TPM News

Axelrod: Obama Opposed To Bill With Stupak Amendment Appearing on State of the Union, White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod said that President Obama would oppose the Stupak Amendment as a change in the status quo on abortion law. "The president has said repeatedly, and he said in his speech to Congress, that he doesn't believe that this bill should change the status quo as it relates to the issue of abortion," said Axelrod. Asked whether Obama would sign a final bill that contains the Stupak Amendment, Axelrod replied that Obama "believes both these issues and can and will be worked through before [the final bill] reaches his desk."

Conrad: Health Care Bill Can't Pass Without Restriction On Abortion Funding Appearing on State of the Union, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) said that the health care bill cannot pass without something like the Stupak Amendment. "What is clear is at the end of the day, for this bill to be successful, that there cannot be taxpayer funding of abortion," said Conrad, also adding: "It was clear in the House. It'll be clear in the Senate."

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The recently-announced civilian trials in New York City for a number of Guantanamo detainees -- including the self-professed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks -- are "appropriate," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said this morning on Meet the Press.

"It is appropriate to go forward," she said, adding that "I want to see them brought to justice."

The most important thing to me is they pay the ultimate price for what they did to us.

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Afghanistan won't receive any more civilian aid from the United States until it proves that corruption is being dealt with, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said this morning on ABC's This Week.

"I have made it clear that we're not gonna be providing any civilian aid to Afghanistan unless we have a certification that if it goes into the Afghan government in any form that we're going to have ministries we can hold accountable," she said, adding that an anti-corruption commission must be established.

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Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) said on CNN's State of the Union this morning that any health care reform bill will have to prohibit federal funding for abortions if it's going to muster enough legislative support to get to President Obama's desk.

"What is clear is at the end of the day, for this bill to be successful, that there cannot be taxpayer funding of abortion," Conrad said.

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On CNN's State of the Union this morning, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) added his voice to a chorus of Republicans critical of the upcoming civilian trials in New York City for Guantanamo detainees -- including self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

"They shouldn't be tried in our criminal justice system, they should be tried in our military justice system," Gregg said. "And it's absolutely inexcusable we're not using our military justice system to try these people. That's why we have such a system."

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White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod said on CNN's State of the Union this morning that the civilian trials in New York City for Gitmo detainees -- including self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed -- will ensure that "justice will be done."

"We believe that these folks should be tried in New York City, as you say, near where their heinous acts were conducted, in full view in our court system, which we believe in," Axelrod said. "We're very confident about these cases and we believe this is the appropriate thing to do."

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When Washington Times Publisher Thomas McDevitt was fired last Sunday, his successor Jonathan Slevin and two security guards escorted him from the Times headquarters to his car and confiscated his cell phone and computer, according to an internal Unification Church memo provided to TPM by multiple church members.

Issued Friday and addressed to "District Directors, State Leaders, all Blessed Central Families and Members," the memo appears to be the first official statement from the church that addresses the turmoil at the Times which has threatened the very future of the newspaper founded by church leader Rev. Sun Myung Moon in the early 1980s and long subsidized by the church's business empire.

The conservative Washington Times is controlled by Preston Moon, son of Rev. Moon and chair of the Times' parent company, News World Communications. TPM has reported that Preston's feud with the rest of his family -- rooted in his displeasure at the way the elderly Rev. Moon divvied up the church and its business empire -- is driving the chaos at the Times.

The departure of the newspaper's executive editor was announced late last week.

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Obama: Fort Hood Shooting Will Be Fully Reviewed In this weekend's YouTube address, President Obama said there will be a full investigation of the shooting at Fort Hood, and whether better steps could have been taken to prevent it:



"The purpose of this review is clear: We must compile every piece of information that was known about the gunman, and we must learn what was done with that information," said Obama. "Once we have those facts, we must act upon them. If there was a failure to take appropriate action before the shootings, there must be accountability. Beyond that - and most importantly - we must quickly and thoroughly evaluate and address any flaws in the system, so that we can prevent a similar breach from happening again. Our government must be able to act swiftly and surely when it has threatening information. And our troops must have the security that they deserve."

Kirk: Dem Health Care Bill Would Make Top Taxes Worse Than France This weekend's Republican address is by Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL), a candidate for President Obama's former Senate seat in 2010. Kirk attacks the Democrats on health care -- and even says it would make some Americans worse off than if they were in France:



"The Pelosi health care bill has no significant lawsuit reforms and does not guarantee your medical rights from government waiting lines or restrictions," said Kirk. "In the teeth of the Great Recession, the Pelosi bill would impose ten new taxes on the American economy. The top combined tax rate for my state of Illinois would be four percentage points higher than France."

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