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A new Research 2000 poll commissioned by Daily Kos has some interesting news for both Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), and supporters of the public option.

Though Lincoln's favorable/unfavorable split is an unenviable 43 to 49, her potential opponents are still relatively unknown, and she maintains a considerable lead over all of them.

More interesting still is that respondents--600 likely voters--strongly favor "creating a government-administered health insurance option that anyone can purchase to compete with private insurance plans." The split on that score is 55 to 38. And remember, this is Arkansas, where Rush Limbaugh has a stronger approval rating than Barack Obama. Makes you think Lincoln could afford to be a bit more bullish on the public option than she has been of late.


Thousands of anti-reformers, organized by FreedomWorks and tea party groups across the country, march to the Capitol Sept. 12, 2009.

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Several people were carrying this "Bury ObamaCare with Kennedy" sign.

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The Obama/Hitler comparisons continue ...

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"He had a dream. We got a nightmare."

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If there's a sign that one faction is winning the tug-of-war between House progressives and conservative Senate Democrats over the public option, it may be coming from the Speaker's office.

Last Tuesday, when Nancy Pelosi emerged from the White House after a meeting with President Obama, she said that the fate of the public option would be determined in the legislative process, and she suggested that if Congress goes for a "trigger," it would be affixed to a Medicare-like public option.

On Thursday, she said "This is about a goal. It's not about provisions. As long as our goal of affordability and accessibility and quality, meeting the four...goals that we have in the legislation, then we will go forward with that bill."

But not two weeks ago, Pelosi insisted that a health care bill without a strong public option would not pass the House. That statement was of a piece with similar statements she'd made for weeks, which were based on the progressives' insistence that health care reform's passage depended on the public option.

In other words, since meeting with Obama--who's been notably solicitous of Senate moderates, and notably dismissive of House progressives--her public language has softened notably.

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The Senate Finance Committee should have a draft of their health care reform bill tomorrow, chair Max Baucus (D-MT) said in a news conference today.

Baucus said markup hearings -- where the committee will discuss amendments and details -- will be held next week.

"We're on schedule," he said.

Baucus also told reporters that the Congressional Budget Office is looking at the committee's draft to make a cost estimate, and said it will be budget neutral over 10 years.

He also said negotiators have discussed more federal financing of Medicaid and making sure illegal immigrants would not be covered under a public plan. They also discussed medical malpractice, he said.

A majority of Americans approve of President Obama's handling of the economy, according to a new national CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Survey.

Fifty-four percent of people questioned said they approve of how Obama's dealing with the recession. Forty-five percent said they disapprove.

The 54 percent approval rating is up from 49 percent in late August -- but down from the 59 percent of Americans who approved of Obama's handling of the economy when surveyed in March.

There's a major partisan divide on this issue, "with Democrats overwhelmingly approving and Republicans overwhelmingly disapproving of how the president's dealing with the economy," CNN reports.

The poll was conducted over the weekend, after Obama's health care speech to a joint session of Congress, but before his speech on the economy in New York today.

The momentum is building for the House to officially condemn Rep. Joe Wilson's (R-SC) "You lie!" outburst against President Obama.

As Greg Sargent reported, the resolution of disapproval (which is less than a full "censure") could occur as soon as tomorrow. It will target Wilson's breach of the official rules of decorum, and his failure to properly apologize on the House floor.

A House Democratic leadership aide tells TPM that no final decision has yet been made, and the Democratic leaders will talk about it this evening. If Wilson were to actually apologize, that would of course render the situation moot. However, the source said, if Wilson doesn't apologize then the only remaining issue for leaders to discuss will be the timing of the disapproval, which could indeed happen tomorrow.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele released a statement moments after President Obama's economic speech in New York today, and called the President's economic policies "a failure" for the "more than 3 million Americans who have lost their jobs this year."

The $787 billion stimulus bill "led to wasteful spending" without creating the jobs it promised, Steele said.

The government's rescue of the auto and financial industries -- which Steele characterized as "the President's experiments on our economy" -- has dug the country deeper into debt, Steele said, "and no amount of speeches will convince the American people otherwise."

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President Obama traveled to lower Manhattan today a year after the collapse of Lehman Brothers to argue that the administration's response to the financial crisis has been successful and to pitch his plan to change the regulatory system.

"Although I will never be satisfied while people are out of work and our financial system is weakened, we can be confident that the storms of the past two years are beginning to break," said Obama, speaking in Federal Hall on Wall St. "The growing stability resulting from these interventions means we are beginning to return to normalcy. But what I want to emphasize is this: normalcy cannot lead to complacency," he added. (Read his prepared remarks here.)

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It turns out Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) has had a prominent defender among his colleagues, sticking up for his "You lie!" outburst during President Obama's speech to Congress: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN). In an interview late last week with NewsMax, Bachmann said Wilson "spoke the truth."

"Joe Wilson spoke truth on the floor of the House last evening," Bachmann declared, "when he said -- when he was stating that, his disagreement with the President."

Bachmann also dug in on death panels: "But there's been a confusion about death panels. "Death panels" isn't just about end-of-life counseling. Death panels are the bureaucracies that President Obama is establishing, that will -- where bureaucrats will make the decision on who gets health care, and how much. who will have access to doctors? How quickly? What will the delays be? Because we know, this bill will include rationing."

Check out the video, after the jump.

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Below is the text of Obama's remarks, as prepared for delivery, at the Federal Hall in New York City on September 14, 2009. The President's address falls on the one-year anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

Thank you all for being here and for your warm welcome. It's a privilege to be in historic Federal Hall. It was here more than two centuries ago that our first Congress served and our first President was inaugurated. It was here, in the early days of our Republic, that Hamilton and Jefferson debated how best to administer a young economy and to ensure that our nation rewarded the talents and drive of its people. Two centuries later, we still grapple with these questions - questions made more acute in moments of crisis.

It was one year ago that we experienced just such a crisis. As investors and pension-holders watched with dread and dismay, and after a series of emergency meetings often conducted in the dead of the night, several of the world's largest and oldest financial institutions had fallen, either bankrupt, bought, or bailed out: Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, AIG, Washington Mutual, Wachovia. A week before this began, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had been taken over by the government. Other large firms teetered on the brink of insolvency. Credit markets froze as banks refused to lend not only to families and businesses but to one another. Five trillion dollars of Americans' household wealth evaporated in the span of just three months.

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