TPM News

President Barack Obama is thanking his supporters for their help on health care reform in a new video posted by Organizing For America.

Speaking immediately before taking the stage at an Iowa City rally on March 25, Obama said: "We were able to get the kind of grassroots support all across the country that was able to sustain this effort during a very difficult process, and part of the reason we were able to get it done was because you were knocking on doors, you were making phone calls... it shows that you can make a difference, the same way you made a difference during my campaign."

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A federal judge has ordered a psychiatric examination of Norman Leboon, the man who allegedly threatened to kill Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) in a Youtube video, according to court records.

"It is hereby ordered that the above Defendant shall be detained temporarily and that a psychiatric/psychological examination of Defendant be conducted to determine his mental competency to stand trial and to comprehend the nature and consequences of his actions," says the order, dated March 29 and entered on the docket today.

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The Detroit Free Press notices that charged Hutaree militia member Tina Stone bemoaned the passage of H.R. 1388 on her Facebook page recently. That bill has been the subject of a false chain email that warns President Obama provided money to settle Hamas members in the United States.

(Stone made the statements on the same page that features the militia wedding photos we told you about yesterday.)

"H.B. 1388 Passed.... It's bad news for us all," she wrote.

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Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) canceled a town hall meeting about health care yesterday due to safety concerns about the venue, a local TV station reports.

Ryan's office canceled the meeting, which was to take place at the Youngstown Community Health Center, just 20 minutes before it was scheduled to start.

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In a bulletin distributed to police departments and obtained by the AP, the FBI concludes that in the wake of the arrests of members of the Hutaree militia "the likelihood of violent conflict from the remaining group members or other militia extremists" is "low."

The FBI has seen an increase in "chatter" from militias and other extremist groups. But the fact that the arrests of the nine Hutaree members -- charged in an alleged plot to kill police -- went smoothly eased authorities' concerns of any blowback, according to the AP.

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Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) said in a radio interview today that some incidents, including the intentional plane crash into an Austin IRS building and the murder of three police officers in Pittsburgh, would qualify as acts of domestic terrorism.

Hoekstra, the ranking member on the intelligence committee and a candidate for Michigan governor, has attacked the administration for its handling of terrorism suspects, notably the man who tried to blow up a plane on Christmas Day. (He also took some heat for using the attempted attack in a fund-raising letter.)

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The former chair of the Florida GOP -- a close ally of Gov. Charlie Crist -- is said to be under criminal investigation for a contract worth around $200,000 that he awarded to himself and his executive director. The news was revealed today by the state party, which says it uncovered the contract in the course of its annual financial audit, and referred the matter to authorities.

Jim Greer was appointed to run the state GOP by Crist in 2007, but was forced out of the job in January, after reports of lavish party spending, much of which went on the credit card of the party's executive director, Delmar Johnson.

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Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) released the following statement earlier today in response to President Obama's announcement to permit offshore drilling for oil and gas:

"Drilling off the Virginia coast would endanger many of New Jersey's beaches and vibrant coastal economies," stated Lautenberg. "Giving Big Oil more access to our nation's waters is really a Kill, Baby, Kill policy: it threatens to kill jobs, kill marine life and kill coastal economies that generate billions of dollars. Offshore drilling isn't the solution to our energy problems, and I will fight this policy and continue to push for 21st century clean energy solutions."

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