TPM News

Is Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) playing both sides on the "controversy" over Justice Department lawyers who represented Guantanamo detainees?

Yesterday, the South Carolina senator joined a growing chorus of conservatives in slamming a recent ad by Liz Cheney's advocacy group that questioned the loyalties of seven DOJ attorneys who had previously represented Gitmo detainees. The ad, by Keep America Safe, referred to the lawyers as "the Al Qaeda Seven," and asked "Whose values do they represent?"

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Ralph Reed has officially announced that he will not run for Congress, confirming earlier reports.

"After much thought and prayer, I have decided not to be a candidate for Congress in Georgia's Seventh district in 2010. I believe I can best advance conservative principles by continuing to serve as CEO of Century Strategies, LLC, and founding chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition," Reed said in a statement. Reed had been considering a run for the House seat of Rep. John Linder (R-GA), who is retiring this year.

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During an appearance on a right-wing Internet radio show on Monday, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) called upon voters who oppose the health care bill to get loud.

"Well I couldn't agree with you more, as to the timing and the sense of urgency," Bachmann told a caller to the show, Hot Tea Radio. "That's why with everything within us we need to start literally banging garbage lids together, to create enough noise so that our neighbors and our co-workers realize where the time clock is at this point, because the second hand is literally banging up against 11:59 on the clock on freedom when it comes to health care."

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The White House just released excerpts from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' prepared remarks, which she'll deliver at today's America's Health Insurance Plans conference. Here's the full text:

"I've met with many of you, and heard how the increasing number of young, healthy Americans leaving the market in this economy has forced up your risks, and therefore, your rates.

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In what appears to have been a highly unorthodox living situation for a member of Congress, former Rep. Eric Massa shared a small Washington townhouse with five of his staff members, a local New York newspaper reported last year.

As the revelations about Massa's relationship with his staff continue to stream in, this detail from a "day in the life" profile in the Oct. 9, 2009, Hornell Evening Tribune is sure to raise eyebrows:

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Former Florida state House Speaker Marco Rubio has released the first TV ad of the state's Republican Senate primary, introducing Rubio to the state's voters. And while the ad doesn't directly mention Rubio's opponent, Gov. Charlie Crist, it contains a clear attack on Crist for having supported President Obama's stimulus bill last year.

"Washington is broken and too many politicians don't get it. America needs Republicans who will stand up to Barack Obama - not join him. Leaders who will stand for conservative values - not sacrifice them," Rubio declares. "If we are willing to do that when it's popular and when it's not, we can keep America great for this generation and many more to come."

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After a cooling off period when health care reform legislation seemed nearly dead, television ad spending is now spiking. Interest groups attempting to swap public opinion and votes in Washington on both sides of the debate are funneling cash into health care ads that experts predict won't let up until after the midterm elections.

"We're going to see a fairly intense couple of weeks as health care reaches the endgame, but advertising related to this issue will only continue," Evan Tracey, president of the Campaign Media Analysis group which tracks ad spending, told me in an interview this morning.

America's Health Insurance Plans and Health Care for America Now sparred yesterday on the air over high costs of insurance and the massive rate hikes we've been tracking at TPMDC.

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Ralph Reed, the former head of the Christian Coalition and ex-business associate of Jack Abramoff, will reportedly not be running for Congress.

Roll Call reports that Reed is expected to announce today that he will not be running for the House seat currently held by Republican Rep. John Linder (R-GA), who is retiring. Reed previously ran for lieutenant governor of Georgia in 2006, losing the Republican primary by 56%-44%.

Reid will make his official announcement later today online.

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