TPM News

The probe into the death of Census Bureau worker Bill Sparkman continues -- and authorities may now be considering a whole new theory of the case.

Two law enforcement sources tell the AP that investigators are considering whether Sparkman committed suicide, but intentionally made it look like murder in order to allow his son to make a life insurance claim. Most life insurance policies don't cover suicides, at least within a certain time frame after the policy begins.

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Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is attacking the appointment of Bob Bauer as the new White House Counsel -- saying that it's all a plot to protect ACORN!

In a new press release, King declares:

"Bob Bauer has a public record of defending Barack Obama's relationship with ACORN. Bauer has acted as the agent between Obama and ACORN, and now he will be perfectly positioned to be tasked with erasing the tracks between Obama and ACORN. Bauer's hiring appears to be a tactical maneuver to strategically defend the White House exactly one week after Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell raided ACORN's national headquarters in New Orleans and seized paper records and computer hard drives that may lead to the White House."

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New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg released a statement today in support of the administration's announcement that five suspected Sept. 11 terrorists will be tried in the city. Here's the full text:

I support the Obama Administration's decision to prosecute 9/11 terrorists here in New York. It is fitting that 9/11 suspects face justice near the World Trade Center site where so many New Yorkers were murdered. We have hosted terrorism trials before, including the trial of Omar Abdel-Rahman, the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. When I spoke to Attorney General Holder earlier today, I told him New York City stands ready to assist the federal court in the administration of justice in any way necessary. I have great confidence that the NYPD, with federal authorities, will handle security expertly. The NYPD is the best police department in the world and it has experience dealing with high-profile terrorism suspects and any logistical issues that may come up during the trials.

The liberal group MoveOn is exploiting an interesting opening to both support health care reform and weaken the Chamber of Commerce.

Citing the American Medical Association's endorsement of House health care legislation, and the Chamber of Commerce's unapologetic opposition to it, MoveOn is calling for the AMA and the Chamber to part ways.

MoveOn is calling on their doctors to sign a petition demanding that the AMA pull out.

"The American Medical Association has been running ads for months supporting President Obama's health care plan," reads a letter from MoveOn to supportive doctors.

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An AmeriCorps official urged a colleague to "destroy" documents relating to the controversial firing of the agency's inspector general, according to emails obtained by a conservative news site. AmeriCorps says the request was made out of concern for the independence of the IG's office, after documents on the firing were mistakenly sent its way. But news of the episode is giving new life to a story the Obama administration had hoped was dead.

Yesterday,, a conservative news site, published an email exchange it obtained through a FOIA request related to the firing this summer of Gerald Walpin as inspector general for the Corporation for National and Community Service. Walpin, backed by the conservative media, has claimed that he was dismissed for zealously pursuing an Obama ally for financial misconduct, and is now suing AmeriCorps over the firing. The administration has said concerns about Walpin's performance and temperament led to his removal.

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Sen. Lindsey Graham, not known for holding back criticism of the White House, said today that he has "very strong feelings" about Guantanamo Bay detainees but will hold them in until President Obama returns from his trip to Asia.

Graham (R-SC) just issued this statement responding to the administration's announcement to transfer Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other Gitmo detainees to be tried in New York.

"The decision on the proper venue to try Guantanamo detainees, particularly the 9/11 conspirators, is one of the most important decisions we will ever make in the War on Terror. I have had and continue to have very strong feelings on this subject. Those feelings are well-known as evidenced by our debate on the floor of the Senate last week. "I have been asked by the White House to withhold comment about today's Guantanamo decision until I can meet face-to-face with the President after he returns from Asia. As our Commander in Chief, I will honor his request. I look forward to discussing this issue further."

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

• ABC, This Week: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

• CBS, Face The Nation: Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT).

• CNN, State Of The Union: White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod; Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH); Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D-MT).

• Fox News Sunday: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY); Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

• NBC, Meet The Press: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA), Rev. Al Sharpton.

At a press conference this morning, Attorney General Eric Holder said he hoped Washington would "leave the politics out of it" when considering his decision to transfer five suspected 9/11 conspirators from the detention center in Guantanamo Bay to New York City for trial in federal court.

His request fell on deaf ears. Before he had even stepped from behind the mics at the Justice Department, politicians on both sides had begun a partisan battle over his decision to charge and try some of the men allegedly responsible for the worst terror attack in U.S. history.

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Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) says that House liberals backed themselves into a wall during health care negotiations, and got stuck with a harsher abortion amendment than they would have had if they'd just played nice. And now, he says, there's no going back.

In an interview with The Atlantic, Stupak says "Speaker Pelosi went to present [House liberals] what she agreed to with us, that it would be part of a manager's amendment.... [T]hey're the ones who insisted, 'No, Stupak doesn't get to go in the manager's amendment, we want it on the floor.' They're the ones who insisted on bringing it to a vote. They're the ones who wanted to vote against me, they were the ones who said they would win this vote."

If they hadn't rejected the Speaker on Friday night, to use their words, there would have been a less restrictive amendment that would have been part of the manager's amendment. They rejected that. They could not live with it. Even the less restrictive language. And therefore the Speaker came back and said, 'Bart, I'm sorry, but our deal's off. So I have no choice, because we made an agreement, I'm gonna have to give you an amendment,' and I said, 'Well, with all due respect, Madame Speaker, I'm not gonna send the amendment we agreed to, because if the deal's off, then I don't have to hold to that agreement, Hyde-lite, and I'm putting up the original Hyde language that I offered in committee, that Joe Pitts and I offered.' That's why it's called the Stupak-Pitts amendment.

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