TPM News

National progressives are attempting to pick themselves up, and brush themselves off and move on with their lives after last night's win by Sen. Blanche Lincoln in the Arkansas Democratic Senate runoff. In an email to its members sent out this afternoon, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee told liberals to cheer up -- at least, the PCCC said, the left still has Washington, D.C. to kick around.

"Today in news reports, the political insiders are gloating. They're proud that they beat thousands of people fighting for change," the PCCC's leaders write. "But what the political establishment doesn't realize is that the progressive movement built power in this election."

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Apple has suffered another embarrassment. A security breach has exposed iPad owners including dozens of CEOs, military officials, and top politicians. They--and every other buyer of the wireless-enabled tablet--could be vulnerable to spam marketing and malicious hacking.

The breach, which comes just weeks after an Apple employee lost an iPhone prototype in a bar, exposed the most exclusive email list on the planet, a collection of early-adopter iPad 3G subscribers that includes thousands of A-listers in finance, politics and media, from New York Times Co. CEO Janet Robinson to Diane Sawyer of ABC News to film mogul Harvey Weinstein to Mayor Michael Bloomberg. It even appears that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's information was compromised.

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The South Carolina Democratic Party has now called upon its new nominee for Senate, Alvin Greene, to withdraw from the race the day after he won the state primary.

Democrats have quickly become somewhat embarrassed by Greene's upset win in the primary, due to the revelation that he was arrested last November for allegedly showing obscene Web photos to a university student. His mysterious candidacy began when Greene, who is unemployed and lives with his parents, showed up with a personal check for over $10,000 to register as a candidate. (He was then told that a personal check was not a proper method of payment -- and quickly showed up a few hours later with a check from a campaign account.)

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Newly chosen Senate nominee Carly Fiorina (R-CA) said today she will vigorously defend against Democrats who attempt to use her record as CEO of Hewlett Packard as a political weapon. Democrats who want to see Sen. Barbara Boxer reelected have already targeted Fiorina as presiding over major layoffs, outsourcing jobs and not having the confidence of the Packard family.

In response to a question from TPMDC on a conference call, Fiorina said she'd improved HP's profitability and that this fall, "I look forward to running on my record." She rattled off successful stock statistics from her tenure, which ran from 1999 through 2005 at the Palo Alto-based tech giant, and said under her leadership HP was nabbing 11 patents per day. The numbers she used to tout her tenure were all positive, and she didn't mention the troubled Compaq merger or the profit figures that weren't so flattering and led to her 2005 firing.

"Yes, we did have to unfortunately lay some folks off," Fiorina told me on the call. "We also created jobs ... you come out stronger on the other end." And with the economy and unemployment as the top issue in California, "I'm prepared to fight for our jobs," she said.

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The new ABC/Washington Post poll digs in to who the public blames for the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, and it turns out they blame everyone -- the federal government and federal regulators, the company, you name it.

The poll finds President Obama's approval rating on his handling of the situation at 44%, with 49% disapproval, compared to a more general approval rating of 52%-45%. The positive rating for the federal government's handling of it is at only 28%, with a 69% negative rating, while BP's number is even worse at 16%-81%.

On the specific question of how much blame different players deserve, 55% say that weak federal regulations deserve a "great deal" or "good amount" of blame, 63% also blame inadequate enforcement of existing regulations, and 73% also assign blame to unnecessary risks taken by BP and its drilling partners. In addition, 64% say the federal government should pursue criminal charges against BP and other companies involved in the spill.

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What's the Republican party's message to Sharron Angle, their freshly minted Senate candidate in Nevada? Get disciplined. Quick.

"When you're running statewide like this, you know, it is a different level," Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) told me this afternoon after a policy meeting with the Republican caucus. "And especially to the extent there's going to be a lot more scrutiny because you're running against the Majority Leader, so she's going to have to exercise really severe discipline.... She and her team are going to have to really think about that, and not lose that passion that got her a lot of the grassroots support, but also be a little measured."

Angle defeated one-time favorite Sue Lowden in the GOP primary last night on a wave of Tea Party support, but was met immediately by a torrent of criticism and a long record of radical statements and policy positions. Democrats couldn't be more pleased, but her candidacy has Republicans worried.

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On a call with reporters this morning, RNC Chair Michael Steele called his new Senate nominee in Nevada, tea party favorite Sharron Angle, a "common sense" leader who'll bring a "good, fresh look at the issues" to the race against Sen. Harry Reid (D).

"I feel good about what Sharron Angle will bring to the Senate," Steele said. But, faced with a nominee most Democrats say makes Reid's path to reelection a least a little easier, Steele said the election won't be about Angle's views -- which even her rivals in the Republican primary said are too extreme to win a general election against Reid.

"We expect this election will be as much about Harry Reid and Barack Obama as anything else," Steele said. He said the RNC is "fully-committed" to helping Angle win, and promised to bolster her shoestring campaign with national and state Republican resources "within the next 10 days."

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