TPM News

Rep. Steve Buyer (R-IN) sat down for an interview with CBS Evening News about his charity, but struggled to answer basic questions about the Frontier Foundation, which collects big donations from industry sources trying to influence Buyer but gives out no money for its putative mission of supporting Indiana students.

Buyer abruptly ended the interview with CBS, which aired last night, literally rushing out of his seat to make a meeting.

Among the questions he couldn't answer: why the foundation, which as recently as last month shared space with Buyer's campaign office in Monticello, Indiana, no longer has a physical address

"I was so focused on making sure that we were legal, that I probably didn't pay as close attention as I should have on, quote, appearances," the congressman said.

Read More →

Condoleezza Rice responds to our report from yesterday that she's starting a strategic consulting firm with Stephen Hadley, the RiceHadley Group.

In a statement to TPMmuckraker, Rice's chief of staff, Colby Cooper, said:

Condoleezza Rice and Stephen Hadley, along with Anja Manuel, have recently founded a small strategic advisory firm focused on helping U.S. companies doing business abroad -- especially in key emerging markets like China, India, Brazil, the Middle East and others. In addition, Dr. Rice remains on the faculty of Stanford University and the Hoover Institution.

Read More →

Women's rights groups enraged over the Stupak amendment included in the House health care bill passed Saturday got some time with Obama administration officials today, but the president's aides also will be huddling with faith groups as the negotiations continue.

As we reported earlier, the head of the National Organization for Women went to the White House to voice her dismay over the last-minute deal to vote on the amendment.

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was among the expected attendees, but Obama did not attend.

"As part of our ongoing outreach surrounding health insurance reform, staff met with today with representatives of the women's rights community. Staff will also be meeting in coming days with leaders from communities of faith and other groups involved in the effort," said White House spokesman Reid Cherlin.

The New York Times reports that CNN's anti-immigration anchor Lou Dobbs is leaving the network. Dobbs is reportedly set to announce his departure on his 7 p.m. show tonight -- which will be his last at the network.

The Times reports:

His resignation is effective immediately; tonight's program will be his last on CNN. His contract was not set to expire until the end of 2011.

Read More →

President Obama completed his eighth meeting of the war council this afternoon without making a decision about how many more troops to send to Afghanistan.

The Situation Room meeting, held before Obama leaves for a more than week-long trip to Asia, ran from 2:30 to 4:50 p.m.

Administration officials continue to say Obama is considering his options as the Washington Post reports the top ambassador is unhappy with troop levels increasing.

Per the White House:

Read More →

I just spoke to Connie Mackey, president of the Family Research Council Action PAC, and she told me that if a conservative candidate were to emerge to run against Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) in the 2012 Republican primary, FRC Action will back them.

"Well of course there is an audience that would love to see Olympia Snowe out of office, within the ranks of social conservatives, that's for certain," said Mackey.

A new survey from Public Policy Polling (D) found that a generic conservative challenger would lead the moderate Snowe in a Republican primary by a whopping 59%-31% margin.

"I think a couple years ago, we wouldn't have thought it was possible," said Mackey. "However, those numbers are interesting, and I think those numbers might just track the fact that a lot of Americans are waking up to the liberal policies, what they mean and how they're playing out. And it may be affecting her, with her votes for the stimulus, and breaking from her party. And we would like to see a conservative have a chance to remove her from office up there."

Read More →

Much like Sen. Blanche Lincoln and Sen. Ben Nelson, looks like the 39 Democrats voting against the House health care bill Saturday are getting squeezed from both sides.

We've been writing about all the left-leaning campaigns going after Democrats on health care, and plenty of efforts to hit Republicans as party of "no."

TPMDC has been chatting with Republicans who want to pick off vulnerable House Democrats in 2010 and they (not surprisingly) are pleased as punch by the internal warfare.

Read More →

Porn star Stormy Daniels, who is running for U.S. Senate in Louisiana against incumbent Republican David Vitter, said in an interview with Marie Claire that she would provide a contrast to the hypocrisy of the incumbent, a family-values politician who was implicated in a prostitution scandal.

Q: Why shoot for the Senate?

A: I was drafted by a group called Draft Stormy, a grassroots movement in Louisiana that wanted someone who was the polar opposite of current senator David Vitter. They figured I would be perfect because I am open and honest about my sexuality, unlike Vitter. I realized that this is my chance to make a difference, to do something unselfish, noble, and to help a lot of people.

Q: You're referring to Senator Vitter's link to a Washington, D.C. escort service . . .

A: I'm not one to judge someone's sexual activity, but what annoys me is that he's so hard-core "family values," and he puts his wife and kids out there, saying he's a Christian family man. Then he's caught up in a prostitution scandal. He's a hypocrite.

Daniels also said that her career won't be a problem. "It's actually starting to work in my favor," she said. "I have nothing to hide. A sex tape of me isn't going to pop up and shame me; there are 150 of them at the video store."

Read More →