TPM News

Hutaree, the Christian militia in southeast Michigan reportedly raided by the FBI Sunday, was preparing to battle the Antichrist because "Jesus wanted us to be ready to defend ourselves using the sword and stay alive using equipment," according to its Web site.

A Joint Terrorism Task Force, led by the FBI, arrested at least seven people in three states as part of the raids on the Adrian, Michigan-based group, the Detroit News reported.

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Play offense and "don't run away" from health care reform.

That's the advice Democratic leadership is giving rank-and-file members as they fan out across the country to their home districts with a health care victory in their pocket. For all the celebrating, there are real concerns about the next two weeks of Congressional recess spiraling out of control.

Democrats tell us they are confident the rowdy town halls from August won't be duplicated, and are peppering members with data and facts about the health care bill to make sure they are armed with information. Last summer, members were caught unprepared and were faced with angry voters, loud protests and televised meetings that portrayed them in many cases as fumbling and unsure of how to talk about a bill that didn't actually exist yet.

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Obama's Afghanistan Trip Kept Secret Reuters reports that President Obama's trip to Afghanistan was kept shrouded in secrecy: "For security reasons, the trip was cloaked in secrecy. He arrived at night and left while it was still dark. Reporters were barred from telling anyone where they were going on Saturday evening as they made their way to Andrews Air Force Base, where the presidential aircraft is housed."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will arrive back at Andrews Air Force Base at 9 a.m. ET, and at the White House at 9:15 a.m. ET, after his surprise trip to Afghanistan. He will participate in a 4 p.m. ET credentialing ceremony for foreign ambassadors. At 6:30 p.m. ET, the President and First Lady will mark the beginning of Passover with a seder at the White House.

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President Obama and President Karzai of Afghanistan delivered a joint press conference during Obama's surprise visit to the country yesterday. Here are their complete remarks:

PRESIDENT KARZAI: Mr. President, welcome to Afghanistan on your second visit, this time as the President of the United States of America. I welcome you on behalf of the Afghan people and express the gratitude of our people for the help that America has given us in the past eight years, for the assistance given. And I hope that this process will continue into the future towards a stable, strong, peaceful Afghanistan that can sustain itself, that can move forward into the future with confidence and better hopes.

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President Obama released the following statement this morning on recent bombings in the Moscow Metro:

I send my deepest condolences to the people of Russia after the terrible loss of life and injuries resulting from the bombings on the Moscow Metro. The American people stand united with the people of Russia in opposition to violent extremism and heinous terrorist attacks that demonstrate such disregard for human life, and we condemn these outrageous acts. My thoughts and prayers go out to those who lost loved ones, and I wish all who sustained injuries a succesful recovery.

Jarrett On Health Care Reform: 'We Are Confident That The American People Will Support This. It's Good For Them' Appearing on This Week, White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett predicted that public opinion on the new health care law will improve: "There has been a lot of negative rhetoric that we've heard around the country. But what we are sure of is that this is as the American people begin to understand what's in this package...we are confident that the American people will support this. It's good for them. As you go around and you start talking about the individual components of this bill, we're seeing overwhelming support.

DeMint: Obama 'Mocking Americans Who Continue To Be Against This Bill' Appearing on Face The Nation, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) continued to push for repealing the new health care reform law. "All of us who believe in freedom in this country recognize that if this health care bill stands, it will not only destroy our health care system, we believe it will bankrupt our country. So to give up on repealing this bill will be giving up on our country, for me and, I think, for millions of Americans," said DeMint, who also added: "Bob, the president is mocking Americans who continue to be against this bill."

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President Obama made an surprise stop in Afghanistan today, his first visit to the war zone since moving into the White House. The one-day visit, which lasted a total of about 6 hours, included talks with Afghan president Hamid Karzai and his government, which the U.S. sees as key to completing its mission in Afghanistan on on the timetable Obama outlined in December. While on the ground, Obama also addressed U.S. troops and met with American commanders.

Air Force One touched down at Bagram Air Force Base overnight, after leaving Andrews Air Force base under cover of secrecy on Saturday. Accompanying Obama on the trip were members of Obama's national security team, including members of the White House national security team, including National Security Adviser Jim Jones. The White House said the trip had been planned since Thursday, but told reporters the flight was unannounced "for security reasons."

Obama and Afghan president Hamid Karzai appeared briefly before reporters in Kabul, where the Obama announced that Karzai will visit the U.S. for more talks next month.

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After months of fighting separate battles for the hearts and minds of Florida Republicans, Marco Rubio and Charlie Crist met on Fox News Sunday this morning, their first debate of the GOP primary. During 40 heated minutes moderated by FNS' Chris Wallace, Crist showed that he won't go quietly, despite the polls, and is willing now to run on the moderate record he tried to distance himself from as recently as October.

Crist came into the debate with the most to prove, having seen his once sure-thing candidacy devolve into an insurgent challenge against Rubio, who has become the poster boy for the most vocal Republicans on the right this year. Crist tried to tear down that image, claiming that Rubio is not the man conservatives think he is.

Rubio had a familiar response to Crist's taunts: At least I'm not the kind of guy who hugs President Obama.

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Obama: 'We're A Nation Still Capable Of Doing Big Things' In this weekend's YouTube address, President Obama touted the achievements of the past week, with the passage of reforms to the country's health care system and student loan program.

"Education. Health care. Two of the most important pillars of a strong America grew stronger this week," said Obama. "These achievements don't represent the end of our challenges; nor do they signify the end of the work that faces our country. But what they do represent is real and major reform. What they show is that we're a nation still capable of doing big things. What they prove is what's possible when we can come together to overcome the politics of the moment; push back on the special interests; and look beyond the next election to do what's right for the next generation."

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