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Responding to comments by Sens. Olympia Snowe and Joe Lieberman that they may join a filibuster against health care reform, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said today there's still a long road ahead.

"This is a debate that is and will go on for quite some time. We've got a decent ways to go just in this round of it," he said. "I hate to look two weeks down the road based on what somebody may or may not say today."

"What's changed is we've never gotten to this point before in debating health care reform," Gibbs added.

He also said he expects to "continue to see progress being made."

The GOP's new line of attack against health care reform is starting to sound familiar.

On Monday, we reported on the House GOP's plans to target AARP in the health care reform debate. Republican leaders say AARP is supporting changes to the Medicare system included in Democratic health care reform bills because they would result in more sales of AARP-branded insurance. They claim that "backroom deals" between executives of the AARP and Democratic leadership -- deals the GOP say are designed to protect the executives' high salaries -- led to the group's pro-Medicare reform stance.

Yesterday, the message gained traction among the right wing commentariat. AARP flatly denies the claims and says it's beginning to feel a little like the GOP's new ACORN.

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Last month we told you about Dawn Rizos, the owner of a popular Dallas strip club who was going to be honored with an "Entrepreneur of the Year" award from Newt Gingrich's conservative group. Rizos planned to attend a private dinner in D.C. and made a $5,000 donation to Gingrich's group, American Solutions for Winning the Future, before the invitation was rescinded and the donation returned -- presumably because Gingrich's group realized they were about to honor a strip club owner.

Now Rizos is striking back. She's taking the $5,000 she tried to donate to Gingrich and building a shelter for unwanted pit bulls at an animal shelter outside of Dallas.

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As part of a plea deal in a fraud case last year, espionage suspect Stewart Nozette agreed to cooperate with authorities in a separate criminal probe and was specifically allowed to keep his passport because international travel was essential to his work as an informant, according to newly unsealed court documents.

The revelations raise a number of difficult-to-answer questions, including why a man with access to Top Secret weapons information and a fraud conviction -- about whom authorities already had national security concerns -- was permitted to retain his passport. And they add yet another layer of intrigue to the case of a top government scientist who allegedly sold classified info to an FBI employee posing as an Israeli agent in September.

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Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) told Fox News today that Congress should strip the public option from the health care reform bill, and come back to the idea in three or four years.

"Take it off the table," he said. "Come back in three or four years, if other reforms aren't working. That's my position and I'm sticking to it."

Lieberman contended that the public option is "just not necessary to reform health insurance."

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Independent Wisconsin State Rep. Jeffrey Wood was arrested on Oct. 22 for the third time in less than a year on suspicion of driving under the influence. A squad car video released Tuesday shows Wood stumbling and falling over during a sobriety test.

Now a legislative aide tells TPM that Wood is entering an intense inpatient rehabilitation program -- even while his colleagues, for the first time in Wisconsin's history, have formed a committee to consider expelling Wood.

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Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), the right-wing hero who shouted "You lie!" during President Obama's speech to Congress, is headed to New Jersey this Sunday to get out the vote for Republican gubernatorial nominee Chris Christie -- but Christie certainly won't be there.

The rally was organized by local Tea Party activists, not the Christie campaign. It will be held in the Republican stronghold of Morris County, which voted 54%-46% for John McCain even as the state went 57%-42% for Obama.

The rally's organizer pointed out that Christie won't be coming, even though "he's only going to be half a mile away."

It should be noted that Christie is not having Republican names known for their right-wing credentials campaigning for him in this socially liberal and Democratic state. He's sticking to safer names like Rudy Giuliani, or moderate former Governors Tom Kean and Christie Whitman. The most conservative he's going is Tim Pawlenty, who is much less scary to New Jersey than a guy like Wilson.

Former President Bill Clinton used some interesting sports metaphors at some events last night for New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine -- which may have had some unintended double meanings in this race.

Clinton explained how when times are tough, people feel frustrated and can act rashly in an election, but that it's important to remain calm, likening it to things he's seen watching sports on TV, particularly race-cars and football. "And the great drivers, when the cars get close, the turns get hairy, they calm down, and they see everything, and they act. The ones who are fearful and can't concentrate and can't calm down, run into the wall," said Bill.

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