TPM News

It looks like the Chamber of Commerce is concerned that it be seen as willing to play a constructive role in the coming Senate debate over climate change legislation -- whatever the reality.

That's the message to be drawn from a letter that the business lobby sent -- and posted on its website -- to Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and James Inhofe (R-OK) yesterday.

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Virginia's Republican Governor-elect Bob McDonnell will hold a press conference at 2 p.m. today at the Virginia State Capitol. The presser comes the day after McDonnell's big win over Democrat Creigh Deeds in the Virginia gubernatorial race.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) tried to deflect attention from big GOP wins last night in the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial elections, saying instead that the Democratic upset in the NY-23 congressional race was the real race to watch -- and that it shows that Republicans are "eating themselves."

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GOP's Hopes Rekindled, But Internal Arguments Could Continue The New York Times reports that the mixed election results from last night -- with Republicans winning solidly in the Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial races, but losing the NY-23 special election -- will simultaneously rekindle the GOP's hopes and continue arguments about the party's direction. "Conservatives can win when they emphasize the right things and don't allow their message to get co-opted," said former Michigan GOP chairman Saul Anuzis. "The Democrats and some of their friends in the media attempt to paint all conservatives as fire-breathing cavemen."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will participate in a 10:30 a.m. ET credentialing ceremony for foreign ambassadors. He will depart the White House at 11:15 a.m. ET, arriving at 1:30 p.m. ET in Madison, Wisconsin. He and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will meet with students at Wright Middle School at 2 p.m. ET, and Obama will deliver remarks on strengthening the education system at 2:30 p.m. ET. He will depart from Madison at 3:55 p.m. ET, arriving back at the White House at 5:55 p.m. ET. He and the First Lady will host an event at 7:15 p.m. ET, celebrating classical music.

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DNC chair Tim Kaine says last night's Democratic defeats in two big states President Obama won last year -- including Kaine's home state of Virginia -- do not mean the American people are turning on the president.

"Obama is actually more popular today than he was on Election Day last year," Kaine told CNN this morning.

Kaine broke down the results from the Democratic point of view on air. "You just need to read these as local races with local concerns," he said of New Jersey and Virginia.

RNC chair Michale Steele is excited about last night's victories in New Jersey and Virginia, but he said on CNN this morning that he's not ready to say they mean the GOP is back on track for big wins in 2010.

"I don't know yet," he said. "There's going to be more analysis to come."

"I'm not so quick to say 'Oh yes this portends great things for the GOP next year,'" Steele added. "We still have a lot to do."

In a White House blog post last night, Obama adviser G. Edward DeSeve detailed "10 Recovery Act Myths."

He said some of the commentary in the press and among politicians about the $787 billion plan is "just plain wrong."

DeSeve, Assistant to the Vice President and Special Advisor to the OMB Director for Implementation of the Recovery Act, said "more than 170 proposed Recovery Act projects have been halted or altered due to our review process" on waste, fraud or abuse.

Myth No. 5 - the money is being used for a freezer for fish sperm at the Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery, in South Dakota.

"Actually, no Recovery Act funds are being used for this project," DeSeve writes.

The Associated Press, CBS and FOX have called it: Maine has repealed its gay marriage law.

With 87 percent of precincts reporting, 53 percent have voted to repeal the law. Forty-seven percent voted to uphold.

Maine was the first state to legalize gay marriage legislatively when its governor signed the law in May. If voters had upheld the law, it would have been the first state to legalize gay marriage by popular vote.

President Obama released a statement on the 30th anniversary of the seizing of the American Embassy in Tehran. Here's the full text of the statement, as released by the White House:

Thirty years ago today, the American Embassy in Tehran was seized. The 444 days that began on November 4, 1979 deeply affected the lives of courageous Americans who were unjustly held hostage, and we owe these Americans and their families our gratitude for their extraordinary service and sacrifice.

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Rep. Chris Van Hollen, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, released the following statement on Congressman-elect Bill Owens' victory in the Special Election in NY-23:

"Congratulations to Congressman-elect Bill Owens on his remarkable victory. Voters in New York's 23rd District responded to Bill Owens' message and track record of creating jobs and attracting economic development to Upstate New York.

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