TPM News

On Friday, we reported the odd happiness with which many conservatives greeted Chicago's -- and America's -- defeat in trying to land the 2016 Olympics. Well, it's still going.

On Fox News Sunday this morning, the gang had a nice little laugh about America's failure to win the 2016 games. Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol suggested that not only did President Obama try to "bully" the IOC, but that he should have been lobbying for Brazil -- which will host the 2016 Games in Rio De Janeiro -- instead of the United States.

There's so many ironies in this. By Barack Obama's view of the world, he should have been rooting for Brazil to get the Olympics. South America's never gotten them. Brazil's never gotten them. It's a rising power. It would help Brazil. We don't need the Olympics. We've had them a million times. Our economy doesn't need the boost of the Olympics.

Right. Because the U.S. economy is just going gangbusters right now.

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Appearing on CNN's State of the Union this morning, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), who chairs the Senate Ethics Committee, said she's not permitted to offer any details of an investigation of Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) and his reported flouting of lobbying rules after his affair with an aide's wife was discovered earlier this year. But she did confirm that there is an investigation.

"I can't discuss this with you other than to say that there's a preliminary investigation going on," Boxer said. "And we will look at all aspects of this case -- as we do whenever there's a case before us -- and try to get to the bottom of it as quickly as we can."

CNN's John King turned to Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and asked what he thought of the investigation of Ensign. Kyl said he'd follow Boxer's lead.

"That's probably a good practice for all of us, is to wait and see what happens," Kyl said.

On Fox News Sunday today, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) suggested that military action against Iran -- while a "last resort" -- is a possibility, and perhaps an eventual necessity.

If sanctions fail, and Iran's going down the road to get a nuclear weapon, every Sunni Arab state that could would want a nuclear weapon. Israel would be more imperiled. The world would change dramatically for the worse. And if we use military action against Iran, we should not only go after their nuclear facilities, we should destroy their ability to make conventional war. They should have no planes that can fly and no ships that can float.

That's a "last resort," Graham said again, before adding that the U.S. should "take military action before they get a weapon."

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Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, said on Meet the Press this morning that the United States is in the midst of "intense negotiations" with Iran -- but refused to comment on the accuracy of a New York Times report that Iran already has the knowledge necessary to make a working atom bomb.

"Right now we are in a period of intense negotiation," Rice said. "It's not an infinite period. It's a very finite period."

Rice characterized Iran's meeting with world powers last week as "a constructive beginning," but also emphasized that "it was only a beginning."

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Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan said on ABC's This Week this morning that he expects the unemployment rate -- which has already climbed to 9.8 percent -- to top 10 percent before it starts trending downward.

"My own suspicion is that we're gonna penetrate the 10 percent barrier and stay there for awhile before we start down," Greenspan said.

In the meantime, Greenspan said that he thinks the U.S. should extend unemployment benefits and give tax credits to make sure the unemployed are able to keep their health insurance coverage.

"This is an extraordinary period," Greenspan said. "And temporary actions must be taken."

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On CNN's State of the Union this morning, National Security Adviser Gen. Jim Jones (Ret.) said that even in the wake of a bloody battle in eastern Afghanistan that killed eight U.S. troops -- the deadliest attack in Afghanistan in more than a year -- the country "is not in danger -- imminent danger -- of falling."

"I don't foresee the return of the Taliban," he said.

Jones also said that "the al Qaeda presence is very diminished" in Afghanistan. "The maximum estimate is less than 100 operating in the country," he said, adding that al Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan have no bases or real ability to launch effective attacks.

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Obama: Small Businesses Need Health Care Reform In this weekend's YouTube address, President Obama pitched the Democratic health care proposals as being good for small businesses:

"Altogether, they create roughly half of all new jobs. And right now, they are paying up to 18 percent more for the very same insurance plans as larger businesses because they have higher administrative costs and less bargaining power," said Obama. "Many have been forced to cut benefits or drop coverage. Some have shed jobs or shut their doors entirely. And recent studies show that if we fail to act now, employers will pay six percent more to insure their employees next year - and more than twice as much over the next decade."

