TPM News

Health Care for America Now is up with a new television ad blasting America's Health Insurance Providers (AHIP) for dropping a report suggesting insurance premiums would increase under the Senate Finance Committee.

It says AHIP's report is filled with "lies" and criticizes industry profits and insurer CEO pay. It closes with a call to action: "Tell Congress. We need good health care we can afford. With the choice of a public health insurance option."

The ad is tied to an afternoon press conference with families who have suffered due to problems with insurers. They plan to challenge AHIP officials today during the industry lobbying group's conference in at the Capital Hilton.

TPMDC will be on hand for the HCAN protest, where activists plan to carry signs reading, "It's a crime to deny care."

Watch the ad after the jump.

Read More →

A lobbyist for the American health insurance companies told an audience this morning that the the bipartisan journey to health care reform President Obama began earlier this year has reached its end.

AHIP lobbyist Steve Champlin spoke at the opening session of the health insurance trade group's "State Issues Conference" in Washington last night. His message? The GOP should stay away from any bill put forward by the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate.

Champlin, reported by the Huffington Post:

"There is absolutely no interest, no reason Republicans should ever vote for this thing. They have gone from a party that got killed 11 months ago to a party that is rising today. And they are rising up on the turmoil of health care. So when they vote for a health care reform bill, whatever it is, they are giving comfort to the enemy who is down."

Read More →

Democrats already have their talking points ready for what's seeming more likely - that they will lose the governor's mansion in Virginia.

Activists on the ground and Democratic officials and campaign operatives from across the state are telling TPMDC they are losing hope in the final two weeks of the race between former attorney general Bob McDonnell (R) and state senator Creigh Deeds (D).

It's the most expensive race the Democratic Governors Association has ever run, spokeswoman Emily DeRose tells TPMDC. The DGA put in $3 million toward the Common Sense Virginia group before the primary to run against McDonnell, and then gave $1 million directly to Deeds. The DNC has pledged $6 million in total.

Here's what we know - Deeds is in serious trouble. He's bleeding support from Democrats who are worried about a lackluster campaign and think a McDonnell win seems inevitable.

But - there's a glimmer of hope in President Obama, who continues to attract massive crowds at political events, and would really like to pull out a victory in the state that put him over the top last fall.

The polls showing Deeds behind are capturing the preference of likely voters, which in most cases are identified by having voted several times. If Obama can help Deeds bring out core groups of his '08 winning coalition - young people and new black voters - it could make the difference.

Read More →

Patricia Sullivan, a Tea Party organizer seeking the Republican nomination against Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), is filing a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics over Grayson's use of the House floor to promote his "Names of the Dead" Web site:

As a Mom, Patricia has learned to apply swift correction to bad behavior. She will be filing a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics later today. It is her hope and desire that the OCE will forward the complaint to the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.

If the committee sees fit to censure the violations of Representative Grayson, perhaps the residents of the 8th Congressional District will no longer be subject to the constant embarrassment they have endured over the last few months.

Grayson's office did not have any comment on Sullivan's press release. A source in the office said that they've reached out to the Ethics Committee and the House Administration Committee for their opinion, and are also speaking to their FEC attorney.

Check out the full Sullivan statement after the jump.

Read More →

A group of big-name musicians -- including Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, Bonnie Raitt, Rosanne Cash and dozens of others -- is demanding the White House release information about which songs were played at high volume to punish or interrogate prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

According to the Washington Post, the musicians announced today they support a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by the National Security Archive, a research institute.

Read More →

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) appeared yesterday on Laura Ingraham's radio show -- and called upon listeners to support Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate in the NY-23 special election, instead of the moderate Republican nominee Dede Scozzafava.

Bachmann quite correctly said the race is a "mess," and said that she's read that the Republican candidate is now in third place, with the Democrat in first place and Hoffman as the real chance to keep the seat in the GOP column. Interestingly, there has not been any publicly-released poll at this time showing Hoffman in second place. The latest Siena poll had Democrat Bill Owens in first place with 33%, Scozzafava with 29%, and Hoffman with 23%.

Ingraham repeatedly pressed Bachmann on who she supported. Her bottom line: "Hoffman is on the ascendancy, and we have to win this seat. And people need to get behind the winning candidate, and it looks like that's Hoffman."

The new Rutgers-Eagleton poll of the New Jersey gubernatorial race gives Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine a three-point lead over his Republican opponent Chris Christie -- with a significant number of voters going for independent Chris Daggett.

The numbers: Corzine 39%, Christie 36%, and Daggett 20%, with a ±4% margin of error.

From the pollster's analysis: "Daggett continues to draw fairly evenly from both major party candidates. However, in a close race, it may make a difference that Daggett voters are people who would have been slightly more on Christie's side than on Corzine's in a two-way race. The underlying question is whether current Daggett supporters really will vote for him on Election Day, or whether they will opt for their second choice, one of the major party candidates."

Treasury To Order Steep Pay Cuts At Bailed-Out Firms The Treasury Department is expected to order bailed-out financial firms to cut their compensation packages for their top executives -- with a 90% slash to base salaries, and a 50% cut to total compensation. Elizabeth Warren, the head of the TARP oversight committee, confirmed the reports: "It's real in the sense that it says,Guys, you have to understand that you can't party on like it's 2007. If you're going to take taxpayer dollars, then the game has to change. In that sense it's real."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will hold a videoconference at 10 a.m. with Lt. General Karl Eikenberry, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan. He will meet for lunch at 12:30 p.m. ET with Speaker Nancy Pelosi. At 2:15 p.m. ET, he will sign the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act. He will meet at 3:15 p.m. ET with Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner, and at 3:45 p.m. ET with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Read More →

President Obama just headlined a rally for Gov. Jon Corzine (D-NJ), and turned Republican nominee Chris Christie's attacks about the state's problems right back at the GOP.

"Now listening to Jon's opponent, you'd think New Jersey was the only state that's been swept up by the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression," said Obama, "which, by the way, didn't start under Jon Corzine's party's watch. There seems to be some selective memory about how we got into this fix."

Obama said the state's economic problems are part of the nation's overall crisis, which is in turn the product of lax regulation and trickle-down economics promoted by the GOP: "They got a lot of nerve -- they leave this big mess and suddenly they're complaining about how fast we're cleaning it up."

Obama urged New Jersey's voters to stick with Corzine, calling him an honorable man looking out for the state: "I hope what you want is someone who's gonna be straight with you, who's got your interests at heart, and is gonna be out there every single day fighting for you, because he loves public service and he understands if it weren't for folks who were out there fighting for him, he wouldn't be where he got to."