TPM News

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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Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) slammed House Republicans today for their resolution to honor 9/12 tea party marchers.

"The tea party minority didn't succeed this summer as they thought they had, so they've come to the floor this afternoon and they're not gonna succeed anymore on the floor than they succeeded with the noise of the summer," she said.

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In an interview on Fox today, House Minority Leader John Boehner revealed some of the internal workings of the House leadership -- and, perhaps, his views on bipartisanship.

Asked by anchor Neil Cavuto about his relationship with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Boehner said they have a "decent relationship," but they don't talk about the important stuff.

"We don't tend to talk about things of great substance, because we're political bookends. I'm from Westchester, Ohio, and conservative. She comes from San Francisco. So you can imagine that any conversation about health care, or any of these important subjects, we wouldn't get very far," he said.

Watch after the jump.

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Greg Sargent's numbers are right: "47 House Dems are committed No votes, and eight are Leaning No," on a health care bill if it includes a public option, preferred by reformers, that pays providers Medicare rates plus five percent.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can only afford to lose a maximum of 38 votes in her own party, and she's still well over that. Nobody I've asked has gone so far as to say this is the end of the road for the so-called "robust" public option, but it's certainly not a good sign.

This morning, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said he was fairly confident a more modest public option, using negotiated rates, would win out in a vote count.

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New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg has bipartisan credentials and has been praised by Republicans and Democrats alike, including President Obama.

Many major national politicians are staying out of Bloomberg's reelection campaign (Obama, for example, backs the Democratic candidate Bill Thompson) but the praise is resurfacing in the final days of the race.

TPM reader DO flagged for us a glossy 8 1/2 x 11" Bloomberg campaign mailer featuring a full-page photo of former Vice President Al Gore, saying it "appears to be a strong endorsement." (It's not.)

"If Gore remains passive about this it will be tantamount to accepting Bloomberg's apparent claim that Gore has endorsed him ... or Gore is playing a political game in which he is endorsing Bloomberg, but is leaving himself a plausible denial that he has endorsed Bloomberg while he tacitly accepts Bloomberg's brochure being send in his name," DO wrote us.

TPMDC checked in with Gore spokeswoman Kalee Kreider, who affirmed her boss' friendly quotes about Bloomberg over the years.

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Yesterday, a New Jersey paper reported that an angry young woman had splashed purple paint all over two people in Clifton, N.J., who were passing out pamphlets that depicted President Obama as a fascist.

The paper reported that, according to Clifton Police, the pamphleteers were working for the political action committee of Hoffmann-La Roche, a pharmaceutical corporation that has a large campus in the same town.

This piqued TPM's interest. Pharmaceutical companies distributing leaflets comparing Obama to a fascist?

But, as police told TPM today, they were mistaken. Further investigation showed the pamphleteers were actually supporters of fringe political figure Lyndon LaRouche.

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The CIA misled Congress about its torture program and other issues, Democrats on the House Intelligence committee are asserting as the committee continues to probe the matter.

In a hearing of the House Intelligence committee this afternoon, Reps. Anna Eshoo and Jan Schakowsky, both Democrats, pointed to at least five instances going back to at least 2001 in which the C.I.A. withheld information from or lied to Congress.

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Freshman Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) told reporters today she will be "looking very closely" at the health care bill as proposed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

On a conference call with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about rural health care, Hagan reiterated she supports "a backstop option for people that don't have access to employer-sponsored health care."

"I'm going to definitely be looking very closely at this bill to see exactly what's in it," Hagan said. "I am committed to working with my colleagues on a final reform bill that hopefully is going to bring stability and security to American families and is not going to add one dime to our federal deficit."

Reporters also asked about the TPMMuckraker scoop yesterday about Blue Cross mailers asking customers to lobby Hagan to oppose the public option.

Transcript after the jump.

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