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It's been a rough couple of weeks for Becky Shay, the spokeswoman for the American Private Police Force.

Amid it all -- the tearful press conference, the confrontations with a conspiracist shock jock who parachuted in from Texas, the media scrutiny of her abrupt career shift from Billings Gazette reporter covering APPF to the public face of APPF, and, above all, the persistent charges that her new company is a fraud -- Shay has kept her eye on the ball.

And, she told TPMmuckraker in an interview today, she's damn proud of it.

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Sens. Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) reacted to the latest development in the health care debate today, re-evaluating the landscape since the Congressional Budget Office released its score of the Senate Finance Committee bill.

Conrad, appearing on MSNBC, expressed skepticism about the bill's ability to get a filibuster-proof majority to pass health care reform, even though Democrats now hold 60 seats.

"I'm not at all certain we can get the 60 votes necessary without some Republicans," he said.

Brown, also on MSNBC, said he's confident "more than 50" senators will support the public option -- still, not enough for a supermajority.

Thirty senators have already signed a letter expressing support for the public option, he said. Although he believes more than 50 want a public option, he said he doesn't think they'll be able to get that many signatures on the letter.

"A lot of people don't like to sign," he said.

See it to believe it - here's Rep. Louie Gohmert, on the House floor yesterday, offering his assessment of the "wide open" definition of sexual orientation.

Gohmert (R-TX) rambles about being "oriented toward animals, bestiality" ... "oriented toward corpses, toward children."

"There are all kinds of perversions, what most of us would call perversions, some would say it sounds like fun, but most of us would say were perversions and there have been laws against them," said Gohmert, last known for holding the "What bill" sign during President Obama's September speech to a joint session of Congress.

This was during a debate that started about Don't Ask, Don't Tell and then veered into a debate on hate crimes.

Watch our clip to the end, when Gohmert talks about racism and tells his colleagues he voted for Alan Keyes.

DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan quipped, "It looks like Rick Santorum just picked up his first endorsement of 2012."

So how exactly is it that Jon Corzine has been catching up with Chris Christie in the New Jersey gubernatorial race? A lot of it has had to with women voters -- and mammograms.

Over the last several weeks, Corzine has been relentlessly hammering Christie over his advocacy of legalizing mandate-free insurance policies -- that is, not subject to state requirements that they cover certain procedures, which under New Jersey law include mammograms, autism screenings and other preventive care.

James Wolcott notes that this ad in particular has been given heavy rotation, warning women voters, "But if Chris Christie was governor insurance companies could drop mammogram coverage."

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The New York Conservative Party officially nominated Doug Hoffman as their candidate in the November 3 special election in NY-23 -- and made it very clear that they'll be attacking Republican nominee Dede Scozzafava.

In the press release, Conservative chairman Mike Long did not hold back.

"Doug Hoffman is the only conservative in this race. It's a fact; both of his opponents are died-in-the-wool liberals," said Long. "Dede Scozzafava is a career Albany politician who has voted for increased spending and higher taxes. She supports Gay Marriage and Abortion. Last November she ran as a candidate on the ACORN backed Working Families Party line and shared that line with Barak (sic) Obama and Joe Biden. She has been endorsed by the far-left DAILY KOS. Dede Scozzafava is a liberal."

The seat became open when President Obama appointed GOP Rep. John McHugh as Secretary of the Army, and is now a three-way race between the moderate Republican Scozzafava, Democratic businessman Bill Owens, and Hoffman as the third-party Conservative.

In a sign that the House Republicans have nowhere to go but up, Roll Call reports that the NRCC is limiting its next "Patriot Day" program -- a fundraising event to benefit selected incumbents -- to only five House GOPers, down from a previously-planned ten.

The five members are: Mary Bono Mack (CA), Charlie Dent (PA), Patrick Tiberi (OH), Lee Terry (NE) and Tom Rooney (FL). "The political environment has shifted, and there just aren't five more vulnerable Members who are really in need of assistance or facing a credible challenge," an NRCC aide told the paper. "That money would be better spent by directly transferring money to the committee and on assisting the large number of challenger candidates looking to oust a Democrat incumbent."

Late Update: An earlier version of this post incorrectly listed Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI). It has been corrected.

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Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) appeared on MSNBC today, and commented on the New Jersey gubernatorial race -- linking Republican nominee to what she called the "shocking sexism" of the GOP.

WassermanSchultz, a breast cancer survivor, blasted Christie's stance on insurance company mandates, which has been a big part of Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine's attacks against Christie.

"Well what I'd like to respond to is just to show that the shocking sexism and attitude towards women on the part of the Republican Party, that is wide and deep," said Wasserman-Schultz. "Chris Christie, their candidate for governor in New Jersey, opposes funding for pre-K and accused Gov. Corzine of supporting baby-sitting. He actually opposes mandates in insurance coverage."


Two-time Super Bowl Champion, ex-Denver Broncos quarterback, sometimes car dealer and Colorado icon John Elway seems to be trying to add another line to his Hall of Fame resume: anti-terrorism expert.

Elway, along with Denver TV anchor Kim Christiansen, is the narrator of a pretty great little video titled "Recognizing 8 Signs Of Terrorism." The video was introduced at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference this week, and was apparently produced by the FBI, state of Colorado and Denver's Center for Empowered Living and Learning ("The Cell"), which has a new exhibit called "Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere: Understanding The Threat Of Terrorism."

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In a DNC conference call this afternoon, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) and State Del. Margaret Vanderhye (D-VA) accused members of the Republican party of being "backward" and "out of touch" on women's issues.

The call targeted Republican gubernatorial candidates Chris Christie in New Jersey and Bob McDonnell in Viriginia, as well as Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Republicans in general.

"I think we have an outdated view, an extreme view, a lack of understanding of what women's lives are like today and the role of women in America," Stabenow said. She wouldn't, however, use the word "sexist."

The lawmakers cited Republicans' opposition to health care reform as evidence, since women are usually in charge of their families' health care, and are disproportionately hurt by current health insurance policy.

But they also called out the NRCC's statement yesterday about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, specifically that Gen. Stanley McChrystal "should put her in her place." That, said Wasserman-Schultz, is evidence of "a total lack of respect for women."

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