TPM News

Residents of the C Street Christian fellowship house will no longer benefit from a loophole that had allowed the house's owners to avoid paying property taxes.

Previously, the house -- despite being home to numerous lawmakers -- had been tax exempt, because it was classified as a church. That arrangement had allowed the building's owner, the secretive international Christian organization The Family, to charge significantly below market rents to its residents. In recent year, Senators John Ensign (R-NV), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Jim DeMint (R-SC), and Reps. Zach Wamp (R-TN), Bart Stupak (D-MI) and Mike Doyle (D-PA) have all reportedly called C Street home.

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Rep. Don Manzullo (R-IL) called the Gitmo detainees who may be moved to a prison in his district "really, really mean people" who are "driven by a savage religion" in an interview with a local NBC affiliate that aired yesterday.

Manzullo represents Thomson, home of a near-empty prison that might be used to house several Guantanamo Bay detainees. "These are really really mean people whose job it is to kill people," Manzullo said. He claimed that they were driven by a "savage religion."

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Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Cheney and founder of the Keep America Safe PAC, claimed on Fox News last night that holding terrorism trials in New York "endangers the United States" and brings the country "back to a pre-9/11 mentality."

"This demonstrates conclusively that we are going back to a pre-9/11 mentality," she said.

She also hinted that civilian trials would lead to more terrorist attacks.

"We know where that path leads," she said. "If an enemy is waging war against you and you just issue indictments, then you can't prevail in those circumstances."

Video after the jump.

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Washington Times editorial page editor Richard Miniter is filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the paper today, alleging discrimination based on age, disability, and religion -- being forced to attend a Unification Church mass wedding -- and he will ask the government to enjoin the Times' assets, his lawyer tells TPM.

The development adds to an already daunting mess of problems at the newspaper, whose top executives were fired last week, and whose executive editor resigned.

"The state of affairs at the Washington Times, to put it mildly, is in disarray," Larry Klayman, Miniter's attorney, tells TPM. "What we're seeking to do is to freeze everything right now." Klayman, whose firm is based in Washington and Florida, is the founder of conservative legal group Judicial Watch.

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Former John Edwards adviser Joe Trippi is pushing back against David Plouffe's claim that the Edwards camp tried to strike deals on the vice presidency during the 2008 Democratic primary.

As we reported last night, Plouffe charges in his new book "The Audacity to Win" that a "senior Edwards adviser" suggested Edwards would drop out and that he and Obama could team up as a joint ticket.

Trippi told the Washington Post's Greg Sargent he wasn't aware of the pitch. He also suggested Edwards, who was later mired by scandal due to an affair, was more interested in being attorney general than the No. 2 slot.

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The urgency of last night's meeting between Senate progressives and Majority Leader Harry Reid surrounded the fact that, though the overwhelming majority of Democrats want a public option, and several think they've already compromised enough on that score, the votes still aren't there. So, with key votes just around the corner, how can those moderate hold-outs be swayed, and what happens if they can't be? One possibility is simply leaving the ball in the moderates' court.

"There's potentially a dynamic that works in all of this that as you get closer and closer to the vote, you say--you really do say--we're going to make or we're not going to make history, and it takes on another dimension, psychologically," Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) told reporters. "I mean I've been through that myself. I've gone downstairs thinking maybe I'm not going to vote for that, and then suddenly I see its dimension, think of it in large terms, and then vote for it."

Rockefeller downplayed the possibility that, at the end of the process, there won't be 60 votes to end a filibuster.

"We're not taking that tack, what if we can't--we're talking about how we can," Rockefeller told TPMDC. He said using the budget reconciliation process as a procedural tool to circumvent a filibuster would be ugly, and, for that reason, the focus has to be on making sure Democrats (and perhaps Olympia Snowe) stick together to against a filibuster.

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Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) said on Fox News today that he hopes the investigation into the Fort Hood shootings doesn't turn into an "exercise of PC."

He prefaced that statement by saying that "we shouldn't condemn all Muslims" and that we "need to know all the facts" -- but concluded that he hoped that the investigation wouldn't turn into one of political correctness.

"We can't take a blind eye to what makes this a terrorist attack," he said. "Any rational person would see a connection to jihad."