TPM News

Here are the line-ups for the Sunday talk shows this weekend:

• ABC, This Week: Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).

• CBS, Face The Nation: National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones, Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), Gen. Anthony Zinni, Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO).

• CNN, State Of The Union: National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ).

• Fox News Sunday: Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA).

• NBC, Meet The Press: Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice.

In short remarks in the Rose Garden this afternoon, President Obama extended his "hearty congratulations" to Rio de Janeiro for getting to host the 2016 Olympics, saying "We welcome this extraordinary sign of progress" for South America.

This will be the first time the Olympic games will be hosted in South America.

The United States "would've been eager to host these games," he said. "This nation and our athletes are still very much excited to compete in 2016."

The President also addressed today's unemployment numbers.

"My principle focus each and every day ... is putting our nation back on the path to prosperity," he said.

Although unemployment is rising, "We've certainly made some progress," he said since a year ago when the country was losing 700,000 jobs a month.

Today's numbers are "a sobering reminder that progress comes in fits and starts and we're gonna need to grind out this recovery step by step," he said.

Full remarks after the jump.

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When the International Olympic Committee voted against Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympics this morning -- after the President and First Lady flew to Copenhagen to push for it in person -- the Weekly Standard newsroom burst into applause.

"Cheers erupt at Weekly Standard world headquarters," wrote editor John McCormack in a post titled "Chicago Loses! Chicago Loses!"

The line was quickly removed, but ThinkProgress caught it in time and posted a screenshot of the post.

But even with the edits, McCormack is still obviously reveling in America's defeat.

"As a citizen of the world who believes that No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation, I'm glad that the Obama White House's jingoist rhetoric and attempt to pay back Chicago cronies at the expense of undermining our relationships with our allies failed," he wrote.

McCormack's fellow conservatives joined in the celebration.

"Chicago and Tokyo eliminated. No Obamalypics," Michelle Malkin tweeted, following up with, "Game over on Obamalympics. Next up, Obamacare."

"Please, please let me break this news to you. It's so sweet," said Glenn Beck on his radio show.

"Hahahahaha," wrote Red State's Erick Erickson. "So Obama's pimped us to every two bit thug and dictator in the world, made promises to half the Olympic committee, and they did not even kiss him. So much for improving America's standing in the world, Barry O."

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Democratic candidate Creigh Deeds has released a new ad in the Virginia gubernatorial race, attacking Republican candidate Bob McDonnell as being driven by a pro-life agenda -- and eager to have power.

The video uses video of a McDonnell speech to the National Right To Life Committee: "These elections matter because elections determine who's got the power."

"It's why Bob McDonnell is running," the announcer says, followed by more of McDonnell's words: "Whether they are pro-life or not will make an eternal difference."

Wesley Denton, a spokesman for Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), just told TPM that the Senator is not attempting to intervene in support of the military coup in Honduras, as part of his trip there today -- that it is simply a fact-finding mission to find out about the events on the ground.

The New York Times had reported: "One of the de facto government's main supporters in Washington, Senator Jim DeMint, Republican of South Carolina, has announced plans to visit Tegucigalpa on Friday. One Congressional staff member said Mr. DeMint hoped to meet with members of the de facto government and other Hondurans. Other staff members said he intended to encourage Mr. Micheletti and his supporters to resist."

"Sen DeMint did not announce that to the New York Times, they did not get that from our office," said Denton. "They did not speak to staff members from our office that I know of -- they certainly did not talk to me."

DeMint and his Congressional delegation did meet today with de facto Honduran President Roberto Micheletti.

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As the Senate gets set to take up climate change legislation, one of the key opponents of serious efforts to stop global warming may find its clout on the issue badly weakened.

That's because in recent weeks, several high-profile members of the Chamber of Commerce have gone public over their disagreement with the group's position, with some leaving the Chamber altogether over the issue.

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An interesting pattern has been emerging in the Republican Party's handling of foreign policy: Individual GOP officials are now making a regular point of not only formulating an alternative foreign policy, to be presented to the American people and debated in Congress -- they're acting on it too, and undermining the official White House policies at multiple turns:

• Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) is visiting Honduras in order to support the recent military coup against a leftist president, which has been opposed by the Obama administration and all the surrounding countries in the region. (Late Update: DeMint's office says he is not taking sides during his visit to the current Honduran leadership, denying the New York Times reports that this was his intention.)

• Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) will be going to the upcoming climate change conference in Copenhagen, bringing a "Truth Squad" to tell foreign officials there that the American government will not take any action: "Now, I want to make sure that those attending the Copenhagen conference know what is really happening in the United States Senate."

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Former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, the Republican nominee for Governor of New Jersey, might be reaching a little too hard to appeal to the youth vote -- a new pair of Web videos from his campaign come off like a middle-aged man trying to sound cool with his kids, and totally failing.

This one samples an L.L. Cool J song, "That's A Lie":



Another Web ad is a takeoff on those annoying commercials for free credit reports, and refers to Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine as being "whack." It is very painful to watch, so it has been placed after the jump for your safety.

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So what exactly is the deal with Sen. Jim DeMint's (R-SC) trip to Honduras -- which is being done in an effort to support the recent military coup, contrary to current U.S. foreign policy -- and the failed effort by Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) to stop it?

Frederick Jones, communications director for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a Kerry spokesman, explained the distinction to us: Kerry was not blocking DeMint from going to Honduras -- any American can legally travel there -- but the issue was over government funding and plane travel for an official fact-finding mission. "Clearly, as an American citizen, Sen. DeMint is free to travel to Honduras commercially."

Kerry, as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, blocked DeMint's funding because DeMint has been holding up key nominations for foreign policy officials in Latin America -- thus obstructing the committee's business and the U.S. government overall in working on the region. In response, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stepped in and obtained the funding for DeMint from another source, which has not yet been identified.

Calls to the DeMint and McConnell offices were not returned. Jones' statement, firing back at DeMint for blocking the nominations, is available after the jump.

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If Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid does not ultimately decide to include a public option in Senate health care legislation before he brings a bill to the floor, it could have important consequences for the fate of the public option.

As I've noted before, the public option would then have to be added to the bill by amendment, or, failing that, in a contentious conference committee with the House of Representatives.

Neither option is particularly straightforward: The latter route would ask Democratic conservatives whether they'd support a filibuster to kill a health care bill with a public option--brave, but dangerous. The former will be a daunting climb.

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