In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) has now signed up with the Birther cause -- the people who think Barack Obama isn't a natural-born citizen and should be required to produce a birth certificate (which he already did, anyway) -- World Net Daily reports.

Coburn has now voiced his support for a bill offered by Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) and five House co-sponsors so far. "The bill requires any federal candidates' campaign committee filing with the Federal Election Commission to produce a copy of the candidate's birth certificate," wrote Coburn. "If the bill makes it to the Senate, I will likely support it."

Coburn also endorsed a similar bill in the Oklahoma legislature: "I hope the Oklahoma State Legislature will give serious consideration to this bill and I hope more states will reform their ballot access laws to ensure federal candidates must affirmatively prove their eligibility."

(Via Ben Smith.)

Here are the line-ups for the Sunday talk shows this weekend:

• ABC, This Week: Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

• CBS, Face The Nation: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

• CNN, State Of The Union: Sen. Dianne Feinstin (D-CA), Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IA), Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA); Former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski.

• Fox News Sunday: Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN), Rep. Pete Hoesktra (R-MI), and Karim Sadjadpour, of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI); and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

• NBC, Meet The Press: Former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-GA) and former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-TV); Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Have things reached the point in the ongoing (and going, and going...) Minnesota Senate race, where even Norm Coleman's staffers may have seen the writing on the wall? In recent weeks, two of his top staffers have gotten new jobs.

LeRoy Coleman (no relation), who served as Coleman's Senate communications director, has now joined the Republican National Committee as director of media affairs. And two weeks ago another top Coleman staffer, campaign manager Cullen Sheehan, became an RNC regional director.

The fact that Sheehan signed up for a new job is pretty telling, even though he'll still be helping out with the Coleman camp. The reason is that Sheehan is the official co-plaintiff, along with Coleman, in the actual ongoing election lawsuit.

Norm himself got a consulting job months ago with the Republican Jewish Coalition, providing him with a source of income.

Roll Call reports that Rep. Charlie Melancon has confirmed that he is considering a Campaign for Senate in 2010 against incumbent Republican Sen. David Vitter -- the Christian Right champion whose career became mired in the D.C. Madam prostitution scandal two years ago.

"Many Louisianians have encouraged me to run for U.S. Senate next year," Melancon said in a statement. "I am discussing this opportunity with my wife and kids and will be making an announcement in the coming weeks."

Louisiana reporter John Maginnis reported earlier today that Melancon, a relatively conservative Democrat, had already told national Democratic officials that he would be running.

A Democratic source could not confirm whether or not Melancon will be getting in the race, but did say that "he'd be a very very strong candidate against Vitter."

The House voted 405-1 today for a resolution in support of the Iranian dissidents and condemning the ruling government. And the one man who opposed it was...Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX).

Paul said in his floor speech that he was in "reluctant opposition" to the resolution -- that he of course condemns violence by governments against their citizens. On the other hand, he also doesn't think the American government should act as a judge of every country overseas, and pointed out that we don't condemn countries like Saudi Arabia or Egypt that don't even have real elections.

"It seems our criticism is selective and applied when there are political points to be made," Paul said. "I have admired President Obama's cautious approach to the situation in Iran and I would have preferred that we in the House had acted similarly."

Check out Paul's full floor statement, after the jump.

Read More →

It may be saying something that of the two Senators from Oklahoma, Tom Coburn is the calm and open-minded one.

The Oklahoman reports that Coburn met yesterday with Sonia Sotomayor, and walked away form the meeting with an apparent friendly attitude, describing her as "a bright lady, very smart and well-coached." He added: "She's got the demeanor of a judge."

Coburn's co-Senator Jim Inhofe, meanwhile, turned down an invitation to meet with Sotomayor -- on the grounds that his mind is already made up to vote against her. "That was a foregone conclusion," Inhofe told the Tulsa World, noting that he'd already voted against her for the appeals court back in 1998. However, he also predicts that she will be "definitely confirmed."

A new Rasmussen poll suggests that the criticism of President Obama for not being tough enough on behalf of Iranian dissidents -- which has come mainly from the right -- is not the majority view among American likely voters, and is not even a full majority view among Republicans.

The question is pretty straightforward: "Has President Obama been too aggressive in supporting the reformers in Iran, not aggressive enough, or has his response been about right?"

The numbers: 43% about right, 35% not aggressive enough, and 9% too aggressive. The margin of error is ±3%.

From the pollster's analysis: "Democrats overwhelmingly view the president's response as about right while 49% of Republicans say he has not been aggressive enough. Voters not affiliated with either party are closely divided on the question."

New Health Care Draft Leaves Out Public Option The Washington Post reports that a new draft health-care proposal from the Senate Finance Committee includes an individual mandate expands Medicaid coverage -- and leaves out the public option: "Yesterday, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) met with four Republicans, including Sen. Charles Grassley (Iowa), the ranking GOP member on the panel, along with two Democratic colleagues in an attempt to find bipartisan consensus. Baucus dubbed the group 'the coalition of the willing.'"

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will deliver remarks at 9:30 a.m. ET, at the Esperanza National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast and Conference. At 3:15 p.m. ET, he will mark Father's Day weekend by holding an event in the East Room to discuss fatherhood and mentoring. At 4 p.m. ET, he will meet at the South Lawn with young men from local schools. At 8 p.m. ET, he will attend the Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner.

Read More →

David Corn reports that Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court has now been endorsed by none other than...Ken Starr!

That's right. The Republican former independent counsel who relentlessly pursued the impeachment of Bill Clinton, first over a business deal and then a sex scandal, is in favor of Sotomayor's confirmation, and even said he's spoken to a number of unnamed Senators and told them he supports her.

Starr said he's met Sotomayor before, when she's twice participated in a program for judicial clerks at Pepperdine University, where he is the dean. "She was a huge hit with the students," said Starr.

So what are some of the biggest names of the Republican Party up to, now that the GOP is itself in the dumps? Well, some of them are hitting the circuit as motivational speakers.

Colin Powell, Rudy Giuliani and Steve Forbes have joined up with the "Get Motivated!" seminars run by Peter and Tamara Lowe, and are traveling the country to speak to business groups.

Check out this full-page ad in the Albany Times-Union, for the upcoming seminar in Albany next month:



(Click image to enlarge.)

Just think: Access to Rudy Giuliani could have cost you $2,300 two years ago. But now it's only $4.95 per person -- or you can send your entire office for only $19!

Special thanks to TPM reader MR.

LiveWire