TPM News

Appearing on Hannity Monday night, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich promised that if health care reform passes, Republicans will make repealing it a major campaign issue in 2010 and 2012.

"Let me make a straightforward promise. These bills can't be implemented before 2013. If they pass a bill which is a disaster, the number one campaign issue in 2010 and 2012 is going to be repeal the bill," he said.

"We repealed the catastrophic health legislation that was a disaster. We can repeal this monstrosity. If they're determined to put something bad in the country, the country can rise up, defeat the people who do it and repeal it," he went on.

Video after the jump.

Read More →

Rep. Paul Hodes (D-NH) called today for the State Department to investigate the election in Afghanistan. In a press release, Hodes said:

Ensuring that the elections are free, fair, and accurate is essential to the security of our troops and the future of the region. I strongly urge Secretary Clinton and the State Department to fully investigate these allegations of fraud and ensure that the people of Afghanistan are governed by leaders that they, the Afghan people, have chosen.

Read More →

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid played coy on health care reform today, saying he hopes to get legislation to CBO "soon," and that he, along with other senators and White House officials, are "leaning toward talking about a public option."

But he did have one somewhat telling thing to say: "I've had a number of meetings in my office, dealing with Democrats and Republicans on the public option aspect of it...when the decision's made to send this on to the CBO, I will have made a decision as to what we're going to do with the public option. It's not done yet."

This confirms to some extent what I reported last week--that though Reid isn't taking members to task publicly for standing in the way of the public option, he's meeting with them behind the scenes. But it also show's that he's not willing to pose the question of the public option as starkly as is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who will ask the CBO to analyze different versions of the public option, and then employ those numbers to convince skeptics in her own party that the public option is the fiscally responsible course.

Reid, by contrast, says he will make the decision about the public option based on negotiations with his members and the White House, but won't use so blunt an object as a CBO analysis to pressure conservative Democrats to get on board.

What's the deal with conservatives saying they're going to contact law enforcement over their political opponents' latest outrage -- before turning out to apparently be full of it?

Last week, Rep. Sue Myrick's office told us that, despite her claims to have uncovered a plot by radical Islamists to use interns to infiltrate Capitol Hill, they hadn't actually gotten around to formally asking the authorities to investigate.

Read More →

The feud is heating up between the Weekly Standard and the Dede Scozzafava campaign -- the moderate Republican running in the three-way NY-23 special election -- with Scozzafava spokesman Matt Burns now forwarding to TPM e-mails between himself and the Standard, in a challenge to the magazine's journalistic objectivity.

The latest battle between the two camps involved the Scozzafava campaign calling the police against Standard reporter John McCormack, for following around their candidate and repeatedly asking her questions in a manner that they said showed "a complete lack of decency." Bill Kristol then characterized Scozzafava spokesman Matt Burns as the malevolent character, for having called their offices on Friday and yelled at them over a story. Now, Burns has sent us e-mails connected with that dust-up from last week.

"Last week, John wrote a story that falsely asserted Dede was something other than a life-long Republican," Burns wrote me. "He took that leap based upon the exchange below. How any objective reporter would take such a leap, I'll let you report and readers decide."

McCormack confirmed the authenticity of the e-mails to me. "I have no problem posting that e-mail exchange," McCormack said. "But it's a sign of a truly desperate campaign when they're forwarding e-mails to left-wing blogs, instead of talking about their own agenda, and unwilling to answer questions about where she stands on the issues."

Read More →

According to reports filed with the Senate, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has spent $38.9 million lobbying Congress and government agencies in the third quarter of this year alone.

That includes the Chamber itself, which spent $34.7 million, and the Chamber's Institute for Legal Reform, which spent $4.2 million.

In the entire first half of 2009, by comparison, the Chamber and all of its subsidiaries spent $26.2 million.

Read More →

More than half of Republicans either say President Obama doesn't love America or say they aren't sure of his feelings toward the country he leads.

That's according to a new national poll due out tomorrow from Public Policy Polling. The firm gave TPMDC an early look this afternoon.

PPP polled 766 registered voters nationwide. Of the GOP respondents, 27% agreed that Obama "loves America," 48% disagreed and 25% said they weren't sure.

Read More →

A Democratic source tells TPMDC the Democratic National Committee will report having raised "just over" $8 million for the month of September.

The news comes after the Republican National Committee announced its haul this morning of $8.7 million for the month.

The Democratic source said the September total puts the DNC ahead of the RNC for the third quarter.

Organizing for America, the spinoff of the Obama campaign, set a goal of 100,000 phone calls to members of Congress on health care today.

When we broke the news last week that President Obama would join the call-in parties via Webcast tonight, a Hill Republican said the number of calls seemed low given the size of the OFA email list.

Well the Democratic National Committee has offered a peek at their (self-reported) figures, and have been tweeting updates from the Obama Twitter feed all day. At 12:08, they tweeted it had reached 35,000 calls. At 12:53, it was up to 50,000.

As of this writing, it's passed 90,000 calls. It went up by a few thousand calls in the last few minutes, so they will be hitting 100,000 fairly soon. My bet is they will trumpet that as a grassroots win and then raise the goal.

After the jump, a look at the widget tracking the calls.

Read More →

Former Alaska Governor and best-selling author Sarah Palin will break her long media silence by sitting down with Oprah Winfrey for a live interview on Monday, November 16 -- the day before Palin's memoir is released.

As we've pointed out, Palin's "Going Rogue" has already catapulted to the top of multiple bestseller lists. And her interview with Oprah -- which bills as "a world exclusive" -- seems sure to generate even more buzz for Palin's book.

Read More →