TPM News

As David flagged on the Editors Blog last night, the Pentagon yesterday banned four journalists from covering trials at Guantanamo after they reported the name of a former military interrogator (which, the reporters note, has been public for years, including from a media interview the interrogator himself gave).

In any case, here's the striking video of Department of Defense spokeswoman Maj. Tanya Bradsher announcing the banning, and the military's rationale, to members of the press yesterday. Watch:

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The new Rasmussen poll of the Ohio Senate race shows Democratic Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher enjoying a bump from his win in this past Tuesday's primary, gaining a one-point edge on Republican former Congressman and ex-Bush administration official Rob Portman.

The numbers: Fisher 43%, Portman 42%. The survey of likely voters has a ±4.5% margin of error. A month ago, while Fisher was fighting it out with Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner for the Democratic nomination, Portman led Fisher by 43%-38% and led Brunner by 45%-38%. The TPM Poll Average for the race currently gives Fisher a lead of 41.5%-39.8%.

As the pollster's analysis notes: "But as is often the case after a primary is over, party support lines up behind the chosen nominee. It remains to be seen whether the new numbers reflect a temporary bounce or a lasting change in the race."

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Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele appeared on MSNBC this afternoon and found himself defending the RNC's decision to hold a recent meeting in Hawaii, maintaining that there's nothing "lavish" about the way the RNC operates. He also dismissed questions about a visit to an unsanctioned visit to a bondage-themed nightclub, saying it's "what happens in a business."

When host Andrea Mitchell asked why the RNC would choose to hold a meeting in Hawaii in a recession -- a location she called "lavish" -- he was aghast.

"Lavish? What evidence do you have of lavishness at our winter meeting in Hawaii?" he said.

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A new Mason Dixon poll shows Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) leading Bill Halter 44% to 32% in the Arkansas Democratic Senate primary.

The TPM Poll Average for the May 18 primary shows Lincoln leading Halter 45.2% to 31.8%.

Still, Halter has outraised Lincoln, with Halter bringing in nearly $580,000 between Apr. 1-28, his campaign told the AP. Lincoln's camp reported it raised just over $300,000 in the same period.

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The Gulf oil spill has been such a public relations catastrophe for BP that the oil giant now scores lower on a "buzz" index than even beleaguered automaker Toyota, according to consumer research outfit YouGov BrandIndex.

The company says it interviews 5,000 Americans each weekday and asks, among other things, "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, was it positive or negative?"

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said in a statement today that passing a climate and energy bill this year is "impossible" after the Gulf oil spill and the Democrats' new push on immigration reform. Sens. John Kerry (D-MA) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) apparently weren't listening.

Kerry and Lieberman released a statement today announcing their plan to roll out a climate and energy bill on Wednesday.

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The new Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll of the Illinois Senate race finds that Democratic candidate Alexi Giannoulias has fallen behind Republican Mark Kirk in the race for President Obama's former Senate seat, likely due to the collapse of Giannoulias's family bank. But at the same time, the underlying issue climate should be favorable to the Democrats here.

The numbers: Kirk 41%, Giannoulias 38%. The poll of likely voters has a ±4% margin of error. Back in late February, before the bank collapsed, Giannoulias was ahead by 43%-36%. The TPM Poll Average puts Kirk ahead by 41.9%-36.0%.

In addition, Giannoulias's favorable rating is only 38%, with 46% unfavorable, down from a 49%-34% favorable rating in late February. Kirk's rating is 39%-33%, not significantly changed from a 42%-35% rating in late February.

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