R-MA) victory in Massachusetts has got some members of the media so worked up, it's affecting their math skills, or at least their common sense.

Since Tuesday's election, we've seen or heard reports of media outlets stating that Brown's election cost Democrats their "majority" or shifted the balance of power in Congress. Now, we haven't been in a math class in years, but last we checked 59 was greater than 41.

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Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) tells TPMDC that Sen. Arlen Specter's eyebrow-raising suggestion that Rep. Michele Bachmann should "act like a lady" was "unacceptable."

"I've been with Michele Bachmann on TV before a couple of times, and she overrides, but you know what, it's a debate of ideas and it doesn't have to be a sideshow," Sestak said in an interview today. "You just don't treat someone that way. Those kinds of words are unacceptable."

As we reported yesterday, Specter was testy with Bachmann (R-MN) during a Pennsylvania radio show.

"I'll treat you like a lady, so act like one," Specter said. "Now wait a minute, don't interrupt me. I didn't interrupt you. Act like a lady."

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Erroll Southers, President Obama's pick to lead the Transportation Security Administration before withdrawing this week, said today that he withdrew his nomination because he "had become a political lightning rod for the unionization issue."

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) had blocked Souther's confirmation, delaying his appointment for months.

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An ex-military man with ties to the Tea Party and militia movements has been charged in separate complaints with raping a minor and with possessing an unregistered grenade launcher.

Charles Dyer, a former U.S. Marine who served in Iraq, was arrested January 12 in Oklahoma on the rape charge. A child had told sexual-abuse experts about a January 2nd incident at Dyer's home.

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Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), who is in the middle of serving only her second term, has definitely become a national star of the GOP. She has three different campaign stops coming up in the next few weeks, which are outside both the Washington area and her own district in Minnesota.

Bachmann's newest out-of-state trip is an event on January 28 in California, with the Lincoln Club of Orange County. The group has previously hosted such high-profile Republicans as Rudy Giuliani, Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, George W. Bush and Norm Coleman. And now Michele Bachmann is included in those same ranks.

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The National Republican Senatorial Committee announced its December fundraising numbers today, reporting $4.1 million raised last month, $41.2 million total raised last year, $8.3 million on hand and no debt.

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), chair of the NRSC, released the following statement:

"Earlier this week, Massachusetts voters sent a clear message to the nation in favor of fiscal responsibility and checks-and-balances in Washington. It has never been more important for our leaders in Washington to restore accountability and re-gain the trust of voters, and the NRSC has been fortunate over the last year as this message has clearly energized our fundraising and recruiting efforts. I am deeply grateful for the strong and continued support from voters nationwide, and I am proud of the progress that we made in 2009. Moving forward into 2010, we are well-positioned to build on our Republican victory in Massachusetts and ensure that our candidates have the resources they need to run and win in November."

Last night, Stephen Colbert ripped the dueling claims of conservative pundits who are simultaneously ripping Presidnet Obama for destroying America and for getting nothing done.

Colbert rationalizes that there must be two Obamas working at these seemingly disparate goals!

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The chief spokesman for Gov. David Paterson's (D-NY) re-election campaign, Tracy Sefl, resigned today, reports the New York Post.

Sefl said in a statement, "My decision is a business one.''

"It has been a privilege to work with the governor over the past year ... I wish him and his team -- both at the campaign and inside the Executive Chamber-- much success," she said.

The Paterson campaign has suffered several blows in the past few months.

Last week, Paterson's likely Democratic rival, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, announced that he has raised $16 million -- compared to Paterson's $3 million.

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