TPM News

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) reminded the progressive media gathered on Capitol Hill today that single-payer health care reform was dead before it started in the Senate.

"It would have had 8 or 10 votes and that's it," he said, addressing a topic central in the minds of many who the bloggers and left wing talk show hosts gathered for the 4th annual Senate Democratic Progressive Media Summit in Washington reach everyday.

Sanders is among the few in the Senate not afraid to say he supports government-run, universal health care. But his calls for such a program have gone unanswered, much to the chagrin of progressives who still feel it is the best way to solve the nation's health care crisis.

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Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), a potential presidential candidate in 2012, will be making another trip outside of Minnesota, to visit Republicans in another state.

Pawlenty will speak to the North Dakota Republican Party convention, which will be held on March 21. This will be Pawlenty's first trip to North Dakota since he announced last year that he would not run for re-election as governor.

It should be noted that North Dakota was a Super Tuesday state during the 2008 primary season. Mitt Romney won the state's Republican caucuses with a plurality of 36% in a four-way race.

A former campaign volunteer for Eric Massa tells TPMmuckraker that Massa asked to share his room at the 2006 YearlyKos convention in Las Vegas -- but "nothing happened that was more interesting than snoring."

"It was reasons of economy," Howard Park, an independent bookseller in Washington, tells us. Park was at the time a netroots activist who was helping Massa on his ultimately unsuccessful 2006 campaign for Congress.

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Mar. 9, 2010: Thousands of people came out to a rally in Washington D.C. to support President Obama's health-care reform plan. They were protesting a meeting of health-insurance executives, whom they see as responsible for many of the problems in America's health-care system.

Above: A woman holds a sign aimed at insurance executives.

Photo by Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com






Photo by Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com






Photo by Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com






Photo by Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com






Photo by Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com






Photo by Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com






Photo by Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com






Photo by Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com






Photo by Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com






Photo by Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com






Photo by Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said at a summit for progressive reporters, pundits and bloggers today that he is going to hold Rules Committee hearings on filibuster reform to dramatically change the process.

At the gathering where other Democrats said they will highlight Republican obstruction, Schumer announced he will examine the legal way to "undo, modify or lessen the filibuster rule."

The remarks came after Democratic leaders complained the Republicans have slowed down the Senate's work and Majority Leader Harry Reid called for reform.

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid defended himself to progressive reporters, pundits and bloggers today, blaming the Republicans for the sluggish pace of the Senate and calling for filibuster reform.

Reid (D-NV) said no one complained at first about the use of the spitball in baseball, but "the ball got wetter and wetter." He said the same is true of the filibuster in the Senate, citing the 67 times he had to use the long process of invoking cloture on mostly mundane legislation last year.

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They were like yin and yang, oil and water. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and America's Health Insurance Plans CEO Karen Ignagni couldn't agree on much today when they debated health care reform at AHIP's conference in downtown Washington, D.C.

Sebelius challenged to insurers to embrace the Obama administration's health care reform efforts before it's too late. Directly after she finished speaking, Ignagni took to the mics to challenge the administration to abandon its efforts to reform the way health insurance works in America -- before it's too late.

The lines appeared to be drawn.

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Vice President Joe Biden met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah today. In his speech Biden said that the Palestinians deserve a 'viable' state. Here's the full text of their remarks:

PRESIDENT ABBAS: In the name of God the merciful, the compassionate, it is our pleasure to welcome the Vice President, our friend, Joseph Biden, here in Ramallah. This visit comes as an expression of the interest that President Obama's administration has according to the peace process and to achieve the two-state solution.

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