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Appearing on Hardball just now, Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) defended the use of waterboarding -- and unlike other GOPers, he openly used the word "torture."

"I would not limit our intelligence agencies' ability to get information from people," said Schock. "If they have a ticking time-bomb or some critical piece of information that can save American lives, I don't believe that we should limit waterboarding or quite frankly any other alternative torture technique, if it means saving Americans' lives."

Most Republicans, such as Dick and Liz Cheney, adamantly deny that waterboarding constitutes torture or that the United States ever authorized torture, and they also charge President Obama and other Democrats with slandering American troops by using the word "torture." So it's interesting to see at least one Republican who is not afraid to use the word "torture," and who describes it as a positive thing that should be utilized.

Go to the 2:25 mark in the video:

In the midst of the health care debate, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is rolling out a new set of radio ads on a different big issue, Wall Street accountability -- specifically targeting House GOPers who voted against the recent financial regulation package.

"October 2008, the last months of the Bush presidency. The big banks and financial institutions almost collapsed, putting our entire economy at risk. Remember?" the announcer says. "We all know we should never let this happen again. That's why what our Congressman ________ did last week is so disturbing."

The ads are targeting GOP Reps. Joe Wilson (SC), Dan Lungren (CA), Mary Bono Mack (CA), Lee Terry (NE) and Charlie Dent (PA) -- all of whom voted for the final version of the Wall Street bailout last year.

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) told colleagues in a closed-door Democrats caucus meeting today he "regrets" that his positions on the health care reform bill has made the process a tough one for his former colleagues in the Democratic party. But Lieberman emphasized he did not say he was sorry for what he's done.

From The Hill:

"I just said I know it's been difficult for people and I regretted it, it's been difficult for all of us, I said," Lieberman said.

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Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) has delivered one of the strongest breaks with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) from among Congressional Democrats, saying that Lieberman should even be recalled -- which isn't possible.

"No individual should hold health care hostage, including Joe Lieberman, and I'll say it flat out, I think he ought to be recalled," DeLauro told the Politico.

Of course, it should be noted that there is no such thing in the Constitution as the recall of a member of Congress.

DeLauro spokesperson Kaelan Richards alleged to us that the Congresswoman's full response had acknowledged that a recall might not be a feasible option, but that DeLauro was instead "merely trying to convey her passion about the issue."

Richards gave us this paraphrasing of DeLauro's full response: "No one should hold health care hostage, including Joe Lieberman, and I'll say it flat out, I think he ought to be recalled-- I know that may not even be an option in Connecticut, but 45,000 people die every year because they don't have health care. We don't have the luxury to hold up a bill that could make a difference in people's lives. This is what we were sent here to do."

With the public option dead, and likely not coming back to life, President Obama huddled with Senate Democrats at the White House today bringing a familiar message: "get this done."

According to Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), about a dozen senators, including Joe Lieberman (I-CT) spoke up at the gathering, many offering their displeasure with the fact that the public option, and its potential alternatives have been scrapped.

"Today was a very frank articulation of what's at stake for the country, and what's at stake for us, that we're not going to get a chance like this for a long, long time," Casey told reporters, "maybe not in our lifetimes."

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The celebrated historian John Hope Franklin was scrutinized by the FBI in the 1960s for supposed links to communists, particularly his opposition to the House Committee on Un-American Activities and his vocal support for W.E.B. Du Bois.

"Dr. Franklin is an apologist for the late Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois, a prominent crusader for civil rights and a sponsor of communist fronts who joined the Communist Party at the age of 93," wrote an unidentified FBI official in a letter to the White House in July 1965.

Franklin's file, obtained by TPMmuckraker through the Freedom of Information Act, is mainly a collection of background checks conducted when he was up for presidential appointments (though the FBI withheld 18 pages of the 515-page file). The author of the classic From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African-Americans, Franklin died in May at 94.

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Speaking to reporters after meeting with Senate Democrats this afternoon, President Obama said he is "cautiously optimistic" about health care reform's chances for passage.

"I am absolutely confident that if the American people know what's in this bill and the Senate knows what's in this bill, it will pass, because it's right for America," he said, adding that he welcomes "the scrutiny of the press."

He warned that "the final bill won't include everything that everybody wants," but senators "simply cannot allow differences" over specific elements of the bill to derail reform.

The bill meets his own requirements, he said.

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One time Joe Lieberman rival Ned Lamont, running for governor in Connecticut, takes advantage of the senator's recent rise in the health care headlines to solicit money for his race.

Lamont (D-CT) starts by saying the health care crisis in the Nutmeg state is real, adding: "Yet, as we've all seen, Senator Lieberman is now threatening to weaken or derail health care reform in the Senate. If he succeeds in his efforts, we will see health care costs continue to surge faster than inflation and wages, making coverage even more unaffordable and bankrupting our small businesses and working families alike."

He attempts to connect Lieberman to the governor's race, saying: "The next governor's job will be a lot easier if Congress can manage to overcome Senator Lieberman's obstruction and pass a health care reform bill that begins to reform the system and contain costs."

"Please stand with me on health care -- contribute to our exploratory committee today," he wrote.

MoveOn also staged a rally targeting Lieberman outside the White House gates.

Now that the writing is on the wall, and the public option and its chief alternatives are likely out of the Senate health care bill, that paves the way for Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) to hop aboard the health care reform bandwagon, right?

Not so fast.

"Yes, I do have misgivings because I understand that there are a lot of unintended consequences," Snowe told The Hill. "We haven't had this bill laid down in its entirety so it makes it difficult, I think, to make a decision on a bill in such a short timeframe."

Snowe reiterated that now, among her chief concerns, is the pace at which the bill is moving forward. "Given the enormity and complexity, I don't see anything magical about the Christmas deadline if this bill is going to become law in 2014," Snowe said.

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