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The White House is forcefully denying reports that President Obama has settled on the number of troops to send to Afghanistan.

Several stories in recent days have suggested he has made a decision and cite specific troop levels.

Officials have dismissed those as inaccurate, but tonight the White House is sending out a rare statement from National Security Adviser Gen. Jim Jones:

"Reports that President Obama has made a decision about Afghanistan are absolutely false. He has not received final options for his consideration, he has not reviewed those options with his national security team, and he has not made any decisions about resources. Any reports to the contrary are completely untrue and come from uninformed sources."


White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters today the president is holding another Situation Room meeting of his war council as he continues to gather information for his decision.

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President Obama tonight met privately with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office, and the White House isn't offering many details about what they discussed.

Here's the short readout the White House put out tonight:

"The President and Prime Minister Netanyahu discussed a number of issues in the U.S.-Israel bilateral relationship. The President reaffirmed our strong commitment to Israel's security, and discussed security cooperation on a range of issues. The President and Prime Minister also discussed Iran and how to move forward on Middle East peace."

When Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) authored an amendment several months ago to prohibit federal dollars from being used to pay for insurance policies that cover abortion, Democratic leaders and health care principals didn't take his proposal very seriously. As a result it was never subjected to the sort of rigorous analysis that controversial legislation is often treated to. That was a miscalculation. Liberals were forced this weekend to accept the amendment as the price of passing an otherwise progressive health care bill through the House. And now, everyone on both sides of the abortion issue is scrambling to try to figure out what the amendment's language actually means and the practical effect it would have if enacted into law.

As one House Democratic health care aide put it, "there are a ton of unanswered questions."

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Ned Lamont -- who's exploring a run for governor in Connecticut in 2010, issued the following statement today regarding incumbent Gov. Jodi Rell's decision not to run. Here's the full text:

"I salute the Governor for her service to Connecticut, her civility, and her integrity. Now is the time for a fresh start. Connecticut needs a proactive, hands-on governor who has experience creating good paying jobs, and who knows how our state can be a partner in helping our working families and small businesses make Connecticut the jobs engine we should be."

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) wants Senate health care legislation to contain strict restrictions on abortion funding, much like the House bills now does. And he says he'll filibuster if he doesn't get his way.

"As a pro-life person, I believe that something like the [Rep. Bart] Stupak amendment should be included in the Senate version," Nelson told reporters this evening. "But if it isn't included to that effect, to make it clear that no government money should be used for support, for the subsidies, or direct payments, or even tax credits, should be used to support abortions," he will oppose it.

"If it doesn't make it clear that it does not support abortion, does not pay for abortion, you can be sure I will vote against it."

I asked Nelson if his promise extended to procedural supermajority votes. He had a one word answer: "Yes."

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House intelligence committee chair Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) made a thinly veiled swipe at his GOP counterpart today over comments made by Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) criticizing the Obama Administration's handling of information about the Fort Hood shootings.

As we told you earlier, Hoekstra said intel agencies including the CIA weren't being sufficiently forthcoming about information the intelligence community might possess about Nidal Malik Hasan. And he suggested there are potential issues with the "performance" of intel agencies in the case.

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The *tentative* picture emerging of Nidal Malik Hasan is of a man who likely subscribed to radical Islamic beliefs, but who was not acting on behalf of any group in allegedly carrying out the shootings in which 13 died at Fort Hood last week.

The leaks are coming fast and furious in the investigation of the shootings, so we thought we'd put together a digest of the recent coverage.

Bear in mind that what's missing from many of these reports are named sources, and that many of the initial stories about the case were [totally wrong](http://www.cjr.org/campaign_desk/jumping_to_confusion.php).

Here we go:

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In a surprising piece of news, Gov. Jodi Rell (R-CT) announced today that she will not run for re-election in 2010.

Rell's Lt. Governor Michael Fedele, said that he will run for governor, and that Rell has committed to supporting him in the election.

Rell was previously Lt. Governor herself, and succeeded to the governorship in 2004 upon the resignation of Republican Gov. John Rowland, in a corruption scandal for which he later served prison time. Rell was easily elected to a full term in 2006, beating her Democratic opponent by 63%-35%.

Connecticut is a heavily Democratic state, but has not elected a Dem governor since 1986. The current field of active of potential Democratic candidates is a big one: Former state House Speaker Jim Amann, Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, businessman and 2006 Senate nominee Ned Lamont, state Sen. Gary LeBeau, and Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy.


