TPM News

Yesterday [we took a look]( at the power dynamics in the showdown between Google and China, concluding that Google doesn't have a particularly strong bargaining position here.

Today, more than a week after Google's [announcement]( that it would shut down unless China allows it to stop censoring results, we thought it was a good time to take a look at where things stand.

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Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), who famously declared last year that the health care debate could be President Obama's "Waterloo," and that beating Obama on the issue would "break him," is taking some credit for the Republican victory in the Massachusetts Senate race, The Hill reports.

"I'm not looking for vindication but I do believe that was a call to arms early in this race," DeMint said. "I was one of the first who was willing to take the president on directly on an agenda that I thought was out of control. So I certainly don't regret saying it."

DeMint made it clear that he doesn't want to break Obama personally. "I wanted to break his momentum," DeMint explained. And he also had a warning for the Democrats: "If the president and the Democrats don't get the message from Massachusetts, it will be their Waterloo."

Speaking to the U.S. Conference of Mayors this morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi vowed to "move forward" on health care reform in the wake of last night's special election.

"Heeding the particular concerns of the voters of Massachusetts, we heard, we will heed, we will move forward with their considerations in mind. But we will move forward," Pelosi said, according to Roll Call.

She also said the vote last night, which put another Republican in the Senate and ended the Democrats' super-majority, should tell Democrats that they needed to re-focus their message on what the health care bill will do.

"Clearly, the election results last night spell out that we have not been as clear about our deficit reduction measures. ... And that will change," she said.

New Senate Democratic talking points, distributed in response to last night's special election in Massachusetts show the party pre-emptively placing the blame for a lackluster agenda moving forward on Republicans, who Dems say they now need to pass legislation.

"Republicans have an obligation to the American people to join us in governing our nation through these difficult times and to help clean up the mess they left behind," reads the memo obtained by TPMDC. "It is mathematically impossible for Democrats to pass legislation on our own. Senate Republicans to come to the table (sic) with ideas for improving our nation and not obstructionist tactics."

The new message also attacks Republicans for hypocrisy--for threatening to block Democratic attempts to address the country's fiscal situations after saddling it with soaring deficits under the previous administration.

You can read the entire memo below the fold.

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White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said President Obama will address the Democrats' unexpected loss of the U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts during his State of the Union address next week.

Gibbs said Obama believes the White House shares the responsibility for Democrat Martha Coakley's loss last night, adding "there's no doubt we are frustrated by that."

"I don't want to get into the blame game. I won't do the percentages as tempting as that might be," Gibbs said.

Obama won't ignore the message the election sent to Washington, he said.

"He will undoubtedly address the results and what they mean in the State of the Union," Gibbs said.

Gibbs said the focus of the address to Congress on Wednesday night will be the 2010 direction for the administration: jobs and fiscal responsibility. As we have reported, he also will address the failed terrorist attack on Christmas Day.

A new Rasmussen poll of the New York Democratic primary gives appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand a big lead against her apparent likely challenger, former Tennessee Rep. Harold Ford.

The numbers: Gillibrand 48%, Ford 23%.

Nevertheless, the pollster's analysis points that out that the electorate's opinion is not fixed. Gillibrand has a 59% favorable rating, with 27% unfavorable, but with only 8% very favorable and 13% very unfavorable. Ford's numbers show even less of a solid opinion than there is for Gillibrand, with only 36% favorable and 30% unfavorable, including 11% very favorable and 9% very unfavorable.