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Rep. Michele Bachmann has been one of the top speakers and a co-master of ceremonies at today's Capitol Hill Tea Party, an event that she herself heavily promoted.

"You came. And you came to your house. And you came for an emergency house call," said Bachmann. "And are they going to listen? Oh yeah, oh yeah, they're going to listen. It was Thomas Jefferson who said a revolution every now and then is a good thing. What do you think?"

This is hardly the first time Bachmann has spoken of revolution. Back in March, she famously told Sean Hannity: "At this point the American people - it's like Thomas Jefferson said, a revolution every now and then is a good thing. We are at the point, Sean, of revolution. And by that, what I mean, an orderly revolution -- where the people of this country wake up get up and make a decision that this is not going to happen on their watch...And we can't let the Democrats achieve their ends any longer."

Today, Bachmann said how she had been reading the journals of Abigail Adams, who wondered if future generations would understand the sacrifices that were made to create this country. "You literally stand with us on hallowed ground," said Bachmann. "This is hallowed ground of freedom, and that freedom was purchased at an incalculable price that none of us can ever truly comprehend. And for 233 years, every generation that has come before has faithfully handed the baton of freedom to the next generation. and so now we are that privileged generation, privileged to be here to be here today."

Late Update: The DNC has put out its response -- saying that it's fine by them if the GOP wants Bachmann to be its voice.

House Minority Leader John Boehner addressed the tea party crowd on Capitol Hill today, telling them that health care reform is "the greatest threat to freedom" he's seen as a congressman.

"This bill is the greatest threat to freedom that I've seen in the 19 years I've been in Washington," he said.

Which freedom?

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Appearing on the front page of Tea Party Nation, a social networking site for tea partiers, is a listing for today's Capitol rally, under the title "Michelle Bachman: A Call To Storm The Capitol" [sic].

The user-created listing, posted on Tuesday invites tea partiers from the Detroit area to make reservations for a bus heading to Washington D.C. for the rally.

Just a bit of flavor of how the people rallying on the steps of the Capitol right now view today's event.

Club for Growth, the conservative group that bankrolled Doug Hoffman's failed candidacy in NY-23, has, not surprisingly, set its sights on Gov. Charlie Crist (R-FL) today with an ad that will air on Florida television.

The ad attacks Crist for supporting the stimulus and speaking in favor of it at rallies with President Obama. It claims "200,000 Floridians have lost their jobs" since the stimulus passed.

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At the Capitol Hill Tea Party just now, Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) stepped up to lead the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance -- which he said drives the liberals crazy.

"And so as we now renew our commitment to the Red, White and Blue, let us with boldness proclaim the fact that we are one nation under God," said Akin. "It is altogether fitting that we should do this -- and it drives the liberals crazy."

The crowd laughed, and joined Akin in the Pledge, with a genuine shout given to the key words, " nation, UNDER GOD, with liberty..."

Other Republican members of Congress were on stage, too: Minority Leader John Boehner (OH), Minority Whip Eric Cantor (VA), Roy Blunt (MO), Jeb Hensarling (TX), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA), Michele Bachmann (MN) -- who was a key organizer of the event -- Virginia Foxx (NC), Ginny Brown-Waite (FL), Jean Schmidt (OH), Sue Myrick (NC), and many more.

The Capitol Hill Tea Party crowd is now at roughly 8,000 people.

A TPM reader texts to us that the subway to the Capitol is clogged with protestors. Hundreds of people are still streaming in.

Late Update: NBC's Luke Russert says a Capitol policeman just gave a crowd estimate of 3,000-3,500.

At her weekly press conference this morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi bucked the conservative spin that Tuesday's election was a boon to the GOP by noting that the results actually make health care reform easier for her to pass.

"Tuesday night we won two more votes for health care," Pelosi said. Both candidates won, she noted, amid a flurry of anti-reform ads in their districts and, despite the fact that one of the new members hails from a red-leaning district, both will vote for the plan.

"Bill Owens will be a great representative, independent voice, for his district," Pelosi said this.

She also took aim at the Republican health care plan, denouncing it in no uncertain terms.

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Former NYC police commissioner and Rudy Giuliani crony Bernie Kerik today pleaded guilty to lying during his vetting to become George W. Bush's Secretary of Homeland Security. It was the first of eight expected pleas, in exchange for which prosecutors will suggest 27 to 33 months in prison, the AP reports.

The pleas by Kerik, who has been in prison since Oct. 20 when a judge revoked his bail for giving out sealed information, are designed to resolve three separate criminal cases.

In the White House case, Kerik was accused of falsely denying to Bush vetters that he had an improper relationship with city contractors who performed pricey renovations on Kerik's Bronx apartment.

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The House ethics committee will likely clear five Democratic members of Congress including Charlie Rangel (D-NY) of wrongdoing in an investigation into whether a privately financed trip to the Caribbean broke House travel rules, Roll Call reports this morning.

The case, which involves a trip the members took on the dime of the Carib News Foundation, is perhaps the flimsiest in the slew of ethics charges against Rangel.

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