TPM News

The right-wing protest movement that amped up during the final debate over the health care reform bill in the House has stepped up another notch, according to one of the most senior black lawmakers in the Congress.

[RELATED STORY: Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) received a drawing of a noose faxed to his congressional office. See the full story here.]

In an interview with CNN tonight, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) said that his office had received a fax that depicted a noose.

Clyburn told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that the Republican leaders were partly to blame for the extremist rhetoric (and now imagery) that has been flying at Democratic members directly before and after the health care reform vote.

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RNC Chairman Michael Steele does have a history of misspeaking. But still...

Last night on Fox News, Steele suggested that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should go before "the firing line." Not the best choice of words considering the threats and incidents of violence against Democrats across the country since health care reform passed.

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Marco Rubio has a new pair of 15-second TV ads, responding to the attack spot that was released today by Charlie Crist in their bitterly-fought Republican primary for Senate in Florida.

Crist's ad attempted to tear away at Rubio's pure conservative image, by casting him as just another political insider enriching himself off the system. So Rubio has gone right back to his usual line of attack against Crist: The governor's support for President Obama's stimulus bill.

In this case, the ads ask just why Crist is making false attacks on Rubio. The answer: A photo of Obama and Crist together at a pro-stimulus rally from last year, accompanied by chants of "Yes we can!"

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A new Democratic National Committee radio ad attacks Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL), the Republican nominee for President Obama's former Senate seat, for voting against reform -- and in the course of the attack, the ad co-opts a long-running GOP talking point against government involvement in health care.

"Now Mark Kirk is vowing to repeal reform - and put the insurance industry back in charge of your health care," the announcer says. "Call Congressman Mark Kirk at (202) 225-3121 and tell him - hands off our health care."

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The Clintons and health care: It was their issue, their passion and their failure in the '90s. This time around, both President and Secretary Clinton worked behind the scenes to get it done, giving pep talks and campaign speeches and, in Hillary's case, calling one stubborn Democrat as the clock ticked down to Sunday's vote.

It ended with a hug, Hillary Clinton's arms thrown out exuberantly to congratulate President Obama once the bill passed. The White House made sure to snap a picture and posted it online. But Hillary, and even Bill, were kept out of the spotlight for nearly all of the debate.

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Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) released the following statement today about acts of vandalism in her district. Here's the full text: "There were two events in my district during the last week that were alarming to me and I have reported them to the proper authorities. There was a brick thrown through my Niagara Falls district office and a voice mail referencing snipers that was left on the answering machine of my campaign office. The U.S. Capitol Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and local police departments are all aware of these incidents and are still investigating.

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