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Intersections International, the interfaith group "dedicated to promoting peace and understanding" between cultures which has a volunteer named Michael Enright, said today they hope their volunteer is not the same man who allegedly slashed a cab driver last night after asking if he was Muslim.

"I am deeply distressed if this is the Mike Enright that we know," the group's executive director, the Rev. Robert Chase, told TPMmuckraker.

"Especially, or sadly, ironic, is that our work is about building bridges between different faiths, different ethnicities, different cultures," Chase said. "This is exactly the opposite of what we stand for."

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Incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) may have survived that tough primary challenge, but a new poll shows he's still got an uphill climb ahead of him to retain the Senate seat he was appointed to last year. A Reuters/Ipsos survey of 453 likely voters in Colorado found Republican nominee Ken Buck leading the Senate race 49-40.

There is no previous Reuters/Ipsos survey for direct comparison.

National Democrats hoped that Bennet would beat his Democratic challenger, Andrew Romanoff, because they say Bennet has a better chance of winning the seat he was appointed to after Democrat Ken Salazar resigned to become Secretary of the Interior. On Aug. 10, Bennet handily defeated Romanoff, kicking off a general election fight with Buck, a tea party favorite. The matchup is the one that national Democrats wanted.

Polls so far have shown the Democratic plan for the race has not played out. The TPM Poll Average shows Buck ahead 46.4-42.4.

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In an email to Ashley Carson, the executive director of the Older Women's League, Alan Simpson has apologized for comparing Social Security to a cow with 310 million tits.

"I apologize for what I wrote," Simpson writes.

I can see that my remarks have caused you anguish, and that was not my intention. I certainly did not intend to diminish your hard work for the Older Women's League. I know you care deeply about strengthening Social Security, and so do I, just as deeply. I remember your testimony at our public hearing in June about the importance of retirement security for women. Over the last 40 years, I have had my size 15 feet in my mouth a time or two. To quote my old friend and colleague, Senator Lloyd Bentsen, when I make a mistake, "It's a doozy!"


Progressive groups have called on Simpson to resign, and the AARP has declared that Simpson's initial remarks undermine the credibility of the White House's commission on fiscal reform, which he co-chairs.

New York City Mayor Bloomberg re-upped his support last night for the right of Muslims to build the Cordoba House Islamic center near Ground Zero. Speaking to Muslims celebrating the end of Ramadan with an Iftar dinner, Bloomberg reiterated that "we are not at war with Islam. We are at war with Al Qaeda."

He added that the debate over the proposed site must be "civil and respectful."

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The AARP -- one of the most influential advocacy groups in the country -- isn't taking too kindly to Alan Simpson's off color characterization of Social Security: "Senator Simpson's latest attack on Social Security is offensive for several reasons, particularly for belittling a bedrock program that is the foundation of family security for all generations," reads a statement from AARP Senior Vice President Drew Nannis.

The vast majority of the 310 million Americans he insulted - particularly 156 million women and younger Americans for whom the traditional pension will be a relic of history - don't have access to the type of traditional pension retirement security that Sen. Simpson has from his decades in Congress. Perhaps that's why his comments demonstrate a woeful disconnect from or disinterest in the challenges facing many American families for whom Social Security is literally a lifeline.

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The man accused of stabbing a Muslim NYC cab driver hardly has the background one might expect from someone charged with a hate crime committed in a drunken rage.

Michael Enright is a film student at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and has been working with the Intersections International, an interfaith and multicultural effort which seeks to promote justice and peace. The project's website is strongly supportive of the Cordoba House project in lower Manhattan and videos of its leader, Imam Faisel Rauf, are posted on their website.

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Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), has a new TV ad going after her Democratic opponent, state Sen. Tarryl Clark, on taxes. Interestingly, this mega-star of the Tea Party right does not showcase any of her own exploits, and is not present in the ad at all beyond her mandatory statement that she approved this message.

Instead, the ad features a man introducing himself as "Jim the election guy," who will "be around to sort things out" in the campaign, and then tells the viewers about how Clark loves taxes, in the fashion of some kind of friendly tech-support representative.

Is this some pop culture reference that I'm just too out of touch to get? I've asked around the TPM office, and nobody else here understands it.

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The conservative group Let Freedom Ring is organizing a series of nationwide readings called "We Read The Constitution," during which -- you guessed it -- attendees will read the Constitution.

In an interview with TPM, Let Freedom Ring president Colin Hanna said that "a lot of people who revere the Constitution aren't themselves intimately familiar with its details," but the hope is that these events will help Americans "become even more enamored of that document."

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