BREAKING: House Passes Jobs Bill, 217-201

The $15 billion jobs creation bill will now be sent to the President’s desk.

Thanks, Scott Brown!

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BREAKING: Democrats Will Use Reconciliation To Pass Health Care Reform (UPDATED)

Politico Breaking News reports:

Sen. Tom Harkin tells POLITICO that Senate Democratic leaders have decided to go the reconciliation route for health care reform. The House, he said, will first pass the Senate bill after Senate leaders demonstrate that they have the votes to pass reconciliation in the Senate.

It’s about time–if Democrats can pass health care reform within the scope of Congressional rules then they should.

And if any conservative tries to whine about this they should be reminded that–between 1995 and 2007 alone–the GOP used reconciliation 7 times.

And do you know what the most recent bill the GOP passed through reconciliation was? It was a health care reform bill, passed in 2005.

UPDATED: People should also remember that Congress won’t be passing the entire health care reform bill through reconciliation.

Health care reform already passed through the House and Senate–the problem here is that the House bill and Senate bill differ slightly.

So reconciliation will be used to, well, reconcile the two bills into one so that it can be sent to the President’s desk.

Just remember that health care reform has already passed through Congress–this is merely intended to iron out the differences between the two versions.

BREAKING: NY-GOV: Paterson Out

David Paterson–New York’s unpopular, scandal-plagued, accidental Governor– will not seek re-election this year:

Embattled New York Governor David Paterson has decided to withdraw from the race for governor and will not seek election this year, local media reported on Friday.

The Democratic governor, implicated in newly raised questions of impropriety involving a top aide, has been under growing pressure to pull out of the race.

His withdrawal, reported by the New York Daily News and the New York Post, focuses political attention on state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who has been widely expected to challenge Paterson for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

[…]

Paterson was elected lieutenant governor and ascended to the top post two years ago when former Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned amid a prostitution scandal.

It now looks almost certain that Attorney General Cuomo will enter the race. On the Republican side, their candidate is likely to be former Congressman and failed Senate candidate Rick Lazio.

BREAKING: Lieberman To Introduce Senate DADT Repeal

I don’t often have much praise for the junior Senator from Connecticut, but he deserves considerable acclaim for this:

Next week, the Connecticut senator will announce that he’s taking the lead on repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the 1993 law that prohibits gay people from serving openly in the armed forces. Since implementation of the statute nearly 20 years ago, the military has discharged some 14,000 qualified men and women, many of them serving in critical jobs like Arabic and Persian translation.

[…]

The reasons why Lieberman, who was asked by the White House and gay rights groups to sponsor the legislation, would choose this battle are not hard to divine. Indeed, they strike at the heart of the political tradition of which he is the lonely standard-bearer: Social progressivism married with foreign policy hawkishness.

In an exclusive interview with the Daily News, Lieberman told me that his commitment to repealing DADT is twofold. First, allowing gays to serve openly fulfills the bedrock American promise of providing citizens with “an equal opportunity to do whatever job their talents and sense of purpose and motivations lead them to want to do – including military service.” Second, and no less important for a lawmaker whose commitment to national security the Pentagon can’t doubt, is that “When you artificially limit the pool of people who can enlist then you are diminishing military effectiveness.”

[Emphasis mine]

While I still hope that the 113th Congress has no Senator Lieberman in it, if he continues like this then perhaps there is hope for him yet.

BREAKING: IN-SEN: Ellsworth In

The Indiana Democratic Party is likely to select Rep. Brad Ellsworth as their candidate for the Senate seat being vacated by Evan Bayh.

Ellsworth, a decorated sheriff, was first elected to Congress in 2006. He defeated 6-term Congressman John Hostettler–who was first elected as part of the GOP’s 1994 takeover of the House–61 to 39, the most lopsided margin of defeat for  any incumbent that year.

The Indiana Democratic Party is also expected to tap state Rep. Trent Van Haaften as their candidate for Ellsworth’s seat.

BREAKING: Undercover ACORN Filmmaker Arrested (UPDATED X3)

Remember James O’Keefe, the conservative activist who filmed those dubious undercover videos at various ACORN offices?

Well, he was just arrested by the FBI, apparently in an attempt to bug the offices of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA):

James O’Keefe, the conservative filmmaker who was behind the undercover operations that lead to the ACORN scandal last year, has been arrested with three others for allegedly trying to bug the New Orleans office of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), the Times-Picayune is reporting.

[…]

FBI Special Agent Steven Rayes alleges that O’Keefe aided and abetted two others, Joseph Basel and Robert Flanagan, who dressed up as employees of a telephone company and attempted to interfere with the office’s telephone system.

[Emphasis mine]

So, apparently James O’Keefe is so concerned about government corruption that he had his friends dress up like telephone company employees and tried to illegally wiretap a United States Senator.

Remember, O’Keefe’s ACORN investigation broke a number of anti-wiretapping laws, so it looks like this publicity stunt is simply an extension of his lawbreaking MO.

The right touted James O’Keefe as a conservative anti-corruption crusader, but he’s looking more and more like a common criminal.

(Or maybe like a reality TV star, willing to go to any length for the limelight. O’Keefe should team up with Balloon boy’s dad–that is, whenever they’re both out of jail).

UPDATE: Andrew Breitbart, who was instrumental in publicizing O’Keefe’s dubious ACORN videos, had this to say:

I need to find information on this. I’m out of the loop on this. I will make my determination then on when to comment.

TPM’s headline for that piece was ‘More Liddy Than Woodward & Bernstein?’

Yeah, that’s what we on the left have been saying for a while now–and it’s about time O’Keefe’s underhanded tactics caught up with him.

UPDATE II: Read the FBI affidavit here.

UPDATE III: There might be more here than meets the eye–Jonathan Turley reports that one of the people arrested with O’Keefe, Robert Flanagan, is the son of William J. Flanagan, who is the Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana.

It’s kind of  a big deal when the son of a US Attorney is arrested trying to wiretap the office of a United States Senator.