TPM News

An investment firm partly owned by Democratic mega-fundraiser and accused Ponzi schemer Hassan Nemazee was awarded a New Mexico state contract in 2007 after Nemazee and an associate contributed to Bill Richardon's gubernatorial fund, according to an excellent Forbes story published this morning.

Nemazee, who was indicted in September on charges he bilked several banks out of $292 million, had a 24.9% stake in the investment firm, Carret Asset Management. In 2007 it won the contract to manage $200 million from the State Investment Council, the agency that controls oil and gas leasing fees. The firm has netted nearly $2 million on the deal.

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During her interview with Sean Hannity that aired last night, Sarah Palin made an interesting declaration: That we need to prevent a nuclear Iran by cracking down on "Iraq."

Hannity asked what can be done to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons. In her response, Palin seemed to be confused between Iraq and Iran:

"We have allies who are as concerned about Ahmadinejad's actions as we are. We need to be working closer with France, and with Britain, and start, not just considering, but seriously taking steps towards the sanctions that we hear all about but we never see any actions towards, though.

"Cutting off the imports into Iraq, of their refined petroleum products. They're reliant -- 40 to 45 percent of their energy supply is reliant on those imports. We have some control over there.

"And some of the beneficial international monetary deals that Iraq benefits from -- we can start implementing some sanctions there and start really shaking things up, and telling Ahmadinejad, nobody is going to stand for this."

Yesterday, Fox News aired footage from the 2008 campaign trail during a segment about the crowds to see Sarah Palin on her book tour -- just a week after Fox's Sean Hannity was forced to apologize to Jon Stewart for a similar faux pas.

Fox News explained yesterday's incident to The Swamp:

"This was a production error in which the copy editor changed a script and didn't alert the control room to update the video,'' Michael Clemente, senior vice president of news at FOX, sad this evening. "There will be an on-air explanation during Happening Now on Thursday."

During the short segment Wednesday, Fox played several clips that are obviously from McCain-Palin rallies last year -- you can even see people holding McCain signs. While the clips played, host Gregg Jarrett said, "These are some of the pictures just coming in to us. ... There's a crowd of folks."

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Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) has pledged to vote to bring the health care bill to the floor, a procedural hurdle that would allow the Senate to start debating the $849 billion plan.

Without promising he'd back the final plan, Bayh told the Hill newspaper he would support the first cloture motion that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid files. Several conservative Democrats had suggested they might vote against that, and Republicans have threatened to use those procedural votes as political fodder.

Bayh said:

"At the end of the process, I'll avoid the Washington two-step of voting to go forward but then voting against the final bill. But this is just a starting point, so at this point I do think there's a difference."

He joins Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), who suggested yesterday he would do the same.

Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate in the NY-23 election, is going further in revoking his election-night concession to Democrat Bill Owens -- who was sworn into office a few days later -- and alleging that ACORN has attempted to steal the election!

In a new letter to his supporters, Hoffman boasts of how the margin in the race has narrowed as the counties have corrected clerical errors in the totals -- which happen routinely in every election, as local officials have said -- and absentee ballots are counted. Hoffman says the situation is an obvious ACORN conspiracy:

I'm sure you are as dismayed as I am to learn of the mischief that took place in Oswego and neighboring counties. We know this would not be the first time for the ACORN faithful to tamper with democracy.


Oswego County elections officials blame the mistakes on "chaos" in their call-in center that included a phone system foul-up, and on inspectors who read numbers incorrectly when phoning in results. This sounds like a tactic right from the ACORN playbook.

As of yesterday evening's totals, Hoffman trailed by 2,832 votes, with 4,262 absentees left to be counted. It looks like no matter what the final result is, Hoffman and his allies will charge that this election was stolen by the ACORN bogeyman.

The full letter is available after the jump. It makes for interesting reading.

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Save the date, readers. The premiere of Tea Party: The Documentary Film, the official grassroots/FreedomWorks-sponsored take on the grassroots/FreedomWorks-sponsored movement, is slated for Dec. 2 at the Reagan Building in Washington, D.C. The premiere is also sponsored by FreedomWorks.

We first wrote about the documentary while the crew was busy preparing to film Rep. Michele Bachmann's (R-MN) rally against health care reform at the Capitol. Presumably, this footage has been added to what was first showcased in the dramatically narrated (and quite thrilling) trailer.

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President Obama granted an interview to Chinese weekly Xiang Xi while traveling in Asia and detailed his view of economic and trade relations with the country.

It's not clear if the interview ran in full or if reports it was censored are accurate, but Obama told the weekly he viewed his trip as a success.

You can read the whole transcript at the White House Web site, but here's an amusing exchange:

Q I know you love basketball. So do you think you have time to play basketball while you're being President?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: You know, I do play, not as often as I used to, but I still play maybe once every week or two. And I enjoy going to games, as well. I wish I could have gone to see the Shanghai Sharks, but it wasn't in my schedule. And I'm looking forward to meeting Yao Ming, who is one of my favorite players.

In her hour-long interview with Sean Hannity last night, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin finally answered that infamous question Katie Couric asked more than a year ago: What newspapers do you read?

As she told Hannity, she reads Newsmax, the Wall Street Journal, her hometown Wasilla paper the Frontiersman, and "everything online."

On a media blitzkrieg to promote her memoir, Palin has been asked the question by several outlets. She didn't answer Oprah, but she did answer, saying she's read books by laissez-faire economist Thomas Sowell and Liberal Fascism by National Review editor Jonah Goldberg.

Video after the jump.

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President Obama left Seoul this morning to head home, concluding an 8-day, 4-country trip through Asia. Air Force One just landed in Alaska for refueling and he's expected back at the White House tonight.

Reporters traveling bombarded White House aides with questions about the lack of tangible results came from the trip, especially from China.

White House senior adviser David Axelrod said Obama "advanced our goals" over the week by having frank discussions with Asian leaders and presenting a new face to the world.

"This is not an immediate gratification business," Axelrod said. "All of these things require solid diplomacy, relationship building, discussions, and that was the purpose of this trip."

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