TPM News

As TPM reported on Friday, Columbia University's School of Public and International Affairs sent an email to its students warning them not to link to or comment on the Wikileaks cables if they plan on trying to get a job at the State Department after graduation.

The email was sent by the office of career services and, not surprisingly, caused a stir. Now Threat Level reports that the school has sent a second email to students reassuring them that Columbia fully supports the freedom of expression.

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Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) appeared today on Fox & Friends, to elaborate on his decision to not attend the local "Holiday Parade Of Lights" in Tulsa, on the grounds that the organizers had officially removed "Christmas" from the table.

"But you know, this is a bigger picture," said Inhofe. "You look around the country, you see the atheist billboards, you see the New York school board saying you can't have a nativity scene but you can have a Muslim star, the North Carolina school board taking Christmas off the calendar.

"You know, I would expect it some other places, but not here in Oklahoma. So my decision was a personal decision. I'm not really boycotting it -- I'm just not gonna be there. To me, last time I checked, Gretchen, Christmas meant the birth of Jesus Christ, and that's what we're celebrating, that's what I'm celebrating, that's what my 20 kids and grandkids are celebrating."

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Lawyers for former Senate Candidate Robin Carnahan are arguing that the Fox News network is singling the Missouri Democrat out in its lawsuit alleging her campaign violated the network's copyrights.

To strengthen their argument, lawyers for Carnahan are pointing to Fox News clips posted on the websites of Republican candidates during the 2010 election season that the network doesn't seem to be worried about.

"Through this lawsuit, Fox News attempts to use copyright law to silence political speech. This distortion of copyright law fails," lawyers representing Carnahan wrote in a court document filed on Friday.

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Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) says the Senate should vote on repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell before it goes home for Christmas -- even if that means keeping Senators in town through the holiday.

"Wanting to go home is not an acceptable excuse for failing to pass a bill that provides essential support for our troops and veterans and failing to take action that the president, the secretary of Defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have called for," a Lieberman spokesperson told The Hill.

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Ending widespread speculation today, Wisconsin Republican Party chairman Reince Priebus has thrown his hat into the ring to be the next chair of the Republican National Committee. Priebus -- a key backer of current chair Michael Steele's 2009 election to head the RNC and until this weekend a powerful member of Steele's staff -- sent a letter to RNC members today announcing his campaign to run for chair and taking a swipe at Steele, the man he helped take the reigns at the RNC a little less than two years ago.

"The RNC must be at its best during this next election cycle. There is too much at risk for our Party and, more importantly, for our country. That is why I am running for Chairman," Priebus wrote in his letter, according to the Hotline. "It is not just about fundraising. It is not just about communicating our message. It is not just about standing up for our conservative values and party platform. It is not just about putting together successful victory programs. It must be all those things to win in 2012."

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In an impassioned Senate floor speech last week, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said that there is a war being waged on America's "disappearing and shrinking middle class."

"We talk about a lot of things on the floor of the Senate, but somehow we forget to talk about the reality of who is winning in this economy, and who is losing," he said. "And it is very clear to anyone who spends two minutes studying the issue that the people on top are doing extraordinarily well, at the same time as the middle class is collapsing and poverty is increasing."

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Trouble isn't over yet for Rep. Charlie Rangel.

The New York Post reports that the Federal Elections Commission is investigating a complaint made against Rangel, alleging that he illegally used PAC funds to pay lawyers defending him in a House ethics investigation.

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Over two years after a somebody leaked the immigration status of then-presidential candidate Barack Obama's aunt to the media just days ahead of the 2008 election, it still isn't clear if any federal officials have been held accountable for the illegal disclosure.

In response to a Freedom of Information Act from TPM, the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General searched the office's "investigative indices" using both Barack Obama and Zeituni Onyango as search terms and found no records.

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In a column on Friday in the Washington Times, Alaska Republican Senate nominee continued to rail against the apparently successful write-in campaign by incumbent GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski. In this new column, entitled "Writing In Corruption," Miller blames the federally-charted Alaska Native corporations, which have a big presence in the state, for supporting Murkowski. They did this, he writes, in order to maintain a pipeline of federal earmarks that sustain them.

In this effort, he says, they formed a "super-PAC" called Alaskans Standing Together, which conducted all sorts of underhanded activities for Murkowski -- such as running an ad campaign against him, educating voters on how to cast a write-in vote, and getting out the vote with rides to the polls.

"AST hit the airways with hundreds of thousands of dollars in attack ads, making numerous false allegations regarding my positions and background. Within a mere three weeks, AST spent $1.2 million, inundating the Alaska market," Miller writes. "It also hired dozens of workers to travel to the villages to teach people how to vote for Lisa Murkowski. They even painted vans with AST's logo to bus people to the polls."

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