TPM News

President Obama will address the memorial service at Fort Hood, Texas, this afternoon. Here are his full remarks, as prepared for delivery and released by the White House:

We come together filled with sorrow for the thirteen Americans that we have lost; with gratitude for the lives that they led; and with a determination to honor them through the work we carry on.

This is a time of war. And yet these Americans did not die on a foreign field of battle. They were killed here, on American soil, in the heart of this great American community. It is this fact that makes the tragedy even more painful and even more incomprehensible.

For those families who have lost a loved one, no words can fill the void that has been left. We knew these men and women as soldiers and caregivers. You knew them as mothers and fathers; sons and daughters; sisters and brothers.

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Last week, during a Rules Committee meeting on the health care bill, Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) angered a lot of people when he implied it's OK to charge women more for health insurance, comparing them to smokers. Now, his Democratic challenger is trying to cash in on the outrage.

First, what happened: At the meeting, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) had been railing against gender discrimination in insurance pricing when Sessions interjected, "But that's not against the law."

"No, but we would make it against the law," Pallone responded. "Why do you have a problem with that? Why should a woman pay more than a man?"

"Well, we're all different," Sessions said. "Why should a smoker pay more?"

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The Sunday firings of executives at the Washington Times and the possible exit of its top editor are apparently being driven more than previously known by last month's transfer of power of the Unification Church and associated business empire from Rev. Sun Myung Moon to his children.

A newsroom source familiar with church politics tells TPM that the root of the shakeup at the Washington Times is a feud between Hyung-jin Moon, 30, and Hyun-jin Moon, 40, also known as Preston, both U.S.-educated sons of church Father Rev. Sun Myung Moon. The church announced in early October -- in an exclusive given, notably, to the Associated Press not the Washington Times -- that day-to-day operations were being handed over to Preston, Hyung-jin, and a third son.

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A leading Tea Party activist is launching a political action committee to back candidates who run on a limited-government platform -- perhaps the most serious effort yet to to channel the Tea Partiers' grassroots energy toward electoral politics.

Eric Odom, a conservative online organizer who played a key role in sparking the original Tea Party movement this spring, is unveiling Liberty First PAC. The goal, said Odom in an interview with TPMmuckraker, is to raise $1 million to defeat incumbents who supported health-care reform -- which he called "very dangerous to the fabric of this country" -- and to elect a new crop of lawmakers committed to small-government principles in 2010.

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Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA), a freshman Democrat from a swing district who voted for the health care bill, is already seeing heated demonstrations back home.

Perriello's Danville office was the site of a protest organized by Americans For Prosperity, along with a counter-demonstration by health care bill supporters. The Danville News reports that the AFPers seriously outnumbered the pro-Perriello crowd: A margin of about 70 on one side, to five or six on the other.

Here's a video from the local ABC affiliate:



Late Update: The pro-Perriello demonstrators, the Virginia Organizing Project, maintain that there were in fact about 80 people on their own side, not the mere five or six that the local paper says. Here's a YouTube video, recorded by VOP volunteer Sho Dianat:



Late Late Update: It has come to our attention that this second video is from a set of demonstrations at Perriello's Charlottesville office, not the Danville office as we'd initially believed. We regret the error.

A number of high-profile senators have come forward today to say that a controversial amendment to House health care legislation that would limit a woman's right to purchase insurance that covers abortions goes too far and should not be a part of the Senate.

At a Capitol Hill event this morning, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid implied that the Stupak amendment exceeds the strictures of the years-old Hyde amendment which prohibits federal funds from financing abortions. "I expect that the bill that will be brought to the floor will ensure..no federal contribution to abortion, and that [the] rights of providers, health care facilities like Catholic hospitals, are protected," Reid said. "The one thing that we're certain to do is to maintain what we have had in the past. I had the good fortune, as did Senator Durbin to serve with Henry Hyde, the Hyde amendment has been a pretty good way to go through this last couple of decades."

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) was more explicit. At a health care event this morning, Cardin said, "The right policy is to avoid coming down on one side or the other on the abortion issue and to handle health care reform as a separate issue."

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From: UPF International Secretariat Re: Letter from the Co-Chairman Date: November 4, 2009 Please find attached a letter from the Co-Chair of the UPF Presiding Council, Dr. Hyun Jin Moon. --------------------------------------- Dear UPF Regional Chairs, Regional Secretaries General, National Leaders and Senior Advisors,

I want to thank you for you steadfast service to the mission and ideals of the Universal Peace Federation, rooted in the vision of my Father, and carried to every nation around the world when my Father embarked on his historical world peace tour, following his launch of UPF on September 12, 2005 at Lincoln Center in New York City.

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To : Regional presidents, National messiahs, National leaders From : FFWPU International Headquarters Date : November 4, 2009 Re. : Announcement of personnel change and inauguration ceremony of UPF International President

May God and True Parents' blessings and love be with brothers and sisters in all regions, mission nations and providential organizations.

This is to announce True Parents' new instructions given on October 24, 2009 regarding the international president and vice-presidents of the Universal Peace Federation. These instructions come after the directions True Parents gave on October 20 (refer to official memo FFWPUI 2009-48) regarding the chairman (international president) of UPF. Along with these instructions, we must announce the holding of the inauguration ceremony of the new International President of the Universal Peace Federation and farewell ceremony of the former International President.

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Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus, announced today that he will fight the inclusion of a trigger, an opt-out public option and the Stupak abortion amendment.

A trigger, under which a public option would go into effect only if private insurers fail to meet certain conditions, would fail, Grijalva said.

"The trigger is designed never to be pulled because its conditions will never be met," he said in the press release. "A public option trigger cannot pass the House and will be fought by united voices around the country until it is defeated."

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Things are looking bad at the Washington Times: TPM hears from current staffers in the newsroom there has been an increased security presence at the newspaper in recent days. On Sunday, when three executives were fired, armed guards were brought up to the third floor where management works, according to three newsroom sources.

Newsroom sources tell TPM that employees have been told the third floor is "closed."

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