TPM News

The dribbling out of excerpts and interview clips continues as former President George W. Bush re-emerges to promote his book, Decision Points. In the latest round of pre-release strategic leaks, Bush says he was able to quit drinking cold turkey at age 40 because he was never "chemically addicted."

The book reportedly opens with Bush's decision to quit drinking. In his interview with Matt Lauer, which airs in its entirety on Monday, Bush said alcohol had become a "love" that "began to compete" with his love for his wife and daughters.

"I was a drinker. Now I wasn't a knee-walkin' drunk. And I have concluded I was not chemically addicted, like some of my friends were, who required a 12-step program for some," he said.

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Rep Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), who headed up the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during this past campaign cycle, has announced that he will not be returning for another two years at the helm.

The Hill reports:

"When it comes to the DCCC chairmanship, I believe in term limits," Van Hollen told liberal radio host Bill Press on Friday. "This will be the end."

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State Rep. Timothy W. Jones (R-Eureka) of the Missouri House of Representatives was unanimously elected by the new Republican caucus to be the next Majority Floor Leader. Why is that newsworthy? Because he was represented by "Birther Queen" Orly Taitz in a federal case alleging that President Barack Obama was secretly an Indonesian named Barry Soetoro and ineligible to be President of the United States.

Jones was listed as a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed by lawyer-dentist Taitz to obtain an original birth certificate, immigration records, passports and other vital records from Obama.

Taitz is pretty pumped about Jones being in a position of power. "WOW, an unapologetic birther is unanimously elected to be the speaker of MO Hopuse of Representatives!!!" Taitz wrote on her blog. "PLEASE, CONTACT HIM AND DEMAND THAT HE BRINGS THIS ISSUE TO THE FLOOR OF THE STATE HOUSE OF REP-S."

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President Obama filmed an interview with CBS's Steve Kroft for 60 Minutes that will air this Sunday. In a clip of the interview released today, Kroft asks Obama if he's lost his "mojo," and how he accounts for the Democrats' losses on Tuesday.

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The vote count in the tight Connecticut gubernatorial race seems to be winding down, with Democrat Dan Malloy the apparent winner over Republican Tom Foley -- though who knows, the litigation could be just beginning.

The key here is that the city of Bridgeport, which had a controversial poll extension as a result of ballot shortages on Election Day, took a long time to sort out its votes and get them counted. (The total does not include less than 100 votes that were cast after 8 p.m.) Those results came this morning, with Malloy winning a 17,973-4,099 margin in the heavily Democratic city. And with the city's votes now included, Malloy went from trailing his Republican opponent to leading by a statewide margin of 5,465.

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Claims of massive voter fraud efforts backed by Democrats were all the rage in conservative circles in the weeks and months leading up to the election on Tuesday. But since the polls closed, there's been barely a peep.

So says a report from the public policy center Demos issued Friday analyzing the "mixed bag" outcome of the 2010 campaign in the areas of voter access and effective administration of elections.

"Also noteworthy after Election Day had come and gone was the sudden silence from the fraud-mongerers and Tea Party poll watch groups," Tova Andrea Wang, a Senior Democracy Fellow at Demos, wrote in the report. "Not a peep of one case of substantiated fraud at the polling place."

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Stephen Colbert was intrigued last night by Joe Miller's campaign manager's statement that "I'm sure there are going to be two or three dozen votes for Spider-Man" among the write-in ballots, and therefore the race isn't over yet. "What?" Colbert asked. "Spider-Man was a candidate?" But he had "no online presence," Colbert added, and "you'd think that he of all people would know the importance of the web."

Although, Colbert continued, "since no one knows Spider-Man's real identity, those votes could actually be for...Joe Miller!" The proof, he said, is in Miller's campaign song, which he sang (to the tune of the Spider-Man theme song):

Joe Miller, Joe Miller, Wants to be your senator. Grows a beard, shoots a gun, Arrests the press just for fun. Look out! He'll cut your Medicare.

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Jon Stewart enlisted Jason Jones, Wyatt Cenac, and John Oliver last night to help him figure out what cable news pundits mean when they say President Obama's post-election press conference shows that he just "doesn't get it." Jones looked to the moment when Obama made his entrance and walked up to the podium: "Do you see 'it'? I didn't see 'it.' It's a pretty crucial moment, where he needs to show some fight. He shouldn't have strolled in, he should have rolled in -- on those sneakers with the wheels and the blinking lights on them."

Wyatt agreed: "That's what Reagan did in '82. Why? Because he had 'it.'"

John Oliver pointed to history as well: "When Taft suffered a midterm defeat in 1911, did he drag his ass to the podium like a kid going to he dentist?"

Wyatt replied: "No, Taft was one 'it'-having motherfucker." Jason agreed: "Taft wasn't fat. Those were layers of 'it.'"

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The Labor Department released unemployment statistics this morning for the month of October, eliciting cheers from some quarters over the fact that private sector payrolls added 150,000 jobs and beat market expectations. But the unemployment rate remained stuck at 9.6 percent -- and a closer look at the numbers indicate that key sectors impacted by the economic downturn haven't seen the improvement many had hoped for.

And, in a sign that unemployed and semi-employed Americans are getting discouraged again, the labor force participation rate edged down in October, as did the number of Americans employed part-time for economic reasons. The number of people only marginally attached to the labor market -- those who have looked for work in the past year but not in the past month -- increased by 200,000. Furthermore, the number of long-term unemployed -- those who have spent more than 27 weeks without a job -- increased from 6.12 million to 6.2 million over the past month.

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House Speaker-to-be John Boehner put distance last night between himself and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has twice stated that a top political goal for the GOP is to make Barack Obama a one-term President.

"That's Senator McConnell's statement. And -- and his opinion. I think the American people want us to focus on their message during the election," Boehner said in an interview with ABC News.

Boehner's rhetoric has been generally milder than McConnell's since Tuesday's election. But that doesn't mean he's taking it easy on the Democrats.

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