TPM News

The progressive Senators tasked with guiding a climate change bill through the back-logged Senate say they're ready to grease the legislative wheels with nuclear power. Speaking at the Progressive Media Summit this afternoon, Senators said it was time to embrace the atom as the key to comprehensive climate change legislation this year.

"I happen to be one of the Senators who's concerned about waste," Barbara Boxer (D-CA) said. "But most progressives in the Senate believe nuclear power is part of the solution at this time."

Boxer was joined on the dais by Senators Bingaman (NM), Ben Cardin (MD) and Jeanne Shaheen (NH).

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The House has voted 416-0 to ban misleading mailers designed to look like official communications from the Census Bureau of the kind that two national Republican groups recently sent out.

Under the bill, co-sponsored by two House Republicans as well as several Democrats, mailers marked "census" will have to state the name and address of the sender, along with an unambiguous disclaimer that it's not affiliated with the federal government. It will be taken up by the Senate soon.

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The new Rasmussen poll of the Illinois Senate race gives Democratic state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias a narrow lead over Republican Rep. Mark Kirk, in the race for President Obama's former Senate seat.

The numbers: Kirk 41%, Giannoulias 44%, with a ±4.5% margin of error. A month ago, after the party primaries, Kirk led Giannoulias by 46%-40% in Rasmussen's polling. The TPM Poll Average puts Giannoulias ahead by 45%-40.7%.

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Former Rep. Randy Kuhl (R-NY), who was narrowly defeated for re-election 2008 by Democrat Eric Massa, has announced that he will not run for the seat after Massa's resignation over sexual harassment allegations. This clears the way for Corning Mayor Tom Reed to receive the Republican nomination.

"Over the last week, I have heard from hundreds of my former constituents urging me to run for my old congressional seat. Their emotional plea to me was humbling and most appreciative," Kuhl said in a statement. "But, after careful consideration, I have decided to forego a run for Congress. I want to sincerely thank everyone who has supported me during my 28 years of public service. I look forward to helping the 29th District in any way that I can and I urge my neighbors and friends to support Tom Reed for this congressional seat."

A must-see moment on the House floor today from Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI). He yelled -- literally -- that the press corp is "despicable" and had failed in covering debate of the Afghanistan war.

Cynicism is that there's one, two press people in this gallery. We're talking about Eric Massa 24/7 on the TV! We're talking about war and peace, $3 billion, 1,000 lives and no press! No press!

"It's despicable!" Kennedy yelled.

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Senate Democrats attempted to reassure riled up progressive pundits today that conservaDems might indeed pay a price next January when the caucus decides who will - and won't - keep their leadership positions.

TPMDC and other news outlets are in attendance at the Progressive Media Summit on Capitol Hill, hosted by the Senate Democrats. Some here, including John Aravosis and MSNBC's Ed Schultz, are treating it as a forum to tell the Senators what they are doing wrong.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) told the group he understands frustration that some Democrats "don't have the backbone we wish they had." After the Democrats were asked why the leadership doesn't strip Sen. Blanche Lincoln of her Agriculture Committee chairmanship, Brown chimed in and said that might be coming next year.

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U.S. Attorney David M. Gaouette of Colorado issued a statement today on yesterday's indictment of Douglas James Duchak on charges of corrupting a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) database. Here are Gaouette's complete remarks:

DENVER - Douglas James Duchak, age 46, of Colorado Springs, Colo., was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver late yesterday on charges of attempting intentionally to damage a protected computer. The indictment alleges Duchak attempted to corrupt a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) database. Duchak surrendered to U.S. Marshals this morning, and will make his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Denver this afternoon.

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