TPM News

The Washington Post has an interesting look today at Kevin L. Cohee, the CEO of OneUnited, the bank at the center of ethics allegations against Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA).

Waters is charged with acting improperly by helping the bank, in the midst of the financial crisis, while her husband held hundreds of thousands of dollars in stock in the bank. She denies doing anything wrong.

According to the Post, Waters had helped Cohee in the past, intervening in 2002 with the governor so Cohee could buy the bank that became OneUnited.

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Stephen Colbert was pretty impressed with Newt Gingrich last night, following revelations of philandering by Gingrich's ex-wife in Esquire. "His moral compass is so great he can make it point wherever he wants," Colbert said, adding: "Newt is so pro-marriage he can't stop doing it!"

Colbert also described how Newt's ex described the night before he left her, when he gave a big family values speech. According to Colbert, she asked Newt, "and I'm paraphrasing here, 'How do you give that speech and at the same time be such a douchebag p*ssyhound?"

And Newt's reply, according to Colbert? "There's no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn't matter what I live. In short, do as I say not who I do."

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Former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ), who is challenging Sen. John McCain in the Republican primary, is now coming under fire -- and firing right back -- for suggesting that it might have been a bad thing if McCain had won the 2008 presidential election.

"I'll repeat what I said in the debate the other night. If John McCain had told the truth about Barack Obama the way he's spreading falsehoods about me, he'd be president right now," Hayworth told a Tea Party group in Phoenix. "And I don't know if that would be so fun. Don't get me wrong, I don't like the guy we have there now. But I think the last thing we needed was a progressive trying to wear a Republican cloth coat as president of the United States."

The Associated Press then reported on Hayworth's comment, saying that Hayworth "suggests the country would be worse off had McCain won the 2008 presidential election."

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Jon Stewart didn't really know what to say last night about Republicans who complain about the deficit but advocate for renewing the Bush tax cuts. So he turned to House Minority Leader "and retired Syracuse mascot" John Boehner (R-OH) for a solution to the country's economic woes. Boehner has said that "the only way we're going to get our economy going again and solve our budget problems is to get the economy moving."

"The only way to get our economy going, is to get it moving?" Stewart asked. "That is either the most profound or most retarded statement I've ever heard. You know what, actually it's the most profoundly retarded statement I've ever heard."

He continued: "That is the kind of statement that you think will be followed by the phrase 'in bed.'"

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Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO) has a slim lead over Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan according to a new poll from Rasmussen. Blunt leads Carnahan 50-43 in the survey, which was conduced Tuesday among 750 likely voters. The margin of error is 4%.

Past polling has also shown Blunt with a slight edge in the race. The last Rasmussen poll, from July 27, showed Blunt leading 49.-43. The TPM Poll Average for the contest shows Blunt in the lead 48.6-43.2.

Panel: GOP Plan To Extend Tax Cuts For Rich Adds $36 Billion To Deficit The Washington Post reports: "A Republican plan to extend tax cuts for the rich would add more than $36 billion to the federal deficit next year -- and transfer the bulk of that cash into the pockets of the nation's millionaires, according to a congressional analysis released Wednesday. New data from the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation show that households earning more than $1 million a year would reap nearly $31 billion in tax breaks under the GOP plan in 2011, for an average tax cut per household of about $100,000."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will receive the presidential daily briefing at 9:30 a.m. ET, will receive the economic daily briefing at 10:30 a.m. ET, and will meet with senior advisers at 11:30 a.m. ET. He does not have any scheduled public events.

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John McCain just can't quit Obama.

A fun pattern has emerged from the Arizona Republican's Senate campaign, as he's fought through a heated Republican primary challenge from former Rep. J.D. Hayworth. While McCain has certainly been dishing out the attacks on Hayworth, he's also been rallying the Republican base by training his fire on another nemesis: President Barack Obama, the man who defeated him in the 2008 presidential election.

In many ways this makes sense. Obama is both a cause of and target for the conservative base's ire, and anything that McCain can do to rally them on that basis should do him well. And as Larry Sabato once explained to us, McCain can be much more credible by being "Mr. Anti-Obama" than he can by being "Mr. Anti-Immigration" -- though he has also tacked right on border security -- and by pitching himself to Republican voters as the man most dedicated to foiling Obama's plans for the country.

So let's take a look at the anti-Obama theme that has run through McCain's campaign.

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Last week we told you about the strange reports of a coup underway at the highest levels of one of Maine's largest tea party groups. A week after concerns over Maine Patriots founder Amy Hale's leadership allegedly spilled over into a heated confrontation in a parking lot where Hale was forced to give up control of the tea party group's website, things have calmed down quite a bit. But there's still an information blackout that makes it hard to figure out who's in charge up there.

Hale has responded to critics that said her head got too big to lead the grassroots Maine Patriots, but she still won't respond to my requests for more information about the police report she filed against those she said cornered her and intimidated her into coughing up the password for the Maine Patriots website.

"While I can not talk about the actual incident in the parking lot because of the police investigation," Hale wrote in a recent email to tea partiers in Maine, "I can say that the allegations made against me are false."

Those allegations are essentially that she displayed hubris, and have been leveled at her by a group of Maine tea partiers led by fellow activist Jeff Cucci prior to the "coup." Hale also said in the letter that it's time for the Maine tea party to move on. However, it's unclear who controls the group's website these days.

"I think that it is time that we get all this behind us. We need to be fighting the real enemy; the big government that is taking away our freedoms," Hale wrote. "I hope that you will stick with Maine Patriots as we turn our eyes toward the real enemy."

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Tuesday, Reps. Peter King (R-NY) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) called Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf -- best known for his work with multicultural Cordoba Initiative to build a mosque and community center in Lower Manhattan -- a "radical" and criticized the Obama Administration for including him on a Middle East speaking tour. That tour, which includes stops in Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, is designed by the public diplomacy office to explain to Muslims abroad what it's like to be a Muslim in America.

Outside of how getting constantly called a radical by American politicians busy flacking the proposed "Ground Zero mosque" for political purposes might affect Rauf's view of what it's like to be a Muslim in America, there's one other big problem with King's and Ros-Lehtinen's accusation: Rauf already represented America in this way, under the Bush Administration.

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