TPMDC Sunday Roundup


Gibbs States White House Reticence On Truth Commission
Appearing on Meet The Press, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs stated the White House’s reluctance for a truth commission on the torture issue, deferring instead to the ongoing work of the Senate Intelligence Committee: “Well, I think the president had great fears that the debate that you’ve seen happen in this town on each side of this issue, at the extremes, has — that’s taken place would be what would envelop any commission that looked backward. That’s why his focus, David, the whole time is how we look forward in this country.”

Poll: Close Public Divide On Torture
A new ABC/Washington Post poll finds a majority of Americans supporting President Obama’s decision to release the torture memos: 53% in favor, to 44% again. A slim 51%-47% majority supports investigation of whether laws were broken in the treatment of terrorism suspects. At the same time, it’s a close divide on whether the U.S. should consider using torture in some cases: 49% against it, versus 48% who say there are cases where it should be considered.No Obama Or Biden Public Events Today
President Obama and Vice President Biden are each spending the weekend in Washington, D.C., and do not have any public events scheduled for today.

Another Poll: Minnesotans Want Coleman To Concede
A new Minneapolis Star Tribune poll finds that 64% of Minnesotans believe that former Sen. Norm Coleman (R) should concede the disputed Senate election to Democrat Al Franken, compared to only 28% who believe Coleman’s appeal of his defeat at the election trial is “appropriate.” Said one respondent, who voted for Coleman: “Obviously, the Republican Party is trying to keep Franken’s vote out of the United States Senate. We should get another [senator] in there.”

Levin Calls For Special Investigation, Potential Prosecution Of Torture
Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) called for a special investigation of torture policies: “I have recommended that the Department of Justice select one or two or three people outside of the department who will have credibility, perhaps retired federal judges, who will make a recommendation to the Department of Justice as to whether or not anybody ought to be prosecuted on this matter or any other action ought to be taken against lawyers, for instance.”

McCain Opposes Torture Prosecutions; Admits U.S. Was Violating Torture Ban
Appearing on CBS’ Face The Nation, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) reiterated his opposition to prosecutions over past torture policies. “Are you going to prosecute people for giving bad legal advice” McCain asked. At the same time, McCain also said: “Under President Reagan, we signed an agreement against torture. We were in violation of that.”

Summers: Economy Now Has Some Positive Indicators
Appearing on Fox News Sunday, National Economic Council Director Larry Summers pointed to improvement in the direction of the economy. “Six or eight weeks ago, there were no positive statistics to be found anywhere. The economy felt like it was falling vertically,” said Summers. “Today, the picture is much more mixed. There are some negative indicators, to be sure. There are also some positive indicators. And no one knows what the next turn will be.”

Ahmadinejad Continues To Question Holocaust
Appearing on ABC’s This Week, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for additional studies of the Holocaust — essentially questioning its veracity: “If this is a historically documented event, why do Western states show so much sensitivity towards a historical event? They do not want the lid to be taken off. I am asking them to permit studies.”