TPM News

Washington Times editorial page editor Richard Miniter is filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the paper today, alleging discrimination based on age, disability, and religion -- being forced to attend a Unification Church mass wedding -- and he will ask the government to enjoin the Times' assets, his lawyer tells TPM.

The development adds to an already daunting mess of problems at the newspaper, whose top executives were fired last week, and whose executive editor resigned.

"The state of affairs at the Washington Times, to put it mildly, is in disarray," Larry Klayman, Miniter's attorney, tells TPM. "What we're seeking to do is to freeze everything right now." Klayman, whose firm is based in Washington and Florida, is the founder of conservative legal group Judicial Watch.

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Former John Edwards adviser Joe Trippi is pushing back against David Plouffe's claim that the Edwards camp tried to strike deals on the vice presidency during the 2008 Democratic primary.

As we reported last night, Plouffe charges in his new book "The Audacity to Win" that a "senior Edwards adviser" suggested Edwards would drop out and that he and Obama could team up as a joint ticket.

Trippi told the Washington Post's Greg Sargent he wasn't aware of the pitch. He also suggested Edwards, who was later mired by scandal due to an affair, was more interested in being attorney general than the No. 2 slot.

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The urgency of last night's meeting between Senate progressives and Majority Leader Harry Reid surrounded the fact that, though the overwhelming majority of Democrats want a public option, and several think they've already compromised enough on that score, the votes still aren't there. So, with key votes just around the corner, how can those moderate hold-outs be swayed, and what happens if they can't be? One possibility is simply leaving the ball in the moderates' court.

"There's potentially a dynamic that works in all of this that as you get closer and closer to the vote, you say--you really do say--we're going to make or we're not going to make history, and it takes on another dimension, psychologically," Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) told reporters. "I mean I've been through that myself. I've gone downstairs thinking maybe I'm not going to vote for that, and then suddenly I see its dimension, think of it in large terms, and then vote for it."

Rockefeller downplayed the possibility that, at the end of the process, there won't be 60 votes to end a filibuster.

"We're not taking that tack, what if we can't--we're talking about how we can," Rockefeller told TPMDC. He said using the budget reconciliation process as a procedural tool to circumvent a filibuster would be ugly, and, for that reason, the focus has to be on making sure Democrats (and perhaps Olympia Snowe) stick together to against a filibuster.

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Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) said on Fox News today that he hopes the investigation into the Fort Hood shootings doesn't turn into an "exercise of PC."

He prefaced that statement by saying that "we shouldn't condemn all Muslims" and that we "need to know all the facts" -- but concluded that he hoped that the investigation wouldn't turn into one of political correctness.

"We can't take a blind eye to what makes this a terrorist attack," he said. "Any rational person would see a connection to jihad."

When the long-running D.C. gay newspaper Washington Blade shut down yesterday without warning, its owner was in talks to sell it to the publisher of a Virginia newspaper.

Nicholas Benton, who publishes the Falls-Church News Press, put out a statement today saying he had won a bid to purchase the paper from its parent company, Window Media. He was in negotiations with the company as well as the Small Business Administration to finalize the deal.

Then Benton heard the news: Window and all of its publications, including the Blade, closed yesterday.

"We thought everything was going swimmingly," Benton told TPM. "I'd like to know what's going on."

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The new CNN poll has mixed news for President Obama and the Democrats on health care, with a plurality against the health care bill that just passed the House -- but their reasons vary, coming from both the right and the left.

The poll found 46% in favor of the bill, with 49% against it, with a ±3% margin of error.

"Roughly one in three Americans opposes the House bill because it is too liberal, but one in 10 oppose the bill because it is not liberal enough," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "That may indicate that a majority opposes the details in the bill, but also that a majority may approve of the overall approach taken by House Democrats and President Obama."

In addition, President Obama's approval rating remains in good territory, with 55% approving to 42% disapproving. The poll also gives the Democrats a continued lead in the generic Congressional ballot, with a 49%-43% lead over Republicans among registered voters.

A new Marist poll of New York City finds that the city's residents are closely divided on the Obama administration's plan to put alleged 9/11 conspirators on trial in New York, with a slight plurality approving of it.

"Do you think it is a good idea or a bad idea to have this trial located in New York City?" the poll asked. The answer is 45% good idea, 41% bad idea, with a ±4% margin of error.

In addition, 40% of respondents thought the trial would make New York more of a terrorism target, with 47% saying it would make no difference, and 7% thinking the city would be less of a target.

One question does receive wider agreement, though: Whether New York City will be able to handle the potential security risks. Here 67% say they are confident, to 22% who are not confident.

The Chamber of Commerce, an ardent foe of health-care reform, is raising money to fund an economic study on the impact of the legislation on the economy. Unsurprisingly, the Chamber anticipates that the study will find that reform will "kill jobs."

James Gelfand, the Chamber's senior health policy manager, wrote an email to allies that suggested spending $50,000 to hire a "respected economist" to put together the report. The email was obtained by the Washington Post.

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