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As I reported yesterday, House Minority Leader John Boehner has seemingly traded in his old talking point on cap and trade legislation for a blue chart with brightly colored words on it.

Moments ago, he brought his new weapon to the House floor.



Unfortunately for Boehner, it doesn't seem to be changing anybody's mind with respect to the Waxman-Markey bill. But more unfortunately for its supporters, he's also poised to drag this debate on for hours by reading a recently incorporated 300 page amendment to the bill out loud. A pseudo-filibuster, if you will, to delay the vote as long as possible.

The House of Representatives will soon begin the mark up process on its so-called tri-committee health care proposal, and in these early stages, discussions are under way between the bill's advocates and its potential opponents to help build support for it. One of the key legislators in this process is Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) who has considerable clout with moderates in his party.

I asked him a bit about his coalition building yesterday, and here's what he had to say.

"People are still looking at it and trying to understand it and asking questions. A fair number of moderates are with us, a fair number of moderates have reservations. I met with a number of my friends who you might call moderates, or Blue Dogs, last night and we talked about their concerns and about how their concerns can be met with a bill that I would regard as responsible."

Certain Blue Dogs have raised objections to the public insurance option (or aspects thereof) some of which were addressed when that particular provision was being drafted.

Earlier today, Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) gave a blistering speech on the House floor, attacking the Waxman-Markey bill from the left and urging members to oppose it. Here's video via Friends of the Earth.



But just moments ago he had a change of heart. He called the GOP a "flat-Earth society" and said he would vote for the bill. That's some whip operation they've got going on over there.

Democrats are taking direct aim at former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, who is now the Republican nominee for Governor of New Jersey -- with aggressive accusations that his office did something fishy in awarding special contracts for monitoring corporations.

As we posted yesterday, Christie appeared yesterday before a House Judiciary subcommittee, looking into his involvement in a deferred prosecution agreement -- deals by which corporations in legal trouble would avoid prosecution and agree to hire law firms to oversee their operations. At the hearing, Dems hammered Christie with questions about a super-expensive deal secured by former Attorney General John Ashcroft's law firm.

The New Jersey Democrats put out a press release openly accusing Christie of lying to Congress, by saying that there was not a genuine impasse in negotiating the contracts when the Dems say there in fact was one. The press release even goes so far as to cite the federal statute outlawing false statements to Congress, with a penalty of up to eight years imprisonment!

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I don't have a complete list, but as the Waxman-Markey bill makes its way to a final vote, it's worth pointing out that just about all of the undecided Democrats who've come off the fence have announced that they will vote for it.

Some prominent examples: Reps Ike Skelton (D-MO), David Scott (D-GA), Sander Levin (D-MI), and, possibly, uber-Blue Dog Allen Boyd (D-FL)

Here are the line-ups for the Sunday talk shows this weekend:

• ABC, This Week: Senior White House Adviser David Axelrod; Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA).

• CBS, Face The Nation: Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS); Susan Rice, Ambassador to the United Nations.

• CNN, State Of The Union: Gen. Ray Odierno; Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN); Senate candidate Rob Portman (R-OH) and gubernatorial candidate John Kasich (R-OH).

• Fox News Sunday: Sec. of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY); and Gen. Ray Odierno.

• NBC, Meet The Press: Senior White House Adviser David Axelrod; Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA).

House leaders are still cracking their whips, scaring up votes for the Waxman-Markey bill. For the most part, they're up against a posse of moderate and conservative, and energy and manufacturing state Democrats. If you're keeping track, you can read a couple of extremely helpful scorecards here (PDF) and here.

And speaking of incredibly helpful, Brad Plumer's live-twittering the floor debate. He reports that Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO), who just yesterday was an avowed fence sitter, has come around and decided to support the bill, citing the idea that Congressional action will be preferable to the Environmental Protection Agency acting on its own.

Late update: While Democrats try to squeeze the bill through the House (Rep. David Scott (D-GA) is now on board, too), Republicans are offering amendments like this one to scrap the bill entirely and replace it with a Manhattan Project for energy financed by magic.

Mark Sanford has been holding a televised cabinet meeting this afternoon.

And the South Carolina governor started out by using an interesting comparison to respond to calls for his resignation. King David didn't back down after his own sex scandal, he told his colleagues, and neither will I.

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On his radio show yesterday, Fred Thompson had some tough words for Mark Sanford -- even seeming to imply that if Sanford is going to have his mid-life crisis, he should do it in private life.

"I've known Mark, and I've gotta preface it with that. And I like him in many respects. And I'm not the one to cast the first stone. And not many -- not many of us are blameless as we go through life, regardless what the category of offense might be," said Thompson. "But I don't have any sympathy in a situation where you got -- where you got a wife and four fairly young kids. And his love life and his falling in love and all that kind of stuff, I mean that can be a personal tragedy. But you know, do it on your own time and do it on your own dime."

"You can't have your cake and eat it, too, and these guys who take money and so forth, they get a sense of entitlement. Same principle involved," said Thompson, seemingly comparing recent political scandal with recent corporate scandals. "They're presiding over all these billions of dollars and they're working on these salaries and so forth, they feel like they're entitled to cut corners and all of that. That's why we need term limits and that's why we need people, if they're gonna do this, they need to be in public -- I mean in private life, and not visit it on millions and millions of other people and their own family."

(Via Sayfie News.)

Just in from MoveOn: ""Given recent comments showing that Senator Hagan is not supporting the public health insurance option, MoveOn.org will be making clear that our 115,000 members in North Carolina--many of whom volunteered for or donated to her campaign last year--believe the public option is the heart of true health care reform. We'll run ads in North Carolina and D.C. asking that she advocate for the public option and support the President in truly solving the nation's health care crisis."

The group did much the same earlier this week to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) who has expressed doubts about the feasibility of both the public option and reform in general. The difference--or one of the differences--is that Hagan owes much of her electoral success to grassroots Democrats.

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