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President Obama tonight will address the Human Rights Campaign National Dinner in Washington, speaking about his commitment to gay rights even as the community is frustrated about lack of action on Don't Ask, Don't Tell, among other things.

The White House said the president will speak for 15 to 20 minutes, and hinted he might make some promises about speedy action.

"He looks forward to speaking directly with the LGBT community about the steps his administration has taken thus far and the progress he hopes to achieve in the coming weeks and months," said White House spokesman Shin Inouye.

Earlier this week, Obama named an openly gay lawyer to be his ambassador to Samoa and New Zealand.

This summer just before Obama was about to address gay Democratic activists, he extended some benefits to the partners of gay federal workers.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Obama will discuss the Hate Crimes measure that may pass Congress, saying the protections are "long overdue" "[He] looks forward to, when that legislation gets to his desk, signing it and making that the law of the land," Gibbs said.

Obama Boasts of Bipartisan Support For Health Care Reform -- And Shames The Opposition In this weekend's YouTube address, President Obama proudly touted the support for health care from prominent Republicans such as Bob Dole, Bill Frist, Mike Bloomberg, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Louis Sullivan and Tommy Thompson -- and contrasted this with the opposition from other Republicans in Washington:



"These distinguished leaders understand that health insurance reform isn't a Democratic issue or a Republican issue, but an American issue that demands a solution," said Obama. "Still, there are some in Washington today who seem determined to play the same old partisan politics, working to score political points, even if it means burdening this country with an unsustainable status quo."

LeMieux: Dem Health Care Solutions Worse Than The Problems In this weekend's Republican address, the recently appointed Sen. George LeMieux (R-FL) attacked the Democratic health care proposals as being worse than the current problems:



"We in the Congress have a duty to tackle this problem, but the solution we settle upon should not be rushed, and the solution should not be worse than the problem we are trying to solve," said LeMieux. "Right now, Senate Democrats and White House officials are behind closed doors crafting their final health care overhaul proposal. While the Democrats in Congress have not yet provided the actual language of their proposed law, we do know enough for Americans to be concerned."

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October 9, 2009: U.S. President Barack Obama is named the 2009 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples." In a speech in the White House Rose Garden, President Obama says that he is "surprised and deeply humbled" by the selection, and that he will "accept this award as a call to action." Here's a look at some other notable figures who have been awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in the past.

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2008: Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland, wins "for his important efforts, on several continents and over more than three decades, to resolve international conflicts."

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2007: Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore wins with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."

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2006: Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh, who founded Grameen Brank and developed the concept of microcredit, wins the Peace Prize with his bank "for advancing economic and social opportunities for the poor, especially women."

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2005: Mohamed ElBaradei of Egypt, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, wins with the IAEA "for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way."

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2004: Wangari Muta Maathai, founder of the Green Belt Movement in Kenya, wins "for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace."

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2003: Iranian lawyer and human rights activist Shirin Ebadi wins "for her efforts for democracy and human rights. She has focused especially on the struggle for the rights of women and children."

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2002: Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter wins for "for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development." Carter is the only U.S. president to win a Nobel Peace Prize after leaving office.

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2001: Ghanaian diplomat and seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan wins, with the U.N. itself, "for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world."

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2000: Former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung gets the Prize "for his work for democracy and human rights in South Korea and in East Asia in general, and for peace and reconciliation with North Korea in particular."

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1994: Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin (pictured), Israeli President Shimon Peres, and President of the Palestinian National Authority Yasser Arafat win "for their efforts to create peace in the Middle East."

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1993: The last President of apartheid-era South Africa, Frederik Willem de Klerk, and the first democratically elected South African President, Nelson Mandela (pictured), win "for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa."

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1990: President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev gets the award "for his leading role in the peace process which today characterizes important parts of the international community." Gorbachev's reforms to the USSR helped end the Cold War, and bring about the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

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1989: The 14th Dalai Lama is awarded the Peace Prize for "his struggle for the liberation of Tibet" and consistent opposition to "the use of violence. He has instead advocated peaceful solutions based upon tolerance and mutual respect in order to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of his people."

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1986: Writer, political activist, and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel wins for his "practical work in the cause of peace," and for his role as a "messenger to mankind," who promotes "peace, atonement and human dignity."

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1984: South African archbishop and political activist Desmond Tutu becomes the second South African to win the Nobel Peace Prize for his work as a human rights activist, and his campaigns against AIDS, poverty, and racism.

