TPM News

We've kept readers up-to-date on the fight up in Connecticut over GOP candidate Linda McMahon's involvement with World Wrestling Entertainment.

McMahon (R-CT) is one of several candidates hoping to challenge Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) next year. She is the former CEO of the wrestling corporation and wife of WWE principal Vince McMahon.

The McMahon camp is using President Obama's planned 30-second segment for a troops special this weekend (and past appearance on WWE during the presidential primary campaign) to suggest the Democratic argument against her candidacy is invalid.

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Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) now appears to be in a public feud with Sarah Palin, after he broke with other Republicans by calling for the United States to take action on global warming -- and specifically criticized Palin.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Schwarzenegger dismissed Palin's recent denunciation of climate-change science, and her call for President Obama to boycott the Copenhagen conference. "You have to ask: what was she trying to accomplish?" said Schwarzenegger. "Is she really interested in this subject or is she interested in her career and in winning the [Republican] nomination [for president]? You have to take all these things with a grain of salt."

Last night, Palin fired back at Schwarzenegger on her Facebook page, with a post entitled "Greener Than Thou?":

Why is Governor Schwarzenegger pushing for the same sorts of policies in Copenhagen that have helped drive his state into record deficits and unemployment? Perhaps he will recall that I live in our nation's only Arctic state and that I was among the first governors to create a sub-cabinet to deal specifically with climate change. While I and all Alaskans witness the impacts of changes in weather patterns firsthand, I have repeatedly said that we can't primarily blame man's activities for those changes. And while I did look for practical responses to those changes, what I didn't do was hamstring Alaska's job creators with burdensome regulations so that I could act "greener than thou" when talking to reporters.

President Obama will appear on a World Wrestling Entertainment special this weekend to pay tribute to troops serving abroad, the wrestling network announced.

Obama, no stranger to WWE, has recorded a holiday message for the Saturday 9 p.m. "Tribute to the Troops," which will detail wrestling stars who have performed for troops at bases in the Middle East.

Gen. David Petraeus also will be on the program, which airs on NBC.

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In the course of a few hours yesterday, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) sent the tea party crowd on the same emotional rollercoaster progressives have been riding with the senator since the start of the health care reform debate this year.

Tea partiers arrived in Washington yesterday morning fired up about Lieberman, the man they thought might fulfill all their "kill the bill" fantasies with his refusal to sign on to the Democratic reform package as long as it contained a public option and other "socialist" programs. But by the afternoon, Lieberman was praising the Democratic bill and one tea partier had literally put an X through the "Stand With Joe" written on the sign he waved.

It was a story of love and loss with Joe Lieberman that would fit right in on any DailyKos diary without changing much. Like progressives have at points during the debate, conservatives for a fleeting moment thought that Lieberman might come around to their side and "save" health care reform.

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If Ted Alvin Klaudt had his way, we'd owe him $500,000 for the first clause of this sentence. The former South Dakota state representative has sent a notarized letter from prison -- where he is serving time for the rape of two of his foster daughters -- notifying several news organizations of a "Common Law Copyright" on the use of his name.

The AP is among the organizations that got the letter from the state prison in Springfield, South Dakota. Klaudt's copyright notice, which demands $500,000 per unauthorized use of his name, was notarized and includes a seal indicating it was filed with the register of deeds near Klaudt's family ranch, the AP reports.

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The public option is dead. Its successors are dead. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) as much yesterday afternoon. And yet still, there's lingering uncertainty about whether a). the votes are there to pass a health care bill, or, relatedly, b). the bill can pass by Christmas. Here's what would have to happen in the next 9 days to get that done.

Align the liberals and centrists

Reid's first order of business is to make sure that there are 60 votes committed to pulling this bill past a filibuster (actually, several filibusters, but we'll get to that). On the left flank of his party are three particularly disappointed Democrats: Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Roland Burris (D-IL), and Russ Feingold (D-WI).

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Former DNC Chairman Howard Dean sounds off on the health care bill on MSNBC's Keith Olbermann show last night.

"They're not thinking about what they are doing here," Dean says, calling the negotiations a "real disappointment."

He said "to make Joe the issue" is a mistake, though he told TPMDC last month that Sen. Joe Lieberman and others have a "moral obligation" to vote with the caucus on procedural issues.

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Obama Sent Letter To Kim Jong Il President Obama sent a personal letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. An anonymous government official would not disclose the exact contents of the letter, but said they were consistent with the general message that the United States has had: "The North Koreans have a choice: continued and further isolation or benefits for returning to the six-party talks and dismantling their nuclear weapons program."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama and Vice President Biden will receive the presidential daily briefing at 9:45 a.m. ET, and Obama will receive the economic daily briefing at 10:15 a.m. ET. Obama will meet with Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams at 11:45 a.m. ET. He will meet at Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairwoman Inez Tenenbaum at 12:10 p.m. ET. He will meet with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden at 3:05 p.m. ET. The President and First Lady will host a Hannukkah reception at 5:15 p.m. ET.

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