TPM News

The Hill reports that DSCC chairman Bob Menendez is fully standing behind Chris Dodd and predicts he'll be re-elected, despite the poll this morning showing Dodd behind Republican candidate Rob Simmons in a landslide:

Q: "Does the DSCC still support Chris whole-heartedly in light of these new numbers, and do they surprise you?"

Menendez: "Are you serious? Chris Dodd is going to be re-elected. He's a great senator."

Q: "So the DSCC still supports him all the way?"

Menendez: "Absolutely."

We told you yesterday about Chris Matthews' flub on the Ted Stevens news -- telling viewers that the decision by Justice to drop the charges, thanks to prosecutorial misconduct, means that "the charges should never have been brought."

But it looks like Matthews was just the tip of the iceberg. Since yesterday morning, the self-appointed guardians of the Beltway discourse, in Congress and the press, have been lining up to express their sympathy for Stevens and lament the way the case has unfairly "besmirched" his sterling reputation.


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Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV), the Appropriation Committee chairman, has sent a letter to his colleagues articulating his opposition to using the budget reconciliation process to pass health care or climate change legislation.

"I oppose using the budget reconciliation process to pass health care reform and climate change legislation.... As one of the authors of the reconciliation process, I can tell you that the ironclad parliamentary procedures it authorizes were never intended for this purpose."

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Michele Bachmann did an interview posted yesterday at the right-wing blog Atlas Shrugs, where she talked about the danger of a global currency and other Obama economic policies. And she made this bold declaration: "And so we need to once again decide, do we want to be free, or do we want to be slaves? We have to make that decision. And I know I've made my choice, you've made your choice. And we have to act in concert if we want to make sure that we can hold on to what we have."

On the plus side, there was a point in the interview where Bachmann continued hearkening back to the American Revolution -- as she did during her fiery interview with Sean Hannity last week, when she said America was reaching the point of "orderly revolution" against Obama's Marxism -- but this time she was abundantly clear that she meant people needed to organize against Obama in elections:

The best thing that we can do, I believe, is to inform the American people what's at risk and what's at stake, and a better way forward. And if we can convince them -- because all we have right now is we can do that -- then perhaps we can turn this around in 2010, and at least stop the progress President Obama has made, continue to inform the American people, and make sure that his first term is his last term. And then we have to be extremely bold, if we are fortunate enough to win the presidency in 2012.

(Via Dump Bachmann.)

Nice guy, that Hank Greenberg.

Here, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) asks the former AIG CEO whether he'd be willing to use a separate company that Greenberg has stocks in to pay back taxpayers for AIG's bailout.

And Greenberg pretty much tells him to shove it.


It's hard to tell if Eric Cantor's testing a new message, or if this is the new Republican line on the Democrats and the state of affairs in the country, but Politico reports that, at the Christian Science Monitor breakfast this morning, the House GOP whip, said Democrats are "overreacting, as they often will, to crisis."

But back to this morning. Cantor told participants that "Doing too much has huge, huge pitfalls," better, in other words, to err on the side of doing too little.

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We're a little late to this, thanks to some developments in other areas, but Fairfield Greenwich, the feeder fund that placed much of its assets with Bernie Madoff, was sued Tuesday by the state of Massachusetts, for defrauding its customers.

Secretary of State William Galvin claims that Fairfield, the largest of several feeder funds that funnelled investors to Madoff, failed to conduct due diligence as it promised. For instance, Galvin alleges, Fairfield didn't question Madoff about his unusual trading strategy, or about the fact that he hadn't hired an outside firm to handle record-keeping.

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Arlen Specter isn't waiting for Pat Toomey, the former GOP Congressman who nearly defeated him in the 2004 primary, to officially enter the race this time -- he's already going on the air with an attack ad.

The ad blasts Toomey as a credit-default swap trader who favored less oversight of Wall St. and putting Social Security in the stock market, and now wants a "bonus" in the form of a U.S. Senate seat:

Toomey has said he's "very likely" to run, but hasn't officially launched his campaign. That said, he's been speaking to conservative activists -- even appearing with Joe The Plumber against the Employee Free Choice Act -- and a candidacy really appears to be a foregone conclusion. So Specter isn't waiting.

The DSCC is moving out a new publicity push in the never-ending Minnesota Senate race, with a new Web petition: "It's time to give it up, Norm."

(Click image to enlarge.)

The DSCC has also sent out an e-mail promoting the petition to its supporter list, authored by Paul Begala:

But Norm Coleman didn't like that result, so he took it to court. And now when even his own lawyers are predicting he'll lose, Coleman's threatening to keep appealing to more and more courts.

How many more recounts does Norm Coleman want? How many more delays? How much longer will the Republican Party hold Minnesota's Senate seat hostage?