TPM News

Former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, the Republican nominee for Governor of New Jersey, showed his Jersey cred in a story in the New York Times -- he's a huge Bruce Springsteen fan.

Christie has been a fan ever since he was a kid, and has a huge collection of ticket stubs. He'll even be going to a concert tonight, even though he has to prepare for a debate tomorrow.

Of course, Springsteen himself is a left-winger, and Christie is aware that he won't be getting the Boss' endorsement. It would also be hard for him if Springsteen were to endorse Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine.

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We knew that Florida governor Charlie Crist was tight with indicted lobbyist and fundraiser Alan Mendelsohn. The politically connected eye doctor has raised big bucks for Crist, a Republican, and in 2006 was named to the governor-elect's transition team as the director of healthcare issues.

But it turns out the two were so close that Crist also did a more personal favor for Mendelsohn. In February 2007, Governor Crist wrote a letter to the University of Florida's admissions office, urging it to admit Mendelsohn's son Benjamin to the university's medical school. The younger Mendelsohn was later admitted, even though he hadn't taken the MCAT and had been rejected by the university's selection committee.

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Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, a candidate for the Republican nomination for Governor of California in 2010, has an interesting explanation for the fact that she's hardly ever voted, and didn't even register until seven years ago, when she was 46: She was too dedicated to her family to vote.

"I was focused on raising a family, on my husband's career, and we moved many, many times," she told reporters. "It is no excuse. My voting record, my registration record, is unacceptable."

As the Sacramento Bee reported, no record exists of Whitman registering to vote until she was 46, and had already had a very active career in business.

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Since it published -- and removed -- a column describing the possibility of a military coup to "resolve the Obama problem," conservative magazine Newsmax has gone into full damage control mode, distancing itself from the columnist.

The columnist, John L. Perry, "has no official relationship with Newsmax other than as an unpaid blogger," a spokeswoman said in a statement.

That's not quite the wording on his Newsmax biography. There, Perry is described as an "award-winning newspaper editor and writer" who "contributes a regular column to"

He's also a former senior editor for the site, working in that role from late 1999 until October 2001.

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A slew of recent polling data points to a conclusion that might have seemed hard to believe amidst the town hall craziness in the dog days of August and early September: President Obama's numbers have not only stabilized but actually seem to be showing a modest uptick. And by several other measures the political landscape for Democrats isn't nearly as bleak as it was being portrayed just a few weeks ago.

To be sure, the evidence is insufficient to point to any dramatic, long-run Obama resurgence -- at least for now. But there's enough data to conclude that August, rather than being a public support train-wreck for the president was actually an inflection point, when the downward trend flattened out, and in some cases began crawling back upward.

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has made good on a threat to cancel a week-long October recess to continue work on health care.

"I talked to the Republican leader about this last week," Reid said on the Senate floor this morning. "But the Columbus day is fast approaching. It's the week after next. And with all the things going on here, it just would not be right for us to take that week off. So what we're going to do, as I explained to the Republican leader last week, we'll be off that Monday, which is the holiday, Columbus day, and the following Friday."

Once the Finance Committee finishes work on its health care legislation, Reid will merge it with a different bill, and then bring it to the Senate floor. The week of October 12 seems a bit early for the floor debate to have kicked off, but this could at least prevent any further delays.

The Miami Herald runs down the back-story to the indictment of Alan Mendelsohn, the Florida doctor and lobbyist -- and close ally of Governor Charlie Crist -- who's been charged with running fraudulent lobbying and political fundraising schemes.

Mendelsohn's alleged crimes center around his ties to Mutual Benefits Corp., a Fort Lauderdale life insurance company which was being investigated by the state for defrauding investors. Mutual Benefits operates by selling the life insurance policies of people dying of AIDS and other diseases -- a line of business that, a recent New York Times report suggested, may replace sub-prime mortgages as the basis for the next investment bubble.

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Sens. John Kerry (D-MA) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA)--chairs of the Foreign Relations Committee, and Environment and Public Works Committee respectively--have unveiled a draft of a climate change bill calling for significant reductions in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions in both the near and short term. The Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act.

Though the draft will change considerably over the coming weeks, it is the basis for the upper chamber's coming legislative push, which, if successful, will, when combined with an already-completed House climate bill, become the most significant piece of energy legislation in the nation's history.

But between now and then, it will meet the many machetes of the Senate--an institution that hasn't been too kind to previous, failed climate change bills.

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As we reported earlier, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) said on the House floor yesterday that the Republican plan for health care reform was little more than "don't get sick," and if you do, "die quickly." Grayson has since refused to apologize.

Now Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) has introduced a resolution calling on the House to officially "disapprove" of Grayson's comments. Here's the full text:

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