TPM News

Rep. Maxine Waters (R-CA) introduced legislation on the floor of the House last night that would require the Speaker to "appoint a bipartisan task force to investigate the circumstances and cause of the decision to place professional staff of the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct on indefinite administrative leave."

Waters, who is under investigation for alleged ethics violations, wants to know why the ethics committee suspended two lawyers -- Morgan Kim and Stacy Sovereign -- who were working on her case.

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Christine O'Donnell, the religious right activist and recent losing Republican Senate nominee in Delaware, offered her two cents Tuesday on the deal that President Obama worked out with the Republican leadership on extending both tax cuts and unemployment benefits -- likening it to the death of Elizabeth Edwards, and the anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

The Hill reports:

Today marks a lot of tragedy," O'Donnell, the Tea Party-backed GOP Senate candidate from Delaware, said Tuesday night during an appearance in Virginia.

"Tragedy comes in threes," O'Donnell said. "Pearl Harbor, Elizabeth Edwards's passing and Barack Obama's announcement of extending the tax cuts, which is good, but also extending the unemployment benefits."

O'Donnell continued: "The reason I say this is a tragedy is because his announcement of economic recovery was more of a potpourri of sound bytes. It's like he took a little bit of what each party wanted and put it together. It's not a solid plan constructed on sound economic principles."

by Marian Wang, ProPublica

The Environmental Protection Agency issued an emergency order yesterday accusing a natural gas driller of contaminating water supplies in North Texas and giving the company 48 hours to provide potable water to those affected.In a letter sent to the drilling company, Range Resources, [PDF], the agency said it had determined an "imminent and substantial endangerment" to a public aquifer through methane contamination related to the company's oil and gas operations in the area. Two private wells had already been contaminated, according to the EPA:

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Christine O'Donnell, the religious right activist and recent Republican Senate nominee in Delaware, is now moving to the next phase in her political career -- forming a PAC to finance her issue activism.

The Hill reports:

Tentatively named Christine PAC, O'Donnell said she expects the paperwork for the committee to be filed as early as the end of this week.

"It's in the works right now," said O'Donnell. "The sooner, the better so we can be more vocal. The purpose of my PAC is not getting behind individual candidates but more so issues. I talked about repealing the death tax but also Obamacare."

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Former House candidate Tan Nguyen (R) was convicted yesterday of lying to investigators during a voter suppression probe surrounding an intimidating letter sent to Spanish-speaking voters.

Nguyen, a Republican who challenged Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) in 2006, was convicted of obstruction of justice.

According to prosecutors, Nguyen lied to investigators about his involvement with a mailing, written in Spanish and sent to 14,000 households, that warned that "emigrados" could go to jail for voting. The mailing was written on letterhead similar to that of an anti-immigration group in California.

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Here's one way to look at President Obama's press conference yesterday on his tax cut deal.

Fox News reporter James Rosen, one of the network's ostensible straight news reporters, said last night on The O'Reilly Factor that Americans should be concerned about national security after Obama, Rosen said, showed he's open to negotiating with hostage-takers.

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Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) blasted President Obama's tax cut compromise yesterday. She decried the "moral corruptness" of the idea of giving wealthy Americans a tax cut extension on the backs of poor and middle class workers.

To many, it came out of nowhere. After all, she voted for these tax cuts back in 2001, and, by her own admission, isn't really known for taking on progressive causes against the center and the right. But check out this portion of her criticisms of the plan, which went unreported.

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The 2010 House cycle is now officially over, with Republican nominee Randy Altschuler conceding to incumbent Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY) in the final disputed House seat of the cycle.

In the most recent totals, Bishop leads by 263 votes, with under 1,000 absentee ballots remaining to be counted. Bishop led by a very narrow margin in the Election Night count. However, during the recanvassing process -- when the counties essentially proofread their spreadsheets compared to the numbers from the voting machines -- Altschuler briefly pulled ahead.

However, absentee ballots remained to be counted, and Bishop took the lead as that process went forward. The Altschuler campaign attempted for a time to challenge absentee ballots on the grounds of residency or handwriting on the envelopes. But in the end, Altschuler called Bishop this morning to concede.

This finalizes the Republican gains of the cycle at 63 House seats, for a total House makeup of 242 Republicans to 193 Democrats.

On Tuesday, President Obama defended his tax cuts compromise, suggesting the deal will result in effective policy, rather than merely "sanctimonious" pride in the purity of one's belief. The American people, however, don't appear to see eye to eye with the President on this, according to a newly released Bloomberg poll.

When respondents were asked if they generally favor or oppose eliminating tax cuts that the wealthiest Americans have received in recent years, 59% say they are in favor while 38% say they oppose.

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