TPM News

More details have emerged about the actions of Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) in the aftermath of his 2008 affair with a top aide's wife -- already the subject of a heated federal probe.

The senator tried to help a Nevada energy company at the same time that he was urging the company to hire the aide, Doug Hampton, reports the New York Times. That suggests Ensign may have been trying to curry favor with the company in order to get it to agree to hire Hampton. Ensign was desperate to find a job for Hampton at the time, after his affair with Hampton's wife led to the end of Hampton's tenure in Ensign's office.

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Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna said yesterday that state officials suing the federal government over health care reform are in active conversations to try and convince the rest of the nation's attorneys general to join.

McKenna (R) said in an online chat hosted by the Seattle Times that he does not believe health care is a "right" and deflected critics who believe that the lawsuit he and more than a dozen other states have joined will not be upheld.

"Health care as 'right' is a policy argument, not found in the law," McKenna said. "Supporting this lawsuit means that the Constitution still matters and that every law has to be constitutional in its details, and the rest of the unchallenged law is unaffected."

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The new CBS poll has President Obama's approval rating reaching a record low, with only 44% approving of his performance, and 41% disapproving.

The 44% approval number is down from 49% two weeks ago, a five-point decline since the health care bill passed, and disapproval is unchanged. Other polls have shown Obama enjoying at least a temporary bounce immediately after the bill was signed, but this poll at least suggests a decrease in the span of two weeks.

Also from the poll: "When it comes to health care, the President's approval rating is even lower -- and is also a new all-time low. Only 34 percent approved, while 55 percent said they disapproved."

Kristopher Sickles, one of the alleged Hutaree militiamen accused in a plot to kill police and the creator of a series of colorful YouTube videos, insists in a statement released by his brother that he is "not an extremist, racist or a cop killer."

"My intentions were good and I am simply guilty by association and personally had no intentions of harming any person, member of law enforcement or the United States government," said Sickles, of Sandusky, Ohio, according to the Dayton Daily News."I would never blindly follow or assist a group who obviously had a different agenda than my own," he said.

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DNC Chair Tim Kaine's office released the following statement today about the March jobs report:

This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the March jobs report. According to the latest numbers, 162,000 jobs were created in March, the largest monthly jobs gain in three years, and the revised report shows that 40,000 jobs were created in January and February. In response, DNC Chairman Tim Kaine issued the following statement:

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In an interview with CBS that aired this morning, President Obama dismissed the current "vitriol" aimed at him, saying people get angry whenever the economy is bad.

"I've been spending time out and about listening to talk radio," said CBS' Harry Smith. "The kindest of terms you're sometimes referred to out in America is a 'socialist.' The worst of which I've heard you called is 'Nazi.' Are you aware the of the level of enmity that crosses the airwaves, that people have made part of their daily conversation about you?"

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WaPo: Dems Map Out Midterm Campaign Strategy For Obama The Washington Post reports that Democrats are debating how President Obama's campaign presence could help or hurt them in this year's election, with Obama unlikely to visit certain states: "In the anti-establishment climate, some Democrats are saying that it's smart for Obama to keep his distance from candidates in difficult races, allowing them to run against Washington and avoid the downward pull of his approval ratings. Others say he should heed the lessons of last year's Democratic losses and begin campaigning early enough to make a difference with the Democratic base."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will depart from Andrews Air Force Base at 9:45 a.m. ET, arriving at 11:05 a.m. ET in Charlotte, North Carolina. He will tour the Celgard manufacturing facilities at 11:45 a.m. ET. He will deliver remarks at 11:55 a.m. ET, on jobs and the economy, and host a discussion with workers. He will depart from Charlotte at 1:40 p.m. ET, arriving back at Andrews Air Force Base at 2:45 p.m. ET.

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1909: Dwight D. Eisenhower, second from right in the top row, poses with the rest of the Abilene, Kansas High School baseball team.

Eisenhower is just one of the many top politicians, past and present, who have partaken in America's favorite pastime. With opening day coming up on April 4th, we thought we'd take a look back at some of the greatest political hits (and perhaps strikeouts).

More pictures of political first pitches are here.

Newscom/U.S. Army Photo/CNP

July 7, 1937: President Franklin Roosevelt attends the All-Star Game at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C., where he throws out the first pitch.


1948: Then-Yale Baseball Captain George Bush accepts "The Babe Ruth Story" autobiography from Babe Ruth, on behalf of Yale University.

Newscom/White House via CNP

1952: Future President Ronald Reagan suits up for a role in the film Winning Team, directed by Lewis Seiler.


September 18, 1965: New York politician Jim Farley, New York Yankee Mickey Mantle and his wife, Merlyn Mantle, and Sen. Robert Kennedy (D-NY) attend Mickey Mantle Day at Yankee Stadium.

Newscom/TSN Archives/The Sporting News/ZUMA Press

1966: Then-Reps. Donald Rumsfeld (IL), fifth from the left, and Gerald Ford (MI), fourth from the right, are among those on the Republican team at the annual Congressional baseball game at D.C. Stadium.

Pictured clockwise from left to right: Glenn Davis (WI), Robert Michel (IL), George Hansen (ID), James Broyhill (NC), Don Rumsfeld (IL), Harold Collier (IL), Gerald Ford (MI), Speaker John McCormack (D-MA), Charles Goodell (NY), Donald Clausen (CA), Robert Griffin (MI), Silvio Conte (MA), William Broomfield (MI), William Ayres (OH) and John J. Duncan, Sr. (TN).


April 8, 1969: President Richard Nixon throws out the first ball on opening day at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC. Washington Senators manager Ted Williams, Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn, Senators owner Bob Short and Yankee manager Ralph Houk are also visible.

Newscom/White House via CNP

1976: Jimmy Carter plays baseball during his ultimately successful Presidential campaign.


July 18, 1998: Vice President Al Gore autographs a baseball for the daughter of Atlanta Braves coach Frank Fultz, before the start of a game between the Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers at Turner Field in Atlanta.


May 6, 2001: President George W. Bush goes back to the Minors and puts the first ball on the T for a T-ball baseball game on the South Lawn of the White House.


June 29, 2004: Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Vice President Dick Cheney, and New York Governor George Pataki sit together during a New York Yankees victory over the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.


August 22, 2006: New York Mets mascot Mr. Met chats up former President Bill Clinton, at a game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Shea Stadium.

Newscom/ IconPhotos

July 14, 2009: President Barack Obama joins Fox Sports announcers Joe Buck, left, and Tim McCarver, right, in the broadcast booth at the MLB All-Star Game in St. Louis.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

October 28, 2009: Dr. Jill Biden, Legendary New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra, First Lady Michelle Obama, and retired Army Capt. Tony Odierno, A West Point graduate and Yankees employee who lost his left arm in Iraq, take to the field at Yankee Stadium for Game 1 of the World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Yankees.

The Yankees go on to win the World Series.

Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton