In it, but not of it. TPM DC

A new Democracy Corps (D) poll finds that the Democratic Party could be reaching parity or perhaps even overtaking the Republicans on national security -- an issue area that has benefitted the GOP for decades.

President Obama has a 64%-31% approval rating on national security, and a 61%-31% rating on fighting terrorism -- both higher than his overall approval of 58%-33%. In addition, likely voters say by a 55%-37% margin that Obama's policies are increasing America's security -- rejecting the alternative statement that he's undermining security.

Indeed, a 51%-44% majority agreed with this statement: "President Bush's foreign and national security policies undermined America's security."

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Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY), who has openly accused his party leadership of trying to force him into retirement -- especially his Kentucky co-Senator, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell -- is making it clear just how much he personally detests McConnell.

In a conference call with reporters, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports, Bunning declared that McConnell is a "control freak," and responded strongly to the leader's refusal to endorse Bunning's re-election this past weekend on Fox News Sunday.

Said Bunning: "If Mitch McConnell doesn't endorse me, it could be the best thing that ever happened to me in Kentucky."

A new Mason-Dixon poll shows Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid with some very weak numbers in his home state of Nevada.

Only 38% of Nevadans have a favorable opinion of Reid, with a 50% unfavorable number. For his 2010 campaign, only 35% would vote to re-elect him, 17% would consider voting for a challenger, and 45% would definitely vote to replace him.

That said, Reid has reason for optimism: The Nevada GOP is very weak right now, and they don't have a suitable challenger as of this writing. He also has a lot of money saved up, and a lot can happen over the next year and a half.

In an e-mail to TPM, Reid spokesman Jim Manley brushed off the poll:

"Sen. Reid has never put a lot of weight in polls. And polls by the Review-Journal are consistently out of line with other polls. The primary number he's worried about is Nevada's 10.4% unemployment rate and that's why he's focused on fixing the economy and creating jobs in Nevada. Polling numbers move up and down, the only poll that really matters is on Election Day, which is 18 months from now. In the meantime he will continue talking to Nevadans everyday and working on solutions to help Nevadans who have been hit hard by these tough economic times."

The campaign to pass the Employee Free Choice Act has reached the Twittersphere, and, naturally, foes of organized labor, such as Newt Gingrich, are taking it all in stride.

"We are writing to demand that you immediately take down an illegal and fraudulent posting on Twitter...which falsely purports to be written by our clients and unlawfully uses the name of Messrs. [Newt] Gingrich and [Saul] Anuzis," reads a letter (PDF) from Stefan Passatino of the law firm McKenna Long & Aldridge.

The cease and desist notice comes in response to an online movement intended to convince Gingrich's Twitter followers (among others) to sign a petition in support of EFCA. Gingrich and his lawyer takes issue with the campaign, but that's possibly because the finer points of Twitter have eluded both of them.
We have recently learned that a pro-EFCA group calling itself "The Truth About EFCA.Org" and operating a website at that URL, has apparently publish the Posting on Twitter. The Posting falsely purports to have been written by Messrs. Gingrich and Anuzis and includes the Mark [ampersand] as well as the Twitter "handles" of the foregoing individuals.

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Democratic National Committee national press secretary Hari Sevugan released this statement responding to Michael Steele's speech declaring the GOP will not be looking backward:

"While we welcome Chairman Steele's words that the GOP wants to turn the page on its past, we are disheartened by the party's actions that tell the opposite story. While the Chairman talks of moving forward, the very convention he's addressing will not focus on coming up with new ideas to create jobs and setting right what the party got wrong over the last eight years, but instead will revolve around name calling and the petty politics of the past. While the Chairman speaks of no longer looking in the rearview mirror, just this weekend he and other party leaders stumbled over one another to endorse the leadership of one of the most divisive figures in recent American history, Dick Cheney. The test of the sincerity of the Chairman's words will be if he and the other GOP leaders stand up to the fringe elements of their party and whether they tell the polarizing faces of the past - including Cheney, Gingrich and Limbaugh - to stand aside. Unfortunately, they have shown no willingness to do so, which is why fewer and fewer Americans have confidence in the Republican party to lead during these tough times."

