TPM News

Last night, Jon Stewart had a good laugh over politicians who persistently use the phrase "the American people" as a "cudgel": "The American people can sh*t rainbows. The American people look fantastic today. The American people can have any girl in this room."

"I'm beginning to think that 'the American people' is a meaningless phrase," he added, just like "'the Founders intended,' 'our children deserve,' and 'nobody doesn't like Sara Lee.'"

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The three-way race to replace the retiring Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) will continue to give national Democrats headaches, according to one of the two Democratic candidates in the field. State Sen. Colleen Hanabusa (D) says that despite polls showing her trailing campaign could put just enough of a dent into former Rep. Ed Case's Democratic bid to flip the seat to GOP candidate Charles Djou, she's staying in through the end of the contest.

The TPM Poll Average for the special shows Djou with 32.3, Case with 32.0 and Hanabusa with 21.8. Whichever candidate gets the most votes among the three will win the seat.

There's been increasing pressure on Hanabusa by national Democrats to get out of the contest. But at a press conference yesterday, Hanabusa -- who has the endorsement of the state's most powerful Democrat, Sen. Daniel Inouye -- said she's staying in until the bitter end. That means the House race some Republicans are calling the Democrats' NY-23 will continue to cause worry down at DCCC HQ.

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Last night, Stephen Colbert named George Rekers, a leader in the ex-gay movement and a co-founder of the Family Research Council, his "Alpha Dog of The Week" after Rekers was caught coming back from Europe with a male prostitute, hired from

Colbert owned up to hiring a lot of his own crew from, including his new (and quite muscular) cameraman, Julian.

He also noted: "Jesus spent time with prostitutes. That's why good Christians should always ask themselves 'WBWJR -- What Boy Would Jesus Rent?'"

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Gov. Charlie Crist (I-FL), who left the Republican Party last week to run for Senate as an independent, faces a new test of his status as a candidate of the middle: Whether to veto a bill championed by anti-abortion Republicans in the state legislature. And for now, at least, signs are pointing toward a veto.

The legislation would require a woman seeking an abortion to view an ultrasound of the fetus, and listen to the doctor describe the fetus. As the St. Petersburg Times reports, Crist is sounding a lot like he'll veto it. "I'm concerned about it," Crist said Wednesday. "Even though I'm pro-life I don't want to impose my will on others."

If Crist were to veto the bill, it would be his second high-profile veto of a GOP-backed bill in the last three weeks. In mid-April, Crist vetoed a high-profile education bill that would have eliminated tenure for new teachers and instituted strict guidelines for merit pay -- a move that apparently sealed the deal for his decision to leave the Republican Party and run as an independent.

The latest TV ad from shady anti-financial reform group Stop Too Big To Fail advocates killing financial reform legislation because, the ad claims, the big banks actually want to see reform happen.

The ad follows the same "bailout, bailout -- BAILOUT!!" script of the group's previous ads, but with a new twist. Now, instead of misrepresenting the position of a progressive economist (as the group did with Simon Johnson and Robert Reich), Stop Too Big To Fail makes the twisted argument that financial reform should be defeated precisely because big bank CEOs have made extremely broad statements of support for a regulatory overhaul.

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The President and First Lady delivered the following remarks on immigration reform at the Cinco de Mayo Reception in the Rose Garden of the White House last night:

THE PRESIDENT: Viva! Good evening, everyone. Buenas noches. Michelle and I are so honored to welcome you to the White House. And you all brought outstanding weather, so we thank you for that. (Laughter.) Thank you. I know that a lot of you would rather be watching tonight's game --- the Spurs against "Los Suns" from Phoenix. (Applause.)

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Samuel "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher, who just won a seat on his Ohio county's Republican committee, told TPMDC that he decided to run for public office to "weed out the liars, cheaters and thieves." He has a few years, he said, before he asks God whether to run for higher office.

"I pray that he doesn't want me to run for office," Wurzelbacher said in an interview last night.

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Geithner: Banks Cannot Be Separated From Risk Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is scheduled to testify today at the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, where he will say that stability cannot be achieved by separating banks from risk. The Treasury released an excerpt from his remarks: "The lesson of this crisis ... is that we cannot make the economy safe by taking functions central to the business of banking, functions necessary to help raise capital for business and help businesses hedge risk, and move them outside banks, and outside the reach of strong regulation."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will receive the presidential daily briefing at 9:15 a.m. ET, and the economic daily briefing at 10 a.m. ET. He will meet at 11 a.m. ET with his national security team on Afghanistan and Pakistan. He will meet at 3:30 p.m. ET with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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Rep. Joe Sestak's (D-PA) latest ad targeting Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) in the tightening Democratic Senate primary ties the ex-Republican to former President George W. Bush and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

It also twice shows a clip of Specter saying, "my change in party will enable me to be re-elected."

"Arlen Specter switched parties to save one job -- his, not yours," the narrator says while a picture of Specter and Palin appears on screen.

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Just a week after condemning a third-party ad aimed against her primary opponent Bill Halter as offensive for its racially-tinged use of Indian actors, Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) has a new mailer has a new mailer that attacks Halter for allegedly sending jobs to India, and prominently features a picture of the Taj Mahal.

As the Huffington Post reports, the Lincoln campaign has a new mailer that asks: "Can we really trust Bill Halter to stop outsourcing - after his company sent American jobs to India?" Included in the mailer is a photo of Halter, rendered to look like a Polaroid photo, juxtaposed with a similarly Polaroidesque photo of the Taj Mahal.

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