TPM News

The election may be in the bag, but a lawsuit filed by Fox News against former Senate candidate Robin Carnahan (D-MO) for using their footage in a campaign ad hasn't wrapped up yet.

Fox News on Monday requested that clerk in the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Missouri enter a default judgment against Robin Carnahan for Senate, Inc. "on the ground that it has failed to answer or otherwise defend against the amended complaint in this action... within the time period prescribed by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure."

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Republicans and independents have decided that incoming members of Congress who ran against health care reform and still take their government-funded benefits are hypocrites. Democrats, not so much.

That's one conclusion from a new national poll from Democratic firm PPP, which shows big majorities of GOP and independent voters saying the politicians who ran against the health care reform law should forgo the health care benefits they're entitled to as employees of the federal government.

Just 28% of Republican respondents said that new anti-reform members should take their federal benefits, while a whopping 58% said they shouldn't. Among independents -- who voted for the GOP in big numbers on Nov. 2 -- 56% say politicians who made health care repeal a cornerstone of their campaigns should deny themselves their government benefits. Only 27% said they should take them.

The split is much narrower among Democrats, who presumably support the health care law and the idea of government-assisted health care in larger numbers. Forty percent of Democrats said that politicians who ran against the health care law should take their government care anyway, while 46% said they should decline it.

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Park51, the proposed Islamic community center and mosque in downtown Manhattan, has applied for federally-funded grants, prompting shrill cries that the "Ground Zero mosque" is looking for a taxpayer handout.

The Daily Beast reported yesterday that Park51 had applied for $5 million worth of grants. The organization, in a statement, acknowledged applying for a grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. Park51 says it would use the money both for its construction and services it plans to offer, including domestic violence prevention and foreign language classes.

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In a letter to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) criticizes the U.S. Army's recently released final report on the Fort Hood shooting, accusing it of "avoiding the role that radical Islam played in the killing of 13 American soldiers."

He calls on Gates, and the Department of the Army, to "update the report to accurately address this threat and detail what appropriate measures are necessary to counter it."

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Apparently the country is not overly interested in watching Sarah Palin stun halibut with a billy club. "Deadline Hollywood" reports that "Sarah Palin's Alaska," which drew a record 5 million viewers for its premiere last Sunday, lost 2 million viewers for this Sunday's follow-up.

On Sunday, the series executive produced by Mark Burnett, drew 3 million viewers. That is down 40% from the 5 million who tuned in for the debut last Sunday. In adults 18-49, Palin averaged 885,000, down 45% and also posted a similar decline, 46%, in adults 25-54.

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John Kinnucan, an independent analyst with a financial services firm, was sitting on his front porch in Portland, Oregon sipping wine on Oct. 25 when two men in business suits emerged from a gray sedan and identified themselves as FBI agents.

They were there to flip him, to have him cooperate and give them an inside look at his clients as part of a wide-ranging investigation of insider trading which has lead to searches of hedge funds in recent days.

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The tea party movement has a new target: Corporate America. Leaders of FreedomWorks, Dick Armey's branch of the conservative revolution, tell US News' Paul Bedard that the tea party movement is now ready to go to war with companies that the group says endorse "President Obama's progressive agenda."

On the short list are General Electric and Johnson & Johnson. Their crimes: "Their initial focus" of FreedomWorks' anti-corporate war "will be on consumer firms that lobbied for passage of Obama's agenda items that helped their firms." Those items include: "healthcare reform, bailouts, cap-and-trade energy policies or other issues pushed by the administration."

How will FreedomWorks take out these corporate giants? Through what it says will be a series of massive consumer boycotts Bedard likens to past anti-corporate protests mounted by Jesse Jackson.

"[A] Tea Party boycott could be bigger and impact the political world in Washington where corporations are generally viewed as supporting Republicans," Bedard writes.

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The jury in former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's corruption trial began deliberating Monday after both sides made their closing arguments. And they were already questioning the charges against him.

The Austin-American Statesman reports that jurors yesterday sent a series of notes to the judge, asking him about the charges. "Can it constitute money laundering if the money wasn't procured by illegal means originally?" one note read.

DeLay is charged with money laundering. Prosecutors say he orchestrated a money swap in 2002 in which his Texas PAC collected $190,000 and sent it to the RNC, which turned around and gave $190,000 to several state house candidates hand-picked by the PAC. DeLay's lawyers have argued both that the swap was legal and that DeLay did not know about the swap until after it was done.

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Rep. Steve King (R-IA), the staunch opponent of illegal immigration who is set to become the chairman of a key subcommittee on immigration, is setting his sights on the right-wing cause of ending birthright citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants -- which many experts say would be unconstitutional.

And, as King told the local paper Cityview, his plan is to pass a statute anyway, and if it gets overruled in the courts, to then step up the effort to a constitutional amendment:

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The Senator from the tea party is going to become the author from the tea party starting in February 2011. Yesterday, Center Street Publishing -- a division of Hachette that produces "wholesome entertainment, helpful encouragement, and books of traditional values" -- announced it had inked a deal with Rand Paul, the Republican Sen.-elect from Kentucky, to write a book called "The Tea Party Goes to Washington."

From Center Street's release announcing what will surely be next year's must-have Valentine's Day gift:

In THE TEA PARTY GOES TO WASHINGTON, Rand Paul presents his plan--and the Tea Party's platform--to bring the U.S. government more in line with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, to stop spending money the country doesn't have, to stop borrowing, to balance the budget and reduce the size of the government.

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