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In a gaggle this afternoon with reporters, White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton told reporters that President Obama will continue to work on health care reform during his holiday vacation in Hawaii - and that Nancy-Ann DeParle, the director of the Office of Health Reform, will be pretty busy, too.

"The President was of course closely tracking the vote and as he said, was very pleased with the result," said Burton. "He's been involved throughout this process working with members of the House and the Senate; White House staff has been working with their staffs and you can imagine we're going to continue to work with those folks as we go forward to ensure that we get this historic health care reform done for the American people. "But, as you can imagine, even though it's the holiday season I think things besides sugar plums are going to be dancing in the heads of people like Nancy-Ann."

Burton added shortly afterward: "And so we've got two bills, one in the House, one in the Senate, they're 95 percent similar. We're going to be actively working to iron out the rest of the differences and get a bill passed and signed."

As we reported today, the administration's health care team will have talks with the Congressional leadership as early as next week.

When we began following Orly Taitz's Birther litigation back in September, we never thought we'd end up with her cell phone [on speed dial](

Well, it turned out to be the beginning of a beautiful relationship. But the last year (OK, fine, half year) has been full of bumps and setbacks for the attorney/dentist who is the country's most prominent purveyor of the conspiracy theory that President Obama is not a natural born U.S. citizen.

Here, in chronological order, are some of the low points of Taitz's year:

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It's been quite a year, readers. We began with the inauguration of President Barack Obama, the climax of TPM's two years worth of reporting on the election, and the news hasn't stopped since.

So now, on the eve of a new year -- an election year! -- that promises more and more news, we want to take a look back at our readers' most favorite stories of the year, as measured by page views.

We've seen scandals national and local, sexy and greedy and strange; we've seen outright lies repeated with conviction; we've seen racism and "your mom" jokes. Two of these stories are about Sarah Palin's fibs, two are Senate smackdowns and one is just plain adorable.

Without further ado, our 10 most clicked, looked, read and ogled stories of 2009:

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Rep. Parker Griffith, the Alabama Congressman who switched from the Democrats to the Republicans this week, is now being denounced by none other than a statewide Republican elected official in his home state.

The Huntsville Times reports that State Treasurer Kay Ivey, who is also a candidate for governor, is openly doubting Griffith's sincerity: "Political self-preservation isn't a virtue. In fact, political expediency is an insult to every grassroots activist who commits untold hours in devotion to getting candidates elected."

Griffith is already facing challengers in the Republican primary, and some big-name conservative activists are calling for his defeat. In previous years of his political career, Griffith had declared that he was for "health care for all of the citizens," and he'd also donated to Howard Dean and Harry Reid. So some people aren't taking seriously his protest that the "far-left" Democratic Party wasn't welcoming him.

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With Democratic senators united on the health care bill today, their campaign arm has settled on an attack plan for 2010: Republicans would "repeal" it if they win control.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, aggressively challenging incumbent GOP senators and vying for open seats, will paint the Republicans as only interested in obstructing.

The DSCC blasted releases to local press out saying Republican Senators are standing "in the way" of giving health care to their constituents. Each one is customized, so for example, they say Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) "Stands In The Way Of Providing Health Care To 1.7 Million North Carolinians." "Once this bill is signed into law, will Burr pledge to rollback this landmark health care reform which will have afforded coverage to 1.7 million North Carolinians, brought down costs for families and small businesses, ended appalling insurance practices, and lowered the deficit? That is a precarious political position to be in," the DSCC charges.

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As the Senate passed its health care bill the White House is taking aim at Republican charges that they weren't consulted or included in the process.

The White House has put up a new blog post, "Reality Check: For Opponents, It Was Never About the Bill," in which White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer lays out a case that he's been making for some time, in answer to Republican objections about the health care bill not being bipartisan. Pfeiffer's response is that this result happened because Republicans themselves refused to participate constructively, and set out only to defeat the bill the whole time.

Remember, of course, that the "Gang of Six" negotiations involved intense dialogue with Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME), all of whom ended up attacking Democrats and pulling out of the talks over time.

Here is the full text:

Today's Republican talking point of the day is that the historic health reform bill passed today represents the first major piece of social legislation to be passed without a single vote from across the aisle.

Well that may be true. But it's not a commentary on this bill. It's a commentary on the Republican Party, whose leaders made a determination that they were going to put party over progress. That's never happened before when the nation took on big challenges.

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By the time President Obama was wheels up on Air Force One and headed for Hawaii, most West Wing staffers were kicking back with the families and recharging after a long slog to get health care reform passed in the Senate.

But it's going to pick up again right quick.

Sources tell TPMDC the No. 1 goal is to get the victory to hold come 2010 when the House and Senate begin negotiations on the final measure. It was a fragile Senate coalition to get to 60, and they are going to have to do it all over again before agreement is reached on a final measure.

Aides say the health care team is taking a breather for a few days but will get right back to work as soon as possible.

Formal conferees to merge the House and Senate bills won't be named for awhile by Congressional leadership, but the informal negotiations are already under way. Leadership and administration aides have already identified the sticking points and they are treading carefully.

A source suggested the administration's health care team will have talks via phone with leadership as early as next week, though no formal channel is likely to be established before New Year's.

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The NRCC is now expanding their 2010 playing field, with a new robocall targeting Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) and calling him an out-of-touch liberal -- which may seem odd, considering he's from a blue district.

"Jim Cooper has been in Congress for over seven years, and has lost touch with what Tennessee workers are going through," a woman says in the robocall, provided to us by a reader. "Unemployment in Tennessee is 10.3%, but Jim Cooper spent 2009 helping liberal Speaker Nancy Pelosi pass a massive government takeover of health care that will increase costs and could lower choices."

Tennessee a red state that offers the GOP some solid pick-up opportunities in 2010, such as the retirements of Democratic Reps. John Tanner and Bart Gordon, in districts that were carried by John McCain. However, Cooper's district is one of two solidly Democratic districts in the state. It voted for Barack Obama by 56%-43%, and for John Kerry by 52%-47% before that.

The Republicans are making a big push to pick up Democratic seats in the South in 2010. But could even this one be a good target?

No, this is not an Onion story. On C-SPAN's call in show this morning, a woman named Bunny from Parsons, Kansas, said she was so disappointed by the Senate's health care vote that she took down her Christmas tree. And it seems like her call was not a prank.

It wasn't just Bunny's tree that went. "I have taken my Christmas wreath off my house. I have taken all the lights down," she said. "This is supposed to be a nation under God, and it isn't. They absolutely have ruined Christmas."

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