TPM News

BP CEO Tony Hayward isn't just off message -- he's way off message.

In an interview with the Guardian, Hayward declared that the giant oil spill in the gulf (still gushing thousands of gallons of oil a day into the sea) and the hundreds of thousands of gallons of "dispersant" BP has pumped into the water to combat the slick are "tiny" compared to the "very big ocean."

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The liberal group MoveOn has endorsed Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) in his primary challenge against incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter, with Sestak taking 67% in a vote of MoveOn members in Pennsylvania.

From MoveOn's announcement:

Sel from State College told us that "Sestak not only has a better chance of winning in the fall, but he's a Democrat out of conviction, not desperation." Grant from Media said "I live in Sestak's district. He's been sensational as a Congressman." On the other hand, Christine from Meadville worries that "Arlen Specter is an opportunist and cannot be trusted to side with the Democrats."

Joe Sestak has a strong record in Congress, supporting health care reform, clean energy, and a woman's right to choose. If he wins the primary on Tuesday, it'll send a powerful message that voters want Democrats in Congress who'll proudly lead the fight for progressive legislation.


(Emphasis in the original.)

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In an example of Republican obstructionism rendered beautiful by its simplicity, the GOP yesterday killed a House bill that would increase funding for scientific research and math and science education by forcing Democrats to vote in favor of federal employees viewing pornography.

Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX), the ranking member of the House science committee, introduced a motion to recommit, a last-ditch effort to change a bill by sending it back to the committee with mandatory instructions.

In this case, Republicans included a provision that would bar the federal government from paying the salaries of employees who've been disciplined for viewing pornography at work.

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The new Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll of the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary gives Rep. Joe Sestak a narrow lead over incumbent Dem Senator and ex-Republican Arlen Specter, with the election coming up this Tuesday.

The numbers: Sestak 45%, Specter 43%. The poll of likely Dem primary voters has a ±5% margin of error. Two months ago, Specter led by a healthy 51%-32% advantage. The TPM Poll Average now gives Sestak a lead of 44.3%-43.0% -- the first time ever that Sestak has led in this measurement.

In addition, the poll has Republican former Rep. Pat Toomey leading Specter by 49%-41% in a general election, and leading Sestak by 45%-40%. The TPM Poll Average gives Toomey a lead over Specter of 45.6%-38.8%, and a lead over Sestak of 39.1%-35.4%.

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Florida neurosurgeon David McKalip -- who was in hot water last year after we published an email he sent that showed President Obama dressed as a witch doctor -- will host an event for an African-American GOP candidate for Congress. The candidate says he didn't find the witch doctor image offensive.

McKalip will co-host a fundraiser at a St. Petersburg sports bar next weekend for Eddie Adams Jr., who is seeking the GOP nomination to take on Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL) this fall, reports the St. Petersburg Times.

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The business-backed conservative group Americans For Job Security has a new mailer in the Arkansas Senate Democratic primary, attacking Lt. Gov. Bill Halter for allegedly helping to send jobs to India -- and they include Hindi writing, just to make their point.

The mailer shows a photo of a crowd of Indian women and children wearing traditional Indian garb. The caption is in Hindi, with an English translation below: "(Thank you Bill Halter for sending U.S. jobs to Bangalore, India)".

AJS, a conservative group, has been running third-party ads attacking Halter in his primary challenge against Democratic incumbent Blanche Lincoln, most notably a TV ad featuring Indian actors thanking Halter for sending them American jobs. The TPM Poll Average has Lincoln ahead 45.2%-31.8% in the primary, and the race could potentially go to a runoff due to the presence of a third candidate, businessman D.C. Morrison.

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Yesterday, President Obama spoke at a DCCC fundraiser at the St. Regis hotel in New York City, and got a little clever with the metaphors when describing the GOP: "After they drove the car into the ditch, made it as difficult as possible for us to pull it back, now they want the keys back. No. You can't drive. We don't want to have to go back into the ditch. We just got the car out."

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The country's biggest union has a request for Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano: Stop dealing with Arizona.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Wade Henderson, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, have written Napolitano a tough letter expressing "deep concerns" over the Department of Homeland Security's "continued cooperation" with Arizona law enforcement in light of the state's controversial new immigration law.

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