TPM News

As if the Delaware Senate race wasn't crazy enough already, the Wilmington News Journal reports that Rep. Mike Castle, who lost the Republican primary last week in a stunning upset against conservative activist Christine O'Donnell, is not ruling out the possibility of mounting a write-in bid.

Castle, was previously a seeming Senator-in-waiting, with a strong lead in the polls against Democratic nominee Chris Coons -- a lead he still has, while O'Donnell seriously trails Coons. So is a Lisa Murkowski-style write-in bid in his future?

Castle told the paper that he "probably" would not run, but isn't ruling it out "simply because it's there, simply because I've had a number of people who've asked that I do that." If Castle were to run, he has until next Thursday, September 30, to declare his candidacy at the state Election Office. "I will consider it right up until the final moment but I'm not headed in that direction right now."

Jon Stewart appeared on Bill O'Reilly's show last night, and the two sparred over the Tea Party, Fox News and President Obama.

On Obama, O'Reilly argued that the President has "separated himself from the folks," which Stewart found endlessly hilarious. "That sounds like a meaningless thing to say," Stewart said, but added: "I agree with the sentiment that he ran as a visionary and he has led as a functionary."

Stewart also told O'Reilly that "the Tea Party scares you as much as it scares anybody."

"Look what they did to Rove," he said. "Oh that poor boy. The spanking that he received."

Read More →

Robert Spencer, the author of, says he first became aware of the threat of Sharia "after seeing repeated attempts to assert the primacy of Islamic law over American law." One of those early attempts, he told TPMmuckraker, came in late 2006, when Muslim cab drivers in Minnesota made news by refusing to take passengers carrying alcohol. The incidents resulted in the cabbies going to the back of the queue, letting passengers with booze get into another cab. Spencer has been one of a handful of neocons -- along with Frank Gaffney and Daniel Pipes, among others -- who have been sounding the alarm about Sharia law for years. They warn that Sharia, a system of laws defined by the Koran, is taking hold in the United States, and that it will eventually threaten the very Constitution. Their warnings, so long spoken from the fringe, are now at the heart of today's anti-mosque rhetoric. We started digging in the archives to find the origin of this fear. What we found may not be conclusive, but it shows a path that has lead to increasingly mainstream figures, like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, calling for a federal ban on Sharia law.

Read More →

Obama To Tell U.N. Mideast Talks Need World's Support Reuters reports: "President Barack Obama is to make a plea at the United Nations on Thursday for international support for the Middle East peace process, urging world leaders to make sure 'this time is different' from previous failed efforts...In excerpts of his address to the U.N. General Assembly released by the White House, Obama will specifically urge countries that have pledged support for the Palestinians to meet their obligations for both political and financial support and 'must stop trying to tear Israel down.'"

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will address the United Nations General Assembly at 10 a.m. ET. He will host a bilateral meeting at 11 a.m. ET with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. He will attend a luncheon at 1:15 p.m. ET, hosted by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. At 3:50 p.m. ET, the President First Lady will join former President Bill Clinton to address the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative. He will hold a bilateral meeting at 5:10 p.m. ET with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan. At 7:15 p.m. ET, the President and First Lady will host a reception in honor of the heads of delegations attending the United Nations General Assembly.

Read More →

Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina went straight for the jugular today with her first television ad slamming rival Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) as arrogant. Fiorina's camp uses footage from Boxer's famed exchange with Brigadier Gen. Michael Walsh of the Army Corps of Engineers.

During a June 2009 hearing, Boxer asked Gen. Walsh to call her "senator," not "ma'am." The moment has been conservative catnip for more than a year, and Fiorina mentioned it in her first debate with Boxer last month.

Read More →

TPM has obtained a draft version of the GOP "Pledge to America" -- the House Republicans' official platform going into November.

Republicans have been very public about certain aspects of their agenda, which we've reported here. They are contained in the Pledge, along with other proposals.

Despite indications earlier this summer that Republicans might use the Pledge to call for Social Security privatization, the language used in the document is much softer. It says, instead, "We will make the decisions that are necessary to protect our entitlement programs for today's seniors and future generations. That means requiring a full accounting of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, setting benchmarks for these programs and reviewing them regularly, and preventing the expansion of unfunded liabilities."

You can access the entire document below, but here are some other highlights:

Read More →

Some Democrats want to let the high-income Bush tax cuts expire, some don't, and yet a third category thinks touching tax rates right before an election is positively nuts.

Put Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in the latter category.

"In my opinion, I don't know who takes a tax vote, in their right mind, just before an election," she told reporters yesterday.

If Chuck Schumer's reaction earlier today is any indication, she's not alone.

Things are looking up for House Democrats who want to see a vote on the Bush era tax cuts before they adjourn to campaign in the final weeks of the election.

A top House Democratic leadership aide told TPM that an early caucus meeting on Thursday is being viewed as one of the last chances for Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other advocates of holding a vote before the elections to make their case. We've covered the wrangling all week, and the Democratic aide said yesterday it had seemed like people who don't want a vote were winning. The leadership aide told TPM the conversations today are trending toward holding a vote before they adjourn next week.

Read More →

Rand Paul, Republican nominee for Senate in Kentucky and all-around tea party uber-star, has a penchant for predicting the demise of the United States government and its replacement. And often, he's used the failure of the Weimar Republic and the rise of Adolf Hitler's fascist regime as an example to illustrate his point. It's not that Paul thinks any particular politician alive today is Hitler -- or even Hitler-like -- but Paul's reasonably sure that unless something changes soon, America's financial desperation will put some sort of new Hitler-like regime just around the bend.

Earlier today, Paul's Hitler-is-coming meme grabbed headlines when it made an appearance in GQ's fat new profile of Paul and his campaign in Kentucky (you might remember the GQ piece for the pre-release excerpt which led to the truly amazing Aqua Buddha mini-scandal.)

I emailed the Paul campaign to ask about Paul's theory that an American Hitler was on the way -- I have yet to hear back. It was the same story the last time we highlighted Paul's Hitler warnings, in May. Back then, we only had one.

That's no longer the case. Trusty TPM intern Jon Terbush and I spent the afternoon combing through old Paul public appearances to find other references to Hitler and his potential re-emergence on the American political scene. We found quite a few.

Read More →