TPM News

As the names of those not running against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) continue to pile up, one Republican and former Bear Stearns executive announced today that he will enter the race.

David Malpass was the chief economist at Bear Stearns from 2001 until its collapse 2008. He also served during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, in the Treasury and State departments and also as a congressional staffer.

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We haven't yet found any hidden bombshells in the lengthy document filed today by prosecutors in the Rod Blagojevich case.

But here's one excerpt that offers a pretty vivid picture of the kind of casual corruption and self-dealing that, the Feds allege, seemingly permeated almost every action that the then-governor of Illinois took -- to a level that appears to have put off even his closest advisers.

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When Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) faced criticism over declaring April "Confederate History Month" without even mentioning slavery, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) stepped up to defend him, dismissing the uproar as being over "something that doesn't amount to diddly."

But Barbour hasn't been so forthcoming with his own proclamation. Every year, Barbour signs a proclamation declaring April "Confederate Heritage Month." But he hasn't released the document to the press -- not to the Associated Press, not to Think Progress and not, despite multiple requests, to TPM.

But the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which lobbies for such proclamations and is specifically cited in Barbour's, sent TPM a copy, which you can see here.

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More than a month after the flap over an ad from Liz Cheney's group attacked lawyers who represented Guantanamo detainees as terrorist sympathizers, Attorney General Eric Holder denounced the ad today as "reprehensible" and offered an impassioned defense of what the lawyers did.

In an exchange with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) flagged by Huffington Post, Holder reference the ad from Cheney's group Keep America Safe, but did not cite it by name.

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The American Bankers Association doesn't like Senate Democrats' financial regulatory reform legislation, and it's providing talking points to its members to help them take that opposition directly to Congress.

"We need you to TAKE ACTION and send your letter of opposition today," reads the ABA's latest Action Alert.

Let your Senators know that the legislation in its current form is a bad deal for community banks who were not responsible for the financial meltdown. This bill will impose new costs and regulatory burdens on traditional banks that will make it more difficult for them to serve their communities and make more loans. We have provided talking points to help you write your letter. Remember, the more original your letter is, the more impact it will have.

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Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) announced today that he will support tea party favorite Rand Paul in the Republican primary for the retiring Bunning's Senate seat.

Bunning described Paul as the kind of traditional conservative Kentucky needs:

Kentucky needs a conservative who will say no to bailouts, stop the government takeover of our economy, end wasteful spending, and bring down our national debt. And Kentucky's families need a conservative who believes in traditional values and the rights of the unborn. In 2010, there is only one such conservative running for the United States Senate -- Dr. Rand Paul.

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The right-wing blogosphere erupted this afternoon with news that the New Hampshire Democratic Party was searching for "liberal activists" to infiltrate tomorrow's Tax Day tea party rallies and "carry signs expressing racist or fringe sentiments" to discredit conservative protesters on their big day.

The story was first posted on the small Now Hampshire blog before quickly matriculating up to the highest echelons of the conservative noise machine, including Michelle Malkin's blog. The story caused a lot of conservative angst, coming as it does on the heels of other reports of tea party infiltration nationwide.

There's only one problem, according to Democratic officials in New Hampshire: not a lick of it is true.

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