TPM News

Hannah Rosenthal, the president's special envoy to combat anti-Semitism, responded to criticism by the Anti-Defamation League that she shouldn't have accompanied a group of Muslim-American clerics on a visit to former concentration camps in Europe.

ADL director Abe Foxman, after reports that he had lobbied U.S. officials not to go on the trip, said he had simply "raised the question" of why Rosenthal attended, saying she should be dealing solely with other governments.

Rosenthal doesn't see it that way.

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Republican businessman Ron Johnson, the likely GOP nominee against Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), has a new ad introducing himself to the voters of his state, and seeking to put forward an outsider image.

The ad seems to employ a similar quirky approach to the one that Feingold has always used for his own spots. In this case, Johnson parodies standard campaign ads by having his family awkwardly reading their lines from the teleprompter about what a great guy he is.

"Okay, that's enough," Johnson says. "Obviously I'm not a professional politician, and they're not professional actors. We're just a Wisconsin family worried about our country. I'm Ron Johnson, and I approved this message because it's time to get our nation's house in order."

The TPM Poll Average shows Johnson currently leading Feingold by 48.8%-46.9%.

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Former McCain economic adviser, and longtime stimulus defender, Mark Zandi took issue today with House Minority Leader John Boehner's criticisms of President Obama's economic policies, and with multiple GOP calls for Obama's top economic advisers to resign.

"I think we'd be in a measurably worse place if not for the stimulus," Zandi said at the Christian Science Monitor breakfast this morning. "If we had not had the stimulus...we'd have fewer jobs today than we actually have."

Zandi was responding to Boehner's contention yesterday that stimulus spending "has gotten us nowhere." Asked whether he agreed with Boehner, Zandi said "no."

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Thanks to an old-fashioned political upset, Sitka, Alaska Mayor Scott McAdams is about to get a lot more ink.

McAdams (D) will face the winner of the Republican primary between Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Joe Miller, though we may not know for sure if Miller unseated Murkowski until next month. National Democrats tell us privately the Alaska Senate race wasn't even on their radar, until today when Miller's showing stunned Washington.

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Last night, Daily Show correspondents Wyatt Cenac and John Oliver continued their ongoing series of debates, this time addressing the controversy over Dr. Laura's use of the "N-word" on-air, and Sarah Palin's subsequent defense of her.

Oliver, on "Team R-Word," wouldn't say Cenac's word out loud, but noted "I don't think Dr. Laura was saying...his be hurtful."

Cenac replied: "You're right, it was all the other racist shit she was saying."

Wyatt continued that "Dr. Laura dropped the 'N-word' 11 times," while Rahm Emanuel only used the word "retard" once before Sarah Palin called for him to be fired.

Oliver then consulted the "Palin Index" ticker, which is "like the Nasdaq of insults," and it showed that "the 'R-word' is trading at 13 1/2 'N-words' these days."

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Stephen Colbert if following up on Jon Stewart's piece connecting Saudi prince Al-Waleed bin Talal to Fox News, which Stewart concluded means that Fox News is also a terrorist organization.

Last night, Colbert followed the money even farther, and saw that bin Talal's son bought a painting at an art auction -- and that painting was Colbert's portrait. "Oh my god! I'm a terrorist!" Colbert said. But he asked: "Why did they let me build my studio so close to Ground Zero?"

"I have to be stopped," he continued. "Nation, I need you to come here and protest until my studio is shut down and I am taken off the air. No, wait. That's just what I want! I want to have no one see what I'm doing. Why else would I be on basic cable?"

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