TPM News

Gov. David Paterson (D-NY), who has faced intense pressure within the Democratic Party to not run for a full term in 2010 -- reportedly including the Obama administration itself -- has now launched two new TV ads, as sure a sign as any that he's not giving up.

Polls currently show him losing in a landslide against potential Republican nominee Rudy Giuliani. He would also lose the Democratic primary by an even greater margin against a possible challenge from state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

In one ad, Paterson himself speaks to the camera: "Some say I shouldn't be running for governor." He says this is because he's forced state legislators to cut the deficit, has asked for concessions from unions, and wanted big corporations to pay their share in taxes. "It might have been easier if all I thought about was running for governor," says Paterson, "but I think it's more important to do what's right for the people of New York."

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The stage is being set for a rare and historic weekend vote on landmark health care legislation in the House of Representatives. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has left herself enough wiggle room to delay the vote in the event that the thorny issues of abortion and immigration prevent her from rounding up the 218 votes she needs to pass the bill, but she and other House health care leaders will be working throughout the day to resolve the concerns of the conservative Democrats who are still withholding support.

Any final agreements Pelosi makes with her caucus will be cemented by the Rules Committee, which, by procedural norm, will set the contours of the debate and vote on the House floor.

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Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) suggested today that the suspect in the Fort Hood shootings was "favorably inclined" to perpetrate a violent act.

"I think its a fine line between whether it's a terrorist attack or whether it's just someone who snapped. I don't know. There seems to be evidence that's coming in that could certainly point toward someone who would be favorably inclined to be involved in an act of terror," Perry said.

According to the Associated Press, the suspect, Nidal Hasan, came to the attention of federal authorities six months ago. The feds suspected Hasan of writing several Internet posts about suicide bombers, some equating them with soldiers who throw themselves on grenades to save the life of a comrade.

But a formal investigation had not been open, and authorities were not certain the posts were written by Hasan.

Poll: Public Wants Congress To Keep Working On Health Care A new CNN poll has mixed news for the health care bill, with a total of 59% saying that Congress should continue to work on it. However, only 26% said the current bills should be passed with only minor changes, with 33% saying major changes should be made. Only 24% said to start over on new bills, and only 15% said to pass no bill at all.

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will sign at 11 a.m. ET the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009, extending unemployment benefits and other aid in the recession. He will depart the White House at 2:20 p.m. ET, and will visit Walter Reed Army Medical Center at 2:35 p.m. ET. He will arrive back at the White House at 4:15 p.m. ET. He will meet at 4:25 p.m. ET with Congressman-elect Bill Owens (D-NY), and will meet at 5:10 p.m. ET with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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The cousin of Nidal Hasan, Nader Hasan, released a statement on the Fort Hood shootings through a spokeswoman:

As Nidal Hasan's first cousin, and because his parents are no longer alive, I wanted to issue a statement on behalf of my family. We are shocked and saddened by the terrible events at Fort Hood today. We send the families of the victims our most heartfelt sympathies.

We, like most of America, know very few details at this time. Here is what we do know about our cousin. Nidal was an American citizen. He was born in Arlington, Virginia and raised here in America. He attended local high schools and eventually went on to attend Virginia Tech.

We are filled with grief for the families of today's victims. Our family loves America. We are proud of our country, and saddened by today's tragedy. Because this situation is still unfolding, we have nothing else that we are able to share with you at this time.

This morning, two officials from Fort Hood -- Col. John Rossi and Col. Steve Braverman -- held a press conference on the deadly shooting at the Texas Army base yesterday. Here are some key pieces of news:

- Initial findings indicate that there was a single shooter, who was shot and subdued by first responders. They named him as Major Nidal Malik Hasan.

- The number of victims killed is 13, with 28 injured and hospitalized.

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Bill Owens will have been a member of Congress less than five hours when he is treated to a private sit-down with President Obama.

The White House said Obama is scheduled to meet with Owens in the Oval Office Friday at 4:25 p.m. after the president returns from a visit to Walter Reed.

Owens (D-NY) was elected Tuesday night after defeating Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman. Speaker Nancy Pelosi will host the swearing-in ceremony around noon Friday.

He was a bright spot in a lousy night for the party in the elections in the Northeast, and the first Democrat to hold the seat since the Civil War.

TPMDC reported earlier that Obama is meeting with House Democrats during a caucus meeting before they vote on health care. That was scheduled for Friday but the White House just announced the meeting will be Saturday instead.

Late update: Vice President Biden on Friday will speak via phone to "members of the House of Representatives about the need to pass health insurance reform." In announcing Biden's schedule, the White House didn't specify if he was speaking to Democrats and Republicans or just one party. TPMDC will update when we find out.

The scene today at the Capitol Hill Tea Party probably worried incumbents of both parties.

TPMDC was there, following every "Kill the bill" refrain and impromptu "USA! USA!" chant from the many thousands gathered on the West Front Lawn of the Capitol.

Evan captured the mood on the ground (with extra fun video of women singing their own anti-health care version of "Yankee Doodle") and as we reported earlier, I stumbled upon tea partiers heckling police who had arrested protesters.

My takeaway after several hours interviewing people who had taken time off work, sacrificed sleep and hopped on buses to make the trip from across the country is that there is a real spark to the movement.

The group is angry, and in many cases ill-informed about the 1,900-page health care bill that they delighted in shredding across the Capitol today. But they vote, and each person told me they are angry with incumbents and government spending.

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LiveWire

Obama Prepares For DHS Shutdown

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama convened a meeting with key administration officials on Friday…