TPM News

Obama Meeting With McChrystal President Obama is meeting with Gen. Stanley McChrystal, following the publication in Rolling Stone of derisive remarks that McChrystal and his top aides had made about the Obama administration. The Associated Press reports: "Two military officials said McChrystal was prepared to submit his resignation. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. Obama was set to make an announcement on McChrystal's future soon after their face-to-face."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will meet with his national security team on Afghanistan and Pakistan at 11:35 a.m. ET. He will have lunch at 1:10 p.m. ET with a group of Senators. At 2:50 p.m. ET, the President and First Lady will attend a President's Council on Physical Fitness and Nutrition Event. Obama and Vice President Biden will meet at 4:30 p.m. ET with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Obama will meet at 5 p.m. ET with senior advisers.

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Gen. Stanley McChrystal isn't the only person who was worried about losing his rank this week. But thanks to an explosive Rolling Stone profile that changed the political conversation in Washington, McChrystal is likely to be the only one who actually does.

TPM put together a list of the people who just might be thankful for the McChrystal mess, even if they only have a brief reprieve from their own nasty headlines.

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Last night, Jon Stewart couldn't believe that Gen. Stanley McChrystal would have talked to a reporter from Rolling Stone the way he did. "Hey wait," Stewart said, imitating McChrystal. "You're with I'll Never Print This Magazine, right?"

He added: "You know, I may be a four-star general and you may be a reporter for some hippie magazine, but I feel like I can trust you."

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After hearing that Kentucky senate candidate Rand Paul created his own National Board of Ophthalmology to certify himself, Stephen Colbert said last night that Paul "has inspired me to exercise my constitutional right to call myself an ophthalmologist."

So Colbert created his own "USA Board of Ophthalmologist Freedom," and with the help of his cat Professor Buttons, performed Lasik eye surgery on a bespectacled, and unsuspecting, intern.

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The Hill reports that staffers for Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) have told the Senate Ethics Committee that their boss knew he was breaking a one-year lobbying ban when he helped a former staffer set himself up as a lobbyist.

In depositions to the committee, Ensign's staffers said several aides openly discussed helping to get lobbying gigs for former staffer Doug Hampton, after Ensign had an affair with Hampton's wife. The aides also discussed that such help apparently violated a one-year ban on Congressional staffers moving to K Street, sources close to the investigation told The Hill.

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North Carolinians made their choice in the 13th Congressional District Republican runoff last night. And most of them went with the guy whose take on the worst environmental disaster in the nation's history makes Oliver Stone's JFK look like a Ken Burns documentary.

Bill Randall, a tea partier who made headlines with his suggestion that BP and the federal government worked together to blow up the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig in April, decisively won last night's runoff, defeating magazine publisher (and relatively more mainstream Republican) Bernie Reeves by a margin of 59% to 41%. Randall will now carry his party's flag to the general election, where he'll face incumbent Rep. Brad Miller (D).

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Gen. Stanley McChrystal, walking into the Pentagon this morning for a meeting with Defense Secretary Robert Gates, denied reports that he's already offered to resign his post as general in charge of the Afghanistan War.

"Come on, you know better than that. No!" he told an NBC News reporter.

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It seems that Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) doesn't have the most discriminating standards when it comes to who he employs on his staff: ABC today tells the dark story of Vitter legislative assistant Brent Furer, who was accused in a 2008 criminal case of assaulting his girlfriend with a knife but nevertheless remains on the job at the senator's office.

Furer, who has worked on Vitter's staff since 2005, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor threat and property destruction charges after the January 2008 incident involving him and his girlfriend, Nicolia Demopoulos.

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NRCC chairman Pete Sessions, whose job it is to increase GOP ranks in the House, says Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) will likely retain his post as the top Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee. Asked last night after a House vote if Barton may face further repercussions for apologizing to BP CEO Tony Hayward, Sessions told reporters that Barton's already paid his penance.

"I don't think that's the direction we're headed in," Sessions said. "...I believe that Joe has adequately addressed the issue."

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