TPM News

Surprise South Carolina Democratic Senate nominee Alvin Greene told reporters over the weekend that he is staying in the race despite being indicted on obscenity charges last week.

And in a somewhat bizarre display, Greene also shooed the WCNC reporters away after they asked how he could stay in the race, ordering them to "leave the property. Go away." When the crew remained to talk to Greene's brother, the Democrat could be heard shouting "Gooo!" and "Nooo!" at them.

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1||A lot has been made of the proximity of the planned Cordoba House Muslim community center to Ground Zero in New York City. But what does the neighborhood actually look like? Here are some photos from the three-block area surrounding the proposed site.||Google Maps&&

2||The Cordoba House site itself, formerly a Burlington Coat Factory, on Park Place.||Newscom/Zuma&&

3||New York Dolls strip club, one block north of the proposed Cordoba House site, and 4 blocks north of the World Trade Center. ||Photo by Jens Schott Knudsen&&

4||Church Street between Barclay Street and Park Place.||Photo by Jens Schott Knudsen&&

5||The corner of Park Place and West Broadway.||Photo by Jens Schott Knudsen&&

6||St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church on Barclay Street near Church Street.||Photo by Jens Schott Knudsen&&

7|| ||Photo by Jens Schott Knudsen&&

8||The corner of Church Street and Park Place.||Photo by Jens Schott Knudsen&&

9|| ||Photo by Jens Schott Knudsen&&

10||St Paul's Chapel on Broadway between Fulton Street and Vesey Street.||Photo by Jens Schott Knudsen&&

11|| ||Photo by Jens Schott Knudsen&&

12|| ||Photo by Jens Schott Knudsen&&

13|| ||Photo by Jens Schott Knudsen&&

14||City Hall Park near Broadway and Vesey Street.||Photo by Jens Schott Knudsen&&

15|| ||Photo by Jens Schott Knudsen&&

16|| ||Photo by Jens Schott Knudsen&&

17||A view south from the corner of Greenwich Street and Murray Street.||Photo by Jens Schott Knudsen&&

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) appeared this morning on Fox & Friends, and further laid out his opposition to the building of a Muslim community center near Ground Zero in New York City. Indeed, Gingrich said that the center's organizers have a radical Islamist agenda of proclaiming their triumph and superiority over America, and he compared them to Nazis putting up a sign near the Holocaust Museum.

"Look this is not about the right -- first of all, there are over a hundred mosques in New York City. So people have the right to free religion, if they want it. I've said it openly, if they want to build this mosque in the South Bronx, I'm all for it," said Gingrich. "Gov. Paterson has offered them state land -- which, interestingly, I don't know of any state that has offered a church or a synagogue free land -- but he's tried to solve the problem by getting them away from the site."

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Welcome To The Neighborhood? A Look At The Area Around The 'Ground Zero Mosque']

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Polling numbers from Mason-Dixon over the weekend suggest that after a couple of months of chaos, things are finally returning to normal in the race to be the next Senator from Florida. And here's what normal looks like in the Sunshine State: the establishment Democrat, with the backing of President Clinton and President Obama, is leading the race for his party's nomination. And the Republican nominee is leading in the general election.

A new Mason-Dixon poll shows Rep. Kendrick Meek -- the Democratic Party choice in the race -- well ahead of the upstart billionaire, Jeff Greene, who's poured millions into the primary race to knock Meek off. The poll, conducted Aug. 9-11, shows Meek leading Greene 40-26. Another new poll, conduced by the Florida news site Sunshine State News, also shows Meek with a double-digit lead in the primary race.

However, past polling, including another new poll from the weekend, has shown the race to be considerably tighter. The weekend's Ipsos poll shows Greene leading 35-31, which keeps with what we've seen in the past.

Meanwhile, the Mason-Dixon poll shows that Gov. Charlie Crist's plan to salvage his collapsed Republican campaign for Senate with an independent bid has put him right back where he was before -- running behind Republican Marco Rubio.

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So-called "Birther Queen" Orly Taitz hadn't yet heard about the Supreme Court's decision to uphold a $20,000 fine against her when TPMMuckraker reached her on Monday.

But Taitz told TPMMuckraker she is convinced that none of the members of the court read her request, and that clerks made the decision for the justices. She cited a passage from a book co-authored by Justice Antonin Scalia in which, she claimed, Scalia said that less than one percent of cases are actually read by a judge.

"It was never seen by Justice [Clarence] Thomas, there's not evidence it was seen by Justice Thomas," Taitz said. "I don't believe the Justices read a word of the pleadings." She said she wanted to see the original court document with the signature of a member of the court.

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The Democrats' likely nominee for Governor of Florida, state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, didn't wait for the general election to go up with her first television ad. It seems that the opportunity to mock the nasty Republican primary between state Attorney General Bill McCollum and former hospital executive Rick Scott was just too great to pass up.

Sink's ad shows actors obviously portraying the two Republicans having a "no you are!" fight in what appears to be an elementary school classroom. The message is not subtle.

"Don't know about you, but I've had just about enough of politicians attacking each other," Sink says in the spot.

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Colorado Republican Senate nominee Ken Buck, who upset establishment favorite Jane Norton in last week's primary, last year expressed support for repealing the 17th Amendment, which allows for the direct election of Senators by popular vote.

But don't worry, Buck now says. He's thought it through, and is now firmly opposed to repealing the 17th Amendment.

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The new Mason-Dixon poll of the Nevada gubernatorial race finds that Republican nominee Brian Sandoval continues to lead Democratic nominee Rory Reid by a big margin, though the lead has narrowed just slightly.

The numbers: Sandoval 52%, Rory Reid 36%. The survey of registered voters has a ±4% margin of error. In the previous Mason-Dixon poll from late July, Sandoval led by 50%-31%.

In the Senate race, the same batch of polling showed Rory Reid's father, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, leading Republican Sharron Angle by 43%-42% So clearly, there are voters who would pick Brian Sandoval, but are leery of the other Republican in the Senate race, where Angle has faced heat for her right-wing views and habit of avoiding the mainstream media. And on the other end, some voters who are picking Harry Reid are not going for Rory at this juncture.

The TPM Poll Average puts Sandoval ahead by 52.0%-36.4%.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has a new ad, tearing down his Republican opponent Sharron Angle's latest ad, in which she says she wants to save Social Security. The announcer asks: "Are you kidding?"

The ad then goes over media coverage of Angle's various previous statements about wanting to phase out the program, and how she has changed her position since she won the Republican primary. The announcer concludes "Sharron Angle: Views so extreme, she can't tell you the truth."

The TPM Poll Average puts Reid ahead by 45.7%-42.6%.

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Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has gone up with a very positive new ad in the home stretch of his Senate primary. McCain, who enjoys a strong lead over former Rep. J.D. Hayworth, totally ignores his challenger and instead presents a feel-good face of optimism and hope amidst the problems the country is going through.

"My father and grandfather taught me, and I've taught my children: Service before self. If ever there was a time to honor that code, that time is now," McCain says. "We will get America back on course. We will return Arizona to safety and prosperity. Working together, we can improve the lives of every Arizona family. I appreciate your support, I ask for your vote."

The TPM Poll Average gives McCain a lead of 53.6%-32.1%. The primary will be held next Tuesday, August 23.

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