TPM News

Denise Cheung has one of the toughest jobs in the Justice Department: Attorney General Eric Holder's top national security adviser.

For five years before she took the job advising Holder, Cheung was investigating and prosecuting cases related to terrorist attacks abroad, violations of export sanctions, material support to terrorists, presidential threats and espionage during her tenure in the National Security Section of the D.C. federal prosecutor's office.

Her legal opponent for one of those terrorism funding cases: her now-boss, Attorney General Eric Holder.

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Napolitano Thanks TSA Staff For Hard Work The Hill reports: "Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano thanked TSA workers for their vigilance and hard work on Tuesday afternoon...In a letter to TSA employees on Tuesday, a day before one of the busiest travel days in the country, Napolitano acknowledged the hardships of their job and said that the country was counting on them to keep them safe."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will receive the presidential daily briefing at 9:30 a.m ET. He will pardon the National Thanksgiving Turkey at 10:30 a.m. ET. He will meet at 11:30 a.m. ET with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. At 4:20 p.m. ET, the First Family will participate in a service event.

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Ever since the magazine declared the Chevy Volt to be its 2011 Car of the Year, Motor Trend has been driving Rush Limbaugh mad. As ThinkProgress reports, the radio host, who has long been at odds with the car, publicly slammed the publication for its decision. This prompted a Motor Trend editor to shoot back with a long, strongly worded letter. And by letter we mean blog post.
Limbaugh fanned the flames of this unusual feud when he asked,

[O]f all the cars in the world, the Chevrolet Volt is the Car of the Year? Motor Trend magazine, that's the end of them. How in the world do they have any credibility? Not one has been sold [and] the Volt is the Car of the Year.

Peeved, editor Todd Lassa responded on Motor Trend's website with his own questions:

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Democratic Congressman Bobby Rush (IL) is looking to land the top Dem spot on the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet. But he is facing opposition from an unexpected source on the left. James Rucker is the executive director of Color of Change, a left-leaning group dedicated to "strengthening Black America's political voice," and told TPM yesterday that Congressman Rush is the "leading black voice that has argued against Net Neutrality provisions." If Rush were to become ranking member of the committee, Rucker said, he'd be "in a position where he could to do big harm" as someone who's "consistently been on the side of industry and not protecting the public interest."

Rush's biggest funders are from the telecommunications sector -- an interest group firmly opposed to Net Neutrality. As reports:

During his congressional career, Rush has received $78,964 from AT&T -- his second largest career contributor. He's also gotten $43,499 from the National Cable and Telecommunications Association and $42,000 from Verizon, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

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The 2010 midterm elections were kind of a bummer, if you're a Democrat. Among Democrats who survived the bloodbath, it's a really big bummer for Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL) -- an appropriator and prolific fundraiser whose role in the 2012 cycle is now unclear.

With over 60 seats lost and the party relegated to minority status, the party has fewer perks -- leadership positions, plum committee assignments, etc. -- to offer its most influential members. As you might expect, it's created visible tension within the party. It's also added some bumps to Wasserman Schultz's once-clear path to party leadership.

When the Republicans take over next year, the ratios on House committees will practically flip. For a lot of Democrats -- particularly senior members -- this won't matter much. There's frequently some correspondence between the number of spots the losing party loses on a committee, and the number of members of that committee who are defeated or retire.

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Americans can't agree on who they want to "have the most influence on government policy next year," according to a newly released USA Today/Gallup poll. No surprise there. What may come as a surprise, however, is that at the top of the poll, the split is between respondents who want President Obama to set policy, and those who want Tea Partiers to take the lead in Washington.

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In 2008, President Obama became the first Democratic presidential nominee to win North Carolina since the mid-1970s. And according to a newly released PPP survey, he's well-positioned once again in this historically red state.

The early survey shows Obama faring well against Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich, while hanging close with Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. The survey finds:

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A judge on Tuesday threw out a lawsuit against the Republican Party of Florida filed by its former chairman, Jim Greer, who is awaiting trial on charges that he defrauded the party out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Greer was suing the party for reneging on his $123,000 severance package, which they negotiated after the party got into hot water for loose spending but before Greer's alleged theft was discovered. The party contends that the severance package was never finalized.

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The Obama administration has appealed a court decision ordering it to reinstate a gay former Air Force major discharged under Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

A federal judge ruled in September that former Maj. Margaret Witt should be reinstated to the Air Force. Witt, a decorated reservist flight nurse, had been suspended from the Air Force in 2004, after 17 years of service, and eventually discharged in October 2007. She sued to be reinstated during her discharge proceedings in 2006.

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Robert Decheine, chief of staff to Rep. Steve Rothman (D-NJ), was arrested in Gaithersburg, Md. last Friday on charges of soliciting sex from a minor. Decheine, who had been with the Democrat's office since 2003, was fired immediately after the congressman consulted the House Counsel about his arrest, Rothman spokesman Aaron Keyak told The Hill in a statement.

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