TPM News

College football's Bowl Championship Series, the system for selecting which two teams will compete in the national championship game, has hired former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer to improve its tarnished image among football fans.

Opponents of the BCS argue that its system of using polls and computer data to select teams should be replaced by playoffs, and some have even formed a PAC to lobby against the BCS.

"Playoff advocates have had an easy ride where they have never been called on to explain exactly how they would create an alternative. There is tremendous division among playoff advocates," Fleischer told Politico. "While the BCS has its share of critics, once people see both sides of the issue, they will see why the system has its great support."

Fleischer's firm specializes in media training for sports organizations, offering interview prep, crisis management training and other services. He's worked for Major League Baseball and Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, among others, according to his firm's web site.

Republican National Committee communications director Trevor Francis is leaving the party's press shop after a yearlong stint working for chairman Mike Steele.

Steele's response: "Trevor took a hiatus from a very successful private sector career to give service to the Republican Party this year. Trevor's talents will be missed at the RNC. We have accomplished a great deal in the year he was here. He worked tirelessly, as did the whole team, on the victories in Virginia and his home state of New Jersey."

The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza first reported the departure and he suggests it could mean there's some "turmoil" at the party.

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You'll be shocked to learn that Fox News is misinforming its viewers about the public option.

"The reason that the public option is so controversial is, it's a government-run health option. So if you can't get health care anywhere else, this is the idea, that you could get it from this government-offered plan, which of course would be paid for by the taxpayers."

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The head of the company that published Muslim Mafia says that the Council on American Islamic Relations is engaging in "economic terrorism" against the book's cash-strapped author, who can't afford to fight CAIR in court.

The comments by Joseph Farah, editor and CEO of WorldNetDaily, parent company of WND Books, are buried in a profile of Martin Garbus, one of the lawyers defending Muslim Mafia author Dave Gaubatz, and his son, Chris, who went undercover as an intern at CAIR.

In response to Gaubatz's decision to accede to CAIR's demand that he return thousands of pages of documents and electronic files taken by Chris Gaubatz, Farah said:

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Public Policy Polling (D) says that Mitt Romney could have a hard time going into the 2012 Republican primary season -- as of right now, less than half of his party base views him favorably.

Romney's favorable rating among Republicans is only 48% favorable, with 19% unfavorable and 33% undecided. Back in April, Romney had a much better of favorable rating of 60%.

Compared to other potential candidates, Mike Huckabee is at 65%, practically the same as his 67% back in April. Sarah Palin is at 75%, compared to 76% in April.

"I don't have any theories to explain Romney's popularity slide with Republican voters," writes PPP communications director Tom Jensen, "but it certainly bodes ominous for his 2012 nomination prospects if he can't get it turned around."

Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) told Fox News today that a government task force that controversially recommended new guidelines for mammograms last week could kill women like his wife, a breast cancer survivor, if the health care reform bill passes.

The new guidelines are the "first step of rationing of health care in the country," he said. His wife was diagnosed with a mammogram, he said, and the cancer had already spread.

"The mammogram has saved her life. But yet this preventive panel, which the health care bill says, 'Oh no, they're the ones who get to decide what the prevention measures are paid for or not.' That panel would have not allowed her to have this care," Barrasso said.

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