Late Update: Speak of the Devil, Newt Gingrich is now joining the GOP's rebranding effort, the National Council for a New America.

A new Rasmussen poll reaffirms that Minnesotans want their disputed Senate race to finally end and for Norm Coleman to concede defeat to Al Franken, with the result still bottled up over six months after Election Day.

The poll asked this straightforward question: "Should Norm Coleman concede now and let Al Franken be seated in the United States Senate?" A 54% majority said Coleman should concede, against 41% saying Coleman should not. In the crosstabs, 87% of Democrats want Coleman to concede, 77% of Republicans want him to stay in, and 53% of independent say he should quit.

The poll also asked whether Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty should sign an election certificate for Franken should the Democrat win at the state Supreme Court, and the answer was overwhelming: 67% Yes, 25% No.

The two men also have identically bad personal favorable numbers, though obviously from different sets of voters. Both of them have favorable ratings of only 44%, with 55% unfavorable. The two candidates waged a campaign in 2008 marked by open mutual hatred and bitter personal attacks against each other, and the legal contest hasn't exactly been a polite Midwestern affair, either.

A new group of labor unions is joining together to pressure a Senator on what they view as an anti-working families health plan, with the unions preferring instead a greater public option and opposing taxation of health benefits. The Senator is none other than ... liberal Democrat Ron Wyden from Oregon.

The National Education Association, AFSCME and the United Food and Commercial Workers are joining together to run this radio ad in the Portland and Eugene markets:

"The last thing we need is to pay more. But Senator Ron Wyden would tax the health care benefits we get at work - as if they were income," the announcer says. "Taxing health benefits? That doesn't make sense."

Check out the full script after the jump.

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RNC Chairman Michael Steele is set to deliver a speech today to state GOP chairmen, seeking to re-energize the party.

"The era of apologizing for Republican mistakes of the past is now officially over. It is done," Steele will say. "We have turned the page, we have turned the corner. No more looking in the rearview mirror. From this point forward, we will focus all of our energies on winning the future."

When has the GOP been apologizing, you might ask? In all fairness to Steele, he could be referring to his own speeches in which he himself has owned up to the Republican Party's mistakes. As he famously said in February: "Tonight, we tell America: we know the past, we know we did wrong. My bad." So does this mean the Republican Party is going to stop apologizing -- or more specifically that Steele, in his position as chairman, is going to knock it off?

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Last night, the House passed the final version of a bill intended to enhance enforcement of financial crimes, one of the provisions of which will create a 10-member commission to investigate the causes of the financial crisis. The vote was 338 to 52.

"While the Commission undertakes its investigation," said Speaker Nancy Pelosi upon passage of the legislation, "Chairman Barney Frank and the House Financial Services Committee will continue their ongoing work to reform federal oversight of our financial markets, and to reform lending practices to protect consumers."

The Senate passed the same version of the bill last week, and the President is expected to sign it short order. During deliberations between House and Senate leaders to resolve differences between the bills, negotiators made one potentially important change to the commission's guidelines, which now require that at least one member appointed by the Senate or House Minority Leader assent to the issuance of subpoenas, should they be necessary to compel testimony or other evidence. Whether that impacts the functioning of the commission will depend, I suppose, on how many subpoenas turn out to be necessary, and how much the Republican appointees resemble their appointers in Congress.

Obama, Automakers To Roll Out New Mileage And Emissions Standards President Obama and the country's automakers are set to announce this morning a new set of national mileage and emissions standards, with cars and trucks required to get 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016. The automakers cooperated with the government in reaching these standards in order to pre-empt battles with individual states, and they have been given more time to reach the goals.

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will deliver remarks at 12:15 p.m. ET, on the new set of auto emissions and efficiency standards. At 1:45 p.m. ET, he will meet in the Oval Office with formers Secs. of State Henry Kissinger and George Schultz, former Sec. of Defense William Perry, and former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-GA). At 3:30 p.m. ET, he will speak at a ceremony honoring the National Small Business Award Winners. At 4:30 p.m. ET, he will meet with Sec. of Defense Robert Gates in the Oval Office.

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Clinton Postpones Trip To Charlotte

In a statement released Friday evening, Hillary Clinton's campaign announced that the Democratic nominee…