Monday, June 8, 2009

WOW. What a day in Politics

LOOKING BACK AT TODAY.The White House just released this statement: "This morning, on the way to Washington, D.C., Judge Sotomayor tripped at LaGuardia Airport. After an x-ray at Medical Faculty Associates, it was determined that Judge Sotomayor has a small fracture in her right ankle.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is now back on again for tonight's big Republican fundraising dinner, according to Republican sources.
As North Korea remains in the news with its sentencing of two American journalists to 12 years of hard labor, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs just announced at his briefing today that President Obama will welcome President Lee of South Korea to the White House on June 16.
In remarks he made before his cabinet meeting today, President Obama acknowledged that the U.S. economy has improved, but also noted that it's still "got a long way to go." And after the unemployment rate increased to 9.4% in May, he pledged that his economic stimulus would end up saving or creating 600,000 jobs in the next 100 days.
In a letter President Obama, key Senate Republicans say they're unwilling to support one of Obama's pillars for health-care reform: a public/government insurance program to compete against private plans, NBC's Ken Strickland reports. The letter was signed by all but one of the Republicans on the powerful Finance Committee, one of the panels writing the health-care bill. (The one Finance Republican who didn't sign: Olympia Snowe.)
As part of a health insurance reform package now before Congress, some of the 164 million Americans who are covered by employer-provided health plans could be asked to give up at least part of the longstanding tax exemption granted to such compensation,'s Tom Curry. It's an idea likely to be met with howls of opposition if it makes it into the final version of health insurance legislation that President Barack Obama is pushing.
As was written about earlier today on First Read, President Obama is deeply concerned about the conviction of the two journalists in North Korea, and the U.S is doing everything possible through diplomatic channels to secure their release, the White House says, NBC's Andrea Mitchell reports.
The U.S. Supreme Court today said state court judges can be forced to take themselves off a case when they've received big campaign contributions from a party to the legal dispute, NBC's Pete Williams reports.
As momentum builds for a sweeping health-care reform bill being drafted in Congress, Senate negotiators this week will try to tackle the handful of contentious issues that could ultimately determine the shape -- and fate -- of the bill, NBC's Ken Strickland and Kelly O'Donnell reports. In closed-door sessions, members of the Senate Finance and Health committees will address some fundamental Democratic leaning components, which could be deal-breakers for meaningful Republican support.
First Read with NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd, every weekday on MSNBC-TV at 9 a.m. ET.
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