TPM News

Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) spoke to the Iowa Republican Party last night, and thanked God for his blessings in life.

"Thank you, Lord, for my red-hot, smokin' wife," said Pawlenty -- a quote from the movie Talladega Nights, a Will Ferrell comedy about an idiotic NASCAR driver.

"I think she appreciates that line. I talked to her about it and she's OK with it," Pawlenty later told a reporter. "She knows it's in fun. I mean it sincerely, I think she is hot."

Late Update: Here's the video:

"Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated," Fort Lauderdale attorney Scott Rothstein told the Miami Herald Sunday in a brief interview.

Rothstein, who has been accused of orchestrating a fraud that cost investors as much as hundreds of millions of dollars, spoke to the newspaper from an undisclosed location in south Florida, his first public comments since returning from Morocco last week.

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This morning's lesson: In politics, money can buy you love.

The Club For Growth, a key player in the GOP conservative-vs.-moderate drama unfolding across the country, endorsed Marco Rubio in the Florida senate race. Rubio has long espoused the values of the Club, but it had declined to publicly back him against Gov. Charlie Crist in the GOP primary after early fundraising numbers showed Rubio sputtering out against Crist's legendary money machine. But that was before declining poll numbers and the conservative anger at Crist's support of President Obama's stimulus package pushed Rubio into the national spotlight. Crist's fundraising has declined, while Rubio's has grown at an exponential pace. That, it seems, has pushed the Club For Growth off the fence in Florida and squarely into the Rubio camp.

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House Democrats have a lot to be smiling about, but they'll also likely be sitting on their thumbs for the next several weeks. After they passed a historic health care bill over the weekend, all eyes turned to the Senate, and specifically to Majority Leader Harry Reid, whose health care bill still hasn't been unveiled.

The White House is still pushing for Congress to complete action on health care by years-end--last week White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel conveyed that message to Reid directly--but before that can happen, members want to see the bill, and before that can happen, the CBO has to weigh in on the package Reid sent their way last month.

There's some speculation that CBO numbers could be available by the end of the week, but no guarantees, and members will almost certainly be back in their states for Veterans Day before anything official comes down the pipe.

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The Washington Times had a major shakeup in top management last night, with three executives leaving the company. TPM has also learned that Executive Editor John Solomon, hired in January 2008, may also be leaving the newspaper.

Solomon declined to comment this morning when reached by TPMDC.

Solomon, who was hired away from the Washington Post and spent more than a decade with the Associated Press, could not be reached for comment today, but two newsroom sources said they expect him to resign.

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Obama To Meet With Netanyahu President Obama is meeting today with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a meeting that comes amidst difficulties over Middle East peace talks and disputes over Israeli settlements. Netanyahu told reporters on Sunday: "We are ready to talk and the Palestinians aren't. It's as simple as that."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will spend the morning in his regular meetings and briefings. At 6:45 p.m. ET, he will sign the Veterans Employment Initiative Executive Order. At 7 p.m. ET, he will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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President Obama spoke in the Rose Garden Sunday afternoon, one night after the passage of the House Democrats' health care reform bill. Read full coverage of the bill's passage here. He also talked about progress in Iraq.

Good afternoon, everybody. I just want to say a few words about two milestones that have passed in the last few hours that represent encouraging progress for our country.

The first was the historic vote the House took last night on health insurance reform. For years we've been told that this couldn't be done. After all, neither chamber of Congress has been able to pass a comprehensive health insurance reform bill for generations. But last night the House proved differently.

The Affordable Health Care for America Act is a piece of legislation that will provide stability and security for Americans who have insurance; quality, affordable options for those who don't; and bring down the cost of health care for families, businesses, and our government, while strengthening the financial health of Medicare. It is legislation that is fully paid for and it will reduce our long-term federal deficit.

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Rep. Joseph Cao (R-LA), the lone GOP vote for the House health reform bill that passed late last night, has responded to RNC Chairman Michael Steele's warnings about stepping outside of party lines. (WATCH Steele: "We'll come after you.")

Cao told CNN that Steele retains "the right to come after those members who do not conform to party lines, but I would hope that he would work with us in order to adjust to the needs of the district and to hold a seat that the Republican party would need." He represents the second congressional district of Louisiana, a solidly Democratic district that includes New Orleans. Cao said earlier today that he put the needs of his district over what was popular with his own party.

Cao's opponent was former Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA), who was under indictment on corruption charges at the time of the election, widely seen as the sole reason the Republican was able to triumph in this specific district. His unique victory was celebrated by Steele and other GOP leaders, a fact which the young lawmaker is not letting party leadership soon forget.

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President Obama today said "millions of Americans whose lives will change" when health care reform finally becomes law are grateful to the House for passing a sweeping overhaul bill late last night.

"Given the heated and often misleading rhetoric," Obama said during a brief statement in the Rose Garden, he wanted to recognize the "courageous vote" and add his own gratitude to the House "for taking us this far."

Obama, who spent the night at the Camp David presidential retreat, said he'd called a Montana woman this morning to thank her for telling him about her health care struggle, telling her that the bill pass in part because of her willingness to share her story.

He lauded "extraordinary activism" of those fighting for health care, as his campaign arm Organizing for America put together thank-you welcoming parties for supportive lawmakers as they arrived at their home airports today.

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Cao: Health Care Vote Was Proper Decision For My District Appearing on State of the Union, Rep. Joseph Cao (R-LA) explained his vote for the House health care bill. "I felt last night's decision was the proper decision for my district even though it was not the popular decision for my party," said Cao, also adding: "A lot of my constituents are uninsured, a lot of them are poor. It was the right decision for the people of my district."

Graham: House Health Care Bill 'Dead On Arrival' In Senate Appearing on Face The Nation, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) predicted that the health care bill just passed by the House will be "dead on arrival" in the Senate. Graham added: "I just think the construct out of the House and what exists in the Senate is not going to pass, and I hope and pray it doesn't because it would be a disaster for the economy and health care."

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