TPM News

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told his Republican colleagues today they will get the chance to offer amendments to the health care bill. He noted that the health care bills have been on the Internet "for many weeks" and said he does not want to rush the process or block senators from offering alternatives.

"I assure you that I will make the legislation available to the full Senate and the American people prior to its consideration," Reid wrote. "There will be ample opportunity to examine and evaluate its provisions."

He assumed the Democratic line of late that if Republicans put out a plan, they should adhere to the same level of transparency.

"As soon as a comprehensive Republican alternative is complete, I hope you will be willing to immediately make it public," he wrote.

Reid's full letter after the jump.

Read More →

Chris Christie could soon be facing legal action from some very illustrious people: Monty Python.

This comes after the Christie campaign used footage of a sketch from Monty Python's Flying Circus, without having sought permission, for a Web video. The video has since been taken down, but was preserved by Monty Python and given to the Huffington Post.

Monty Python's Terry Jones, perhaps best known for his screechy-voiced female characters (especially Brian's mother Mandy in Life of Brian), told the HuffPo that the group is strongly considering a lawsuit for copyright infringement.

"It is totally outrageous that a former US Attorney knows so little about the law that he thinks he can rip off people," said Jones. "On the other hand -- another of Bush's legal appointees was Alberto Gonzales and he didn't seem to know much about the law either."

Dede Scozzafava, the moderate Republican who withdrew this weekend from the NY-23 special election, after a national right-wing campaign in favor of Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman, has now taken another step in her surprise endorsement of Democrat Bill Owens: Taping a robocall for him.

"It's not in the cards for me to be your representative but I strongly believe Bill Owens is the only candidate who can build upon [former GOP Congressman, now Secretary of the Army] John McHugh's lasting legacy in Congress," Scozzafava says. "In Bill Owens I see a sense of duty and integrity. He will be an independent voice, devoted to doing what is right for New York. To address the tough challenges ahead we must rise above partisanship and politics, and work together."

At more than 8 million people, the population of New York City is greater than that of most states. So why aren't we focusing more on tomorrow's mayoral election?

Because this contest simply isn't a contest.

In simply monetary terms, the two-term incumbent, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has already spent more than $85 million of his own money, dwarfing the $6 million expenditures of his opponent, Democrat Bill Thompson. And Bloomberg's record-breaking expenditures may reach $140 million by the time it's all said and done.

But it's more than just money.

Read More →

Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate in NY-23, appeared today on the Glenn Beck show -- and declared that Beck is a "mentor" of his, and that he'll stay in touch with Beck if he's elected:

HOFFMAN: I have good mentors here.

GLENN: Wait, wait. Wait, wait. Are they mentors that will show -

HOFFMAN: I'm talking about you, Glenn.

GLENN: Oh, okay. I was going to say all right, as long as they are standing out from the shadows. [...]

HOFFMAN: No. Yeah, well, I'm going to keep in touch with people like you so I don't get infected with that disease.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations has sued the author of Muslim Mafia, a book that sparked calls by four House Republicans for an investigation into intern spies, seeking the return of documents taken by the author's son while he was posing as a Muslim and interning at CAIR's Washington office.

The suit alleges that Chris Gaubatz, son of book co-author Dave Gaubatz, took over 12,000 documents along with electronic information when he was posing as convert Dave Marshall in 2008. It quotes the book itself, which says Gaubatz routinely loaded the trunk of his car with the files.

Politico's Josh Gerstein reports:

Read More →

There's no doubt that even though they are facing the possibility of triple losses tomorrow, Democrats have found a talking point they are comfortable with.

On the Sunday shows yesterday and in conversations with reporters today, Democrats from the White House press secretary to the national campaign committees say moderates clearly aren't welcome in the Republican Party.

They found this message in the election in New York's 23rd Congressional district, where conservative party candidate Doug Hoffman is surging.

There have been few Republicans to say this publicly, so the Democrats are saying it for them. All day long Democratic operatives have emailed TPMDC links to news stories suggesting the GOP is in "chaos" or the party is in "turmoil."

President Obama's White House has done a nice job of picking off the social moderates, elevating Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman to be ambassador to China and Rep. John McHugh (R-NY) to be Secretary of the Army. (That's why the NY-23 seat is vacant.)

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs jumped on the bandwagon this afternoon, saying the Hoffman surge in New York is "fascinating."

Read More →

David Iglesias is comparing Sheriff Joe Arpaio's alleged targeting of political foes to the notorious Rove-Gonzales politicization of DOJ, which led to Iglesias's own improper firing.

The evidence against the Arizona sheriff was "very similar to what was going on at the Department of Justice under the Bush administration," Iglesias said in an interview with TPMmuckraker. "It unfortunately felt very familiar."

Read More →