TPM News

After hearing last night that President Obama expressed support for the Cordoba House Muslim community center, Stephen Colbert was quite penitent: "You know what, I've been wrong, and I owe the President an apology. You're not a secret Muslim."

Colbert was also unconcerned with those who argue that opposing the Cordoba House violates the First Amendment's principle of religious freedom. "What about our 'guts-titution?'" he asked. "Or the 'Bill of Frights?'"

He added that since 9/11 we have given up a number of our rights, like "the right to privacy. I can't make a phone call without hearing Dick Cheney breathing on the line."

Read More →

Not all of the CIA torture tapes were destroyed as the CIA has claimed, according to a new Associated Press report. In fact, the agency is in possession of two videotapes and one audio tape that it discovered under a desk back in 2007.

Several current and former U.S. officials speaking on the condition of anonymity told the AP that the tapes depict Binalshibh's interrogation sessions at the hand of the CIA at a Moroccan-run facility the agency used near Rabat in 2002.

Read More →

Daily Show correspondent John Oliver said last night that people are right to oppose the planned Cordoba House, the so-called "Ground Zero mosque," because "Islam, like every religion, has to be responsible for its biggest assholes."

Oliver added that there is also "a difference between what you can do and what you should do. For instance, you can build a Catholic church next to a playground. Should you?"

Read More →

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) spoke Monday night at a dinner for a local group in his state, the Council for Quality Growth -- and offered an interesting perspective on the politics in the home state of an honored guest, Rep. James Oberstar from Minnesota.

"I'm here today to introduce the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the Honorable James Oberstar from the great state of Minnesota," Johnson is shown saying in a video posted on the YouTube account of his Republican opponent Liz Carter. "Sometimes I think that state has a, uh, a political, uh, psychological complex. (Audience laughs.) Where they come at, not manic depressive, but something -- psychotic, maybe. (Audience laughs.) But Chairman Oberstar hails from that great state, and I think a state with the kind of affinities that are hailed on polar opposites, that means it is a great state, a state of great thinkers and people who are concerned about moving this country forward."

As a dedicated fan of Minnesota politics, I can only say: Hank Johnson gets it, too!

On the other hand, I should remind Johnson about people who live in glass houses. According to a recent poll, the frontrunner for governor of Georgia is a man who has demanded to see President Obama's birth certificate.

Read More →

Democrats in Kentucky are high on the possibilities of debating drug enforcement with Rand Paul. The Republican nominee for Senate has advocated cutting federal spending on drug enforcement, which he has said should be left to the states. Jack Conway, the Democratic nominee (and the state's attorney general), is ripping Paul for the stance and claiming that Paul is ignoring Kentucky's many drug problems.

The result is a strange alternate reality where the Democrats think they have the upper hand on the tough-on-crime stuff -- and the Republicans are shying from a fight over law and order. There are signs that Paul's views are costing him dearly in the relatively tight Senate race: yesterday, the Fraternal Order of Police in Kentucky backed Conway, citing, among other things, his work to fight drug abuse in the Bluegrass State.

Read More →

A pro-Jerry Brown group is going after Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman's record as CEO of eBay, putting $2 million into a television ad campaign that will blanket California airwaves for the next 10 days.

California Working Families for Jerry Brown for Governor started airing the ad yesterday with the message that Whitman would be wrong for the state's fiscal picture. The narrator warns voters in an ominous tone, "California is in crisis. Under Meg Whitman it could crumble."

Read More →

Report: Democrats Blindsided By Obama's Mosque Comments The New York Daily News reports: "Democrats complain they were blindsided when President Obama weighed in on the Ground Zero mosque and handed the GOP a new club to beat them with. Capitol Hill Democrats, including those facing tough races, were not told in advance before Obama's Friday night speech defending Muslims' rights to build a mosque in lower Manhattan. While Mayor Bloomberg knew ahead of time what Obama intended to say at the Ramadan dinner at the White House, New York Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand were kept in the dark, sources said. So was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who dramatically broke with Obama on the mosque Monday."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will depart from Los Angeles at 12 p.m. ET, arriving at Seattle King County International Airport at 2:15 p.m. ET. He will hold a round table discussion with small business owners at 2:40 p.m. ET, and deliver a statement to the press at 3:20 p.m. ET. He will deliver remarks at a fundraiser for Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) at 3:45 p.m. ET, and will speak at another fundraiser at 5:35 p.m. ET. He will depart from Seattle at 6:35 p.m. ET, and will arrive in Columbus, Ohio, at 10:20 p.m. ET.

Read More →

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay took his victory lap in the media on Monday after his lawyer announced that the Justice Department had decided not to file charges against him after a years-long investigation into his ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

In a conference call with reporters, DeLay called the Justice Department's investigation "weak" and said he was not interviewed by investigators nor ever required to appear before a grand jury. He also faulted the press being so quick to assume he was guilty, reported The Hill.

Later in an interview on CNN, DeLay said, "I am not mad that they thought I was corrupt. I'm mad that they thought i was stupid."

Read More →

Just before noon today, Sharron Angle pressed Harry Reid to pick a side: "As the Majority Leader, Harry Reid is usually President Obama's mouthpiece in the U.S. Senate, and yet he remains silent on this issue," read a statement from her communications director, Jarrod Agen. "Reid has a responsibility to stand up and say no to the mosque at Ground Zero or once again side with President Obama."

By about 3 p.m., he made his decision: he would publicly break from Obama -- a move that would come as a surprise to many in his party.

"The First Amendment protects freedom of religion," spokesman Jim Manley said in a statement. "Sen. Reid respects that but thinks that the mosque should be built some place else."

Read More →

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed this afternoon to stay same sex marriages in California pending Prop 8 proponents' appeal of the decision by Judge Vaughn Walker that barring same sex couples from getting married is unconstitutional. Last week, Walker himself issued a stay of his own order pending this decision by the appeals court -- though, without the action of the court today, same sex marriages could have resumed in California on Wednesday.

Read More →