TPM News

1||After 25 years, CNN host Larry King will be hosting his last episode of Larry King Live on December 16, 2010. Here are some highlights from his career...

Here, Frank Sinatra joins King during a live broadcast in 1988. It was Sinatra's first national interview in 20 years.||Newscom/files&&

2||2000: King, Vice President Al Gore and Ross Perot prepare to go live in a debate on the NAFTA treaty.||Newscom/Sam Kittner/ZUMA Press&&

3||2003: King interviews former President Jimmy Carter.||Newscom/Chris Kleponis/ZUMA Press&&

4||King and former Russian President Vladimir Putin.||Newscom/TassPhotos&&

5||2001: From left to right, King, Ricky Martin, President George W. Bush, Jessica Simpson and Andrew Lloyd Webber at Bush's inauguration party at the Lincoln Memorial. ||Newscom/Laura Farr/ZUMA Press&&

6||2002: King and former President Bill Clinton.||Newscom/Kevin Kane&&

7||2001: King and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.||Newscom/Chris Kleponis/ZUMA Press&&

8||2007: King with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, center, at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.||Newscom/Sipa&&

9||2001: King interviews 12 of the 13 female members of the Senate. From left to right are Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Susan Collins (R-ME), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Jean Carnahan (D-MO). ||Newscom/Chris Kleponis/ZUMA Press&&

10||2001: King and Secretary of State Colin Powell at the State Department. ||Newscom/Chris Kleponis/ZUMA Press&&

11||2004: King, Rudy Giuliani and Bob Dole at the Republican National Convention in New York City.||Newscom/Lisa Quinones/Black Star&&

12||2002: King and Vice President Dick Cheney at the Eisenhower Executive Building in Washington.||Newscom/Chris Kleponis/CNN/ZUMA Press&&

13||2004: Former Sen. George Mitchell and King at the Democratic National Convention in Boston.||Newscom/Nancy Kaszerman/ZUMA Press&&

14||2006: Clinton, Feinstein and King during a break of Larry King Live.||Newscom/Chris Kleponis&&

15||2007: King and presidential candidate Barack Obama after a Democratic debate at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.||Newscom/CJ Gunther/UPI&&

16||2007: King and James Carville at King's 50 Years of Broadcasting Celebration in New York.||Newscom/sipaphotos&&

17||2004: President George Bush and First Lady Laura Bush in 2004 in Beverly Hills, California.||Newscom/Prouser Rose/SIPA&&

18||John F. Kennedy Jr. during an interview on Larry King Live.||Newscom/Sam Kittner/ZUMA Press&&

19||2002: King and Arnold Schwarzenegger at Muhammad Ali's Celebrity Fight Night.||Newscom/Lora Voigt/ZUMA Press&&

20||2007: King and Mitt Romney.||Newscom/Prouser Rose/SIPA&&

21||2002: King and Caroline Kennedy||Newscom/Chris Kleponis/CNN/ZUMA Press&&

22||2002: King with Attorney General John Ashcroft and Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson.||Newscom/Chris Kleponis/ZUMA Press&&

23||2003: King with the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV).||Newscom/Chris Kleponis/ZUMA Press&&

24||2003: King and Clinton discuss Clinton's book, "Living History." ||Newscom/Chris Kleponis/ZUMA Press&&

25||1971: King's mugshot in Miami, Florida. He was arrested on charges of grand larceny when he was 38.||Newscom/ZUMA Press&&

President Obama easily leads three Republican challengers in hypothetical 2012 matchups presented in a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. However, Obama's victory against a generic GOP candidate falls within the poll's margin of error.

Only former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney polled reasonably close to Obama in the head-to-head contests. Forty percent of respondents said they would vote for Romney if he were the Republican nominee, versus 47% who said they would vote for Obama.

Against Sen. John Thune (R-SD), Obama leads 47% to 27%, though 17% said they were undecided, a reflection of Thune's low national profile. In the same poll, 76% of respondents did not know Thune well enough to form an opinion of him.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin fared worst of the three candidates tested. In that matchup, 33% percent of respondents said they would vote for Palin, while 55% said they would vote for Obama.

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Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin, who refused orders to deploy to Afghanistan because he believes President Obama may not have been born in the United States, was sentenced to six months in military prison today.

He will also be dismissed from the Army.

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Despite the growing momentum behind a standalone bill that would repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell -- and an appeal from Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) to hold a vote on that bill in the next few days -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is still unwilling to announce the exact timing of debate on the bill.

At a press conference this afternoon, Reid said that the standalone bill will come up before the end of the lame duck session (which, he noted, could go on until Jan. 5 if necessary) -- but he didn't say when exactly he'll raise it, or where DADT repeal falls on the long priority list of legislation Reid wants to see considered before the 111th Congress ends.

"I don't know if I'll bring it before Christmas," Reid said. "But before this Congress ends, we're going to complete or have a vote on the START treaty, the DREAM Act, Don't Ask, Don't Tell, 9/11 -- and hopefully we can get an agreement on nominations, otherwise we'll have some votes on nominations."

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Vice President Joe Biden chimed in today after two Republican senators balked at the idea of having votes on the START treaty and other legislation either right before or after Christmas.

"Don't tell me about Christmas. I understand Christmas," Biden said in an interview today with Andrea Mitchell. "There's 10 days between now and Christmas. I hope I don't get in the way of your Christmas shopping, but this is the nation's business. National security's at stake. Act."


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House progressives are still prepared for President Obama's tax cut compromise to pass unamended. But they temporarily derailed that train this afternoon to be heard publicly on just how bad they think the package is.

"If we're going to lose, let's lose with a strong message," Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) -- chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus -- told me and another reporter in the Speaker's Lobby this afternoon.

Earlier today, he and other progressives interrupted the tax plan's glide path by blocking a key procedural measure -- a stalling tactic they hope to leverage into being given a chance to vote on substantial changes to the bill. All efforts to amend the legislation are expected to fail. But rank and file Dems are angry that during the brief floor debate over the cuts they were given only one shot at a relatively narrow, symbolic amendment to raise the estate tax.

As long as they're being set up to fail, progressives want that measure to include a whole range of changes to the bill.

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Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick -- or, more likely, a family member -- is defending the mayor on Twitter after his federal indictment yesterday charging him with racketeering, bribery, extortion and fraud.

"Is disobedience of the government ever justified?" the @KwameAndFamily Twitter account asked yesterday.

A few hours later: "We must obey God rather than men."

This morning: "Moral responsibility may compel you to disobey the law."

TPM confirmed the authenticity of the Twitter account with Mike Paul, Kilpatrick's public relations man.

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Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was released on bail today, and said in a press conference afterward: "If justice is not always an outcome, at least it is not dead yet."

Assange surrendered to London police over a sex crimes charge in Sweden that was unrelated to Wikileaks' release of State Department cables.

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We just got through the 38-count federal indictment against former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and a handful of his cohorts, alleging that the group operated as a criminal organization that extorted tens of millions of dollars from city contractors. The indictment -- against Kilpatrick, his father, a city contractor named Bobby Ferguson and two former city officials -- is full of bits of conversations between the men, presumably via text message and punctuated with "Lol"s and "COOL!"s.

The indictment alleges extortion, bribery, racketeering, mail fraud and RICO conspiracy, a charge originally reserved for crime syndicates like the mafia. Kilpatrick and other city officials were allegedly in the habit of threatening to take away lucrative city contracts from firms unless they hired Ferguson at inflated rates and, in some cases, for no work at all.

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