TPM News

Michael Steele introduced a new fashion accessory at today's Republican National Committee meeting in Kansas City, when, like almost everyone in the audience, the RNC Chairman donned a bright-red "Fire Pelosi" cap. It was something of a theme at the event. And a "Fire Nancy Pelosi" bus tour will begin this fall.

"The American people have been very clear from the pool halls and the church halls, to the diners and the donut shops, in the red-hot Arizona sun and on the cool-blue California beaches, at the Liberty Bell and the Charleston Harbor, they're all saying one thing: Fire Nancy Pelosi! Retire Harry Reid!" Steele said, according to his prepared remarks.

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Former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) has a new TV ad in his Republican primary challenge against Sen. John McCain -- seeking to use McCain's own admission of past lying, from the audiobook of McCain's Worth The Fighting For.

The ad uses audio of McCain himself: "It could come down to lying or losing. I chose lying." The full context had to do with an event that took place during his 2000 presidential campaign, when McCain gave public support to South Carolina flying the Confederate flag, a decision he has since recanted.

"Now, McCain lies -- again," the announcer cuts in, with a review of McCain's other positions on immigration, with the repeated sound-bite from McCain, "I chose lying."

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Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), a potential presidential candidate, has come out against the Muslim community center that will be located near Ground Zero. And further, he says that its presence would "degrade or disrespect" the area.

As Real Clear Politics reports:

Pawlenty left the mosque matter alone until coming out against the now-approved plan when asked about it for this story.

"I'm strongly opposed to the idea of putting a mosque anywhere near Ground Zero-I think it's inappropriate," he said. "I believe that 3,000 of our fellow innocent citizens were killed in that area, and some ways from a patriotic standpoint, it's hallowed ground, it's sacred ground, and we should respect that. We shouldn't have images or activities that degrade or disrespect that in any way."

The Associated Press reports that Nevada Republican Senate nominee Sharron Angle has further outlined some of her right-wing positions, in a questionnaire she submitted to a Washington-based conservative group called the "Government is not God" committee.

For example, Angle believes that clergy should be able to endorse candidates from the pulpit while maintaining their tax-exempt status, and on school prayer she believes that teachers should be able to talk about religion and "publicly acknowledge the Creator." And of course, she opposes any laws that would enable gays to adopt children. She also opposes offering civil rights protections based on sexual orientation.

The report of this questionnaire, and this political committee's name, has an interesting correspondence to Angle's recent comments that Harry Reid's liberal programs were part of attempt to "make government our God" and thus a violation of the First Commandment.

The TPM Poll Average currently gives Reid a lead of 45.1%-42.7%.

Something weird is happening with the tea party in Maine. In the past few days, tea party websites in the Pine Tree State have offered glimpses of what some are calling a coup at the one of the state's largest tea party groups, The Maine Patriots.

On Tuesday night, Amy Hale -- one of the leaders of the Patriots group -- posted an odd message to the group's website, suggesting that she'd been forced to give up control of the site, according to media reports (the post has since been removed):

I was cornered in the parking lot by 10+ people and told that bad things would happen to me if I did not give them the password and hand over Maine Patriots. Therefore, I no longer have control of Maine Patriots. Amy


Hale reported the incident to the police. Last night, she refused to comment on the matter because, she told me, "the investigation is ongoing." Details beyond what she wrote that first night are sketchy.

Piecing together posts from tea party websites in the past couple of days, however, paints a picture of a state tea party in disarray -- and a look at tea party paranoia.

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The latest Mason-Dixon poll of Florida's Democratic Senate primary gives Rep. Kendrick Meek a slim 33%-29% lead over opponent Jeff Greene -- a statistical tie, given the poll's ±4.0-point margin of error.

The new survey, conducted August 2-4, is in agreement with an internal poll released Thursday by the Meek campaign, which also showed Meek and Greene in a statistical dead heat. Both polls are at odds with a July 27 Quinnipiac survey, which put Greene ahead by 10 points.

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The New York Times reports today that many lawmakers in addition to embatted Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) have educational endowments in their honor heavily funded by corporations with business before Congress.

Although their spokesmen deny any similarity, the endowments have echoes of the Rangel Center, the CCNY educational center at the center of alleged ethics charges against Rangel.

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On The Daily Show last night, Larry Wilmore was dismayed to discover that when he tried to use "the race card" on the Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters ethics scandals, it was "maxed out." That's when he read the small print: "'Void during a black presidency.' F*ck."

When Jon Stewart was surprised to learn that there was an actual race card, Wilmore replied: "There's all kinds of cards you use to avoid accountability." There's "the gay card, the Christian card, the disabled card, the ADHD card, the 'I had bad parents' card, the fat card, the 'I'm the only (fill-in-the-blank) who works here' card, the poor card."

Jon admitted he didn't know about the poor card, and Wilmore replied: "Yeah, fat-cat make richo didn't know that. See! I just played it on you, Jon."

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