GOP Address Blasts Obama And Pelosi's "Job-Killing Agenda" In this weekend's Republican address, Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI) called upon PResident Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi to "put aside their job-killing agenda" and work with the GOP:

"All told, our economy has lost roughly 3 million private-sector jobs since President Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trillion-dollar 'stimulus' plan became law," said Miller, later adding: "It didn't have to be this way."

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A crowd gathers in Chicago's Daley Plaza Friday, October 2, 2009, to await word from Copenhagen on which city will host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Unfortunately for the city, and to the surprise of many, Chicago is the first of four cities to be eliminated for consideration. The International Olympic Committee instead awards hosting duties to Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

Newscom/Alex Garcia/Chicago Tribune

First lady Michelle Obama arrives in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Sept. 30, to work with other Chicago luminaries and politicos in an effort to win the Olympic bid.

Newscom/Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune

The First Lady greets gymnast Nadia Comaneci, her husband gymnast Bart Connor, left, Paralympic athlete Linda Mastandrea, center-right , and other former Olympians before the Chicago 2016 Dinner in Copenhagen.
From left to right in the background; athletes Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Bob Berland, David Robinson, Dr. Edwin Moses and Mike Conley.

White House/Chuck Kennedy

Oprah Winfrey arrives for the IOC's opening ceremony at the Opera House in Copenhagen on Oct. 1.

Newscom/Sipa Press

Danish Queen Margrethe, with Prince Consort Henrik, welcome the First Couple to Christiansborg Palace during the presentation of Chicago's bid.


IOC members and press gather in preparation for Chicago's final presentation at the Bella Center in Copenhagen on Oct. 2.

Newscom/Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune

Ballet dancers perform at the IOC opening ceremony.

Newscom/UPI Photo/Archie Carpenter

An avid supporter of Chicago's bid watches the IOC vote results come at Daley Plaza. Chicago got the least votes, followed by Tokyo.

Newscom/UPI/Mark Cowan

Obama takes the podium after his wife makes her address to the IOC at the Bella Center in Copenhagen.


Obama is thanked by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley after his speech during Chicago's final bid presentation at the Bella Center.

Newscom/Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune

Daley, with Chicago 2016's Doug Arnot, right, talk to reporters after Chicago's presentation.

Newscom/Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune

Spectators in Chicago's Daley Plaza are shocked after hearing word from Copenhagen that Chicago was eliminated.

Newscom/Alex Garcia/Chicago Tribune

The First Couple wave goodbye to Copenhagen after making their final presentation. The Obamas were informed of the vote, which happened later in the day, while en route to Washington.

Newscom/DPA Photos

The Obamas greet Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal and his wife, Annie, aboard Air Force One in Copenhagen on Oct. 2.

Whitehouse/Pete Souza

The President and Gen. McChrystal, commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, hold a meeting on Air Force One. McChrystal had been in London and flew to Copenhagen to meet with Obama.

Newscom/Pete Souza/ The White House

The Club For Growth has a new TV ad in the NY-23 special election -- with the right-wing group attacking the Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava, since they've endorsed the Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman.

The ad doesn't actually mention Hoffman, but attacks Scozzafava as being the same as Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Gov. David Paterson, and blasts Scozzafava for having backed a Paterson budget. In a funny twist, the Club put out a press release yesterday noting the Scozzafava campaign's response that this was not a Paterson budget, but was introduced by Eliot Spitzer. The Club points out that Paterson was the one who ultimately signed the budget, but adds: "If liberal Dede is much more comfortable embracing an Elliot Spitzer tax-and-spend budget, we'll consider calling it that in future ads."

A Hardin Montana official is trying to quell rumors that the town is "becoming a police state, having private paramilitary security forces, building gates at the town entrances, taking residents to the detention center that refuse to get swine flu shots, registering your firearms, and blocking off our main street," among other fears.

In a statement, Al Peterson of the city's economic development agency, the Two Rivers Authority (TRA), responds to fears stoked by Hardin's deal with American Police Force, a mysterious private security contractor, to provide prisoners for an empty prison in town.

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