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Was Rep. Jane Harman wiretapped? Or was she simply overheard in a conversation with somebody whose phone was wiretapped? If the former, it would be a bombshell, and if you read this piece from Roll Call--titled "Pelosi Knew About Harman Wiretap--you might infer that she was. The article reports that, at Christian Science Monitor lunch with reporters, "Pelosi said she was not told what federal eavesdroppers picked up on the call -- and never alerted Harman to it."

"It was not my position to raise it with Jane Harman," Pelosi told reporters at the Christian Science Monitor lunch. "In fact, I didn't even know if what they were talking about was real. All they said was that she was wiretapped."
That emphasis is mine, but it may not be necessary.

Though the full truth is hard to ascertain, the entire context of Pelosi's remarks suggest this was more a case of slipped tongue than spilled beans.

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Some recent developments in the fast-moving Harman-AIPAC story to update you on...

- Nancy Pelosi told reporters that she was briefed "a few years ago" by the NSA that they had wiretapped Harman, but wasn't told what was found, and never alerted Harman.

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During today's hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Hillary Clinton made something clear to a very critical Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN): President Obama won the 2008 election.

Pence gave a lengthy question in which he criticized Obama for being seen shaking hands with Hugo Chávez, and asked Hillary about the negative effects of this event. In her response, Hillary explained that Obama is taking a different approach than what has been tried in the recent past and didn't work -- and that Obama is the president:



"We want your constructive criticism, we want your feedback," said Clinton. "But President Obama won the election. He beat me in a primary, in which he put forth a different approach, and he is now our president. And we all want our president, no matter of which party, to succeed, especially in such a perilous time."

One of the key takeaway's of the Senate Armed Services Committee report on detainee treatment is the extent to which administration and military officials were warned that a). some SERE techniques amounted to torture and b). that they would be extremely ineffective at acquiring intelligence from prisoners. They were, after all, based on techniques used by Chinese Communists to elicit false confessions.

But the people who nonetheless approved of or supported the techniques weren't swayed.

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Al Franken made a public appearance today in Minneapolis, speaking to an Earth Day rally where he was introduced to an applauding crowd as "Senator-elect Al Franken."

"I'll be going to Washington soon and will tell my colleagues that Minnesotans are ready to do their share of the work," Franken told the crowd.

Franken also spoke to reporters, and said he expects that Gov. Tim Pawlenty will sign the certificate of election after Norm Coleman's appeal has finished at the state Supreme Court.

"I'm very certain that the governor will do the right thing," said Franken. "The state Supreme Court has said that once the loser has exercised all his options in the state court, then that would be the appropriate end of that, then the winner should be certified."

Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Joe Lieberman have sent a letter to President Obama urging him not to prosecute Bush Justice Department officials who wrote legal rationales for torture. "[T]he Department of Justice is currently conducting an internal ethics review of the OLC memos," the trio write, "but that is a quite a different matter from making legal advice with which we may disagree into a crime."

This has been a common refrain from these three for some time, but this letter belies the facts that the use of torture predated the memos that were written to retroactively justify it, and that the Attorney General has independent authority to investigate and, possibly, prosecute their authors. I've pasted the full text of the letter below the fold.

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In an interview with The Hill published yesterday, Neil Barofsky, the inspector general for the bailout, said that he was pursuing 20 criminal and civil investigations into potential fraud in the TARP program.

And it looks like at least one has now paid off.

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A new survey of Colorado from Public Policy Polling (D) shows appointed Sen. Michael Bennet in a potentially tough situation going into his 2010 campaign, though he could still have some room to grow.

Bennet's approval is at only 34%, with 41% disapproval and a high undecided number. When matched against former GOP Rep. Bob Beauprez, who was also the 2006 nominee for governor, Beauprez gets 43% to Bennet's 42%. Bennet leads 39%-35% to Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier 39%-35%; he leads Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck 40%-34%; and he leads state Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry 41%-34%.

"These numbers for Michael Bennet are not very good," said PPP president Dean Debnam, in the polling memo. "The good news for him is that he still hasn't had the opportunity to define himself the way he wants to the voters in a campaign, and when he has the opportunity to do that next year he may fare better than he is now."

Jim Tedisco, the GOP nominee in the disputed NY-20 special election, has just won a legal victory for now, with Judge James V. Brands reversing himself on a major ruling from last week, which had appeared to stop Tedisco in his tracks in his efforts to challenge absentee votes for Democrat Scott Murphy. But he still has a lot of work to do in overcoming Murphy's current 273-vote lead.

Brands had ruled last week that Tedisco and the GOP were not entitled to copies of the original absentee-ballot applications. Brands has now agreed with the Tedisco camp's arguments that the legal precedents he cited didn't truly apply here, and that the law does entitle Tedisco to those absentee applications.

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