Tonight, Obama raised $1.3 million for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He was in a fighting mood, calling Nancy Pelosi the type of person who is "elegant even as she's ripping your heart out. If you mess with her."
Striking detail from the New York Times re. yesterday's shooting of the dissident Thai general, Khattiya:
The general, Khattiya Sawatdiphol, 58, was struck in the head by a bullet during an interview with this reporter about 7 p.m. on the street in central Bangkok, near a park occupied by his hard-line followers. This reporter, who was facing the general and about two feet away, heard a loud bang not unlike a firecracker. The general fell to the ground, with his eyes wide open, and protesters took his apparently lifeless body to the hospital, screaming out his nickname. ...Remember the case of the Tennessee mother who tried to return her adopted child to Russia? The U.S. and Russia have been talking about a formal adoption treaty, and today, the two countries released pro-forma statements indicating some progress.
General Khattiya's last words before being shot were, "The military cannot get in here."
No more New Years Eve in Iowa for the political universe, maybe. Iowa's Republican Party chair endorsed the party's suggested rules changes. These would move Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucuses up ... er, down ... by at least several weeks, maybe even into February. (For Republicans, the caucuses are basically a statewide straw poll.)
'Generally, we very positively assess the atmosphere of the talks. In the course of a substantial dialogue we've managed to move forward on a wide range of complicated issues,' says Alina Levitskaya, Director, Department of State Policy on Upbringing, Supplementary Education and Social Protection of Children, Russian Ministry of Education and Science.
'Both teams are committed to reach an agreement to increase safeguards for intercountry adoption between Russian and the U.S.' adds Mary Ellen Hickey, the head of American delegation, Managing Director, Office of Children's Issues, U.S. State Department.
The federal government claims that it rooted out more than $2.5 billion in Medicare fraud last year. Expect to see a renewed public focus on these efforts in the next few weeks. ... In supplemental legislation to fund the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the administration wants Congress to spend $50 billion to help states avoid cutting firefighting, police, and teachers jobs. Republicans call this a $25 billion gift to the public employee unions.
Nikki Haley's gubernatorial campaign in South Carolina will get its biggest boost yet: Sarah Palin plans to endorse her tomorrow in Columbia. Palin is in DC in the morning, and then at the National Rifle Association meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina later in the day.
Also addressing the NRA meeting: Gov. Haley Barbour, Sen. John Thune, Rep. Mike Pence.
White House cyber coordinator Howard Schmidt will speak at next month's Defense Daily cyber summit. It's Schmidt's second major speech since becoming the nation's point man for all things cyber.
The National Transportation Safety Board will send a team of experts to help Libya figure out the cause of the air crash at Tripoli's airport.
The token Republican on tomorrow's Real Time with Bill Maher panel will be Rep. Darrell Issa (D-CA).
Most interesting White House release of the day: "Executive Order -- Providing an Order of Succession Within the Department of Agriculture."
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