TPM News

Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-MN), the chairman of the House Transportation Committee, has some tough words for a particular member of his state's delegation -- Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann -- the Minnesota Independent reports.

"I don't think God's talking to her anymore," Oberstar said on Tuesday, in response to Bachmann's call for conservative activists to slit their wrists and become blood brothers against President Obama on health care. "I think she's hearing other voices."

The bit about God talking to Bachmann is not a random joke, by the way -- that's how Bachmann said she became a candidate for Congress in 2006, after God called her to run, and she and her husband fasted and prayed for three days to make sure.

Vice President Biden gave a major speech today on the progress of the stimulus act, which he said pulled the economy back from "the verge of failure," but added the road ahead is still "very, very bumpy."

"Today, there's a growing consensus: The recovery act is, in fact, working," he said. "Instead of talking about the beginning of a depression, we're talking about the end of the recession, eight months after taking office."

In his speech, given at the Brookings Institute to mark the 200th-day anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Biden set out to prove the stimulus staved off a second Great Depression and set the U.S. on the right road to a stronger economy.

He recounted the first days of the Obama administration, when economists were talking about a possible depression, a total credit freeze or a bank holiday. He talked about the bank bailout, stressing that the government has made a $4 billion profit on the investment so far, and the attempts to stabilize the housing market.

"Are we there yet? No. But we're moving," he said about housing.

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Things are heating up in the Virginia gubernoatiral race, with Democratic nominee Creigh Deeds running a new radio ad in Northern Virginia against Republican Bob McDonnell's 1989 thesis, in which the then-34-year-old McDonnell laid out a hard-right political manifesto against working women and sexual privacy.

The ad has a man and a woman discussing how McDonnell has "plans to take us back to the dark ages."

"And he wasn't just a kid when he wrote it," the woman says. "McDonnell was 34 years old, married, and months away from serving in the legislature."

The man responds: "I know, and the really scary part, is the Post said McDonnell has aggressively pursued over 10 proposals from his thesis as a legislator."

Click here to listen to the ad. The full script is available after the jump.

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Late last night, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)--a co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus--issued a press release saying he had "grave concerns" that the White House is telling pro-reform groups that they will "cease supporting" the public option.

Though I can not confirm Grijalva's specific claim entirely, after a number of off-the-record conversations with congressional and advocacy sources, it's clear that many progressives are preparing themselves to be disappointed next week.

Low-level White House officials have reached out to certain reform groups that have staked their ground on the need for a public option, I'm told, and warned them not to spend any more money advocating for the policy--that it's just not worth it. That suggestion hasn't been heeded--at least for now. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and Democracy for America raised over $100,000 to continue running this ad in Iowa after Congress returns from recess.

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RNC Chairman Michael Steele said the stimulus "was an economic experiment that failed Americans" in response to Vice President Biden's speech today on how the package has helped the economy.

Biden, in an address to the Brookings Institution marking the 200-day milestone of the implementation of the stimulus, said, "The recovery act has played a significant role in changing the trajectory of our economy, and changing the conversation in this country. Instead of talking about the beginning of a depression, we are talking about the end of a recession."

Here's the full statement from Steele:

Vice President Biden has been trying for 200 days to convince the American people the president's economic stimulus experiment is working, but just like their government-run health care scheme, no one is buying it. As the RNC's "200 Days, 200 Claims" report shows, the Democrats' rhetoric on their economic experiment doesn't match with the reality of millions of Americans remaining unemployed. The stimulus was an economic experiment that failed Americans, just like the government-run health care experiment will fail Americans. Two-hundred days of this stimulus are 200 days too long.

Biden also addressed health care reform in his speech, saying "we're gonna get something substantial," but "it's going to be an awful lot of screaming and hollering before we get there."

Vice President Biden, taking questions today after a speech on the stimulus act, said he thinks the administration is "gonna get something substantial" on health care reform, but "it's going to be an awful lot of screaming and hollering before we get there."

When asked to comment about the chances of passing a health care reform bill, Biden crossed himself and jokingly tried to dodge the question. "I do foreign policy, I don't do health care!"

But he went on to say that, in all his years in the Senate, he's never seen so many stakeholders invested in getting comprehensive health care reform. He listed consumers, hospitals, doctors and small businesses as some of those stakeholders.

"The prospects of success are high," he said.

He also told the audience at the Brookings Institute to "stay tuned" for President Obama's address to a joint session of Congress next Wednesday.

"It's a major speech laying out in understandable, clear terms what our administration wants to happen and what we're gonna push for in regard to health care," Biden said.

Levi Johnston's new article in Vanity Fair, in which he dishes all manner of dirt against his almost-mother-in-law Sarah Palin, is a real tour de force of family dysfunction, private dirt, and all-around personal contempt.

Much of the article is dedicated to telling people that the real Sarah Palin is not the wholesome, down-home mother that the public has been told about. According to Johnston, she doesn't pay attention to her kids, didn't work hard as governor, has an unhappy marriage with Todd, and rarely attends church. But perhaps the cruelest cut of all for this Republican superstar...she doesn't hunt and fish, either:

People think that Sarah likes hunting, fishing, and camping, but she doesn't. She says she goes hunting and lives off animal meat -- I've never seen it. I've never seen her touch a fishing pole. She had a gun in her bedroom and one day she asked me to show her how to shoot it. I asked her what kind of gun it was, and she said she didn't know, because it was in a box under her bed.

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It's one thing for a national cable network to feature a Nazi sympathizer as a political analyst, and refuse to answer questions about it. It's another for that network to actively promote that person's apologies for Hitler.

But that's what MSNBC is doing.

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