TPM News

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) is pronouncing that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the man behind the Cordoba House community center project, is a jihadist -- just a not a violent one.

Appearing last night on Greta Van Susteren's Fox News show, Santorum pointed to Rauf's past comments about American foreign policy, when he said that the United States had more innocent Muslim blood on its hands than al-Qaeda had innocent non-Muslim blood on their hands.

"My thinking was all along if he made the statements that he made, he probably had a lot more that are going to be found out. This man is not a moderate Muslim. This is someone who believes the United States has blood on their hands, that the United States is responsible for this. He is a jihadist, he's just not a violent jihadist. That does not make him a moderate."

So there you have it: Being against American foreign policy means a person is a jihadist -- that is, an enemy of America -- even if they're not violent about it. Question about this non-violent jihad stuff: How does one non-violently commit an act of terrorism?

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After ostensibly dissing his son -- and politicians like him who oppose the Cordoba House project in Manhattan -- over the weekend, Ron Paul took to the airwaves to defend Rand Paul's view on the project while also making it clear he disagrees with it.

To recap: Rand, like many politicians running in tight races this year, is opposed to building the Muslim community center, and has further called on American Muslims to donate the money that would be spent on building the community center to 9/11 victims' families as a show of "reconcilliation." In a blog post over the weekend, Ron Paul ripped into views like that, claiming that any opposition to the project was "all about hate and Islamaphobia."

In a pair of CNN interviews last night and this morning, Ron stuck to his guns about the community center project -- opposition is nothing but a political game being ginned up by bigots. He even went so far as to say he and Rand are on "different sides" of the issue. But he said Rand's opposition to the project did not suggest he's bigoted toward Muslims.

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The head of the Central Intelligence Agency's Afghanistan Bureau has taken on a quasi-diplomatic role in U.S. relations with President Hamid Karzai in the midst of an American-backed effort to root out corruption in the fledgling democracy.

Known to some of his colleagues by the nickname "Spider," the station chief is a former Marine in his 50s, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Their relationship was cemented in December 2001, when the U.S. military accidentally ordered a bomb drop on a meeting between Karzai and other tribal leaders, and "Spider" leapt on Karzai to shield him, saving the soon-to-be Afghan president. Now, "Spider" is brought in at critical times, including in May when the White House tapped him to calm the Afghan president after he lashed out at the U.S.

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On the heels of the Justice Department's decision not to charge former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay with any crimes related to his association with Jack Abramoff, the Hammer will appear in an Austin court today for a pretrial hearing over charges that he laundered money to secure Republican victories in the 2002 elections.

According to prosecutors, DeLay and two aides donated $190,000 -- raised from corporations -- to the Republican National Committee. Along with the cash, they allegedly provided a list of Texas Republican candidates they wanted to help. The RNC then donated that same amount, $190,000, to seven candidates.

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Vice President Joe Biden today slammed House Minority Leader John Boehner's recent speech as empty of economic ideas and Boehner as wanting to rewind the clock by rewarding rich people with tax cuts.

The headline from Boehner's address on the economy at the City Club of Cleveland was that he called on President Obama to fire Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and the rest of the economic team. Biden mocked Boehner (R-OH) today, calling it "very constructive advice, and we thank the leader for that."

"Mr. Boehner is nostalgic for those good 'ol days but the American people are not," Biden said. "I'm still waiting for what it is they are for."

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It's not just the Republican Senate primary today in Arizona. There's another fun race, for the open Republican House seat currently held by retiring GOP Rep. John Shadegg. And among the many contenders are Ben Quayle, son of former Vice President Dan Quayle, businessman Steve Moak, and former state Sen. Pamela Gorman -- all of whom have had some pretty fun ads.

Ben Quayle had an ad in which he solemnly declared to the camera, "Barack Obama is the worst president in history," and that "I was raised right." Quayle further declared: "Somebody has to go to Washington and knock the hell out of the place."

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Last night, Stephen Colbert agreed with Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who said that he takes President Obama "at his word" that he's a Christian. "Just like when Mitch McConnell says he's not a human-turtle hybrid I take him at his word," Colbert said. "And it's not easy. I have a strong desire to feed this man lettuce and raw hamburger."

Colbert added that Obama should make an effort to appear more Christian to overcome the misconceptions about his religion -- possibly by wearing Christmas sweaters. Or, Colbert said, maybe he should start Tweeting from the pews at church: "OMG, totes worshiping MG."

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"Once a gun runner, always a gun runner."

That's what 24-year-old Efraim Diveroli told an undercover agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives before he was arrested and charged with possession of firearms as a convicted felon and with possession of firearms while under indictment for a felony offense.

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The Daily Show correspondents Wyatt Cenac and John Oliver debated last night whether Fox News' Fox and Friends was being evil or stupid when they didn't reveal the connection between Fox News and the funder of the Cordoba House Islamic center near Ground Zero. Or, as Jon Stewart put it, "the terror funder is Rupert Murdoch's News Corp funder. Nooooooo!"

Oliver defended Fox News as stupid: "Things are hectic on the morning show. Plus Gretchen [Carlson] wasn't there and she's the only one who knows how to use Google."

Cenac argued that they were evil, since they avoided showing pictures of Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal because "he already looks like he's about to feed Timothy Dalton to his white tiger."

Oliver said he has to believe they are stupid, "because if they're not as stupid as I believe them to be, they are really f*cking evil."

Cenac replied: "And if they're not as evil as I think they are, they are stupid. We're talking potatoes with mouths."

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