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A new million-dollar Health Care for America Now ad buy contrasts the lavish lifestyle of UnitedHealth executive Stephen Hemsley with that of a family that suffered a medical bankruptcy.



The spot will air for two weeks on national MSNBC and on local broadcast and cable television in DC, Maine, Philadelphia, and Minneapolis. Maine Senator Olympia Snowe is a public option opponent, and the prime mover on the trigger alternative. UnitedHealth is based in Minneapolis.

Interestingly, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar has also articulated support for Snowe's trigger compromise, but she hasn't ruled out supporting a more traditional public option.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) took to the House floor last night to warn against a provision of the House health care bill, which would authorize non-profit entities to operate health clinics in schools -- which she said would lead to Planned Parenthood "sex clinics" giving abortions to 13-year old girls without the parents knowing about it.

Bachmann said that the bill required the protection of privacy for patient and student records, and asked: "Does that mean that someone's 13 year-old daughter could walk into a sex clinic, have a pregnancy test done, be taken away to the local Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, have their abortion, be back and go home on the school bus that night? Mom and dad are never the wiser, they don't know any different."

It probably does not mean that. As The Hill points out, the bill specifically states that any medical services provided by a school-based health clinic must be in accordance with federal, state and local laws regarding parental consent, along with the privacy protections that Bachmann cited.

The new Quinnipiac poll of Pennsylvania has some good news for Republican former Rep. Pat Toomey, with him edging out both Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter and Dem primary challenger Rep. Joe Sestak.

In a match-up with Specter, Toomey has 43% support to Specter's 42%. These two guys have been enemies for years, since Toomey narrowly lost in his 2004 Republican primary challenge to the then-GOPer Specter -- and his primary challenge this time around spurred Specter into switching to the Democrats.

Against Sestak, Toomey has 38% to Sestak's 35%. Both results are within the ±3% margin of error.

Also, Specter leads Sestak in the Democratic primary, but is below the crucial 50% mark: Specter 44%, Sestak 25%.

The first poll is out in the NY-23 special election, a vacancy created by the appointment of former Republican Congressman John McHugh to be President Obama's Secretary of the Army -- and it shows a wide open three-way race.

The numbers from Siena: Republican Dede Scozzafava 35%, Democrat Bill Owens 28%, and Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman 16%, with a ±3.9% margin of error.

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Senate Finance Committee member Tom Carper (D-DE)--who voted against a robust public option amendment but for a more modest public option amendment Tuesday--is quietly circulating a public option alternative that doesn't involve triggers but also wouldn't create a national public option.

Carper's proposal, according to Politico, would allow individual states to decide whether to create their own public options, or co-ops, or other alternative to private insurance. That's a plan that sounds intriguing to public option skeptics and even some more liberal Democrats, but it's also a significant departure from the public plan envisioned by reformers, which would be available nationwide without delay.

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WaPo: Obama May Have To Seek GOP Support On Afghanistan The Washington Post says that the emerging Democratic opposition to a heavily increased troop presence in Afghanistan could put President Obama in an awkward situation: "The emerging Democratic position could compel Obama, whose domestic agenda is facing stiff Republican criticism in Congress, to rely on those same opposition lawmakers for support if he decides to send more combat troops to Afghanistan."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will deliver remarks at a 1:50 p.m. ET fundraiser for the Democratic Governors Association. He will meet at 3:30 p.m. ET with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and at 4 p.m. ET with Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner. He will depart form the White House at 6:35 p.m. ET, headed to Copenhagen, Denmark, to lobby for the 2016 Olympics to be held in Chicago.

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On September 25, 2009, Newt Gingrich and his wife Callista hosted the premiere of their documentary "Rediscovering God in America II: Our Heritage" at the Capitol Visitor Center in Washington D.C. The premiere came on the heels of a small victory for Gingrich (pictured here with Callista and "Rediscovering God" Writer/Director Kevin Knoblock), who launched a petition in December protesting the omission of the phrase "In God We Trust" from the $621 million Visitor Center building. Over the summer, Congress ordered that the phrase be engraved into a large pillar in the building, despite a lawsuit by atheist group Freedom From Religion Foundation. The film, which was produced by Citizens United Productions and explores the role of religion in early American history, premiered the same week that the engraving process began.

Jeff Malet / maletphoto.com




Approximately 200 people turned up for the film premiere.

Jeff Malet / maletphoto.com




Newt Gingrich and Rev. Daniel P. Coughlin, Chaplain for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Jeff Malet / maletphoto.com




Matthew Taylor, Editor and Director of Photography for the film.

Jeff Malet / maletphoto.com




Callista Gingrich, Newt Gingrich, and Rep. J. Randy Forbes (R-VA) in their seats before the screening.

Jeff Malet / maletphoto.com




Writer/Director Kevin Knoblock makes remarks before the screening begins.

Jeff Malet / maletphoto.com




Newt and Callista Gingrich speak before the screening.

Jeff Malet / maletphoto.com




A film still from "Rediscovering God in America II: Our Heritage."

Jeff Malet / maletphoto.com




Callista and Newt Gingrich during the screening.

Jeff Malet / maletphoto.com

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) -- who's making quite a name for himself by accusing the GOP of having a health care plan premised on the idea that sick Americans should "die quickly" -- just made a pretty fiery appearance on CNN.

He called Republicans "foot-dragging, knuckle-dragging Neanderthals who think they can dictate policy to America by being stubborn." He said that he's "saying what everyone else has been thinking but no one else has been saying." And he once again refused to apologize, saying it's Republicans who should say sorry.

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