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[CORRECTION: We have been told that Joe's program here was not properly termed a public option, but was two different concepts -- an expansion of government-run health care programs for the young, extending it up to age 25, and the creation of private health care exchanges in order to create a competitive, organized marketplace. So to be blunt, we bungled this one. TPM regrets the error.]

Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) seems to have seriously changed his position on a public health insurance program -- from supporting it years ago, to staunchly opposing it now.

Back when Lieberman was a full-fledged Democrat and sought the party's nomination for President, he said this at a debate in South Carolina on January 29, 2004:

"And one of the things we will do when we're one nation is to end the moral outrage of 44 million people without health insurance in the richest country in the world, nine million children whose parents can't take them to the doctor when they get sick 'cause they can't pay the bill. I'm gonna do that, and also help the millions who have insurance that can't pay it, by creating national health insurance pools like the ones members of Congress get our insurance from.

"Promises: When you're born, child in America, you get a membership card, and MediKids covers your insurance. Two, if you lose your job, you will not lose your health insurance. Three, underemployed, self-employed, small business, you can buy into this plan, it'll cost you a lot less, and incidentally, you'll get drug benefits with it. That's the kind of centrist leadership that produces results, and that's the kind of president America needs and I'll be."


(Transcript via Nexis)

Back then, Joe Lieberman was presenting the public option as a sensible, centrist plan for the country. But now he's promising to filibuster a Democratic proposal to establish one. So what changed?

We've placed a call with Lieberman's office, but they have not yet gotten back to us.

Hat tip Alaska Dispatch...

Did U.S. prosecutors pressure police to end a child-sex-crimes investigation in order not to endanger the federal probe of corruption in Alaska politics, then withhold evidence about the episode? That's what court documents filed on behalf of a former state lawmaker convicted in the investigation are charging.

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Bill Allen, the former chief of an Alaska oil services company who became the key government witness in the Ted Stevens trial last year, was sentenced to three years in prison today for his role in the wide-ranging public corruption scandal in the state.

Allen was also fined $750,000.

The Anchorage Daily News reports from the courtroom:

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Ned Lamont, the man who made Joe Lieberman an Independent, said today that Democrats in Connecticut are fuming about Lieberman's public option posturing in the same way they were about the Iraq war back in 2006. That was the year Lamont soundly defeated Lieberman for the Democratic senate nomination, only to lose to him when Lieberman reentered the race as an Independent.

"National Democrats said [our race] was all about the war in Iraq," Lamont told TPMDC this morning. "They said that except for that, Joe was a good Democrat."

But with the health care vote and other matters, Lamont said, Lieberman has "not been working hard with Democrats to get universal health care as he promised. He's been sort of obstructionist."

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Former Vice President Dick Cheney may have left office overwhelmingly unpopular with the country at large, but he's headed back on the campaign trail -- to endorse Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) in her campaign for governor, challenging incumbent Gov. Rick Perry in the Republican primary.

Cheney is scheduled to attend a Hutchison fundraiser on November 17, an environment of Texas Republicans where he's probably still more popular than not.

In terms of endorsements, each candidate has a big GOP name in their corner. Cheney is for Hutchison, while Perry has previously been endorsed by Sarah Palin.

The Obama Administration has released a lengthy response to the Washington Times story that reported Democrats are using the White House as a fundraising tool, saying that "contributing does not guarantee a ticket to the White House, nor does it prohibit the contributor from visiting."

"Given that nearly 4 million Americans donated to the campaign, it's no surprise that some who contributed have visited the White House," the statement says.

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Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales got the Joe Wilson special last night.

Gonzales was speaking to students at the University of Tennessee at Martin, when someone busted out the same line Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) heckled President Obama with during a speech to a joint session of Congress in September.

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The liberal group Accountable America, which is advocating for greater oversight of Wall Street in the wake of the financial crisis, has a new ad in the NY-23 special election, targeting Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman's links to the right-wing Club For Growth.

"Will Doug Hoffman support real investigations?" the announcer says. "Hoffman's Wall Street-backed Club For Growth doesn't want bank investigations. Don't let the banks get away with it.

The group is spending $25,000 on the ad.

Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate in the NY-23 special election, has sworn off earmarks as part of his campaign to cut the size of government in Washington -- but it turns out that he's not so pure on this subject, the Watertown Daily Times reports.

Hoffman sat on the finance committee of a local hospital, the Adirondack Medical Center, which two years ago asked Republican Rep. John McHugh (whose appointment as Secretary of the Army triggered this special election) for federal funding to construct a primary health clinic.

The hospital ultimately received $479,000. This was actually less than the undisclosed amount that the hospital had originally asked for, which is a typical practice in a process that involves requesting a large amount and securing a smaller one.

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