TPM News

Republican candidate for New York governor Rick Lazio has released a new web video that features New Yorkers expressing opposition for the proposed Cordoba House Islamic center two blocks from the site of Ground Zero, in a series of man-on-the-street interviews.

The interviews are accompanied by some somber, dirge-like music, and follow video footage of people running after the World Trade Center towers collapsed on September 11, 2001.

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A new Siena poll of New York state finds that registered voters here continue to oppose the construction of the Muslim community center near Ground Zero in New York City -- but at the same time, they overwhelmingly say that the Muslim group involved has the constitutional right to build it.

The poll asked: "Do you support or oppose the proposal to build the Cordoba House, a 15 story Muslim Cultural Center in lower Manhattan 2 blocks from the site of the World Trade Center?" Here the top-line answer is 27% support to 63% opposed. As we've seen before, opposition is lower in New York City itself, where 36% support it and 56% are opposed.

A follow-up question asked: "Regardless of whether you personally support or oppose the proposal to build the Cordoba House, do you believe the developers of the Cordoba House have a Constitutional right to proceed with the construction of the mosque and Muslim cultural center or not?" Here the answer is 64% yes, to only 28% no. Indeed, the internals of the poll show that even a majority of people who didn't support the center in the previous question still affirm the right of the organizers to construct it, by a 51%-42% margin within that sub-group.

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Conservative website World Net Daily has scored another meta-exclusive, announcing that World Net Daily has "dumped" lightning rod Ann Coulter over a "Homoconflict." CEO Joseph Farah told his own website that it would be dropping Coulter as keynote speaker at its "Taking Back America" conference because she has agreed to headline GOProud's Homocon 2010.

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Here's a fun a flashback, amidst all the current talk from Nevada Republican Senate nominee Sharron Angle that she doesn't want to "phase out" Social Security -- as she used to say -- but wants to protect it. Seventeen years ago, she wrote an angry letter to Harry Reid in which she called upon Congress to "STOP FUNDING THE WASTEFUL SOCIAL AND ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS." (All-caps in the original.)

Las Vegas Review Journal columnist John L. Smith has published a letter that Angle wrote to Reid in November 1993, when she was an activist for the far-right Independent American Party, slamming Reid's vote for the Clinton tax increase (which later went on to balance the federal budget for the first time in decades). Angle wrote:

"The answer to this mess is clear. STOP FUNDING THE WASTEFUL SOCIAL AND ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS. MAKE THE DIFFICULT CHOICES THAT WILL KEEP OUR COUNTRY STRONG. THAT'S WHAT YOU WERE ELECTED TO DO! I beg you not to support taxpayer funded national health care which is the next hit we are in line for.


"Please take the following words of Professor Alexander Tyler to heart. He said, 'A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves a largess from the treasury. From that moment on, the majority will always vote for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy.' ...

The TPM Poll Average currently puts Reid ahead by 46.4%-43.8%.

Former USDA employee Shirley Sherrod wrote an email yesterday on behalf of the NAACP, urging supporters to "move forward." Sherrod wrote: "The last thing I want to see happen is for my situation to weaken support for the NAACP."

Sherrod was forced to resign from the USDA after Andrew Breitbart released an edited video that showed her describing a time when she considered denying aid to a poor farmer because he was white. As Sherrod put it in her letter, Breitbart released the "intentionally deceptive, heavily edited clip from that speech to make it look as if I was delivering exactly the opposite message."

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If at first you don't succeed at killing Osama bin Laden (armed with a pistol, sword, Christian literature and night-vision goggles), try, try again.

Gary Brooks Faulkner, who was captured in Pakistan in June while on a solo mission to whack bin Laden, says he's not giving up. He plans to go back to Pakistan, to finish what he started.

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New York's Public Integrity Commission is calling on Gov. David Paterson to pay the maximum $96,375 fine for soliciting free tickets from the Yankees to Game 1 of last year's World Series.

The five tickets, which were not available to the general public, cost $425 each. Paterson paid for them once the flap became public, reports the New York Daily News.

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A Rasmussen poll released this morning shows former Rep. John Kasich leading Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland by double-digits in Ohio's gubernatorial race.

The new survey shows a 10-point lead for Kasich, 52%-42%, which is the largest lead the Republican has had over the last few months of polling. The survey includes leaners' preferential candidate, which was determined through a follow-up question posed to those who did not initially indicate support for either nominee. Kasich leads by 8 points, 48%-40%, on respondents' initial preference. An August 2 Rasmussen poll found a much narrower gap between the two candidates, with Kasich only up 3 points, 45%-42%.

The TPM Poll Average has Kasich ahead in the contest, 46.6%-42.2%. The margin of error of the latest Rasmussen poll is ±4 percentage points.

For more on the race, check out TPMDC's full coverage here.

After winning nearly 80 percent of the Muslim vote in 2000, George Bush bled much of it away in the post 9/11 era. The war in Iraq, the PATRIOT Act, detainment and other policies drove at least half of that support to John Kerry and third party candidates in 2004. But all the while, several influential Muslim Republicans, both inside the administration and out, were working hard to staunch the bleeding and build a donor base among wealthy members of the Muslim community.

Today, several of them say that their efforts are being undermined, if not completely destroyed, by Republicans stoking anti-Muslim sentiment by opposing the construction of the Cordoba House -- now known infamously and inaccurately as the "Ground Zero Mosque".

"We've been working hard, some Muslim Americans, some non-Muslims, to keep the Muslim American community and other minorities on the party side, to keep relationships going," says David Ramadan, a Vice Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. "All of that is threatened to be thrown down the drain."

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Jon Stewart had Freedomworks chairman Dick Armey on his show last night, who argued that the government is becoming a tyranny that is "taking power" onto itself. When Stewart asked why Americans don't just vote our current leaders out of office, Armey said: "This whole thing is about, 'Let's take them out of office.' They're a bunch of juvenile delinquents acting irresponsibly. Let's remove them."

Stewart replied: "Let's say America had voted, 'You know what, I don't like King George's tax policy on tea. I'm going to vote him out.' And then they vote him out."

"They couldn't," Armey responded.

"Right," said Stewart. "Do you see the difference now between tyranny and elections?"

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