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At a briefing in his Justice Department office this afternoon, AG Eric Holder took aim at congressional opposition to bringing terror suspects from Gitmo to the US for trial.

Last week, the House voted overwhelmingly to deny funds to pay for prisoner transfers, citing the fears about terrorists on US soil that have been commonplace on Capitol Hill since President Obama first announced his intention to close Gitmo in a year on Jan 22.

Holder said the vote will slow future prosecutions of Gitmo detainees.

"The restrictions we've had to deal with give me great concern," he said. "They've made it harder for us" to bring prisoners to trial.

Holder said he faces an uphill climb convincing Congress to allow Gitmo prisoners into the US for trial, but he said he plans on taking his case directly to reticent members on their turf if necessary. Holder said he's "had discussions" about going to Capitol Hill to argue the case before last week's House vote, which was nonbinding, becomes part of a future Homeland Security bill.

"We have to make them understand we have the capacity to house these people," he said, pointing out several high-level convicted terrorists already housed in federal prisons after going to trial here in previous years.

As for the Jan. 22, 2010 deadline for closure of Gitmo, Holder said meeting that date will be "difficult." But he said "that doesn't mean we're not going to try to do that."

For his part, Holder said Justice Dept. lawyers "are going through the files" of every detainee at Gitmo to determine how to deal with their case. Holder said the process will be complete by Nov. 16. Whether the end of the review will signal a final chapter in the history of the Gitmo terror detention center remains to be seen.

Despite the political difficulties it has caused, Holder praised Obama's Gitmo deadline in the briefing. "It was the right thing to do," he said. "The timing was wise and it led to the progress we have made."

In a segment just now with Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Fox News's Shepard Smith gave a stunning argument in favor of the public option.

"Over the last 10 years health care costs in American have skyrocketed. Regular folks cannot afford it, so they tax the system by not getting preventive medicine," Smith said. "And we all end up paying for it. As the costs have gone up, the insurance industry's profits, on average, have gone up 350 percent. And it's the insurance companies which have paid and which have contributed to senators and congressmen on both sides of the aisle to the point where now we can't get what all concerned on Capitol Hill all seem to [believe] and more than 60 percent of Americans say they support, a public option."

He refuted Barrasso's argument that the public option is a government option.

"Every vote against the public option is a vote for the insurance companies," Smith said.

Video after the jump.

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In an interview on the local radio show Doc & Grace in the Morning, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) explained that his comments about Republicans have been twisted into meaning that they somehow want Americans to die -- when the real truth is that they don't care.

"You know, this is being transmogrified into something else," Grayson complained. "Honestly, the people I deal with, the people I actually am across the aisle with every day, I don't think they care about ordinary people. I don't think that the Republicans in Congress actually have a heart. I'll be honest with you."

"But that's not the same as saying that they want you -- I mean, let's get straight what I said," he explained. "I said their health care plan is 'don't get sick,' and if you do get sick, then die quickly. And what did I mean by that? Because if you get sick and those bills are mounting, and you're in the hospital and you're feeling weaker and weaker, and you've got no way to pay for this, then what are they gonna do for you? Nothing. They're gonna do nothing."

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer vowed today to block any resolution by House Republicans to forcibly remove Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.

Rep. John Carter (R-TX), the Republican conference secretary, said he will introduce the resolution if Rangel does not step down this week. Republican leaders are reportedly ready to support the resolution.

"To allow Mr. Rangel to continue to serve as chairman is the same as allowing a confessed bank robber to serve as chairman of the Banking Committee during the trial," Carter said in a statement.

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Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has a bold declaration for her enemies at MSNBC: She doesn't even know a thing about you.

"Quite honestly I don't even know anything about MSNBC," Bachmann told conservative bloggers at the Heritage Foundation, the Washington Independent reports. "It's not a network that I watch, and most of the American people agree with that assessment. They aren't watching it either. And that's why Fox's ratings -- I mean, it's like, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC combined. I think Fox even exceeded one of the major networks last week. They're on the ascendency."

Michele Bachmann doesn't know anything about MSNBC? That's odd, since that's the channel where she went on an infamous McCarthyist rant a year ago against Barack Obama and the Democrats -- even going so far as to attack Obama for his association with his wife -- which caused tons of donations to come in for her opponent and nearly cost her the election.

Why was a private security firm given control of a jail in Hardin, Montana, before a lease agreement with the town was finalized?

Hardin officials, who yesterday put a deal with American Private Police Force on hold, are having a hard time answering the question.

A bank that is trustee on bonds used by Hardin to build the Two Rivers Detention Facility -- now in default -- never signed off on the APPF deal, which was first announced in early September.

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With a 60-seat majority in the Senate, Democrats are poised, theoretically, to prevent Republicans from filibustering key agenda items. Liberals and health care reformers see that as a potential bulwark against Republican obstruction and are pressuring party leaders to enforce unanimity on key cloture votes, so that nominations and major bills (like health care) can be decided by a simple majority. And just how are they doing on that score?

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), one of the Senate's most visible centrists, tells me leadership hasn't said anything about it to him.

I asked, "Has leadership been in discussions with you and other moderates about voting with the party on procedural votes?"

In a statement that will bedevil liberals, he responded, "I don't know about others, but not with me."

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Let this be an object lesson that if you want to mobilize against somebody, having a real opponent for them to face is a good thing.

In the wake of Rep. Alan Grayson's (D-FL) attacks against the Republicans, money began flowing in from liberals who appreciated his no-holds-barred tirades against the opposition. The Republicans, however, didn't have a candidate yet, but instead set up a special fund to benefit the eventual nominee.

As of Friday, Grayson's campaign Grayson's campaign had amassed over $125,000. The campaign has not returned our further requests for latest numbers, but as of right now his ActBlue page alone is at over $132,000.

By comparison, when we asked NRCC spokesman John Randall for comment about their special anti-Grayson fund, which will benefit the eventual nominee, we got a rather low-key response: "Money is not going to determine the outcome of this race. There is a reason that even without a clear opponent Grayson's seat was moved to toss-up after his outrageous and distasteful outburst." That said, things should probably get better for them once they have a real challenger.

During this afternoon's press briefing, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs tried to deflect criticism surrounding President Obama's postponed meeting with the Dalai Lama -- which was seen by some as an attempt to curry favor with China. The Washington Post reported that Obama's meeting with the Dalai Lama was specifically postponed until after Obama's meeting next month with China's Hu Jintao.

Gibbs took issue with that casting today, implying that the later meeting with the Dalai Lama had been the plan all along.

"There was an agreement to do this later in the year and that's what's going to happen," Gibbs said, adding that "this was mutually agreed upon."

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