TPM News

Here are the line-ups for the Sunday talk shows this weekend:

• ABC, This Week: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), Retired Gen. Jack Keane.

• CBS, Face The Nation: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI).

• CNN, State Of The Union: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).

• Fox News Sunday: Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D-MI), Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-IN), Moody's economist Mark Zandi, National Transportation Safety Board Chair Deborah Hersman.

• NBC, Meet The Press: Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, Retired Gen. Richard Myers.

The House Ethics committee announced yesterday that it will expand its long-running probe into Charlie Rangel's financial affairs -- and Republican-led efforts are heating up once again to oust the beleaguered New York congressman from his post as chairman of the House Ways and Means committee.

We round up and rank the allegations against Rangel, from venal down to moronic.

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Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) said today that President Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize as a reward for making the country weaker and appealing to the global community.

From the Oklahoman:

[Inhofe said Obama] got the prize for "de-emphasizing defense in favor of multi-national cooperation,'' an approach with which Inhofe disagrees.

Inhofe worries that the prize could go to Obama's head, and lead him to "de-emphasize defense" even more, especially on the battlefields of Afghanistan.
"If he genuinely was on the fence, and now he gets this prize, it could lead him to reject the feelings of the military commanders" calling for more troops, Inhofe said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Nobel committee awarded President Obama the 2009 Peace prize because of a shift in politics from "fear" to "hope" his presidency has heralded.

Reid's statement:

"By ushering in a period of optimism in American politics, President Obama has become a great source of pride and inspiration for many Americans. I congratulate the President on this tremendous honor that he has earned with his dedication to a new type of politics based on hope instead of fear. I am confident that the President will work to continue to live up the ideals of this award throughout his term in office."

In the immediate wake of President Obama being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, a lot of right-wingers have simply gone nuts over it.

To be very clear, we're not talking about any old criticism or disagreement. Reasonable people can believe this award was not deserved and that Obama has not at this time demonstrated the true accomplishments required. (Unreasonable people can do it, too -- Glenn Beck's got a pretty good joke about it.) We're talking about real over the top invective.

Bill Kristol likens Obama receiving the prize to Mikhail Gorbachev, the former leader of the Soviet Union -- except that Kristol thinks the Communist leader was more impressive:

Mikhail Gorbachev won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990. A year later, he was out of power and the Soviet Union had dissolved.

I don't mean to compare Barack Obama to Gorbachev, who was, whatever his faults, a truly historic and courageous figure. But let's hope the parallel extends this far: that a year from now the Democrats suffer a major electoral repudiation, and that the New Liberalism goes the way of Reform Communism. And that, beginning in 2013, Obama will have lots of free time to spend hobnobbing with Gorbachev on the international celebrity circuit.

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The White House had been dodging this question earlier, but White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters just now that Obama will travel to Oslo in December to pick up the Nobel Peace Prize.

Pressed if Obama will also attend the climate talks in Copenhagen - which the White House hasn't committed to yet - Gibbs wouldn't say. He did acknowledge the talks are close in distance and date to the Nobel ceremony.

In a statement, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) congratulated President Obama on his Nobel Peace Prize:

I congratulate President Obama on receiving this prestigious award. I join my fellow Americans in expressing pride in our President on this occasion.

And in an interview to air on CNN on Sunday, McCain said, "I think part of their decision-making was expectations. And I'm sure the president understands that he now has even more to live up to. But as Americans, we're proud when our president receives an award of that prestigious category."

White House sources tell me the shock was real today when President Obama was chosen for the Nobel Peace Prize.

No one was ready, instead focused on some upcoming battles on Afghanistan and health care, and staffers were preparing for Obama's planned speech this afternoon on financial regulatory reform.

Still, the team is playing catch up - they haven't even updated the White House blog yet, though the Barack Obama Twitter feed offered the one-word reaction above.

Robert Gibbs said Obama was "very surprised" and said that when he called the president with the news, "I believe he was asleep."

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2007 Nobel Peace winner Al Gore welcomed President Obama into the Nobel laureate club today. Speaking to a conference of environmental journalists in Madison, WI this morning, Gore called the Obama peace prize "thrilling."

Reported by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

Gore: "I think it's thrilling President Barack Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. It's an honor for him... it's an honor for our country."

More: "Much of what he has accomplished already is going to be far more appreciated in the eyes of history as it has been by the Nobel committee in their announcement early this morning."

Gore speculated that Obama's focus on climate change was responsible for the award:

Gore "cited Obama's speech to the United Nations and his "success in changing the way the world is approaching the climate crisis."

Gore: "I think it will take some time before people put together all the different moves that linked his speech at the United Nations."