TPM News

Two Justice Department prosecutors involved in the botched investigation of former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens have asked a federal appeals court to review a judge's ruling which upheld a civil contempt finding against them.

A motion was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Friday on behalf of federal prosecutors William Welch II and Brenda Morris, reported Mike Scarcella of the Legal Times.

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The Supreme Court this afternoon declined to halt the Obama Administration's enforcement of the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy while an appeals courts decides whether to uphold a lower court ruling that the policy is unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court denied without comment the Log Cain Republicans' request to vacate the stay issued by the Ninth Circuit Court Of Appeals on November 9, 2010. That stay stopped Judge Virginia Phillips' October injunction against enforcing DADT from going into full effect following her ruling that the policy is unconstitutional.

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Human rights groups and criminal justice organizations are criticizing President Barack Obama's nomination of Stacia A. Hylton for director of the U.S. Marshals Service because of her ties to the for-profit prison industry.

Hylton was a 29-year career employee of the Justice Department until she left her post earlier this year and accepted $112,500 in consulting fees from the GEO Group, a for-profit prison industry group. Hylton awarded contracts worth up to $88 million to the GEO Group during her nearly six years as DOJ's Federal Detention Trustee, according to a press release. The GEO Group is the second largest operator of for-profit prisons in the United States.

"Sounds like the fox watching the henhouse to me," Ken Kopczynski, the director of the nonprofit watchdog group Private Corrections Working Group, told TPMmuckraker.

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1||President Barack Obama was in Seoul, South Korea this week, attending the G-20 world summit with other world leaders.|| YOUNG HO/SIPA/Newscom&&

2|| South Korean President Lee Myung-bak (center) delivers a speech at the opening session of the summit.||GREENFIELD/SIPA/Newscom&&

3|||| YOUNG HO/SIPA/Newscom&&

4||From left: Mexican President Felipe Calderón, Argentina President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and President Obama.||JuanJo Martin/EFE/Newscom&&

5||||Yonhap News/YNA/Newscom&&

6||President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.||YOUNG HO/SIPA/Newscom&&

7||President Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.||YOUNG HO/SIPA/Newscom&&

8||President Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.||YOUNG HO/SIPA/Newscom&&

9||Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal and President Obama.|| YOUNG HO/SIPA/Newscom&&

10||President Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.||JuanJo Martin/EFE/Newscom&&

11||President of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and President Obama.|| YOUNG HO/SIPA/Newscom&&

12||President of Brazil Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and President Obama.||YOUNG HO/SIPA/Newscom&&

13|| || &&

14||||YOUNG HO/SIPA/Newscom&&

15||President Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.||YOUNG HO/SIPA/Newscom&&

16||President Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao.||Liu Jiansheng/Xinhua/Photoshot/Newscom&&

17|| ||imago stock&people/Newscom&&

Republican Joe Miller's fight over the Alaska Senate write-in count just got a little help from an old friend. Sarah Palin's SarahPAC donated $5,000 to Miller's campaign yesterday, The Associated Press reports.

Miller beat Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the Republican primary, but now appears to trail her write-in campaign in the general election. Write-in ballots are currently being examined to see how many are for Murkowski.

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Rep.-elect Allen West (R-FL) is standing by the honor of his almost-chief of staff, right-wing talk radio host Joyce Kaufman, who pulled out of the job after media attention focused on her violent anti-government statement. And he's using some colorful language himself to describe her detractors.

As the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reports, West called into Kaufman's radio show Thursday:

He said he wanted people, especially those "on the left," to understand that Kaufman would continue "to fight on your battlefield" here, and he "will fight them on the battlefield in Washington, D.C., and we will meet in the middle after we soundly defeat them both."

The Congressman-elect said he's now "even more focused that this liberal, progressive, socialist agenda, this left-wing, vile, vicious, despicable machine that's out there is soundly brought to its knees. You don't have to worry about me doing the right thing in Washington, D.C."

West also concluded the interview: "I'll see you on the high ground."

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Cindy McCain, the wife of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), joined a number of celebrity supporters of the NoH8 Campaign -- originally designed to protest the passage of Proposition 8, California's anti-same sex marriage amendment -- in participating in a public service announcement about the bullying LGBT people face.

Ironically, her husband is currently at the center of the battle to prevent Democrats from repealing the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy (despite the results of the Pentagon's study that shows it would have little effect) during the upcoming lame duck session of Congress.

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Stephen Colbert last night celebrated the one-year anniversary of conservative commentator Lou Dobbs' departure from CNN by explaining how he's since absorbed Dobbs' audience and opinions.

"Because just like in punditry, as in The Highlander, there can be only one," Colbert said.

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In Republican Joe Miller's latest effort to question the results of the Alaska Senate race, his campaign has set-up a voter fraud hotline to handle all of the "serious allegations of fraud, voter intimidation and voter bullying" that have been surfacing since election day, and says that his team may file a lawsuit for information pertaining to the claims.

The tea-party backed Miller, who beat Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the Republican primary, now appears to trail her in the general election. Murkowski launched a nearly unprecedented write-in campaign -- and the write-in votes outnumber votes for Miller by thousands. Write-in ballots are now being examined to see how many are for Murkowski.

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Former Sen. Jim Talent (R-MO) is gearing up for a possible rematch with Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, who defeated him back in 2006, Real Clear Politics reports.

At least four well-known Republicans in Missouri are exploring the race against McCaskill, but GOP operatives say Talent is farthest along and has been positioning for another run ever since he stood down in early 2009 when Rep. Roy Blunt decided to pursue the seat GOP Sen. Christopher (Kit) Bond is vacating in January.


In an interview on Thursday, Talent said of the Senate race, "I am looking very carefully and very seriously at it."

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