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November 24: President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrive for a press conference during an official state visit. The two spoke cordially of the two nations' partnerships, noting plans to collaborate further on climate change, green technology, and regional security.

Newscom/Joshua Roberts




President Obama said India is "indispensable" to global security and prosperity.

Newscom




Obama praised Singh as a man of peace. The prime minister spoke mostly of his nation's commitment to combating climate change ahead of the global summit in Copenhagen next month.

Newscom/Joshua Roberts




The pair took two questions each, one from an American journalist and one from an Indian journalist. Obama promised to announce an Afghanistan strategy "shortly."

Newscom/Zumawire




First Lady Michelle Obama talks with her Indian counterpart, Gursharan Kaur.

White House Photo




The First Lady addresses reporters and young women from the White House mentoring program during a preview of Tuesday's state dinner in honor of Singh. She said she put so much effort into making the first White House state dinner special because she's felt honored when traveling abroad this year. "The hosts make you feel like you are home," she said.

Christina Bellantoni




Obama and Singh during their joint press conference.

Christina Bellantoni




The White House press corps waits for Obama and Singh. The pair were 35 minutes late.

Christina Bellantoni




Members of the press hustle to photograph sample place settings for the first official state dinner of the Obama presidency.




Obama chats with students in the White House leadership program. The students got to sample the vegetarian menu.

Christina Bellantoni




Pumpkin pie tart and pear tatin are on the menu. The desserts are garnished with mint and lemon verbena from the First Lady's garden.

Christina Bellantoni

Needy families in New Jersey are learning that elections matter. Outgoing Gov. Jon Corzine (D) and his incoming successor, Chris Christie (R) are having their first open policy disagreement since the election this week over how to care for the growing number of hungry families in New Jersey this Thanksgiving. Corzine says he's using the final weeks of his term in office to pass an emergency plan to use state funds to fill the pantries of soup kitchens across the state, which have seen a decline in donations during the economic crisis. Christie, who takes office in January, says he's against any new spending while the state is still "broke."

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BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina is being investigated by the state's attorney general for a recent mailer and spate of robo-calls in opposition to the public option, according to a company spokesman.

In October, TPMmuckraker reported that the insurance company had sent a mailer to millions of its customers asking them to urge the state's Democratic senator, Kay Hagan, (D-NC) to oppose a public option. The insurance company also deployed a related robocall.

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Gov. Charlie Crist asked for a fight. And now he's getting one. Yesterday, Crist asked Marco Rubio's Republican supporters to explain why they're so "angry."

Today, came the predictable response:

"Charlie Crist is demonstrating an alarming contempt for the very Republican voters whose support he seeks," Rubio spokesperson Alex Burgos said. "Crist is clearly frustrated about his self-made credibility crisis and his endorsement of a stimulus policy that has failed to create the jobs he promised, but these are not acceptable excuses for him to lash out at Republicans."

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Producer Steven Spielberg, music mogul David Geffen and New York Times columnist Tom Friedman are among the guests at tonight's White House state dinner in honor of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) will be attending, and he's not the only Republican.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell is attending, as is Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN).

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an independent who has backed the White House on key matters, also is attending.

Ari Emanuel, brother to White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.

Congressional leadership, Cabinet members and White House staffers are on the list, including incoming general counsel Bob Bauer.

Oprah Winfrey isn't on the list, but her best friend Gayle King, is.

Television personalities Katie Couric of CBS, Brian Williams of NBC and Sanjay Gupta and Fareed Zakaria of CNN are on the list.

Late Update: The Associated Press caught another journalist on the list - Washington Post national editor, Rajiv Chandrasekaran.

Full guest list after the jump.

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The health care debate in the Senate could take weeks, and Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) is threatening to filibuster if the public option isn't stripped out of the bill. But, for the time being anyhow, Health Care for America Now isn't making an issue of that potential flashpoint, and is instead thanking her and her Arkansas colleague Mark Pryor for allowing debate in the first place.

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American Future Fund (AFF), the shadowy conservative advocacy group that's working to undermine state laws against robo-calling, has ties to DCI Group, a Republican lobbying firm with a reputation for dirty tricks and shady clients. And a closer look at AFF suggests the group has been designed to carry out political attacks while escaping scrutiny from the press and public.

AFF paid $249,000 last year to McKenna & Associates for fundraising work, according to a copy of AFF's 990 form for 2008 that was obtained by TPMmuckraker. The Arlington, Virginia-based firm is run by Andrew McKenna, a GOP operative and former senior vice-president of DCI Group. McKenna did not immediately respond to TPMmuckraker's request for comment.

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As part of the official state visit festivities today, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hosted a lunch for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur at the State Department this afternoon.

Biden told Singh he was so popular they couldn't find a large enough room to host everyone who wanted to be there.

"There's a phrase Mr. Prime Minister here in this country, you're the hottest ticket in town," Biden said.

Biden toasted Singh with a Gandhi quote.

"As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as in being able to remake ourselves," he said. "I would argue that as we adapt to this new century, as we enter this new era of growth and prosperity, as we remake ourselves India and America, and our partnership will help remake the world."

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Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), will be speaking at the upcoming National Tea Party Convention in February, the group announced.

Bachmann has been a big supporter of the Tea Party movement, and was recently a key organizer of the Capitol Tea Party. At this upcoming event, she will speak at a breakfast.

The keynote speaker at the event will be another female conservative icon: Sarah Palin. It should be interesting to see the two of them with prominent speaking roles at the same event.

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