TPM News

Yesterday Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) said he'd filibuster a health care bill if it contains a public option. Many reporters and analysts took this as a sign that an alternative political strategy of courting Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), who prefers the public option only as a fall back, would re-emerge.

Well, Snowe herself disagrees.

"I don't see how you get to 60 [votes to replace the public option with a trigger]," Snowe told reporters last night.

Having a public option in the bill, she said, will "make it infinitely more difficult to change that on the floor...I just don't see how that works."

For what it's worth, Lieberman also said he opposes the trigger option yesterday, too. So he's not necessarily making a public push to get Snowe back into the game.

First Lady Michelle Obama's spokeswoman Katie McCormick-Lelyveld blogged at WhiteHouse.gov a rare bit of news about Obama daughters Malia and Sasha.

After being inundated with questions, the White House wanted everyone to know the girls received the H1N1 flu shot last week when it became available to D.C. school kids.

Her blog post after the jump.

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Kyl Prefers Opt-In Over Opt-Out; Thune Condemns Any Public Plan The Hill reports Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) said he would much prefer an "opt-in" public option for state, over the opt-out model being offered by Democrats. Sen. John Thune (R-SD) expressed surprise at this, as it implies acceptance of a public option at all. "I'd be really surprised if Sen. Kyl votes for anything that includes a government plan," said Thune. "[Democrats] have to come up with a way for this to not look like what it is, but at the end of the day it still is what it is, which is a government plan."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will deliver remarks at an 11 a.m. ET Congressional Gold Medal ceremony, honoring former Sen. Edward Brooke (R-MA), the first black Senator since Reconstruction. Obama will have lunch with Vice President Biden at 12 p.m. ET, and the two of them will host a 1:20 p.m. ET meeting with the co-chairmen of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board and the senior leadership of the intelligence community. At 2:30 p.m. ET, Obama will sign the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010. Obama and Biden will meet at 3:10 p.m. ET with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Obama will attend a commemorative tree planting at 5:30 p.m. ET, and he will deliver remarks at a 6:05 p.m. ET reception, commemorating the enactment of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

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The new Quinnipiac poll in New Jersey gives Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine a five-point lead over Republican Chris Christie.

The numbers: Corzine 43%, Christie 38%, and independent Chris Daggett 13%, with a ±2.8% margin of error. Two weeks ago, Christie had an edge of 41% to Corzine's 40%, and Daggett was at 14%.

This poll suggests that Daggett is taking more votes away from Christie than Corzine, with his voters listing Christie as their second choice by a 43%-27%. This runs contrary to a Public Policy Polling (D) survey that showed Corzine as their second choice, but keep in mind these sub-samples have very high margins of error.

From the pollster's analysis: "You could see it coming. Gov. Jon Corzine's numbers crept steadily up and Christopher Christie's steadily shrank and now, for the first time, we have Corzine ahead. But don't be in a hurry to mark this election as over. Christopher Daggett changed it from 'ABC' - Anybody But Corzine - to a real three-way scrap. But a lot of Daggett's voters say they might change their minds by Election Day. Where will they go?"

President Obama today will trumpet his administration's efforts to slash wasteful projects from defense spending when signing the Defense Authorization bill approving the Pentagon's funding blueprint.

At 2:30 in the White House Rose Garden Obama will sign the measure authorizing 2010 spending of $680 billion . The president will laud Defense Secretary Robert Gates for helping him remove funding for F-22 fighter jets and a new fleet of presidential helicopters.

"Today, we are putting an end to some wasteful projects that lawmakers have tried to kill for years," Obama will say, according to excerpts of his remarks obtained by TPMDC. "And in doing so, we are changing business-as-usual in Washington."

The president will present the signing as proving that "change is possible." Gates, the lone Republican Obama retained from the Bush administration, will be on hand to reap the praise.

Washington insiders believe Gates won't stay through the entire administration, but Obama will signal he's happy with his defense secretary in his remarks, saying they will keep fighting to cut waste in the months "and years" to come.

As we've written, the authorization also will create a new federal designation for hate crimes.

The excerpts we've obtained after the jump.

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On October 27, thousands gathered outside of the annual American Bankers Association conference in Chicago, Illinois. This was the third and final day of a rally for financial reform, and included an appearance by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. Jerry Morrison, executive director of the Illinois state council of the SEIU, told TPM that the rally was meant to urge banks who took taxpayer-funded bailouts to stop fighting financial reform: "We thought it was time to send them a message that they're bankrupting America. We gave them money, and it's time they gave it back." Here, protesters demonstrate outside of the Goldman Sachs building in Chicago.

SEIU International/Heather Stone




The president of the local chapter of the SEIU (here in purple) talks with SEIU's Stephen Lerner on the way to protest outside Wells Fargo's regional office in Chicago.

SEIU International/Heather Stone




SEIU International/Heather Stone




SEIU International/Heather Stone




SEIU International/Heather Stone




SEIU International/Heather Stone




Businessmen walk by the protesters in front of Goldman Sachs headquarters in Chicago.

SEIU International/Heather Stone




SEIU International/Heather Stone




SEIU International/Heather Stone




SEIU International/Heather Stone




SEIU International/cc:Iowa CCI




SEIU International/cc:Iowa CCI




SEIU International/cc:dorkula (Carrie Sloan)




SEIU International/Kate Thomas




Demonstrators march with a giant squid, a reference to Matt Taibbi's July 2009 article in Rolling Stone, in which he calls Goldman Sachs "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money."

SEIU International/cc:s bomb




Demonstrators use cutouts of bank CEOs to protest bank lobbyists' opposition to proposed financial regulation.

SEIU International/Erica Hade

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) is lending his 2012 hopeful self to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, sending out a letter to NRSC's mailing list touting his upcoming speech next month.

He'll be speaking at the NRSC fall meeting, held Nov. 16 and Nov. 17. One donor will be chosen to attend the meeting, Pawlenty wrote to NRSC supporters.

"I look forward to sharing the message of Freedom First with supporters from across America who are helping us rebuild our conservative ranks in 2010," Pawlenty wrote in the email, obtained by TPMDC.

Full email after the jump.

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After a day of criticism from both sides of the aisle, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) apologized to a female lobbyist he called a "K Street whore" in a radio interview last month.

The lobbyist in question, Linda Robertson, is an employee of the Federal Reserve. Grayson had already sought to distance himself from the "whore" remark. His staff said earlier today the "attack was on her professional career, not her personal life." But in the apology this afternoon, Grayson seemed to acknowledge that calling a woman a "whore" is controversial in nearly any context.

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