TPM News

If at first you don't succeed at killing Osama bin Laden (armed with a pistol, sword, Christian literature and night-vision goggles), try, try again.

Gary Brooks Faulkner, who was captured in Pakistan in June while on a solo mission to whack bin Laden, says he's not giving up. He plans to go back to Pakistan, to finish what he started.

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New York's Public Integrity Commission is calling on Gov. David Paterson to pay the maximum $96,375 fine for soliciting free tickets from the Yankees to Game 1 of last year's World Series.

The five tickets, which were not available to the general public, cost $425 each. Paterson paid for them once the flap became public, reports the New York Daily News.

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A Rasmussen poll released this morning shows former Rep. John Kasich leading Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland by double-digits in Ohio's gubernatorial race.

The new survey shows a 10-point lead for Kasich, 52%-42%, which is the largest lead the Republican has had over the last few months of polling. The survey includes leaners' preferential candidate, which was determined through a follow-up question posed to those who did not initially indicate support for either nominee. Kasich leads by 8 points, 48%-40%, on respondents' initial preference. An August 2 Rasmussen poll found a much narrower gap between the two candidates, with Kasich only up 3 points, 45%-42%.

The TPM Poll Average has Kasich ahead in the contest, 46.6%-42.2%. The margin of error of the latest Rasmussen poll is ±4 percentage points.

For more on the race, check out TPMDC's full coverage here.

After winning nearly 80 percent of the Muslim vote in 2000, George Bush bled much of it away in the post 9/11 era. The war in Iraq, the PATRIOT Act, detainment and other policies drove at least half of that support to John Kerry and third party candidates in 2004. But all the while, several influential Muslim Republicans, both inside the administration and out, were working hard to staunch the bleeding and build a donor base among wealthy members of the Muslim community.

Today, several of them say that their efforts are being undermined, if not completely destroyed, by Republicans stoking anti-Muslim sentiment by opposing the construction of the Cordoba House -- now known infamously and inaccurately as the "Ground Zero Mosque".

"We've been working hard, some Muslim Americans, some non-Muslims, to keep the Muslim American community and other minorities on the party side, to keep relationships going," says David Ramadan, a Vice Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. "All of that is threatened to be thrown down the drain."

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Jon Stewart had Freedomworks chairman Dick Armey on his show last night, who argued that the government is becoming a tyranny that is "taking power" onto itself. When Stewart asked why Americans don't just vote our current leaders out of office, Armey said: "This whole thing is about, 'Let's take them out of office.' They're a bunch of juvenile delinquents acting irresponsibly. Let's remove them."

Stewart replied: "Let's say America had voted, 'You know what, I don't like King George's tax policy on tea. I'm going to vote him out.' And then they vote him out."

"They couldn't," Armey responded.

"Right," said Stewart. "Do you see the difference now between tyranny and elections?"

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Jon Stewart said last night that he is unconcerned about Rep. Louie Gohmert's (R-TX) conspiracy theory about "terror babies." Stewart said: "This is America, Louie. They got terror babies? Well guess what we got, motherfucker? Hero babies!"

"Are we sure that this guy's not from South Carolina?" Stewart asked.

He then showed a clip of Gohmert comparing President Obama to Hitler, which Stewart summed up:

So tea party supporter Louie Gohmert is saying that a political leader who goes after those not normally involved in politics because they are easily manipulated 'useful idiots,' a leader like that would be a modern day Hitler. Cue tea party leaders discussing why they admire tea partiers...

After a series of clips showing leaders such as Sarah Palin describing tea partiers as "people who have never been involved in politics before" and "extremely naive," Stewart sang a little song: "I made Louie Hitler! I made Louie Hitler! Using Louie's reasoning!"

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Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum has a new ally in the nasty Republican gubernatorial primary -- Republican Governors Association chair Haley Barbour. According to Politico, Barbour asked McCollum's opponent, former hospital executive Rick Scott, to pull down an ad linking McCollum to disgraced former Florida GOP chair Jim Greer.

Barbour says the video, which claims McCollum helped cover up Greer's alleged financial misdeeds at the state GOP, is false. Scott's campaign tells Politico it's not interested in Barbour's advice on how to run against McCollum.

"It should be no surprise that Bill McCollum once again turns to his D.C. establishment friends to bail out his campaign. With all due respect to Chairman Barbour, Bill McCollum's statements and actions in the Jim Greer scandal speak for themselves and have been widely documented by the media," Scott spokesperson Jen Baker told Politico's David Catanese.

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Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd has for weeks called into doubt whether Elizabeth Warren can be confirmed to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But for the first time this week, Dodd has called into question whether she's qualified for the job, reversing his earlier position.

"It isn't just a question of being a consumer advocate. I want to see that she can manage something, too," Dodd told the Hartford Courant.

That's a far cry from what he told TPM and other reporters just weeks ago, when his only stated concern, based on his conversations with colleagues, was that Democrats may have a hard time rounding up 60 votes to confirm her.

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Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio did not meet a Tuesday deadline to turn over documents to the Justice Department in their investigation into allegations that his immigration enforcement policies in Arizona are discriminatory.

Earlier this month, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Thomas E. Perez sent a letter to Arpaio's attorneys telling them that Arpaio had until Tuesday to voluntarily turn over documents. Perez wrote that if Arpaio did not cooperate, DOJ would file a civil action under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to compel access to the requested documents, facilities and personnel.

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