TPM News

The White House said today the Obama administration won't make a decision "for weeks" on whether to hold a civilian trial or military tribunal, or where to hold it, for self-proclaimed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

"The White House is continuing to review what the available options are that would bring the 9/11 detainees to justice," an administration official said in a statement. "No decision has been made, and we do not expect a decision for weeks as the review process is ongoing."

The administration originally planned to hold a civilian trial for Mohammed and other suspected terrorists in New York City, near the site of the World Trade Center. But opposition, from state and city officials as well as national lawmakers, has caused them to reconsider.

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Rep. Parker Griffith (R-AL), who switched from the Democrats to the GOP in December, will be delivering tomorrow's weekly Republican YouTube address -- presumably from the standpoint of being a medical doctor who is opposing the Dems on health care. As we've previously noted, there is a huge irony in this particular doctor being embraced by the GOP -- after they openly accused him of some very serious acts of medical malpractice, when they ran against him in 2008

"The fact that a doctor who left the Democratic caucus is delivering the address this week is no coincidence," an anonymous senior GOP aide boasted in an e-mail to news organizations. "This is a shot across the bow of any 'moderate' Democrat in the House who is considering voting for a health care bill loaded with tax hikes, Medicare cuts, and notorious backroom deals."

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March 3, 2010: New York Governor David Paterson faces charges that he broke state law by soliciting and receiving free tickets to the opening game of the 2009 World Series last year, and then lying about it. The allegations follow revelations that Paterson may have thrown his weight around to help an aide accused of domestic abuse. But it doesn't end there: Paterson is also being investigated in connection to a contract to transform a Queens horse track into a "racino" that may have been improperly awarded.

Paterson's legal troubles are just the tip of New York corruption iceberg...


February 26, 2010: A House ethics panel report concludes that Rep. Charles Rangel's (D-NY) staff knew two Caribbean junkets were paid for by corporations, a violation of House rules. Though Rangel argues in a presser that "members of Congress should not be held responsible for what could be the wrongdoing or mistakes or errors of staff," the panel also finds that he was "responsible for the knowledge and actions of his staff in the performance of their official duties."


February 26, 2010: Former Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY) receives for drunk driving a 30-day prison sentence, a court-ordered alcohol monitoring device, some community service and a fine to boot. Sweeney, a former Republican state congressman, was pulled over in April for going 59 mph in a 40-mph zone and refused to take a Breathalyzer test.This isn't the first time Sweeney's been caught inappropriately hitting the hooch. In April 2006, Sweeney was photographed boozing it up at a local fraternity party (pictured here).

February 18, 2010: Bernard Kerik, former New York Police Commissioner, is sentenced to four years in prison for lying during his vetting to be Secretary of Homeland Security, and for tax fraud charges arising in part from renovations on his apartment paid for by a company looking for a city license. Kerik was once, notably, well tied to former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani (also pictured), serving as his personal bodyguard and eventually winning a few posts in Giuliani's mayoral administration. Rudy was also supportive of Kerik's Homeland Security nomination.


February 9, 2010: Larry Seabrook, a New York City Councilman from the Bronx, is indicted under 13 counts of corruption for allegedly seeking to launder bribe money associated with a 2006 boiler contract at the new Yankee Stadium. To get the money into his own account, Seabrook apparently, among other things, sought $177 in reimbursement for a soda and bagel sandwich he bought for $7 outside New York's city hall.

Newscom/ZumaWire/cc: stu_spivack

December 29, 2009: Reports surface that Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) enjoyed a tight bond with none other than convicted Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford. Apparently, Stanford asked Meeks to deliver a message to Hugo Chavez on his behalf, requesting that the Venezuelan president open a criminal investigation into a former Stanford employee. According to some sources, Meeks agreed.

December 7, 2009: Former New York State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno (R) is convicted on two counts of wire fraud. Bruno was charged with using his office to make money from payments for non-existent consultant work.

