TPM News

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) has some advice for President Obama: Stop whining about Bush!

In an interview on NPR today, Kyl exhorted the president for passing the buck to his predecessor in yesterday's State of the Union address. "I would have thought by now he would have stopped blaming the Bush administration for the mess that he inherited," Kyle said, "and I don't think the American people want a whiner who says,'woe is me.'"

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Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani charted this morning on CNN that President "ignored national security" in his State of the Union address last night.

Giuliani (R) said Obama "didn't talk about the Christmas almost-bomber," even though Obama did. He said the president didn't use the word "Islamic terrorism," though Obama used the word "terrorist" twice and "terrorism" once.

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For the first time in the year-long debate over health care, House liberals have real leverage and are demanding changes to Senate legislation before they agree to charge ahead. Many members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus would even like to see the public option revived and passed in a separate bill through the filibuster-proof budget reconciliation process.

But in a brief interview last night, one of the House's top progressives told me leadership isn't even considering it.

"I don't believe it fits in the reconciliation," said Progressive Caucus co-chair Lynn Woolsey (D-CA). "All that is is budget."

"I haven't heard why, exactly, but when [leaders] list the things that have budgetary components, the public option's not on it," Woolsey added.

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One of the political difficulties complicating the Democrats' ability to seal the deal on health care is perfectly familiar: moderate Democratic senators have an aversion to playing procedural hardball on an issue that's become deeply polarizing. The option staring members of both chambers in the face involves Senate leaders taking an unusual step--circumventing a filibuster to pass legislation preemptively making some significant changes to their own health care bill. The move--called budget reconciliation--is sure to raise howls and objections from conservatives and Republicans, and, as such, Democrats in contested states are saying, "don't go there."

One of those Democrats is Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN), who charged out of the gate this week saying he opposes the process. Scratch the surface, though, and the political rationale for Bayh's decision becomes clear.

"There would be some real consequences from that for the legislative agenda for the rest of the year," Bayh told me last night, "the other things the president called for: cooperation on education, financial reform, a whole host of other things."

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Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has formally come out against a proposed resolution at this week's RNC winter meeting, commonly known as the "purity" resolution, which would require Republican candidates to show they support at least eight out of ten selected conservative positions in order to receive RNC funding.

"Litmus tests don't work. They don't build parties, they don't build relationships, they can be divisive," Steele told reporters yesterday, after a committee of state party chairmen voted to oppose it. He also added: "This is not the business of the RNC. Ronald Reagan would be ashamed if the party moved in that direction."

Steele's invocation of Reagan's name here was probably not random. This was likely done because the resolution's main author, RNC committee member James Bopp of Indiana, named it the "Proposed RNC Resolution on Reagan's Unity Principle for Support of Candidates." The inferred "Reagan's Unity Principle" here comes from a line from Reagan about the need for Republicans to stop fighting each other, saying that someone who agrees with him 80% of the time was his friend and not his 20% enemy -- which is taken literally here, as a solid floor for support.

A Tea Party group whose founder already has been in hot water for holding a sign that referred to taxpayers as "niggars" has doubled down on racist appeals., a Houston-based group founded by Dale Robertson, yesterday sent an email fund-raising solicitation, obtained by TPMmuckraker, headlined "Obama Pimping Obama-Care, One Last Time!"

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On The Daily Show last night, Jon Stewart addressed the phone-tampering scandal surrounding four men who allegedly plotted to mess with Sen. Mary Landrieu's (D-LA) phones.

"So, dressed up like a pimp to get ACORN," Stewart said of James O'Keefe, who did indeed dress up like a pimp in his ACORN video sting. "Dressed up like a phone company guy to get Sen. Landrieu's office. I think this guy's getting all his investigative journalism ideas from porn movie plots."

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Several web sites belonging to House members of both parties were hacked last night after President Obama's State of the Union address, National Journal (sub. req.) reports.

On the sites, including those of Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), Rep. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and several others, a one-line message appeared:

FUCK OBAMA!! Red Eye CREW !!!!! O RESTO E HACKER !!! by m4V3RiCk ; HADES ; T4ph0d4 -- FROM BRASIL

The sites in question -- Praetorian Prefect has a list -- now appear to be down entirely.

The "Red Eye Crew" has defaced thousands of web sites in the past, including government sites in Brazil and the site of Old Dominion University in Virginia.

Not all House sites were defaced.