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Swine flu, Jack Ruby and jet lag. Libyan leader Col. Muammar Qaddafi's meandering 90-minute address to the United Nations General Assembly covered an array of topics and tested the stamina of his translators. Sept. 23, 2009.

Newscom/Shen Hong

Protesters demonstrate against Qaddafi outside the United Nations headquarters. In his address, Qaddafi recommended that President Obama be "president for life," and called him "our son," referring to the African Union.

Newscom/Mark Garten/zumawire

In a departure from his usual ostentatious displays of fashion, Qaddafi shows up to the UN in subdued black the day before his speech.

Newscom/Evan Schneider/UN Photo/Sipa Press

Qaddafi -- who is afraid of elevators -- tried to pitch his tent on Donald Trump's 213-acre estate in Bedford, N.Y., which is being rented by tenants from the United Arab Emirates. The tenants were given a stop-work order, kicking Qaddafi out.

Newscom/Kevin P. Coughlin/Sipa Press

Qaddafi originally wanted to set up his Bedouin-style tent in Central Park and then, on property owned by his government in Englewood, N.J. Public uproar, stoked by the "hero's welcome" in Libya of convicted Pan Am Flight 103 bomber Mohmed al Megrahi, stopped Qaddafi from setting up his tent in either location. He eventually bunked at the Libyan mission in New York City.

Newscom/Kevin P. Coughlin/Sipa Press

Qaddafi at the opening of the first conference of the Forum of African Kings, Sultans, Princes, Sheikhs and Chiefs, on Sept. 10, 2009 in Tripoli.


Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev, President Obama, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Qaddafi and Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos on the last working day of the G8 Summit in L'Aquila, Italy on July 10, 2009.

Newscom/UPI Photo/Ettore Ferrari/G8Website

In L'Aquila.

Newscom/UPI Photo/Ettore Ferrari/G8Website

Pres. Obama and Qaddafi before a dinner at the G8 summit.


Qaddafi was greeted by Premier Berlusconi upon his arrival in Rome for the G8. Qaddafi had better luck with accommodations in Italy, setting up his tent in Rome's Villa Pamphili, where he stayed during his three-day official visit.


At the closing ceremony at an African Union summit on July 1, 2008, in Egypt.

Newscom/Aliou Mbaye/Panapress

Qaddafi lands in Burkina Faso and is greeted by President Blaise Compaore on Jan. 16, 2008.

Newscom/Ahmed Ouoba/Panapress

Qaddafi admires the Versailles Castle in France on Dec. 14, 2007.

Newscom/Patrick Kovarik

Qaddafi 's security guards outside the Hotel Marigny, a state residence in Paris where the leader pitched his tent for a five-day stay in December 2007.

Newscom/Erik Sumption/Sipa Press

Qaddafi responds to cheers at the National Stadium in Sierra Leone, with President Tejan Kabbah in June 2007.

Newscom/Nazia Parvez/Sipa Press

The early years: Qaddafi, pictured in 1972 in London.


The upcoming NY-23 special election, caused by the resignation of GOP Rep. John McHugh when he became President Obama's Secretary of the Army, could very well turn into a genuine three-way race -- and the right-wing Club For Growth appear ready to help make it happen.

The issue here is that a lot of conservatives are looking at the Republican nominee, state Rep. Dede Scozzafava, and seeing a big liberal -- she's pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, and is somewhat supportive of labor unions. New York has a separate Conservative Party -- which normally thrives under New York's fusion voting system -- and they now have their own candidate, accountant Doug Hoffman.

The Club has released a new poll that finds some potential for a Hoffman candidacy. The poll asks this question: "Would you prefer your next member of Congress be a liberal Democrat, a liberal Republican, or a Conservative Party candidate who would align himself with Republicans in Congress?" The result: Conservative 36.3%, liberal Democrat 30.7%, and liberal Republican 17.7%.

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Appearing on the Ed Show tonight, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was "wrong" when he appeared pessimistic about the chances of a public option making it through the Senate.

"We'll get enough votes," Brown said, citing bills that have passed through three House committees and the Senate HELP Committee with a public option.

Emanuel is "wrong, because of this: Not every Democrat right now would prefer the public option in the Senate ... but no Democrat in the end is going to vote against a procedural question to kill the health care bill," he said.

"The 60 Democrats will stay together on procedural questions and then, on final passage, some may vote against it because it's got a public option. But I don't see that," he said. Brown added that at least 50 Democrats in the Senate support the public option.

The Senate Finance Committee markup of its health care reform bill has had a few heated moments over the past few days. But this one, spotted by Think Progress, caught our eye.

Discussing one of Sen. John Cornyn's (R-TX) amendments, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) said, "If there's anything which is clear, it's that the insurance industry is not running this markup, but it is running certain people in this markup."

He went on to say that Cornyn's amendment -- one that would add caveats to an employer mandate -- "is about giving subsidies to insurance companies... instead of giving it, helping people. This is the grandfather of all grandfathers."

"With all due respect, Senator, I don't know what amendment you're referring to --," Cornyn said.

"I'm referring to yours," Rockefeller said.

"You're certainly not referring to my amendment --," Cornyn said.

"I am," Rockefeller said.

Video after the jump.

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After spending much of yesterday attacking as "leftist" the news organization that published the story about the 2007 sale of his family pharmacy, Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR) today released a fuller response and a letter from the buyer.

The new responses don't address the key question of whether the pharmacy chain USA Drug paid an inflated price of $420,000 for the land and pharmacy building owned by Ross and his pharmacist wife, which was significantly more than the county's $263,000 assessment and a price tag of $198,000 from an appraiser hired by ProPublica this year.

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Bill Sparkman, the Census worker found dead in Kentucky recently was not found hanging from a tree, according to an FBI spokesman. Rather, David Beyer told TPMmuckraker, Sparkman's feet were planted on the ground. A rope around Sparkman's neck was attached to a tree.

An anonymously sourced AP report said that Sparkman was hanging from a tree, and that he had the word "Fed" scrawled on his chest.

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Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), the man who became a star among conservative activists when he yelled "You lie!" during President Obama's speech to Congress, is hitting the road for another Republican politician.

Wilson will be traveling to Michigan, the Detroit Free Press reports, to headline a fundraiser for former Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), who lost re-election in 2008 and is seeking a comeback against Democratic Rep. Mark Schauer.

The Walberg campaign's official invitation for the event has a slogan underneath Wilson's picture: "Stand for Truth."

Schauer's spokesperson gave the Free Press this statement: "By embracing his former colleague, Tim Walberg has made it clear that he embraces what is wrong with Washington and is not serious about fixing our broken health care system. If you are the company you keep, then Tim Walberg stands with Joe Wilson and the obstructionists."

Democrat Creigh Deeds is now within four percentage points of Republican Bob McDonnell in the Virgina governor's race, according to a new InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion Research poll.

The poll, conducted last night among 602 voters, showed 48 percent support McDonnell and 44 support Deeds, and seven percent with no opinion. There was a 3.8 percent margin of error.

A Washington Post poll earlier this week also showed a four-point difference, at 51-47. A Rasmussen poll showed the candidates within two points, 48-46.

Bill Sparkman was warned about the danger of going into rural parts of Kentucky to conduct Census interviews, a retired state trooper who knew him told TPMmuckraker.

Gilbert Acciardo, who ran an after-school program at a southeastern Kentucky high-school where Sparkman was a substitute teacher, said that when Sparkman -- a Florida native -- first started doing the Census work, "I said, you're going into rural Kentucky, isolated areas. Be careful over there -- people may not understand that you're there to gather statistics."

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