TPM News

In an apparent bid to stoke further controversy, the Tea Party leader who last week referred to Allah as a "Monkey God" has apologized -- but to Hindus, not Muslims. And in an earlier blog post, now removed, he refers to Islam as a "7th Century Death Cult coughed up by a psychotic pedophile."

Mark Williams, the conservative radio talker and chair of the Tea Party Express yesterday posted an "apology" for the "Monkey God" post he wrote last week:

Read More →

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Sen. Bob Menendez told me in a brief interview that his takeaway from Tuesday's elections is that Democrats are the ones willing to shake things up in Washington, and that's a message you can expect to hear from candidates in the coming months. In the battle for control of Congress, Democrats see improved chances, in part by the choices voters made in Tuesday's primaries.

Menendez (D-NJ) boasted that in all three states which held elections Tuesday, Democrats outnumbered Republican voters, calling it "hooey" that GOPers think they have the intensity on their side this fall.

Menendez also said that Rep. Joe Sestak will be a great general election candidate against former Rep. Pat Toomey (R) in Pennsylvania. He said since Toomey is a former derivatives trader who voted for George W. Bush's agenda Sestak will have no trouble reminding voters he's the one who can shakeup Washington, especially after having challenged his own party establishment in a primary. "I'll take that contrast," Menendez told me.

Read More →

The new survey from the Public Policy Institute of California shows former eBay CEO Meg Whitman's lead in the Republican gubernatorial primary plummeting, though she retains an advantage over state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner.

The numbers: Whitman 38%, Poizner 29%. The survey of likely GOP primary voters has a ±5% margin of error. Back in March, Whitman led by a whopping 61%-11%. The TPM Poll Average gives Whitman a lead over Poizner of 39.1%-29.2% in the GOP primary, down from a seemingly overwhelming Whitman lead as recently as March.

Whitman's support has fallen in large part due to Democratic attacks over her connections to Goldman Sachs -- the Dems would prefer to face Poizner in the fall. There may also have been a backlash against her big personal spending on the race, which has reached $68 million so far, and a tightly controlled media operation in which she has avoided directly answering questions from reporters about the issues -- a fact that is frequently noted in media reports.

Read More →

Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter declared in an interview that he's a stronger general election candidate than Sen. Blanche Lincoln, pointing to his strong showing statewide in Tuesday's Democratic Senate primary in defiance of conventional wisdom that a progressive favorite would only win urban districts. By his math, over 55 percent of the Democratic primary electorate picked someone other than Lincoln. He likes those odds for their June 8 runoff.

"The fact is we won counties in every part of the state," Halter told TPMDC in a wide-ranging interview last night. He said he will keep telling everyone for the next three weeks that "if you send the same people to Washington you're going to wind up getting the same results."

Conservative Democrat D.C. Morrison pulled in 13 percent of the vote, and told TPMDC yesterday he won't be backing Lincoln or Halter. Are his voters up for grabs? Former DNC Chairman Howard Dean thinks so, telling me this week that "anybody could win this one" since the conservative's voters probably aren't enchanted by Lincoln. "[Morrison's] voters stay home or they vote for the anti-establishment candidate," Dean said.

Read More →

In an interview with The Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) declared that the military's ban on gays will be repealed by year's end.

Pelosi also said that the Democrats will retain their majority in the House this November -- "for sure."

"One thing I know for sure is that Democrats will retain their majority in the House of Representatives," Pelosi said.

Read More →

Rand Paul, who won the Republican nomination for Senate in Kentucky, has gotten some attention for criticizing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for requiring private businesses to desegregate.

Last night, Rachel Maddow tried to get Paul to say clearly whether he thinks those private businesses should still be allowed to enact segregation. Though he was emphatic that he doesn't believe in "discrimination of any form," Paul wouldn't give a straight answer on whether that extended to private businesses.

"The thing is," he said at one point, "if we want to harbor in on private businesses and their policies, then you have to have the discussion about do you want to abridge the First Amendment as well?"

Read More →

Is the attorney general of Pennsylvania using his authority to go after political critics?

Tom Corbett, who this week won the GOP nomination in the state's gubernatorial race, has subpoenaed Twitter, demanding that it provide information about the people behind two accounts, reports TechCrunch. The subpoena refers to "alleged violations of the laws of Pennsylvania".

Read More →

A Democratic senator is demanding answers from drilling giant Transocean about the forms that rescued workers from the Deepwater Horizon rig were given to sign stating that they were not injured and they were not witnesses to what happened.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), chair of the Senate Health Employment and Workplace Safety Subcommittee, fired off a letter to Transocean CEO Steven Newman calling the company's use of the forms "extremely troublesome."

Read More →

No Crashers At The State Dinner The Washington Post reports on some good news from last night's state dinner -- there were no crashers: "This time, it looked as if everything went perfectly. The name of every guest arriving for Wednesday night's state dinner appeared on the official list. The inevitable comparisons to the drama of last year's faded away. And the party talk was focused on politics, the majesty of the White House and how so many memories were being made on such a night. Which is how it should be."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will receive the presidential daily briefing at 10 a.m. ET, will receive the economic daily briefing at 10:30 a.m. ET, and will meet at 11 a.m. ET with senior advisers. Obama and Vice President Biden will meet at 3 p.m. ET with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

Read More →

Did Bill Halter benefit from a hidden conservative vote in Tuesday's Arkansas Democratic primary against incumbent Sen. Blanche Lincoln, despite having run to Lincoln's left? And will those voters be back again for Halter in three weeks' time, when the runoff is held?

If the voting patterns of this race followed a strict left-right dynamic, we might expect to have seen Halter do well in the more urban, relatively liberal pockets of the Little Rock area, and for Lincoln to perform better in rural Arkansas.

But in fact, it was Lincoln who won Pulaski County (Little Rock), by a margin of 52%-40%, and she also won Jefferson County (Pine Bluff) by 51%-39%. Halter made up the difference and nearly caught Lincoln in the popular vote with stronger showings in many rural counties, especially in his home area of southern Arkansas. So how did this happen?

Read More →

LiveWire