Newscom/Richard B. Levine

March 23, 2009: Democratic New York State Senator Hiram Monserrate is indicted on six counts of domestic abuse, including second-degree felony assault and third-degree misdemeanor assault. The police report alleges that Monserrate cut his girlfriend's face because he thought she was having an affair with a police officer. Amid the allegations, Monserrate takes his seat at the Senate anyway, and soon jumps ship and becomes a Republican. He doesn't last long as a GOPer either: Monserrate is expelled from the State Senate in February, 2010.


March 10, 2008: It's revealed that New York Governor Eliot Spitzer is among those caught soliciting high-priced prostitutes. Apparently, an investigation found that Spitzer was "Client 9" on a wiretapped telephone call to a prostitute, a revelation that eventually leads to Spitzer's resignation.


Fall 2007: Allegations emerge that while serving as New York City Mayor, Rudy Giuliani used taxpayer money to chauffeur his then-mistress around to meet him for trysts. Complete coverage of Giuliani's "shag mobile," and an assortment of his other shady dealings, can be found at TPMmuckraker.


December 22, 2006: State Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi steps down from his post and pleads guilty to a felony charge for using state employees as aides to his wife. Hevesi had struck a deal with prosecutors to pay a $5000 fine in exchange for a plea, thus avoiding any prison time.


So Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY)--plagued by health problems and an allegation that he harassed a male staffer--will resign on Monday. What does that mean for health care?

It means that, if the vote were to come next week, the threshold for passage of health care reform would drop back to 216 from its current 217.

Recall that Republicans delayed the retirement of Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA), simply to boost the vote threshold for health care to 217. Massa's retirement cancels that out.

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The SEC has charged Sean David Morton, a self-described "natural psychic, trained Remote Viewer, intuitive consultant, investigative reporter, and accomplished award winning director, screenwriter and film and TV producer," with securities fraud.

Morton, who is known as "America's Prophet" allegedly solicited investors through a newsletter in which he claimed, "I have called ALL the highs and lows of the market giving EXACT DATES for rises and crashes over the last 14 years."

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Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) released the following statement Friday afternoon, announcing that he will resign from Congress effective on Monday, March 8.

Two days ago as I sat reading my new annual CAT scan, having been told that the anomalies in the films may or may not be scar tissue, I decided to finally take the advice that my doctors have repeatedly given me, and that is to take care of my family and myself before my profession. After I decided not to run again I was told, for the first time, that a member of my staff believed I had made statements that made him feel "uncomfortable." I was told that a report had been filed with the Congressional Ethics Committee. At no point prior to this had any member of the Ethics Committee communicated with me directly - if fact I first read it on the internet.

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President Obama issued a statement today on the 40th Anniversary of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Here's the full statement:

Forty years ago today, in the midst of a Cold War, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) entered into force, becoming the cornerstone of the world's efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. Today, the threat of global nuclear war has passed, but the danger of nuclear proliferation endures, making the basic bargain of the NPT more important than ever: nations with nuclear weapons will move toward disarmament, nations without nuclear weapons will forsake them, and all nations have an "inalienable right" to peaceful nuclear energy.

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Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) announced today that he will resign, effective Monday at 5 p.m.

Massa, a freshman legislator, announced this week that he would not seek re-election, due to a cancer recurrence scare. The House ethics panel is also investigating Massa, reportedly for allegations of sexual harassment.

In a statement, Massa acknowledged the allegations for the first time.

"After I decided not to run again I was told, for the first time, that a member of my staff believed I had made statements that made him feel 'uncomfortable,'" he said.

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Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) is running campaign-style Web ads for a "tele-town hall" on "out of control spending" that are financed by taxpayer dollars -- and the ads were OKed as permissible under House rules.

The ads, which you can check out one version of below, are set on an American flag background and include a red-white-and-blue button that reads "Congressman."

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The Louisiana sheriff who plans to arm volunteers with a .50 caliber machine gun and other weapons, to maintain security in the event of a terrorist attack or man-made disaster, is being hailed as a hero by survivalists and other gun-rights enthusiasts.

"Awesome. Now there's a Sheriff who thinks outside the box. Good for him," writes one user at (slogan: "Endure -- Adapt -- Overcome"), in reference to Bossier Parish Sheriff Larry Deen.

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