TPM News

Speaking about health care reform at the Congressional Black Caucus gala Saturday night, President Obama relayed an anecdote from the G-20 Summit, in which an anonymous world leader said he was dumbfounded over the health care debate -- especially the comparisons to Hitler.

"One of the leaders, I won't mention who it was, he comes up to me and ... he says, 'Barack, explain to me this health care debate.' He says, 'We don't understand it. You're trying to make sure everyone has health care and they're putting a Hitler moustache on you. That doesn't make sense to me, explain that to me,'" Obama said. "He didn't understand."

Signs of Obama sporting a Hitler moustache, mostly from supporters of fringe figure Lyndon LaRouche, have popped up at town halls and anti-reform rallies. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) famously took one such LaRouchie to task, asking her what planet she was from.

When we last checked in on the Birther lawsuit Attorney Orly Taitz is pursuing in federal court, Taitz's client, Army Capt. Connie Rhodes, was denouncing Taitz and threatening her with a bar complaint. And the judge had given Taitz until October 2 to explain why he shouldn't fine her $10,000 for repeated frivolous filings.

Now, in a new motion filed Saturday in U.S. district court in Georgia, Taitz "respectfully" requests that she be allowed to withdraw as Rhodes' counsel. (Rhodes, who has deployed to Iraq, already requested that Taitz no longer represent her.)

But here's the twist: Taitz says her motive for seeking to withdraw as counsel is to be able to divulge "privileged attorney-client communications" and to "offer evidence and call witnesses whose testimony will be adverse to her (former) client's most recently stated position in this case."

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Appearing on a Sunday talk show, Vice President Biden claimed to know nothing about whether President Obama has asked New York Gov. David Paterson to step aside in next year's gubernatorial election.

"To the best of my knowledge, the President has not said anything to David Paterson," Biden said on Washington Watch with Roland Martin.

"It's very important that we maintain control of New York," he said, but "no one's demanding, to the best of my knowledge, that the governor step down."

The New York Times reported last week that the White House was pushing Paterson -- whose approval rating continues to sink -- to give up on his campaign. Paterson has repeated in the week since that he is still planning to run. Although he refuses to give details, he has acknowledged that he's been in touch with the administration.

"There's a reality I think the governor has to decide upon, and the Democratic party there has to decide upon: How are we gonna win?" Biden said Sunday. "If it can be shown he can win, he should run."

Allen Stanford's jail woes continue. The accused $7 billion Ponzi schemer sustained minor injuries after getting into a fight last week, reports the Houston Chronicle.

It's not clear how the fight between Stanford and the other inmate got started. But the one-time billionaire banker looks to have gotten the worst of it -- he was the only one taken to the hospital, with bruising and other superficial injuries.

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The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and Democracy for America have launched the below ad in Montana and Washington, D.C., hitting Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus for blocking a public option from his health care reform bill.



The ad is the latest in a bid to personalize the politics of the public option. Last week, the two groups targeted Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) for opposing a public option with a similar ad.

Tomorrow, the Finance Committee will resume consideration of reform legislation, and have a chance to vote on a number of public option amendments, including one, authored by Snowe, that would affix the public option to a "trigger mechanism"--a plan viewed with suspicion by most reformers.

WaPo: GOP Faces Role Reversal On Medicare The Washington Post reports that Republicans have found themselves in an odd position on Medicare -- the party that usually seeks cuts in the program is now denouncing proposed reductions, and even the medical industry isn't supporting them. "In terms of this deal, we are better off. And, also, it's the right thing to do," said Charles Kahn, president of the Federation of American Hospitals, and who is also the man behind the "Harry and Louise" ads of 1994.

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama does not have any public events scheduled for today. He will receive the presidential daily briefing at 10:15 a.m. ET, and will meet with senior advisers at 10:35 a.m. ET.

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A number of U.S. Senators made the Sunday morning news show rounds today, weighing in on Iran's nuclear program and U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, among other things.

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