TPM News

Here we go again.

You may remember the series of posts we did last spring on a splashy New York Times front-pager that was originally headlined "1 In 7 Detainees Rejoined Jihad, Pentagon Finds."

TPMmuckraker pointed out that, among other flaws in the story and the Defense Department study on which it was based, the piece simply accepted the Pentagon's assumption that all Guantanamo detainees were jihadists when they entered the prison. Under that theory, all detainees who were allegedly engaging in terrorism had therefore "rejoined" the fight. In fact, there's evidence that that assumption is false.

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Glenn Beck has found another reason why Americans shouldn't fill out the 2010 Census - it's too confusing! Especially if you're black.

On his radio show today, Beck and his co-host discussed the difficulties African-Americans will face when identifying their race on census forms. "There's a little confusion because there's three boxes you can check if you're a certain race," the co-host said, "I don't know what the race is because there's three different terms for them. Black, African-American, or Negro."

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Progressives aren't happy with a number of developments on the health care front, but faced with a choice between the House health care bill (with which they have some reservations) and the Senate health care bill (with which they have major reservations), they're telling their leadership, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and the White House, that the House bill must prevail.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus has sent a memo to the White House and Senate leadership showing in no uncertain terms that they think the House bill should prevail over the Senate's. On the issue of abortion, CPC says both the House and Senate language should be scrapped, and replaced with less restrictive provisions.

You can read the entire list of priorities here.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is up on the air early with some new radio ads for his re-election campaign this year. The ads make it clear how strongly he opposes President Obama, a sign that McCain could be preparing for a right-wing primary challenge from former Rep. J.D. Hayworth.

"President Obama is leading an extreme left-wing crusade to bankrupt America," McCain says. "I stand in his way every day. If I get a bruise or two knocking some sense into heads in Washington, so be it. I'll keep fighting for jobs and economic growth for Arizona, as long as I'm in the Senate."

As Greg Sargent points out, the announcer says of McCain: "He's lived through a battle or two. Vanquished many a foe. But perhaps no battle in our lifetime is more vital than the one John McCain fights now. The battle to save America." The clear implication seems to be that the political battles against President Obama's policies are more important than wars that America has experienced, and that America itself is at stake in Obama's supposed efforts to destroy it.

President Obama today released a declassified version of the administration's review into the failed terror attempt on Flight 253, telling the American people the "first line of defense is timely accurate intelligence that is shared, integrated, analyzed and acted upon quickly," but adding "that's not what happened in the leadup to Christmas day."

He said the United States intelligence agencies knew that al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula "sought to strike the United States."

Obama detailed what advisers have said from the get-go was a failure to connect the dots, saying the government "had the information scattered throughout the system to potentially ... "disrupt the attack."

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