TPM News

J. Christian Adams, the former DOJ lawyer at the heart of the New Black Panthers case, has sent letter to 16 states warning them that they are breaking voter law by not removing dead and ineligible voters from their rolls.

"I'm just interested in compliance with Section 8," Adams told TPMmuckraker yesterday, referring to the provision in the National Voter Registration Act -- known as the "motor voter law" -- which requires states to make a reasonable effort to remove ineligible voters from its registration lists.

"Voter fraud is not my concern," Adams said. "My concern is compliance."

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Florida's school children are getting a lesson in how the political winds affect the political backbone today. Last year, Jim Greer, then the chair of the Florida Republican Party, was happy to, as he says now, "placate the extremists who dominate" the GOP and publicly accuse President Obama of orchestrating a socialist plot by addressing the nation's public schools via video.

Today, he's apologizing for ever saying any such thing, and calling members of his former party racist.

It seems that after a year which saw Greer get booted from the GOP and disgraced by scandal, he's had a change of heart with it comes to the president using his office to encourage and inspire the nation's pupils. In a statement sent to Florida reporters today, Greer completely apologizes to Obama for slamming his 2009 speech. Greer says the vitriol he threw Obama's way -- and the national kerfuffle it caused -- was part of his efforts to appease the party's extremes. (What's more, Greer suggests that it's now the GOP that's promoting ugliness, saying that "many" Republicans "have racist views.")

Unlike last year, Greer says his kids are excited about hearing Obama's speech to schoolchildren today.

"My children and I look forward to the President's speech," Greer says.

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News reports yesterday generated speculation that the Obama administration will offer Elizabeth Warren a so-called "interim appointment" to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The authority for the Treasury Department to grant an interim appointment -- distinct from a "recess appointment" -- comes from the financial reform law itself.

In dismissing the rumor last night, though, Senate Banking Committee Chair Chris Dodd -- who authored the law -- claimed he'd never heard of the interim appointment power.

"I don't know what it is. I never heard of it before," said a flabbergasted Dodd to TPMDC. "It's kind of unique isn't it?"

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Jerry Brown is now apologizing for taking a shot at Bill Clinton in the course of the California gubernatorial race, after his Republican opponent launched an ad using 18-year-old footage of Clinton attacking Brown when they ran against each other for president.

The Whitman ad showed Clinton accusing Brown of raising taxes when he was previously governor of California in the 1970s and early 1980s. Brown responded in an interesting way, with some amateur video to match.

"I mean Clinton's a nice guy, but who ever said he always told the truth?" Brown joked to a crowd of supporters, which prompted them to cheer a joke at the expense of their party's former president. "You remember, right? There's that whole story there about, did he or didn't he. Okay, I did -- I did not have taxes with this state! So let's be clear about that. Thank you very much."

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On The Daily Show last night, correspondents Wyatt Cenac and Aasif Mandvi reprised their roles as "Team Jesus" and "Team Mohammad," respectively, to embrace the impending religious war between Christianity and Islam. Mandvi praised the Christians for their "restraint," saying: "Muslims did threaten to build a mosque in lower Manhattan. And that's only five Terry Jones mustache-lengths away from his congregation in Florida!"

Cenac showed equal deference: "Pastor Jones isn't going to burn the Koran. But one of us will. And soon!"

Jon Stewart himself was a little bit taken aback. "You should both maybe tone it down," he said. "I feel like this is inciting religious conflicts...Are you trying to incite religious conflict?!" When Cenac and Mandvi said yes, Stewart asked: "So the bottom line is, both groups are hoping for an apocalyptic event?"

Cenac replied: "Have you ever read our religious books?"

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Jon Stewart was incredulous that Florida pastor Terry Jones decided not to burn copies of the Koran because God supposedly told him not to. "Oh really," Stewart said last night. "God's telling you to stop? When God told you to do it originally, he hadn't anticipated the backlash?

"I think you might be confusing 'God' with 'everybody else in the world,'" he said.

Stewart continued: "Let me ask you this. When God told you not to burn the Koran, did it sound something like this: 'Don't be a fucking idiot, dude!' Cause that's not God. That's everybody."

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Lost in the tax cut dust House Minority Leader John Boehner kicked up Sunday is the fact that a number of Democrats have recently been open to the idea of a grand bargain on the Bush tax cuts: A brief extension of the cuts for top earners paired with a permanent extension of the tax cuts for the middle class. One of those Democrats is DCCC chairman Chris Van Hollen.

"If [Republicans] were to come back and say, 'hey, let's just do one year for the top 2 percent, and permanent for the middle class,' that would be something that obviously people would have to think about," Van Hollen said in an interview with Bloomberg this past weekend.

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Today, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights will be holding its national conference at the National Press Club in D.C. As we told you yesterday, the conservative-dominated Commission is under fire from civil rights organizations for ignoring important issues, and many organizations wouldn't be attending the conference at all.

Late yesterday, Commissioner Michael Yaki, who was appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), issued a statement slamming the conservatives on the commission for keeping him and two other commissioners out of the planning of the conference, which he called "woefully short on civil rights."

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