TPM News

Last night, the White House leaked the news that economic adviser Austan Goolsbee will succeed Christina Romer as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers. In an administration whose economic policy is so dominated by Larry Summers, Goolsbee's most important role will likely be to present -- and perhaps spin -- those policies to the public. Goolsbee has a wry sense of humor in public and a taste for the jugular, which sets him apart from Romer, who had a light touch and delivered even the worst news with a chirpy smile.

Goolsbee previously served as Staff Director and Chief Economist of the President's Recovery Advisory Board. He's advocated for letting the Bush tax cuts for the rich expire, and, as a close ally of Paul Volcker, for tougher regulations on financial institutions.

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Pastor Terry Jones, appearing on today's morning shows, says he will not be burning Korans on Saturday even though the imam of a planned Islamic center near Ground Zero did not agree to move his project further from the site.

"Right now, we have plans not to do it," Jones said on Good Morning America.

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It's not clear whether Florida pastor Rev. Terry Jones will go forth with his plan to burn Korans tomorrow.

But the Rev. Bob Old of the Disciples of Christ ministry -- who was inspired by Jones and planned to burn the Koran on Saturday at his home and post the video on YouTube -- said he's pushing forward. He also says that Jones backing down shows he wasn't committed to the cause.

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A new poll out this morning suggests a second female Democratic Senator is not in the cards for North Carolina. The Rasmussen survey of 500 likely voters shows incumbent Sen. Richard Burr (R) trouncing his Democratic opponent, Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, 54-38.

Past polling from the race has shown Burr ahead, but not by this much. Rasmussen's last poll, taken a month ago, showed Burr leading 49-40. A PPP (D) poll from July 31 showed Burr ahead by just 2 in a three-way race that included Libertarian nominee Mike Beitler. (It should be noted here that Democrats generally view Rasmussen as GOP-leaning, though the pollster insists it is non-partisan.)

Marshall handily won the Democratic nomination over the national Democratic party choice, Cal Cunningham, in the June 22 runoff. National party figures hinted they would stay out of the race if Cunningham wasn't the nominee, and so far that seems to be the case. Marshall -- a long-running figure in state politics -- has found herself out-gunned versus the first-term Burr in the early part of the general election fight. The Republican just went on the air with his first TV ad, a clever spot that literally steals the two actors Sen. Kay Hagan (D) used to upset Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R) in 2008.

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Obama To Take GOP To Task On Economy, Tax Cuts The Associated Press reports on President Obama's upcoming press conference today: "Striving to gain the upper hand on a crucial political issue, President Barack Obama is faulting Republicans for refusing to help him turn around the sluggish economy or support some proposed new tax breaks for businesses that the GOP has backed in the past. Obama has argued that case many times recently. But on Friday he takes it to an audience of millions, including many who will vote in November's decisive congressional elections, during a nationally televised news conference from the White House East Room."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will receive the presidential daily briefing at 9:30 a.m. ET. He will hold a news conference at 11 a.m. ET. He will then meet with senior advisers at 12:30 p.m. ET.

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Things are not going well for Dan Maes in Colorado. After a series of highly-publicized miscues over the last few months -- and a third-party bid from ex-Rep. Tom Tancredo -- Maes' supporters are now leaving him in droves. The result? In a cycle where the GOP ought to be making strong gains all over the map, the party seems to be waving the white flag in the Colorado gubernatorial race -- where they should have had a great shot of winning.

Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter is retiring after one term, which saw him accrue negative ratings. The Dems are now running Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper -- and the Republicans no longer seem to be sure who they're running, even after the primary.

The trouble started with the two candidates in the GOP primary. Former Rep. Scott McInnis was caught in a plagiarism scandal, and Maes, the tea party-backed candidate who touted his business acumen on the trail, turned out to not exactly be a successful businessman. He was delinquent in filing required state paperwork, was late in making payments to his homeowners association, and had a lien placed on his house. Maes also made some interesting policy pronouncements, such as alleging that Hickenlooper's support for bike paths as mayor was part of a United Nations plot to destroy America's sovereignty. On the policy end, Maes proposed that he would lay off 2,000 state employees "just like that."

Then Tancredo threatened to get in as a third-party candidate if McInnis and Maes didn't drop out -- clearly as a potential threat to be a spoiler candidate -- and Tancredo later made good on his threat -- essentially splitting the conservative vote and all but handing the race to the Dem Hickenlooper.

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Rep. Charlie Rangel may have a few (read: 13) ethics charges against him, but he's also got another problem back home: his bitter Democratic primary contest in Harlem. Rangel is facing Adam Clayton Powell IV, the son of a celebrated Harlem hero who, ironically, lost the NY-15 seat to Rangel 40 years ago amidst his own ethics troubles.

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A judge has ruled Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the military's policy banning openly gay servicemembers, unconstitutional.

The ruling comes after the Log Cabin Republicans filed a lawsuit challenging the policy.

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According to the AP, pastor Terry Jones says his Koran burning is suspended, but not canceled, after finding out a New York City imam did not agree to move his Islamic center further from Ground Zero.

Jones told reporters that a different imam from Orlando, who was trying to convince Jones not to burn a stack of Korans on Sept. 11, "clearly, clearly lied to us."

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Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor of Wisconsin, has a new TV ad highlighting an important story from last year: When Barrett was violently assaulted in August 2009, after intervening in an altercation at the state fair.

Barrett stepped in to defend a woman who was trying to protect her 1-year-old granddaughter from the girl's drunk father. The man then attacked Barrett, beating him in the head and hand with a tire iron. (Barrett did not personally know the individuals involved, his campaign confirmed to us.) Barrett was hospitalized and has undergone multiple operations on his hand, which doctors say might never fully recover. The assailant was later sentenced to 12 years in prison.

The ad shows Barrett's wife Kris talking about how she was out of town when the incident happened, and got a phone call telling her about it. The ad then cuts to news clips about the incident -- and also shows a photo of the severely injured face of Barrett in the hospital at the time. "I know, and our kids know, that their dad will always stand up for them," says Kris Barrett. "And he will always stand up for Wisconsin."

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