TPM News

Today is a big day in Arizona, with voters headed to the polls for the Republican Senate primary pitting Sen. John McCain, the party's 2008 presidential nominee, against former Rep. J.D. Hayworth. And although Hayworth began the race with some promise, it's now looking like McCain will likely steamroll to victory.

The TPM Poll Average gives McCain a lead of 53.6%-32.1%. As we've previously posted, Hayworth began the race keeping McCain to a close margin. But very much to his credit, McCain clearly recognized the potential threat early on, and was well prepared for it -- he shifted right on issues like illegal immigration, positioned himself strongly against his nemesis President Obama, and brought in his former running mate Sarah Palin to excite the GOP base for him.

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With all the attention we've given to politicians who have attacked the Muslim community center set to be built near Ground Zero in New York, let's take a different look at the story: A list of the Democratic politicians who have stood up in support of it.

Opposition to the project has been brewing for weeks, and the issue came to a head a week and a half ago, when President Obama voiced his support for the right of organizers to build it.

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Hundreds Protest Islamic Center In Downtown Manhattan]

Since, some Dems have come out and said that the project should be moved -- most notably Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who nevertheless affirmed the right of Muslims to build it. So let's look at the other side of the equation: Dems who have spoken out on the project's behalf, both before and after Obama's remarks.

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Tea partiers preparing to pour into DC for Glenn Beck's March on the capitol Saturday needn't worry about where to eat or how to get around -- thanks to a tea party leader in Maine, they have all the info they'll need about how to operate in the nation's capital.

But D.C. is a scary place, tea party activist Bruce Majors writes, full of "immigrants, frequently from east Africa or Arab countries." (They are most often found driving cabs and working in restaurants, Majors says, and "do not like for you to assume they are African Americans and especially do not like for you to guess they are from a neighboring country (e.g. Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia) with whom they may have political or military tensions."

Good to know.

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Earlier this month, several imams joined U.S. officials to visit the Dachau and Auschwitz concentration camps, a trip which resulted in the clerics issuing a statement condemning anti-Semitism and vowing "to make real the commitment of 'never again.'"

The eight Muslim-American clerics were joined by Hannah Rosenthal, the presidential special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, and a handful of other officials from the Obama, Bush and Reagan administrations.

But according to Politico, "Organizers of the trip say they were dismayed that the Anti-Defamation League's Abe Foxman lobbied U.S. officials against participating."

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An full-page advertisement set to run in several Texas newspapers on Tuesday labels Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) a "coward" for refusing to debate his Democratic opponent and not meeting with editorial boards.

"We think it speaks for itself," said Cliff Walker, the PAC Director for Back To Basics, the group running the ad. "We know it's bold language."

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Mark Williams, former Tea Party Express spokesman and current leader of the tea party support group Citizens for Constitutional Liberty is back with another blog post that's sure to cause at least some eyebrows to raise. Williams, you'll recall, has a habit of using his blog to get himself into trouble over posts widely seen as bigoted and/or blatantly inciting the worst in the conservative movement. Today he's up with a new post calling New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer "Judenrats" for publicly supporting the proposed Cordoba House project in Lower Manhattan.

"Politically correct Judenrats like New York Mayor Michael Boomberg and Scott Stringer (Manhattan Borough President) and domestic enemies who are supporting the mosque - with open ties to Islamic Terrorist organizations and supporting states are doing nothing more than erecting a giant middle finger to be trust at the victims of 911... which includes all of civilized Mankind," Williams writes.

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A U.S. district court today halted the federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research, saying it involves the destruction of human embryos, potentially re-igniting a longtime cultural hot button issue just in time for the fall elections.

The Washington-based court was ruling in favor of a June lawsuit filed by a researcher objecting to President Obama's policy allowing federal funding. Obama overturned former President George W. Bush's policy by implementing new National Institutes of Health guidelines shortly after taking office. Obama's March 2009 decision reversed Bush's August 2001 actions. Congress twice tried to circumvent Bush, passing a bill allowing for federal funding, but Bush vetoed the measure each time.

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Ron Paul says he's not his son's keeper when it comes to the roiling debate over an Islamic cultural center planned for lower Manhattan. After it became clear today that the legendary Texas libertarian and his Kentucky GOP Senate nominee son, Rand, differ over the proposed Cordoba House project -- Ron rips critics for treading on the Constitution, while Rand takes the politically popular I'm-against-it-at-Ground-Zero view -- I asked Ron's congressional spokesperson to weigh in on the divide.

"Rand Paul is his own man," Rachel Mills said in an email this afternoon. It's a terse but to-the-point response that suggests an acknowledgment from the Ron Paul camp that, when it comes to the rights of Muslims to build where they please, the elder and junior Paul do not see eye-to-eye.

To recap: Rand Paul says that the Cordoba House shouldn't be built, and that the money that was to be used to build it should be donated to a 9/11 victims' fund instead as a sign of unity. Ron Paul calls rhetoric opposing the project "all about hate and Islamaphobia."

Ron Johnson, a businessman and the likely Republican nominee against Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), is elaborating on his previous statements that sunspots are the cause of global warming. And along the way, he's invoking some interesting (and questionable) examples from archaeology.

In an interview with the local ABC station in Madison, Johnson further explained that he believes global warming is caused more by "solar activity" -- he said it could be sunspots or solar flares -- than anything man is doing. (In fact, sunspot activity and overall solar radiance have gone down slightly in the last ten years, while global temperatures have gone up.) And in any case, he said that government investments in clean energy would not work and would only harm the economy.

Johnson also invoked an interesting -- though not altogether accurate -- argument supposedly proving that climate change is no biggie. "There's a reason Greenland was called Greenland," he said. "It was actually green at one point in time. And it's been, since, it's a whole lot whiter now."

It's an intriguing example -- and not quite true.

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The economy goes in and out, and from time to time the US manufacturing sector booms.

But this chart, put together by Paul Kedrosky, makes it pretty clear: as a share of total non-farm payrolls, manufacturing jobs are only going in one direction (down).

What's more, it's not even choppy. It's just a straight line sloping down.

That's quite a trend to turn around.

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