TPM News

The leader of a grassroots reproductive rights group is getting a sit down with President Obama today as the White House and Democratic leaders face a pro-choice backlash on a provision related to abortion in the health care bill.

Erin Matson, Vice President, Action at the National Organization of Women said her boss is meeting with Obama. Matson said the group was blindsided when the Stupak amendment ended up in the health care bill that past Friday night.

"Everyone was stunned by this we did not expect this to be part of the health care bill," she said on the ABC News online show TopLine.

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Colorado State Sen. Dave Schultheis (R-Colorado Springs) posted a tweet yesterday that called for a derailing of President Obama's agenda in a rather bold way. The blog Colorado Pols caught the statement from Schultheis's account.

"Don't for a second, think Obama wants what is best for U.S. He is flying the U.S. Plane right into the ground at full speed. Let's Roll," the tweet reads.

"Let's roll" were the final words of Todd Beamer, a passenger aboard United Airlines Flight 93, one of the four flights hijacked on September 11 and the only one to crash before reaching its intended target. The flight was diverted to Washington, D.C. after it was hijacked, but crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania after passengers tried to thwart the hijackers.

This isn't the first time Sen. Schultheis has had his brash way with words. The staunch conservative lawmaker voted against a Colorado bill requiring pregnant women to undergo HIV testing to help reduce risks for the baby and offered this in the way of an explanation:

What I'm hoping is that yes, that person may have AIDS, have it seriously as a baby and when they grow up, but the mother will begin to feel guilt as a result of that. The family will see the negative consequences of that promiscuity and it may make a number of people over the coming years ... begin to realize that there are negative consequences and maybe they should adjust their behavior. We can't keep people from being raped. We can't keep people from shooting each other. We can't keep people from jumping off bridges. People drink and drive, and they crash and kill people. Poor behavior has its consequences.

After a wreath-laying ceremony this morning at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery, President Obama gave a speech thanking veterans for their service.

"There is no tribute, no commemoration, no praise that can truly match the magnitude of your service and your sacrifice," he said.

"We call this a holiday. For many veterans it's another day of memories that drive them to live their lives each day as best as they possibly can," he said. "For troops, it's another day in harm's way ... for the wounded, it's another day of slow and arduous recovery."

Obama said the troops who've fought in Iraq and Afghanistan are as valued as those who fought in World War II and other wars.

"This generation already deserves a place alongside previous generations for the sacrifices they have made," he said. (Read his full remarks here.)

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According to a report by the Associated Press on Tuesday, Rep. Joseph Cao (R-LA), the lone Republican defector on the House health care reform bill, admitted that he had suffered some blowback from the bill: two fundraisers have been canceled and several campaign contributors have asked for their money back. Though some GOP leaders like Michael Steele have claimed the GOP will come after any Republican defectors, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) claims that the canceled fundraisers aren't retaliatory and that he is "well aware that Anh Cao is a thoughtful legislator." Meanwhile, a Louisiana Republican Party spokesman claims he knows of no efforts to primary Rep. Cao.

Cao says he doesn't regret the vote--"At the end of the day, I have to represent my district" -- and that he has no intention of deserting the Republican Party.

But I've never been a partisan politician. If you were to listen to me on some of the issues on the Hill, I have addressed my frustration toward partisan politics.


He also tells the AP that he can't support a final bill unless it explicitly bans federal funding of abortions.

On Monday, I noted that 40 Democrats had voted for the Stupak amendment--which would prohibit low- and middle-class women from buying health insurance policies that cover abortion--and then voted for final passage of the health care bill. That's a large number, but a key question remained unanswered: How many of those 40 would have voted against the final bill if the Stupak amendment had failed, or not been given a vote?

Well, House Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) has some answers.

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On the Daily Show last night, Jon Stewart pointed out that, in a segment about Rep. Michele Bachmann's tea party rally at the Capitol last week, Fox News' Sean Hannity used footage from the much bigger 9/12 rally, apparently to pump up the attendance numbers.

Watch:








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CBS Evening News is set to run a segment looking at the questionable foundation of Rep. Steve Buyer (R-IN), and they've got a sit-down interview with the man himself.

Last night, CBS ran a promo of the "Follow the Money" segment with reporter Sharyl Attkisson interviewing a tense-looking Buyer. She asks, "What happened to the $25,000?"

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