TPM News

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), who yesterday said the Republicans' health care plan is "Die quickly," today doubled down on his rhetoric, calling the health care crisis a "holocaust."

"I call upon the Democratic members of the House, I call upon the Republican members of the House, I call upon all of us to do our jobs for the sake of America, for the sake of those dying people and their families," Grayson said.

"I apologize to the dead and their families that we haven't voted sooner to end this holocaust in America," he said.

Yesterday, he said, "If you get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this: Die quickly. That's right. The Republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick."

A Republican representative had drafted a resolution to condemn the remarks, but decided not to introduce it, saying he'd give Grayson the chance to apologize first.

Video after the jump.

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The Connecticut Insurance Department has begun an investigation into that Medicare mailer we told you about yesterday that tries to scare seniors into buying extra insurance by claiming that Congress has cut benefits -- right when the health care debate is dominating the news.

A copy of the mailer that went to a senior in Washington was sent by a direct mail firm, but listed an insurance agent, Tim Manry, who is apparently the Seattle branch manager for CT-based Futurity First.

Dawn McDaniel, spokeswoman for the Connecticut Insurance Department, which is responsible for regulating the insurance industry, sends along this statement:

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Arizona -- in the news over the summer for allowing gun-toters to attend presidential events -- has now passed a law allowing people to carry guns into bars. TPM has reported on 14 people in 3 separate Arizona incidents packing heat at political events - events that involved President Obama and Democratic representatives from the state.

The NRA-backed law, which takes effect today, allows those with a concealed weapons permit to bring guns into bars and restaurants. The new rules coincide with the Supreme Court announcement today that it will review a gun-control case, McDonald v. Chicago, which concerns whether state and local gun laws may be challenged under the Second Amendment.

The one stipulation that prohibits gun-toters from entering Arizona bars: if the establishment has a sign against them. So if there's a sign, you can't bring a gun in -- except there are enough loopholes to render the rule almost meaningless.

First, the signs have to be state-approved. And according to the AP:

A person would be exempt if the sign banning guns had fallen down, the person wasn't an Arizona resident, or the notice was first posted less than a month earlier.

That certainly isn't making bar owners in Arizona feel better.

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The latest polls from the Virginia gubernatorial race all show Republican candidate Bob McDonnell leading Democratic candidate Creigh Deeds -- but by different margins, and with wildly different makeups of the electorate under their different likely voter screens.

What this tells us is that get-out-the-vote efforts could be crucial in this race, as the parties work to get out their base supporters. Barack Obama carried the state by 53%-47%, but the polls show likely voter pools that either voted for John McCain or only narrowly for Obama -- a sign that the likely voter models are showing Republican voters to be relatively more motivated than Democrats this time.

Check out the different results, after the jump.

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There's a lot of intrigue and not many details about Thursday's meeting of Iran, France, Germany, the UK, Russia, China and the United States. In the last week, the existence of a secret Iranian nuclear facility has been disclosed, and Iran has test-fired a number of missiles -- some that could reach Europe and Israel. And tomorrow, Iran will sit down to talk with several major powers to talk about it.

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In a new fundraising e-mail sent out by the RNC, chairman Michael Steele attacks the Democrats over the video that has circulated of a small group of schoolchildren singing about President Obama:

In the video, impressionable youngsters at a public school in New Jersey, most of whom are no more than six or seven years old, have been instructed to sing the praises of "Barack Hussein Obama." One song is even set to the tune of The Battle Hymn of the Republic.

This is the type of propaganda you would see in Stalin's Russia or Kim Jong Il's North Korea. I never thought the day would come when I'd see it here in America.

This is the type of fanaticism Republicans are up against as we fight to stop the Obama Democrats' radical leftist transformation of America.

Check out the full e-mail after the jump.

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In a new post on the official White House blog, an administration official specifically names Fox News for lying about the administration's push to bring the Olympics to Chicago.

"Last night Fox News continued its disregard for the facts," the post begins, "in an attempt to smear the Administration's efforts to win the Olympics for the United States."

The author, White House online programs director Jesse Lee, goes on to point out several quotes from Glenn Beck, which it says are lies, and the truth behind them. ("Rhetoric: Beck said Vancouver lost $1 billion when it 'had the Olympics.' ... Reality: Vancouver's Olympics Will Not Take Place Until 2010.")

"In the past, hosting the Olympics has been a source of pride and unity for the country, but once again Fox News' Glenn Beck program has shown that nothing is worthy of respect if it can be used as part of a partisan attack to boost ratings," Lee writes.

The post ends with a link to Politifact, "for even more Fox lies."

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Alan Mendelsohn, the indicted Florida lobbyist and Charlie Crist supporter, diverted some of the money he raised through political contributions to buy a love-nest for himself and his girlfriend, and a car for her, according to documents filed today by federal prosecutors.

From the indictment:

Between in or about April 2003 and continuing through February 2005, Mendelsohn caused approximately $60,000 in checks to be sent directly to his mistress on a monthly basis, and additional checks to be sent to his mistress through a corporation she created at Mendelsohn's suggestion in March 2004 to receive the funds covertly....

According to the indictment, Mendelsohn is married. In a handwritten addition, prosecutors refer to "$100,000 personal surety to be co-signed by wife, sister and brother-in-law."

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A shadowy private security company that has no known clients but claims to have helped foreign governments combat terrorism and will protect anything from cruise ships to Pakistani convoys has taken over a jail in a small Montana town, with plans to build a law enforcement training facility on the property.

The state legislature is looking into the matter and residents of Hardin, MT, were alarmed last week when executives from the firm, American Police Force, showed up in the town, which does not have its own police department, with Mercedes SUVs bearing "City Of Hardin Police Department" decals.

And the town has had to tamp down reports on conspiracy Web sites that APF plans to impose experimental H1N1 vaccines on residents under threat of quarantine in the jail.

Under a lease signed with Hardin, APF, based in Santa Ana, California, and incorporated just six months ago, is now in control of a 400-bed detention facility the town built a few years ago but never used, a town official confirmed to TPMmuckraker today. The town reportedly stands to make over $2 million per year.

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