TPM News

Sen. John McCain's campaign (R-AZ) is strongly objecting to a new online fundraising ad from his opponent in the Republican primary, former Rep. J.D. Hayworth, depicting McCain's face in blue warpaint.

The online fundraising ad offers up McCain as a potential Oscar winner, as "nominee for best conservative actor." The Arizona Republic speculated that the ad may have been a reference to the movie Avatar. The Hayworth campaign has put up a revised version that changes McCain's skin color to a dark blue, in addition to the lighter blue warpaint, making an Avatar connection more obvious.

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For the third time in less than six months, the issue of abortion threatens to kill health care reform. The initiative is fragile enough without abortion, yet more and more it's becoming clear that abortion is the one, final issue that must be resolved if Democrats are to succeed. But this time, there's much less legislative wiggle room than before and Democrats are scrambling to figure out what, if anything can be done.

The logjam is a familiar one, and comes down to simple political arithmetic. For health care reform to pass, he House must pass the Senate bill word for word, then make minor tweaks to it through the budget reconciliation process. But Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI)--and, if we take him at his word, about a dozen of his Democratic colleagues--say they won't vote for health care again unless the Senate's abortion language is made more restrictive--a demand that seems like a legislative impossibility.

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A new Quinnipiac poll in New York finds a sharp increase in the number of people who think that Gov. David Paterson (D) should resign -- and this increase has happened in only the past two days, as more and more scandals have been reported in the press.

Registered voters were asked: "Do you think Governor Paterson should serve his full term until December 31 or should he resign?" The numbers are only 46% for serving his full term, to 42% saying he should resign, with a ±2.7% margin of error. Just two days ago, that number stood at 61%-31% in Paterson's favor.

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The openly gay mayor of West Sacramento says that he's spotted state Sen. Roy Ashburn (R), who has racked up a consistently anti-gay voting record over the years, at gay clubs a number of times.

Interviewed by CBS13, the station that [reported]( that Ashburn was at a Sacramento gay club before being arrested for DUI -- with a man in the car -- early Wednesday morning, Mayor Christopher Cabaldon said:

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RNC Chariman Michael Steele issued a statement today on the February unemployment report. Here's the full report:

President Obama began this new year with a resolution to the American people to shift his focus from health care to job creation but this was a resolution in name only. Despite a national unemployment rate of 9.7 percent, the president has never truly wavered from his real focus of forcing government-run health care on America. During the month of February, 36,000 Americans lost their jobs, meaning more than 2.2 million Americans have lost their jobs since the health care debate began last year.

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Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN), who voted against the House health care bill last year, released a statement saying he is pleased with President Obama's health care proposal -- a signal that he may change his vote.

"Throughout the debate over the past year, I've said any responsible health care bill must do two things: reduce overall health care spending and increase access to affordable care," Gordon said in the statement, according to the New York Times. "I voted against the House bill in November because it expanded coverage but did not do enough to bring down costs. I'm pleased to see the discussion moving in a more fiscally responsible direction now."

Gordon lauded the president for including provisions for medical malpractice reform.

Report: White House Considering Military Trials For 9/11 Suspects The Obama administration is reportedly close to making a recommendation that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his alleged co-conspirators be tried in a military commission, rather than in civilian courts as originally planned. The Associated Press repots: "The review of where and how to hold a Sept. 11 trial is not over, so no recommendation is yet before the president and Obama has not made a determination of his own, officials said. The review is not likely to be finished this week."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama and Vice President Biden will receive the presidential daily briefing at 9:30 a.m. ET, will meet with senior advisers at 10 a.m. ET, and will receive the economic daily briefing at 10:30 a.m. ET. Obama will deliver remarks at 11:25 a.m. ET, on clean energy jobs. Obama and Biden will have lunch at 12:30 p.m. ET.

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A new Rasmussen poll of Texas, the first publicly released poll since Tuesday's primary, gives Republican Gov. Rick Perry a lead of 49%-43% over Democratic Houston Mayor Bill White, with clear potential for a close race this fall.

This number is essentially the same as a 47%-41% result that Rasmussen had two weeks ago, before the primary. White easily won the Democratic nomination on Tuesday, while Perry won with 51% in a three-way race, enough to avoid a runoff. The new poll gives Perry a 54% favorable rating and 46% unfavorable, with White at 54%-34%.

In the TPM Poll Average, Perry leads White by 48.4%-41.0%.

Via Think Progress: Liz Cheney argued today that the attack ad put out by her group Keep America Safe, which dubs Justice Department lawyers who represented Gitmo detainees "the Al Qaeda Seven," does not "question anybody's loyalty."

The Cheney ad also asks of the DOJ lawyers, "Whose values do they share?" while flashing a picture of Osama bin Laden.

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