TPM News

Connecticut Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon is taking on political attacks over her past as CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, with its absurdist simulated violence and sex: It's all just a "soap opera" that "isn't real," she says in a new TV ad.

"I was the CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment -- a soap opera that entertains millions every week. And everyone gets in on the action," McMahon says, with the screen cutting to a montage of wacky pro-wrestling footage, some of which even includes McMahon herself in the ring. McMahon then says: "That isn't real. But our problems are."

McMahon faces a similar problem as Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) did in his 2008 campaign, which he just barely won after a protracted recount, of getting voters to take her seriously and look beyond some of her raunchy content. A clear difference, though, is that Franken's dirtier material was only a portion of his overall work -- while for McMahon, the crazier material is nearly the entire output of WWE.

The TPM Poll Average gives Democratic state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal a lead over McMahon of 52.5%-37.0%.

Read More →

McCain Calls For 'New Team' In Af-Pak Embassies Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is calling upon President Obama to replace more top American officials in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, following the resignation of Gen. Stanley McChrystal. "It's completely understandable why the president made the decision that he did, based on the civilian-military relationship that goes a long way back," the 2008 Republican presidential nominee said on ABC's Good Morning America, also adding: "I also point out to the president, with my strong support of Petraeus, we also need a new team over there as well -- perhaps at the embassy and other areas."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will receive the presidential daily briefing at 9:30 a.m. ET. He will hold a bilateral meeting at 10:30 a.m. ET with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, and an expanded meeting with Medvedev and Vice President Biden at 11 a.m. ET. Obama and Medvedev will hold a joint press conference at 1:45 p.m. ET. Obama and Medvedev will attend the U.S.-Russia Business Summit at 3:05 p.m. ET.

Read More →

There is a place where the Gulf oil disaster has a silver lining. Where brave BP employees forgo sleep and comfort in the name of the greater good. Where "aw shucks" fishermen don't hold grudges and say the spill isn't BP's fault. Where the environmental catastrophe serves to bring out the best in us and reminds us of the fragile beauty of the human condition. That place is BP's company blog.

Read More →

The teams that brought us Rick Santorum, Rudy Guiliani and John McCain are gearing up to bring America a new conservative hero: Nevada Republican Senate nominee Sharron Angle.

Just back in the Silver State after her week in D.C., Angle is rolling out her new team of consultants and staff. The group is pulled together from past Republican campaigns and prominent firms on the national circuit. For Angle -- charged with pulling off the most high-profile incumbent defeat of the cycle -- the team provides a mainstream sheen to her decidedly outsider campaign. National Republicans said they were going to come to her aid, and now we see they have put their money where their mouths were.

The team of consultants has a tough job ahead of it. Angle is facing a hostile local media, a skeptical national media and an opponent in Sen. Harry Reid who has made it clear he intends to put her on the defensive over some of her more extreme positions.

Let's meet the team tasked with selling Sharron Angle to Nevada's voters:

Read More →

In the battle between Scott Brown and Russ Feingold over financial reform, Scott Brown appears to be winning.

Senate staffers tonight are hammering out the shape of the so-called Volcker rule, which would limit insured financial firms' ability to take speculative bets with their capital, or prohibit it altogether.

Brown for weeks has been seeking a carveout in the legislation--originally authored by Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR)--that would allow banks to invest a portion of their profits in hedge and private equity funds. And as the 60th vote for financial reform, his demands carry a lot of weight. Enter Feingold, who opposed financial reform from the left. After discussions with, and public pressure from, pro-reform groups, Feingold has toyed with the idea of changing his vote from 'no' to 'yes', becoming the new 60th vote and robbing Brown of his leverage--if the Volcker rule survived loophole free.

Read More →

The thirty seconds in which it seemed like Rep. Joe Barton's (R-TX) seat atop the Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee might be in question led to quite a bit of quiet jockeying on the Hill for the right to fill the chair. Given that Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO) often touts the fact he's the "second-highest ranking Republican" on the committee all over the place and that he was named to that deputy spot behind Barton last February, one might have assumed that Blunt would have been next in line. Republican aides weren't willing to say this on the record, but TPMDC learned that Blunt was never under consideration to get the spot. GOP leadership aides made it clear that Rep. Fred Upton (MI) was most likely to get the spot, with Rep. John Shimkus (IL) the contender behind Upton.

