TPM News

Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) said on Fox News today that Democrats aren't loudly promoting health care reform back home because they're "afraid of the truth."

"The people that supported the bill are afraid of the truth. You don't see Harry Reid holding town hall meetings to talk about this in Nevada," he said. "The American people know it's not a good thing."

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Lt. Gov. Bill Halter is proving himself to be a force to be reckoned with in the Arkansas Democratic Senate primary. Just a month after announcing his insurgent candidacy against Sen. Blanche Lincoln, Halter is beating her badly in the fundraising race and is polling better than her against Republican opponents.

Yesterday, Halter's campaign announced it raised more than $2 million since the campaign kicked off on March 1. That's double the "more than $1 million" Lincoln's campaign told the AP she raised in the past three months.

Suddenly, Lincoln's $4 million war chest -- thought my many before Halter got in to be insurmountable -- doesn't seem so intimidating. Halter's still got a long way to go to beat her, but right now the momentum is entirely on his side.

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More details have emerged about the actions of Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) in the aftermath of his 2008 affair with a top aide's wife -- already the subject of a heated federal probe.

The senator tried to help a Nevada energy company at the same time that he was urging the company to hire the aide, Doug Hampton, reports the New York Times. That suggests Ensign may have been trying to curry favor with the company in order to get it to agree to hire Hampton. Ensign was desperate to find a job for Hampton at the time, after his affair with Hampton's wife led to the end of Hampton's tenure in Ensign's office.

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Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna said yesterday that state officials suing the federal government over health care reform are in active conversations to try and convince the rest of the nation's attorneys general to join.

McKenna (R) said in an online chat hosted by the Seattle Times that he does not believe health care is a "right" and deflected critics who believe that the lawsuit he and more than a dozen other states have joined will not be upheld.

"Health care as 'right' is a policy argument, not found in the law," McKenna said. "Supporting this lawsuit means that the Constitution still matters and that every law has to be constitutional in its details, and the rest of the unchallenged law is unaffected."

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The new CBS poll has President Obama's approval rating reaching a record low, with only 44% approving of his performance, and 41% disapproving.

The 44% approval number is down from 49% two weeks ago, a five-point decline since the health care bill passed, and disapproval is unchanged. Other polls have shown Obama enjoying at least a temporary bounce immediately after the bill was signed, but this poll at least suggests a decrease in the span of two weeks.

Also from the poll: "When it comes to health care, the President's approval rating is even lower -- and is also a new all-time low. Only 34 percent approved, while 55 percent said they disapproved."

Kristopher Sickles, one of the alleged Hutaree militiamen accused in a plot to kill police and the creator of a series of colorful YouTube videos, insists in a statement released by his brother that he is "not an extremist, racist or a cop killer."

"My intentions were good and I am simply guilty by association and personally had no intentions of harming any person, member of law enforcement or the United States government," said Sickles, of Sandusky, Ohio, according to the Dayton Daily News."I would never blindly follow or assist a group who obviously had a different agenda than my own," he said.

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DNC Chair Tim Kaine's office released the following statement today about the March jobs report:

This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the March jobs report. According to the latest numbers, 162,000 jobs were created in March, the largest monthly jobs gain in three years, and the revised report shows that 40,000 jobs were created in January and February. In response, DNC Chairman Tim Kaine issued the following statement:

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