TPM News

In her hour-long interview with Sean Hannity last night, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin finally answered that infamous question Katie Couric asked more than a year ago: What newspapers do you read?

As she told Hannity, she reads Newsmax, the Wall Street Journal, her hometown Wasilla paper the Frontiersman, and "everything online."

On a media blitzkrieg to promote her memoir, Palin has been asked the question by several outlets. She didn't answer Oprah, but she did answer, saying she's read books by laissez-faire economist Thomas Sowell and Liberal Fascism by National Review editor Jonah Goldberg.

Video after the jump.

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President Obama left Seoul this morning to head home, concluding an 8-day, 4-country trip through Asia. Air Force One just landed in Alaska for refueling and he's expected back at the White House tonight.

Reporters traveling bombarded White House aides with questions about the lack of tangible results came from the trip, especially from China.

White House senior adviser David Axelrod said Obama "advanced our goals" over the week by having frank discussions with Asian leaders and presenting a new face to the world.

"This is not an immediate gratification business," Axelrod said. "All of these things require solid diplomacy, relationship building, discussions, and that was the purpose of this trip."

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When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid first announced that he'd chosen to include a public option with an opt-out provision in his health care bill, he suggested that states would be required to offer the government insurance plan for a year before opting out. Well, it appears as if he's dropped that requirement.

In general, the bill reads, "A State may elect to prohibit Exchanges in such State from offering a community health insurance option if such State enacts a law to provide for such prohibition." Separately, if a state opts out, they can also opt back in, if they repeal the law they used to opt out. But one of the key selling points of the opt out provision to liberals is that states wouldn't be able to opt out until after the public option became somewhat entrenched. We're looking for more guidance on this, but it seems as if that entrenchment period is gone.

Lou Dobbs, who recently stepped away from his show at CNN after nearly 30 years at the cable news network, stopped by the Daily Show last night. When Jon Stewart compared the severance pay in Dobbs' contract to a government subsidy, Dobbs joked, "It's more of a bailout."

When Stewart told Dobbs his views are "abhorrent and wrong," the anti-immigration host said "I deeply appreciate that."

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For liberals, one of the most frustrating aspects of health care reform is that the most tangible goodies (the exchanges, and, within the exchanges, the public option) won't be available to the public for years. In the House bill, the main structural changes to the health care system--including the exchanges/public option, mandates, taxes, and the Medicaid expansion--go into effect in 2013. Under the Senate bill, they take until 2014.

But there are some aspects of the bill that would take effect right away if the bill became law as is. For instance, the Senate bill would immediately ban insurance companies from imposing annual and lifetime caps on benefits, and would make it illegal for them to cancel people's policies (a practice called rescission) except in cases of fraud.

There's more, too, and we'll bring you a fuller set of details later today.

Obama: U.S., Allies, Discussing Sanctions Against Iran At a press conference in South Korea, President Obama said that the United States and allies could have a package of sanctions against Iran "within weeks." "We weren't going to duplicate what has happened with North Korea," said Obama, "in which talks just continue forever without any actual resolution to the issue."

Obama's Day In South Korea President Obama visited U.S. Embassy staff and their families in Seoul, South Korea, at 10:10 a.m. local time (8:10 p.m. ET last night). He participated in an arrival ceremony at the Blue House, at 11 a.m. He held a bilateral meeting with South Korean President Lee Myng-bak at 11:15 a.m., with an expanded bilateral meeting at 11:50 a.m., and a joint press conference at 12:30 p.m, and a working lunch at 1:10 p.m. Obama delivered remarks to service-members at at Osan Air Base at 3:20 p.m., and departed South Korea at 4:05 p.m. (2:05 a.m. ET). He will arrive in Anchorage, Alaska, at 9:40 a.m. ET, will depart form Anchorage at 11:40 a.m. ET, and arrive at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington at 6:05 p.m. ET.

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The Republican National Committee announced this morning they raised $8.79 million in October, an off-election year record.

The haul comes after the party captured two governorships and as they are attempting to make gains in 2010.

The RNC said they had $11.2 million cash on hand and no debt. Last month they reported $18.9 million cash on hand, so doing the math, they spent $7.9 million in October.

The party says they "averaged 2,543 new donors per day in October and had an average contribution of $32," with more than 1 million active donors by the end of the month.

"As of November 11th, the RNC has already broken its own record of new donors in an off year, with 305,000 new donors so far in 2009," the party said in a release.

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Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) says that the health care reform bill Democrats presented in the Senate last night has what it takes to turn the months-long legislative fight into a home run for reform advocates.

"To put it in baseball terms, we've rounded third base and we're heading to home," Harkin told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow last night. "No member of our caucus is going to want to be the one person that stops us from getting to home plate."

"I believe now that the team is together," he added. "And our team is going to hold together and we'll have those 60 votes to move ahead."

Harkin said that the Senate bill is a "reasonable compromise" for health care progressives like him and he called on Democrats to remain unified through the rest of the legislative process.

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It's a big day for health care and the reactions will be flooding the zone today.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid revealed his health care bill last night, with a $849 billion price tag. He's holding a big event at 12:15 at the Capitol Visitors Center (and the White House is reacting via a noon conference call).

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is holding her weekly press conference at 11 on Capitol Hill, Minority Leader John Boehner will talk about health care at 11:45.

Republican Sens. Judd Gregg and Lamar Alexander are briefing reporters this afternoon.

Volunteers from Organizing for America and pro-reform groups plan to attend Reid's event and show their health care spirit.

Sen. Chuck Schumer was on MSNBC this morning and predicted the bill will get the needed votes to pass.

He added, "When we get this done, poll numbers will go up."

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