Read More →

Earlier this week we told you about the Mike Huckabee profile in the New Yorker, a profile in which he describes the "ick factor" of gay marriage.

"I do believe that God created male and female and intended for marriage to be the relationship of the two opposite sexes. ... We can get into the ick factor, but the fact is two men in a relationship, two women in a relationship, biologically, that doesn't work the same," the former Arkansas governor and 2012 presidential contender said.

Huckabee is now taking issue with news outlets jumping on his use of "ick factor." In a statement posted on his PAC's web site, he defends himself, saying the phrase isn't his.

Read More →

General Petraeus won't have to wait long.

Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin says his committee will take up Petraeus' nomination to serve as Afghanistan commander within days.

"It would be no later than next Tuesday," Levin told reporters this afternoon. "We're going to try make it out obviously as quickly as we possibly can."

There are some technical issues that need to be sorted out before the entire Senate can take up Petraeus' nomination, though Levin predicted he'd be confirmed before the July 4 recess. But the first steps are poised to proceed smoothly. Levin's minority counterpart, ranking member John McCain told reporters today that the hearings and vote on Petraeus' nomination might well be "the fastest in the history of the Armed Services Committee."

1||June 23, 2010: General Stanley McChrystal is relieved of duty in a meeting with President Obama. A Rolling Stone profile of McChrystal had caused a stir the day before, quoting the general and his aides insulting the President, Vice President, and other top administration officials. Here's a look back at McChrystal's time as top commander in Afghanistan during the Obama Administration.

Here, McChrystal and Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak (left center), Afghanistan Minister of Defense, are shown the different aircraft of the Afghan National Army Air Corps rotary wing fleet at the Air Corps compound on November 5, 2009. ||Newscom/UPI&&

2||January 7, 2010: McChrystal and several U.S. Senators visit the Operational Coordination Center District in the Arghandab River Valley of Afghanistan. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is in the back row, left; Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), back row, second from the left; Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), back row, fourth from the right; McChrystal, back row, third from the right; and Sen. John Thune (R-SD), back row, far right.||.mil&&

3||May 6, 2010: McChrystal meets with French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux, center, at the ISAF headquarters in Kabul. ||Newscom/Sipa&&

4||December 7, 2009: Eikenberry, National Security Advisor James Jones, and McChrystal meet with the President in happier times. ||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

5||March 28, 2010: President Obama meets with U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, left, and McChrystal at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. ||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

6||May 8, 2010: Afghan President Hamid Karzai walks with McChrystal upon his arrival at Bagram Airfield.||Newscom/Rapport&&

7||July 16, 2009: At the Korengal Combat Outpost, commanding officer CPT Moretti briefs McChrystal on the current status of the Korengal valley. ||Newscom/Zuma&&

8||January 2, 2010: McChrystal speaks with Karzai at a store in Nawa District's marketplace.||Newscom/UPI&&

9||March 1, 2010: McChrystal walks down the main street of Marja with members of the Afghan security forces. ||Newscom/KRT&&

10||November 21, 2009: Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell, left, receives the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan from McChrystal, during the ceremony marking the change of command and the official activation of the NATO Training Mission at Camp Eggers in Kabul.||Newscom/Rapport&&

11||February 5, 2010: McChrystal, center, attends the NATO Defense Ministerial in Istanbul, Turkey.||.mil&&

12||August 29, 2009: Eikenberry and McChrystal greet British Prime Minister Gordon Brown as he arrives at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan.||.mil&&

Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones likes his chances in the race for Barack Obama's old Senate seat.

Sure, Democrat Alexi Giannoulias may not be worried about third party candidates spoiling his chance to take advantage of Republican Mark Kirk's recent problems in the race. But Jones is even less concerned about the possibility of spoiling Democrats' chances to hold Obama's old seat -- and says he could win this thing.

"I don't know how you spoil something that's already rotten," Jones told TPM.

Read More →

LiveWire