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At a town hall today in Hillsboro, Mo., Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) faced a rambunctious audience.

"I don't understand this rudeness. Do you think you're persuading people when you shout out like that?" she said when people tried to shout her down.

"I don't know what else I can do. If you want me to go home..." she said. An audience member yelled back, "Go home!" but McCaskill continued the meeting.

President Obama used today's town hall to try to counter the fear-mongering out there about the health care bill, by presenting an image of this instead being a calm and rational discussion.

Oh, and no death panels: "There are some things I've been hearing lately that we need to dispose of. The rumor that's been circulating around lately is, the House of Representatives somehow voted for death panels that will basically pull the plug on Grandma 'cause we've decided it's too expensive to let her live anymore."

He pointed out that the provision for counseling on end-of-life arrangements was put there by a Republican Senator, Johnny Isakson of Georgia. As for the death panels: "I am not in favor of that. I want to clear the air here."

President Obama today addressed claims that, by asking people to flag misinformation about health care reform, his administration is compiling an "enemies list."

"Suddenly it's being portrayed in the media as 'Obama collecting an enemies list!' C'mon, guys. I'm trying to be responsive," he said during a town hall in Portsmouth, N.H. "All I'm trying to do is answer questions."

Lately, there's been an ongoing debate about the Tea Party groups that have been fighting health-care reform. Are these groups organic manifestations of popular discontent, or are they in fact controlled by corporate-funded Washington lobbying groups -- in particular, FreedomWorks, the small-government organization, founded by former GOP congressman Dick Armey, that's worked closely with the Tea Baggers since their inception?

Well, an excerpt from the Tea Baggers' own internal discussions, obtained by TPMmuckraker, sheds some light on that point -- and it points to the latter.

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President Obama just addressed the "death panel" meme at his town hall. He is not in favor of death panels.

There are some things I've been hearing lately that we need to dispose of. The rumor that's been circulating around lately is, the House of Representatives somehow voted for death panels that will basically pull the plug on Grandma 'cause we've decided it's too expensive to let her live anymore.


Obama was responding to a little girl who asked about the protesters outside saying "mean things" about reform.

"This arose out of a provision in one of the House bills that allows Medicare to reimburse people for consultations for end-of-life care," Obama said. "The irony is, that actually one of the chief sponsors of the bill [Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson] ... very sensibly thought this is something that would expand people's options, that got spun into this idea of death panels. I am not in favor of that. I want to clear the air here."

Here's a photo of that spraypainted swastika at Rep. David Scott's (D-GA) Smyrna district office, provided to us by his office:

President Obama, in remarks at the beginning of his health care town hall, spoke directly to those who might try to disrupt the event.

"I do hope we will talk with each other and not over each other," he said to applause. "Where we do disagree, let's disagree over things that are real, not wild misrepresentations" of what's in the bill.

He also deplored the "scare tactics" and "boogeymen" employed by the opponents of health care reform.

"For all the scare tactics," he said, "what is truly scary, what is truly risky, is if we let this moment pass."

A new survey of North Carolina by Public Policy Polling (D) finds that only 54% of the state's voters say President Obama was born in the United states, with 26% saying he was not and another 20% not sure.

Among North Carolina Republicans, a 47% plurality -- nearly a full majority -- say Obama was not born in America. Only 24% of state Republicans say he was born here, with 29% not sure.

It gets better, with PPP asking this question: "Do you consider Hawaii to be part of the United States?" Here it's 92% saying yes, 5% saying no, and 3% not sure. Among Republicans, 88% say Hawaii is a part of America, to 7% who say it is not, and 4% aren't sure.

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