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House leaders are still cracking their whips, scaring up votes for the Waxman-Markey bill. For the most part, they're up against a posse of moderate and conservative, and energy and manufacturing state Democrats. If you're keeping track, you can read a couple of extremely helpful scorecards here (PDF) and here.

And speaking of incredibly helpful, Brad Plumer's live-twittering the floor debate. He reports that Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO), who just yesterday was an avowed fence sitter, has come around and decided to support the bill, citing the idea that Congressional action will be preferable to the Environmental Protection Agency acting on its own.

Late update: While Democrats try to squeeze the bill through the House (Rep. David Scott (D-GA) is now on board, too), Republicans are offering amendments like this one to scrap the bill entirely and replace it with a Manhattan Project for energy financed by magic.

Mark Sanford has been holding a televised cabinet meeting this afternoon.

And the South Carolina governor started out by using an interesting comparison to respond to calls for his resignation. King David didn't back down after his own sex scandal, he told his colleagues, and neither will I.

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On his radio show yesterday, Fred Thompson had some tough words for Mark Sanford -- even seeming to imply that if Sanford is going to have his mid-life crisis, he should do it in private life.

"I've known Mark, and I've gotta preface it with that. And I like him in many respects. And I'm not the one to cast the first stone. And not many -- not many of us are blameless as we go through life, regardless what the category of offense might be," said Thompson. "But I don't have any sympathy in a situation where you got -- where you got a wife and four fairly young kids. And his love life and his falling in love and all that kind of stuff, I mean that can be a personal tragedy. But you know, do it on your own time and do it on your own dime."

"You can't have your cake and eat it, too, and these guys who take money and so forth, they get a sense of entitlement. Same principle involved," said Thompson, seemingly comparing recent political scandal with recent corporate scandals. "They're presiding over all these billions of dollars and they're working on these salaries and so forth, they feel like they're entitled to cut corners and all of that. That's why we need term limits and that's why we need people, if they're gonna do this, they need to be in public -- I mean in private life, and not visit it on millions and millions of other people and their own family."

(Via Sayfie News.)

Just in from MoveOn: ""Given recent comments showing that Senator Hagan is not supporting the public health insurance option, MoveOn.org will be making clear that our 115,000 members in North Carolina--many of whom volunteered for or donated to her campaign last year--believe the public option is the heart of true health care reform. We'll run ads in North Carolina and D.C. asking that she advocate for the public option and support the President in truly solving the nation's health care crisis."

The group did much the same earlier this week to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) who has expressed doubts about the feasibility of both the public option and reform in general. The difference--or one of the differences--is that Hagan owes much of her electoral success to grassroots Democrats.

Leaders of both the Republican and Democratic parties are nearing their decisions on the roster of people who will sit on the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. According to Reuters there are some familiar names floating around. "A short list of names has emerged that includes former Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson; former Democratic head of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission Brooksley Born; and Alex Pollock, a fellow at the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute, according to a source familiar with the matter."

[O]ther possible appointees include Bill Thomas, former Republican chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee; Jake Garn, former Republican senator; and Bob Graham, the former Democratic senator and Florida governor.


There are some serious names on the list, but also some baggage. Fred Thompson, for instance, is now viewed as an extremely political figure. Additionally, there aren't any famous, trusted brands (Elizabeth Warren, for instance) or people associated with consumer protection, an issue House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hopes the commission will bring to light.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) appeared on the Glenn Beck show yesterday evening, to keep on her new campaign to not completely fill out her census reform. She is drawing a line against government intrusion, despite the $5,000 fine that could potentially be imposed.

Bachmann again invoked a historic connection between the Census and the Japanese-American internment -- and she objected to the government looking into people's mental health:



"Well, I think everyone in the country has been happy about what I've said -- other than the U.S. Census Bureau," said Bachmann. "So I think other than that, we're doing pretty well."

Bachmann also differentiated between the 28-page American Community Survey, which only a tiny fraction of Americans will receive, and the short form that everyone gets -- and she objected to both of them. "Does the federal government really need to know our phone numbers?" she asked. "Do they really need to know, like you said, the date and time that we leave mental stability?"

Monica Conyers, the president pro tem of the Detroit city council -- and the wife of Rep. John Conyers, the powerful chair of the US House Judiciary committee -- has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery, which is punishable by up to five years in prison.

The Detroit Free Press reports:

The federal plea document released today cites two instances in late 2007, in the days surrounding the approval of the now-infamous Synagro Technologies sludge-hauling contract, when Conyers accepted cash bribes from a Synagro consultant.

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If you want to know why the Senate HELP Committee--the more liberal of the two Senate committees with jurisdiction over health reform--hasn't been able to unveil a public option, you need look no further than freshman Kay Hagan (D-NC).

Her opposition was revealed last week, but now, she's speaking publicly about it.

This might not be a huge problem for supporters of the provision, but it becomes one because, with a narrow Democratic majority on the committee and its chairman, Ted Kennedy, in poor health, her vote is crucial to moving the bill forward--something the panel's been working toward for days now without success.

A new Rasmussen poll finds a plurality of South Carolina's likely voters saying that Gov. Mark Sanford should resign in the wake of his recent disappearance to Argentina and subsequent admission of an extramarital affair.

The numbers: 46% say he should resign, to 39% who say he should not. Only 40% think the legislature should impeach him if he does not resign, compared to 48% who disagree. These numbers are not much different from an InsiderAdvantage poll yesterday, which was of registered voters.

At the same time, 55% of respondents in the new poll said that Sanford is about as ethical as most politicians, with 18% saying he is more ethical than others, and 18% saying his ethics are lower than average.

Climate-Change Bill In The Balance Democratic leaders in the House are working hard to pass the climate-change bill today, containing a cap-and-trade system for limiting carbon emissions, with Dems from industrial states holding the balance of power on the issue. Speaker Nancy Pelosi sought yesterday to rebut Republican charges that the bill would cost jobs, insisting instead, "It will create millions of new jobs."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will meet one-on-one with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at 10:30 a.m., with an expanded meeting at 11 a.m. ET, a joint press availability at 11:30 a.m. ET, and a working lunch at 12 p.m. ET. Obama will meet with Vice President Biden at 1:30 p.m. ET. At 6:15 p.m. ET, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will host a picnic for White House staff.

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