TPM News

A new survey of Alabama by Public Policy Polling (D) finds that Rep. Artur Davis leads in the Democratic primary for governor -- but it's possible that his vote against the health care bill could come back to haunt him.

The numbers: Davis 38%, Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks 28%, and third candidate Sam Franklin Thomas with 9%, with a ±4.6% margin of error. At the same time, 80% of Democratic primary voters support the health care bill, compared to only 14% who oppose it.

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President Obama and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden delivered the following remarks at Northern Virginia Community College today as the President signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act:

DR. BIDEN: Good morning, everyone, and thank you for being here today. I'm Jill Biden and I am honored to be a community college instructor. (Applause.) I have been a teacher for almost three decades and a community college instructor for the past 16 years. In fact, I'm an English teacher right here on this campus. (Applause.) It's my great pleasure to welcome you all to Northern Virginia Community College. (Applause.)

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For the leading family of Hutaree, the armed Christian group in Michigan accused of plotting to kill police, membership in the militia went beyond paramilitary training sessions and into something resembling a full-blown lifestyle choice.

In recent wedding pictures posted on Facebook, several Hutaree members who are now in custody are shown posing in front of the militia flag with assault rifles.

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California Senate candidate Carly Fiorina (R) sent a letter to her supporters yesterday in honor of the first night of the Jewish holiday of Passover, which she described as a time where "we break bread and spend time with our families and friends."

Add this to the annals of unfortunate metaphors, since Passover is actually a time when most Jews abstain from eating any bread at all.

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AARP CEO A. Barry Rand released the following statement after President Obama's signing of the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010 earlier today:

With the stroke of a pen, today President Obama has achieved a monumental change in America's health care system. Today, quality, affordable health care is in reach for millions of Americans who couldn't afford coverage. Today, millions of Americans finally have access to better health, and better health care.

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President Obama pointed out today that despite the many criticisms of the health care bill by Republicans, it's a lot like the plan former GOP Gov. Mitt Romney passed in Massachusetts.

This puts a slight damper in Romney's efforts to distance himself from the bill, which he has called "an unconscionable abuse of power," as he gears up for a possible presidential run in 2012.

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With the stroke of a pen this morning, President Obama accomplished two of his administration's major goals. First, he put the finishing touches on health care reform--stripping the law he signed last week of some of its most controversial elements, while strengthening several others. Second, he enacted one of the major goals he set forth during the presidential campaign: student loan reform.

"This week we can rightly say, the foundation on which America's future will be built is stronger than it was one year ago," Obama said moments ago before a crowd at Northern Virginia Community College.

The bill he just signed nullifies the controversial Nebraska Medicaid deal, bolsters insurance subsidies to working- and middle-class consumers, and closes the Medicare prescription-drug donut hole.

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Conventional militia organizations are racing to distance themselves from the Hutaree -- the Christian-based militia whose members were charged yesterday with conspiring to kill law enforcement as part of their preparation for the coming battle with the Anti-Christ. But that may be a tall order.

Appearing on CNN this morning, Michael Lackomar, a member of the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia, called the Hutaree -- also primarily based in Michigan -- "really a fringe group outside of anything we do."

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