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1979: Renowned Roman Catholic nun Mother Teresa is awarded the Peace Prize for her humanitarian work.

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1978: Then Egyptian President Anwar Al-Sadat (pictured) and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin win for negotiating the Camp David Accords, which resulted in the Israel Defense Forces' withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula, and the return of Egyptian territories captured during the Six-Day War.

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1964: Martin Luther King, Jr. wins for his leadership in the civil rights movement in the U.S., which stressed civil disobedience in the fight against racial discrimination and segregation. King was then the youngest person to ever win the Nobel Peace Prize.

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1919: Then U.S. President Woodrow Wilson is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in forming the League of Nations, and helping shape the Treaty of Versailles after World War I.

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1906: U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt wins the Prize for successfully negotiating the end of the Russo-Japanese war.

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Two official investigations have begun into Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell's (R) secret taxpayer-funded polling operation, revealed yesterday by the New London Day.

Rell's office used taxpayer funds earmarked for a University of Connecticut study into increasing "government efficiency" to run a secret focus groups and polls testing Rell's policies, her rhetoric and even the viability of a political rival. Rell and her administration has called Democratic outrage at the program "politics at its worst" and claimed it did nothing wrong by funding the polling.

Despite that take, twin investigations were launched into polling by the state government and the university where the polling took place. The Hartford Courant reports:

The two probes, confirmed today in interviews with officials, include:

• A joint investigation by the bipartisan Auditors of Public Accounts and Democratic state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal into whether, as Auditor Kevin Johnston put it, "state tax dollars have been used for other than strictly state purposes." Johnston, a Democrat, said that he and his Republican fellow auditor Robert Jaekle, have spoken Thursday and Friday with Blumenthal about their investigation.

• An inquiry by UConn's Office of Audit Compliance and Ethics, which university spokesman Michael Kirk said is now "examining the research associated with this project to determine if it may have violated any aspect of UConn's code of ethics. " That code includes at least one prohibition against political activity on the job.


Rell's response after the jump.

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A spokesman for the State Department had this take on President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize, reports CNN:

Certainly from our standpoint, this gives us a sense of momentum -- when the United States has accolades tossed its way, rather than shoes.


The comment was made by Assistant Secretary PJ Crowley, a spokesman for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett Packard, former surrogate for the McCain campaign, and current exploratory candidate for Senate in 2010, declined to answer a question about Sarah Palin. Blogger Bill Black reports that Fiorina spoke to a business meeting in San Francisco Thursday night:

But most interestingly, she was asked whether Sarah Palin displayed leadership qualities. The question was asked in apparent sincerity, but her physical reaction seemed to suggest that she considered it a hostile question.

Here's her response, word for word, in its entirety:

"I've never met Sarah Palin. Next question."

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Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) took to the airwaves on Fox today to warn viewers of the rapists and child molesters he says will be coming to their doors courtesy of the U.S. government next year.

Speaking on "Studio B" this afternoon, Chaffetz responded to recent Senate testimony from a GAO official who said it was "possible" that improper fingerprinting procedures at the Census Bureau led to the hiring of somewhere around 200 temporary census workers "with extensive criminal records." The official said the bureau had dismissed 750 of 1,800 temporary workers it hired last year with criminal records after reviewing details of the workers' cases.

Chaffetz, to Fox's Gregg Jarrett:

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Republican strategist Chris LaCivita takes issue with my point about the GOP holding their criticism over the long weekend.

LaCivita is best known for his role in the Swift Boat ads.

He told TPMDC the Republicans are smart to (mostly) avoid direct criticism of President Obama related to the Nobel Peace Prize, arguing they should spend their time attacking Obama's domestic policy.

"Why divert an attack on the Nobel Peace Prize when there are bigger issues and bigger fish to fry back home?" LaCivita said, adding he thinks Obama won for giving "a couple nice speeches."

"I don't know what it does for us, for the country," he said. "I don't care what the French think of us and I could care less what the people in Oslo think of us."

The end has come...

Controversial private security contractor American Private Police Fore has officially backed out of a deal with Hardin, Montana, to run a local prison, APPF spokeswoman Beck Shay announced this afternoon. (Watch Shay's press conference here.)

