TPM News

A new line of attack against President Obama may be emerging from the GOP. Within minutes of each other this afternoon, Karl Rove and Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) both criticized President Obama for not speaking regularly enough with Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.

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A new Rasmussen poll of California finds that of the two Democratic candidates for governor, state Attorney General Jerry Brown and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Brown is currently much more electable than Newsom.

The poll tested Brown, who was himself governor in the 1970's and early 1980's, leads all three Republicans: Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, and former Rep. Tom Campbell. Newsom, on the other hand, trails all three Republicans -- though the pollster's analysis suggests that this could change if Newsom were to actually win the nomination, given the state's Democratic leanings.

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A new Gallup poll appears to confirm something that we've all somewhat known for a while: Americans are more tuned into politics now than at any time in recent memory.

As the graph below shows, the number of Americans saying they follow national politics "very closely" increased to a high of 43% last year, in the middle of the election, and has now declined slightly to 36%. It's obviously to be expected that political attention would fall after an election year, but look closely at the numbers. This year's number of 36% is equal to the 2004 election year number.

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Judge Clay Land today granted Birther attorney Orly Taitz's motion to withdraw as counsel for her ex-client, but said he was not authorizing any breach of attorney-client privilege, and reminded her that she still must respond to his threat of sanctions for frivolous filings.

Land, of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, writes in the order today:

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A candidate for state office in South Carolina drew 500 people to a fundraiser Saturday that included the giveaway of a $700 AK-47 semiautomatic rifle.

Dean Allen charged $25 a pop for his "machine-gun social," which included the giveaway, 20 rounds to shoot in a machine gun of your choice and a barbecue, held at an indoor shooting range in Greenville. Allen, a Republican, is running for adjutant general, a position that includes administering the Army and Air National Guard, among other things.

"All of our rights ... are predicated on supporting the Second Amendment. That's what makes America a free country," he said today on MSNBC. (Video after the jump.)

"I like to tell people I'm not the country club conservative," Allen told the Greenville News. "I'm the machine gun one."

A web ad for the fundraiser says the event includes 10 minutes of training, "So you don't shoot a right-wing radical by mistake."

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The public option-stakes will continue this week, with most eyes on the developments in the Finance Committee. But on the other side of the Hill, progressives continue to insist that, whatever happens in the Senate, one chamber still insists that health care legislation include a public option.

In a new op-ed, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus blasts the proposal written by Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) saying it's "all about the insurance industry's bottom line: no teeth in enforcements and regulations, endless patent hoarding for the pharmaceutical industry and laws that rein in citizens to pay these industries the largest transfer of wealth in history," and adding that a bill without a public option would be "unacceptable".

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The Club For Growth is now officially throwing a monkey wrench into Republican efforts to hold on in the NY-23 special election, endorsing Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman and denouncing the regular GOP nominee.

The Club's press release presents Hoffman as the real conservative in the race -- and says that Republican nominee Dede Scozzafava is no different from the Democratic candidate:

Hoffman, a certified public accountant and managing partner at a Lake Placid accounting firm, has sworn-off Congressional earmarks and pledged to oppose all tax increases if elected - a clear distinction among the candidates in this three-way contest. In fact, Scozzafava and Democrat Bill Owens both favor higher taxes, bigger government, and more spending, including President Obama's failed "stimulus" package and big labor's odious "Card Check" bill.

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When Census worker Bill Sparkman was found dead earlier this month, he was naked and gagged, with duct tape over his eyes. Duct tape also bound Sparkman's hands and feet.

That's according to the man who found him, Jerry Weaver, who spoke to the AP over the weekend. Weaver, who lives in Ohio, was in Clay County, Kentucky for a family reunion, and was visiting some family graves with his wife and daughter when he found Sparkman's body on September 12th.

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Looks like we can put to bed -- for now -- any speculation that White House Counsel Gregory Craig has been taken off the President's plan to close Gitmo.

At his press briefing today, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, "There are a number of people who are working on it, Greg being one of them -- and talked to the President about Guantanamo earlier today."