TPM News

CBO: Budget Deficit Reaches Record $1.4 Trillion The federal budget deficit for the just-completed fiscal year 2009 reached $1.4 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. This record number was due to multiple factors, including falling tax revenues due to the recession, corporate bailouts and stimulus spending. This was triple the previous record of $459 billion, which was reached last year.

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will have lunch at 12 p.m. ET with business leaders. At 2:30 p.m. ET, he will visit the National Naval Medical Center Marine Wounded Warrior basketball game. At 3:15 p.m. ET, Obama and Vice President Biden will meet with Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner, and they will meet at 3:30 p.m. ET with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. At 5 p.m. ET, Obama will play basketball with cabinet secretaries and members of Congress.

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And the first cable news personality to take on the story of a private security firm taking over an empty Montana jail is ... Glenn Beck!

Here's the surprisingly fact-based segment from last night, in which Beck approaches the American Private Police Force story with relative calm, interviewing a local reporter:

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On October 6, 2009, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay stepped down from Dancing With The Stars after a series of dance-related injuries to his feet. DeLay said Dancing "is everything I thought it would be." We agree. Here's a look back at The Hammer's short and sweet stint on the show. The cha-cha, tango, samba -- DeLay danced his way across the aisle and into our hearts. DeLay is pictured here in happier times on an August episode of Hardball, as he showed off his new dancing shoes.

DeLay began his training with Dancing partner Cheryl Burke back in August.

Tom DeLay and Cheryl Burke.

Tom DeLay busted a move in a September promo for the fall 2009 season of Dancing With The Stars.

September 21: Tom DeLay danced the cha-cha to "Wild Thing" on the Dancing season premiere.

September 25: DeLay iced his foot before a rehearsal.


September 28: DeLay almost dropped Burke at the end of their performance of the tango, due to his injured feet.

October 5: DeLay, clad in a red pinstriped shirt with a blue elephant on the back, danced the samba to "Why Can't We Be Friends."

A downtrodden DeLay announced that he will not continue on in the Dancing competition. In a subsequent interview with Good Morning America, DeLay said, "I'm really disappointed I can't go any further." He also told Newsweek that he has "no idea" if Obama is a U.S. citizen. That's our Hammer!

Over at the Huffington Post, Sam Stein reports on an interesting, potential health care compromise that would allow states to opt out of what would otherwise be a national public option.

TPMDC has learned that the idea was reportedly conceived by Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), who also proposed a separate compromise that would allow states to opt in to a public option. A Carper aide confirms that he's taking a close look at the idea.

Interestingly, the nascent proposal also appears to have the backing of Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) who's been shopping it around to colleagues, according to one Senate source.

Asked for comment, an aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, "Sen. Reid is open to any proposal that lowers cost and increases competition."

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The White House announced tonight President Obama will take to his basketball court tomorrow - twice.

He'll greet the National Naval Medical Center Marine Wounded Warrior basketball team in the afternoon, then will return tomorrow night for a game with some of his Cabinet secretaries and members of Congress.

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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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