TPM News

In ruling Don't Ask, Don't Tell unconstitutional, U.S. District Judge Virginia Philips said she will issue an injunction to stop the military from enforcing the policy.

In her ruling, in which she said DADT violates the Fifth and First Amendment rights of gay and lesbian service members, Philips agreed to issue an injunction against the policy. She gave the plaintiffs, the Log Cabin Republicans, until Sept. 16 to submit a proposed injunction and the defendants, in this case the U.S. government, another seven days to object.

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The new Rasmussen poll of the Connecticut Senate race shows Democrat Richard Blumenthal leading Republican Linda McMahon by nine points.

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Bringing The Smackdown: Linda McMahon's Campaign For Senate, And Her Colorful Pro-Wrestling Past]

The numbers: Blumenthal 53%, McMahon 44%. The survey of likely voters has a ±4.5% margin of error. In the previous Rasmussen poll from a month ago, taken right after McMahon had won the Republican primary, Blumenthal led by 47%-40%.

The TPM Poll Average gives Blumenthal a lead of 50.1%-42.1%.





A low-cost airline wants flight attendants to fly airplanes in case of emergency. The reason: Having two pilots in the cockpit is too expensive. That's great, because I really can't wait to see Steven Slater landing a 747 at JFK.


The father of the idea is none other than Michael O'Leary, the CEO of Ryanair, the most famous low-cost airline in Europe. O'Leary does a lot of seemingly stupid things, but he's a very smart man too. In this case, he may be completely right too.

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Nearly a year after she bucked Democrats on health care reform, Maine Republican Olympia Snowe is extremely popular in her home state... among Democrats.

According to new Public Policy Polling data, Snowe's high 50-40 approval ratings are due mostly to the fact that Democrats love her. Republicans, meanwhile, think she's basically just a Democrat. By a 50-37 margin, GOP voters say she'd be a better fit in the Democratic party. More than half of Republicans -- 51 percent -- disapprove of her while 40 percent give her high marks.

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War ravaged Iraq has agreed to pay $400 million to a group of Americans who say they were traumatized or tortured during Saddam Hussein's rule after the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. What's so unfair about that? Oh, right.

An agreement was signed last week that would settle up to eight groups of claims against Iraq, and help lift decades-old UN sanctions. Meanwhile, Iraqis barely have electricity, are still fighting an insurgency, and, frankly, the country is a little strapped for cash these days. So where will this money come from, and who will get it?

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President Obama said today that funding the Pigford II settlement is a "priority" for his administration.

During his press conference, Obama was asked about the $1.25 billion settlement for African-American farmers who were discriminated against by the USDA for decades. The funding for the settlement been delayed in Congress for seven months. April Ryan from Urban Radio asked whether Obama could assure that the settlement would be funded before he leaves office.

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Burning symbols in public has developed something of a bad reputation this week, so perhaps this is no surprise: the Oregon progressive blogger's plan to organize Confederate flag burnings at 9/12 tea party rallies this weekend appears to have gone basically nowhere.

JC Christian, the pseudonymous blogger who hatched the plan as a way to expose tea party racism, told me last night that after more than a month in the planning phases, not a single person is willing to publicly say they're going to burn Confederate flags.

"I don't think it will be big," the blogger told me. "Looks like people like the idea more than the action. We'll have to see what happens."

Christian's Facebook group for the flag-burning event grew to more than 1,400 members since he announced it in August. Christian said he's been in contact with a few people, but that in the end, no one wanted to come forward and say they were going to go through with the plan to burn Confederate flags at tea party rallies Sunday.

"[I] had a few people say they are doing neighborhood events, but don't want to publicize it," he told me.

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Christine O'Donnell is continuing to attack Mike Castle in the Delaware Republican Senate primary -- and continuing to question Castle's manhood.

O'Donnell appeared last on Mark Levin's radio show, and fired back at an FEC complaint that was filed by the Delaware Republican Party, which supports Castle, alleging that she has illegally coordinated her campaign activities with the Tea Party Express.

"You know, these are the kind of cheap, underhanded, un-manly tactics that we've come to expect from Obama's favorite Republican, Mike Castle," said O'Donnell. "You know, I released a statement today, saying Mike this is not a bake-off, get your man-pants on. (Laughs)"

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Christine O'Donnell: Anti-Masturbation Crusader. Witchcraft Dabbler. Republican Senate Nominee.]

Some O'Donnell backers have previously dealt in innuendo and rumors that Castle is gay, though O'Donnell herself has denied having any involvement with that.

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In his news conference today, President Obama said he is concerned about copycat Koran-burners even after a Florida pastor has suspended his planned bonfire.

"Part of my concern is that we don't have a whole bunch of folks across the country thinking, this is the way to get attention," he said. "This is a way of endangering our troops, our sons and daughters."

"You don't play games with that," he said.

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