October 26: President Obama's administration embarked on another busy month, filled with more health care reform, foreign policy maneuvering, and an election day. Here, Obama addresses the servicemen and women of the Naval Air Station Jacksonville in Jacksonville, Fla.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza




October 26: Obama and Navy personnel enjoy some quality time together.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza




October 26: Obama waves during a meet-and-greet after his remarks.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza




October 26: The Navy Mess of the White House gets into the Halloween spirit.

Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy




October 26: So three guys walk into the Fontainebleu Hotel in Miami...and one of them tells a joke. (That's Obama, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and Obama's personal aide, Reggie Love.)

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza




October 26: Love peeks from behind the curtains at the Fontainebleu Hotel as Obama delivers remarks at a Democratic fundraiser.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza




October 26: Obama speaks to DSCC/DCCC donors.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza




October 27: Obama tours a solar power plant in Arcadia, Fla.

Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy




October 27: Obama shakes hands at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., at a rally for gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds as the clock to Election Day ticks down.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza




October 28: The White House butlers watch as the President leaves a ceremony celebrating the passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.




October 28: All eyes turn towards Obama as he makes his remarks on the passage of the act.

Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy




October 28: The President continues a long tradition of planting a tree on White House grounds. This Littleleaf Linden replaces a Scarlet Oak planted by former President George W. Bush. But the oak -- which had replaced a 118-year-old tree planted by President Harrison -- "didn't take," according to the White House.

Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy




October 28: Obama and White House Chief Usher Rear Admiral (Ret.) Stephen Rochon leave the site of the planting.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza




October 28: Obama shares a laugh with his No. 2 at the signing ceremony for fiscal year 2010's defense budget bill.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza




At a ceremony awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to former Sen. Edward Brooke (third from left) -- the first black senator since Reconstruction -- Senator Harry Reid has some words with the President. Senator Mitch McConnell stands far right.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza



October 28: President Obama talks with Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Deputy National Security Adviser Tom Donilon and NSC Chief of Staff Denis McDonough in the Oval Office.

Pete Souza/ Official White House Photo



October 29: President Obama finishes up a speech on health care reform to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business and small business owners.

Pete Souza/ Official White House Photo



Obama jots down notes as he meets with leaders of the Progressive, Black, Hispanic and Asian Pacific caucuses in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.

Pete Souza/ Official White House Photo



October 29: Bo gets a belly rub in the Outer Oval Office.

Pete Souza/ Official White House Photo



October 29: President Obama greets Girl Scouts before a signing ceremony for the Girl Scouts USA Centennial Commemorative Coin Act in the Oval Office.

Pete Souza/ Official White House Photo



President Obama talks with Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett and Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) following his remarks to small business owners.

Pete Souza/ Official White House Photo



October 29: President Obama attends a ceremony at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware, for the dignified transfer of 18 troops who died in Afghanistan.

Pete Souza/ Official White House Photo



President Obama with Attorney General Eric Holder at the Dover Air Force Base.

Pete Souza/ Official White House Photo



October 29: President Obama walks through the West Wing of the White House to deliver a birthday gift to Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina.

Pete Souza/ Official White House Photo



President Obama plays peek-a-boo with a staffer's daughter in the Outer Oval Office.

Pete Souza/ Official White House Photo



October 31: First Lady Michelle Obama hands out treats during a Halloween reception for military families and children of White House staff.

Pete Souza/ Official White House Photo



A skeleton and candles decorate the Blue Room of the White House for Halloween.

Pete Souza/ Official White House Photo



Obama, the First Lady and "First Grandma" Marian Robinson welcome children from local schools on Halloween.

Pete Souza/ Official White House Photo



Obama with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, right, at the Halloween reception. is at right.

Pete Souza/ Official White House Photo



Obama talks with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, Nov. 2, 2009.

Pete Souza/ Official White House Photo



November 3: President Obama meets with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in the Oval Office.

Pete Souza/ Official White House Photo

Fox News analyst ret. Lt. Col. Ralph Peters said today the shooting at Fort Hood happened because the Army was too politically correct and unwilling to investigate a "protected species" like alleged shooter Nidal Hasan.

"If this nutcase, this 'Mike Foxtrot' in Army terms, had been a white supremacist, he would've been gone long ago. But since he was a protected species, sort of a one-off Muslim psychiatrist officer, he got a pass again and again," Peters said.

You may remember Peters from this summer, when he suggested the Taliban should kill a captured U.S. soldier to save the U.S. "a lot of legal hassle" and calling the soldier a "deserter" who was "mentally disturbed."

Video after the jump.

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