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Friends and classmates say Michael Enright, the 21-year-old aspiring filmmaker who was arraigned on a hate crimes charges this afternoon for allegedly slashing a NYC cab driver because he was a Muslim, had a serious drinking problem. But a representative of one of the country's predominant Muslim groups told TPMMuckraker that the incident should serve as a warning to those using inflammatory rhetoric about those who practice Islam.

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Appearing before the Republican Women of Bossier with Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) cast the November elections as a choice between godlessness and Christianity. He also called bipartisanship impossible.

"We have two competing world views here and there is no way that we can reach across the aisle -- one is going to have to win," Fleming said.

We are either going to go down the socialist road and become like western Europe and create, I guess really a godless society, an atheist society. Or we're going to continue down the other pathway where we believe in freedom of speech, individual liberties and that we remain a Christian nation. So we're going to have to win that battle, we're going to have to solve that argument before we can once again reach across and work together on things.

Fleming contended that the Republicans might take 60 seats in November, and argued that the road to economic recovery is to rescind new banking regulations and make the Bush tax cuts permanent across the board. "We've got to change the way we do things," he said. "We need to restore the Bush tax cuts, or actually make them permanent. We need to cut the capital gains tax, we need to take regulations off the backs of business and allow banks to once again lend. And I got a strong feeling that our economy will snap back very quickly."

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This story is just begging for some sarcastic 'strange bedfellows' remark.

Last week World Net Daily made headlines after it announced it was dropping Ann Coulter at the keynote speaker at their "Taking Back America" conference following news that she would be headlining GOProud's Homocon 2010. WND CEO Joseph Farah expressed 'concern' that by appearing she was supporting the idea that "that sodomy is just an alternate lifestyle."

Ann Coulter responded in typical Coulter fashion by calling Farah variously as "swine" and a "publicity whore" and later called WND "fake Christians."

Caught up? The latest development, according to the Daily Caller, is that Farah has taken to radio shows hosted by gay personalities to further skewer Coulter. From the DC:

Farah appeared on The Steve Yuhas Show Sunday and then gave an interview to host Michelangelo Signorile on Sirius' gay themed channel, "OutQ" the next day. Farah told Signorile that he was fed up with the conservative movement, and criticized conservatives for embracing members of the gay community who share beliefs on issues like taxes, health care and the role of government. "This is my beef with conservatism: it's always losing ground," Farah told Signorile. "That's why I don't consider myself a conservative."

So Farah is quitting the conservative party (quitting appears to be the new getting a job). But his appearance on gay radio is in no way hypocritical nor similar to Coulter's appearance at GoProud. Here's why.

"Talking to homosexuals and engaging them on the issues of the day is one thing. Accepting paid speaking assignments from homosexual activist lobbying groups promoting same-sex marriage, open homosexuality in the U.S. military ranks and hate crimes legislation is quite different," Farah said in the email. "...I [do not] believe GOProud has a conservative agenda at all on taxes, health care and the role of government. GOProud is, as its chairman has stated, 100 percent about the promotion of a radical, anti-American, anti-freedom homosexual agenda."

One can only look forward to Coulter's appropriately sound-bitey (emphasis on bite) response.

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Michael Enright was arraigned this afternoon in Manhattan criminal court, but entered no plea for the three charges: attempted murder in the second degree as a hate crime, assault in the first degree as a hate crime and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree.

The judge ordered him held without bond. His next court date is Monday, Aug. 30.

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Morgan Stanley have published a report titled "Ask Not Whether Governments Will Default, But How" (via Zero Hedge) and while it makes some interesting points about who is going to get hit when sovereigns begin to exact "Financial Oppression" on creditors what we're most interested in is the discussion of debt to GDP ratios.

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Intersections International, the interfaith group "dedicated to promoting peace and understanding" between cultures which has a volunteer named Michael Enright, said today they hope their volunteer is not the same man who allegedly slashed a cab driver last night after asking if he was Muslim.

"I am deeply distressed if this is the Mike Enright that we know," the group's executive director, the Rev. Robert Chase, told TPMmuckraker.

"Especially, or sadly, ironic, is that our work is about building bridges between different faiths, different ethnicities, different cultures," Chase said. "This is exactly the opposite of what we stand for."

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Incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) may have survived that tough primary challenge, but a new poll shows he's still got an uphill climb ahead of him to retain the Senate seat he was appointed to last year. A Reuters/Ipsos survey of 453 likely voters in Colorado found Republican nominee Ken Buck leading the Senate race 49-40.

There is no previous Reuters/Ipsos survey for direct comparison.

National Democrats hoped that Bennet would beat his Democratic challenger, Andrew Romanoff, because they say Bennet has a better chance of winning the seat he was appointed to after Democrat Ken Salazar resigned to become Secretary of the Interior. On Aug. 10, Bennet handily defeated Romanoff, kicking off a general election fight with Buck, a tea party favorite. The matchup is the one that national Democrats wanted.

Polls so far have shown the Democratic plan for the race has not played out. The TPM Poll Average shows Buck ahead 46.4-42.4.

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In an email to Ashley Carson, the executive director of the Older Women's League, Alan Simpson has apologized for comparing Social Security to a cow with 310 million tits.

"I apologize for what I wrote," Simpson writes.

I can see that my remarks have caused you anguish, and that was not my intention. I certainly did not intend to diminish your hard work for the Older Women's League. I know you care deeply about strengthening Social Security, and so do I, just as deeply. I remember your testimony at our public hearing in June about the importance of retirement security for women. Over the last 40 years, I have had my size 15 feet in my mouth a time or two. To quote my old friend and colleague, Senator Lloyd Bentsen, when I make a mistake, "It's a doozy!"

Progressive groups have called on Simpson to resign, and the AARP has declared that Simpson's initial remarks undermine the credibility of the White House's commission on fiscal reform, which he co-chairs.