TPM News

CPAC 2010 Event Kicks Off Today The annual Conservative Political ACtion Conference begins today, with conservative activists and politicians gathered in Washington for the three-day event. Speakers include Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA), Liz Cheney, Ann Coulter, and many more.

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama and Vice President Biden will receive the presidential daily briefing at 9:15 a.m. ET, and meet at 9:45 a.m. ET with the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform co-chairs Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson. Obama will deliver remarks at 10:10 a.m. ET, signing the executive order establishing the fiscal commission. He will meet at 11:15 a.m. ET with the Dalai Lama. He will depart from Andrews Air Force Base at 1:15 p.m. ET, en route to Aurora, Colorado. He will arrive in Aurora at 4:50 p.m. ET, deliver remarks at a 5:30 p.m. ET grassroots fundraiser for Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), and deliver remarks at a 6:40 p.m. ET fundraising reception for Bennet. He will depart from Aurora at 7:35 p.m. ET, arriving at 9:15 p.m. ET in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Former New York Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik is set to be sentenced today for lying during his vetting to be secretary of homeland security, and for tax fraud related to renovations on his apartment paid for by a company seeking a city license.

It's one of those moments where you find out who your true friends are. But while supporters have written letters to the judge to advocate for a light sentence, one prominent figure is staying silent: Rudy Giuliani, once Kerik's most powerful patron.

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Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today will release a new report showing more dramatic health insurance premium increases are proposed in Connecticut, Maine, Michigan, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington.

Keying off the Obama administration's recent probe into a planned 39 percent rate hike from Anthem Blue Cross in California, Sebelius will detail large increases in six other states and say that given record insurer profits, health care reform has never been more urgent.

At 11:30 a.m. today, Sebelius will release the report, obtained by TPMDC and titled "Insurance Companies Prosper, Families Suffer: Our Broken Health Insurance System."

It finds that Anthem's rate increase (now delayed until May) is "not unique" and that experts say premiums will keep rising.

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Jason Mattera, a spokesman for Young America's Foundation, got in some zingers at CPAC today. He said the conference is just like Woodstock, except "unlike the left's gathering, our women are beautiful, we speak in complete sentences, and our notion of freedom doesn't consist of snorting cocaine. Which is certainly one thing that separates us from Barack Obama." Rimshot!

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Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) is proud of how he helped stop health care reform from passing.

"If I hadn't been a part of the debate, you would already have universal health care," Enzi said Monday, according to a report in the Casper Star-Tribune.

Enzi was part of the infamous "Gang of Six" senators tasked with putting together a health care compromise that both Democrats and Republicans could vote for. However, no Republicans wound up supporting the final bill, which squeaked by in the Senate with a vote of 60 to 40.

Earlier today, Enzi became the first Republican to accept an invitation to the White House's health care summit.

A Tea Party meeting in Asotin County, WA this weekend featured all the normal facets of the movement we've come to expect -- there were the firebrand speeches and the call to "save our nation." But according to one report, the meeting also had a darker side.

KLEW-TV reports:

"How many of you have watched the movie Lonesome Dove?," asked one speaker from the podium. "What happened to Jake when he ran with the wrong crowd? What happened to Jake when he ran with the wrong crowd. He got hung. And that's what I want to do with Patty Murray."

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Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) told CNN today that he does not plan to become a lobbyist after his term ends this year.

There has been speculation that Bayh, who announced this week that he will not seek re-election, would embark on a lucrative lobbying career.

"I do not. No," he said when asked by CNN's Wolf Blitzer if he plans to become a lobbyist. Bayh added he has an "open mind" about his next job, and expects to still be engaged in public service.

Byah also took another chance to rail against the partisanship he says made him want to leave the Senate.

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Tom Ganley, an auto dealer who had been seeking the Republican Senate nomination in Ohio, is expected to switch races and instead run for a House seat, against incumbent Democratic Rep. Betty Sutton. This is a big gain for former Rep. Rob Portman, the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, who now has a clear path through the primary.

Ganley had been attempting to mount an anti-establishment, Tea Party-linked campaign against Portman, but polls had consistently shown him failing to catch on. Reports indicate that a Ganley internal poll had shown him running well against Sutton. On paper, though, Sutton's district could be a tough climb for Ganley. It voted 57%-42% for Barack Obama in 2008, and before that it voted 56%-44% for John Kerry in 2004.

However, as CQ points out, Ganley will be able to transfer his $1.3 million cash on hand from the Senate race (much of it self-financed) over to the House race. By comparison, Sutton had only $210,000 cash on hand as of December 31.

We're a bit late to this one, but local muck this rich only comes along so often: A city councilman from the Bronx who was slapped with a 13-count corruption indictment this month is alleged to have sought $177 reimbursement for a soda and bagel sandwich he bought for $7 outside city hall in New York.

The bagel sandwich enters the picture in the allegations against Councilman Larry Seabrook as part of his alleged scheme to launder bribe money associated with a 2006 boiler contract at the new Yankee Stadium.

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House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) still want transparency. But forget about that invitation to a televised bipartisan health care summit that Republicans shied away from after months of calling for more transparency and a seat at the table. The real issue, it would seem, is now more transparency on jobs.

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