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President Obama has had a busy September and October. Health care, Afghanistan--a Nobel Peace Prize! Here, the President and Vice President Biden pose with the Supreme Court on September 8 before the investiture ceremony for newly minted Justice Sonia Sotomayor. From left to right: Associate Justices Alito, Ginsburg, Kennedy, Stevens, Chief Justice Roberts, the President, the Vice President, Associate Justices Scalia, Thomas, Breyer, and former Associate Justice David Souter.

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The President pauses for a moment of reflection during a Cabinet meeting on September 10.

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The President gets to lift the Stanley Cup as it and the 2009 NHL champion Pittsburgh Penguins take a trip to the East Room of the White House.

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The President and the First Lady observe the eighth anniversary of September 11.

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Personal aide to the President Reggie Love and White House physician Dr. Jeffrey Kueter travel from the wreath laying ceremony at the Pentagon.

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Greenwich Village restaurant Il Mulino becomes the New York chapter of the Presidential club as President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton meet over lunch on September 14.

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The President makes a fund-raising appearance for recently-converted Democrat Sen. Arlen Specter in Philadelphia on Sept. 15.

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At a GM plant in Warren, Ohio, Obama touts his economic plans and attends a roundtable discussion with GM workers.

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Air Force One touches down in Youngstown for his GM roundtable. Trailing behind the President are Sen. Sherrod Brown, Rep. Tim Ryan, Rep. Betty Sutton (obscured) and Rep. Charlie Wilson.

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Olympian Ryan Reser (in white) and Paralympian Myles Porter demonstrate the art of judo on the South Lawn on Sept. 16. The demonstration was part of the Obamas' effort to bring the 2016 Olympic games to Chicago.

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The curtain falls on the behind-the-scenes staff -- including the Secret Service, White House staffers and others -- at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus's annual dinner in Washington on September 16.

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Canadian Prime Minster Stephen Harper visits the Oval Office on September 16.

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The President's niece, Savita, receives help from high places as the President helps her walk toward personal aide Reggie Love.

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The Situation Room, September 17.

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Obama takes his health care barnstorming tour to students at the University of Maryland on September 17.

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Obama talks with Prime Minister Donald Tuck of Poland in the President's office in the private residence on Sept. 17. National Security Council chief of staff Denis McDonough looks out the window during the call.

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Obama in a meeting with senior staff in the Oval Office on Sept. 17, including (from left): Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor Pete Rouse, Director of the Office of Health Reform Nancy-Ann DeParle, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Senior Advisor David Axelrod, Communications Director Anita Dunn, Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs Phil Schiliro, White House Counsel Greg Craig, Deputy Chief of Staff Mona Sutphen and Director of Scheduling Alyssa Mastromonaco.

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Framed by Rahm Emanuel's arm, Pres. Obama listens on during a meeting with senior advisers in the Oval Office Sept. 18.

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Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, says goodbye to Obama following his speech on innovation and sustainable growth at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, N.Y., Sept. 21.

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Obama yuks it up on the Late Show with David Letterman on Sept. 21.

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Obama preps for a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, N.Y., on Sept. 22.

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Was Obama blocking a shot by Love, or fouling him? The controversy continues. The two play at St. Bartholomew's Church in New York Sept. 23.

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On Sept. 24, Obama chats with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, United Nations Amb. Susan E. Rice, NSC Adviser Gen. Jim Jones and aide Gary Samore before the U.N. Security Council meeting.

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Obama meets with Jones, Deputy National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and Emanuel at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel Sept. 24.

Official White House photo by Pete Souza




Obama returns home from the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh Sept. 25.

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Michelle Obama watches backstage as the President delivers a speech at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's awards dinner in Washington, D.C. Sept. 25.

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Obama high-fives Chase Kerr, a Make-a-Wish child, in the Oval Office.

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President Obama tests out a putter presented to him by golf legend Arnold Palmer in the Oval Office, before awarding the golf great a Congressional Gold Medal.

Official White House photo by Samantha Appleton




October 7: The President attends a briefing on Pakistan in the Situation Room of the White House, with Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Vice President Joe Biden, National Security Advisor Gen. James Jones, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Director of National Intelligence Adm. Dennis C. Blair, and CIA Director Leon Panetta.

Official White House photo by Pete Souza




The President and First Lady host an astronomy night for local middle school students on Oct. 7 to encourage them to pursue scientific discovery.

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October 7: Sasha and Malia Obama join the President on the South Lawn of the White House for a night of star-gazing.

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Star power: Obama peers at the night sky while the First Lady and John P. Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, look on.

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October 7: Michelle Obama finds out if the truth is really out there.

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