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Dean, Lieberman point to Obama for death of public option

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WASHINGTON — A consistent narrative is emerging from various sides of the health care debate: the White House is largely responsible for the removal of the popular public option from the reform legislation.

Two key players in the debate — Howard Dean and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) — have essentially agreed with Sen. Russ Feingold’s (D-WI) declaration on Sunday that “the lack of support from the administration made keeping the public option in the bill an uphill struggle.”

In an MSNBC appearance Monday, Dean reversed his opposition to the Senate bill from last week, but didn’t equivocate when asked by host Norah O’Donnell whether “the White House is in part to blame for the death of the public option.”

“Yes,” Dean said, without hesitating.

Dean added that he’s unsatisfied with the Senate bill in its current form but will support its passage in the hope that it can be improved in conference committee.

Lieberman, whose refusal to support the public option was a prime cause of its removal, told the Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim on Monday that the White House never pressured him to get behind it.

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“I’d have to think about this, but I didn’t really have direct input from the White House on this,” Lieberman said, referring to the public option and Medicare buy-in compromise.

“When [Obama] came to the caucus he said, ‘Just try to work this out as you get to the end here.’ And I said, ‘OK,'” Lieberman added. “Most of the negotiation I had on that was with Senator Reid.”

President Obama has championed the public option on numerous occasions, but a number of progressives are now criticizing him for not putting enough pressure on Senators to back the provision in closed-door negotiations.

The Senate bill, which didn’t include a public option or a supplemental Medicare buy-in, bypassed an attempted Republican filibuster early Monday morning as it achieved the 60 votes necessary to advance.

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This video is from MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, broadcast Dec. 21, 2009.

Download video via RawReplay.com

–Video captured and uploaded by David Edwards

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Missouri man threatened to ‘kill every gay person I can’ at St. Louis PrideFest: police

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A Missouri man this week was charged with making a terrorist threat after he said he planned to "kill every gay person I can" at St. Louis's annual PrideFest.

The St. Louis Dispatch reports that court documents filed this week claim that 49-year-old Edward A. Terry of Overland, Missouri created a fake email account and sent a message to a PrideFest organizer saying that he would "come to pride fest with my guns to kill every gay person I can before I kill myself."

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Establishment Dems pressuring new congress members to attend AIPAC Israel junket: report

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For years, freshman Democratic lawmakers have faced pressure to attend an AIPAC sponsored trip to Israel, where they were denied access to Gaza and other territories controlled by Israel.

The pressure remains stronger than ever today, reports The Intercept, even as Israel's mideast policy is increasingly questioned.

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) assured AIPAC that this year the trip would be as well attended as it has been previously. “Like many of you, I’ve traveled to the communities in the south of Israel that have endured rockets and tunnels. I’ve traveled with over 150 of my fellow Democratic members of Congress to meet with those who live under the constant threat of terror,” he said in an April address to AIPAC.

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Trump leveled by retired general for making Iran war decisions based on advice from Fox News hosts

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During a panel discussion on the increased tensions between the U.S. and Iran after a drone was shot down by the Middle Eastern country in international airspace, a retired general claimed he was worried about Donald Trump's response based upon who it appears the president listens to when it comes to advice.

Speaking with host John Berman, retired Lt. General Mark Hertling warned that the shootdown was a dangerous provocation.

"It's huge, John," Hertling explained. "You can go all the way from backing down completely to a full-scale war -- that's what's dangerous about this situation."

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