TPM News

Former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq John Negroponte now says if he'd had his way, the invasion of Iraq wouldn't have proceeded quite like it did. In fact, he would have waited until weapons inspectors finished their job and the U.N. had passed a resolution backing the war before sending U.S. troops to Iraq.

In an interview with Mainichi Shimbun, one of the largest newspaper's in Japan, Negroponte took issue with part of the Bush administration's conduct.

According to a translator, Negroponte essentially acknowledged that the Bush administration "didn't give proper justification" for the war and "was too optimistic about what would happen after the fall of Saddam."

Reached by email, Negroponte took issue with Mainichi Shinbun's characterization, but effectively confirms much of it.

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The new Rasmussen poll of the California gubernatorial race shows Republican Meg Whitman taking a big lead over Democrat Jerry Brown.

The numbers, with leaners included: Whitman 51%, Brown 43%. The survey of likely voters has a ±4% margin of error. In the previous Rasmussen poll from three weeks ago, Brown had a narrow lead of 43%-41%.

The TPM Poll Average shows Brown holding on to a very narrow edge of just 44.4%-44.2%.

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Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) said yesterday that he's not going to vote for beleaguered Democratic Senate nominee Alvin Greene. "No, I'm not going to vote for Mr. Greene," he said.

Clyburn cited Greene's recent indictment on obscenity charges as his reason, telling reporters : "Look, I have three daughters, and a granddaughter. I think it would be an insult to them, if I did that."

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Proponents of the Cordoba House project planned for Lower Manhattan have said that one of the project's goals is to build a mutual understanding between American Islam and the non-Muslim American majority. A new national poll shows there's a long way to go before that vision is a reality.

The survey of 1,082 adults conducted this week by CBS found just 24% of respondents had a "favorable" view of Islam. Nearly 40% said they had an "unfavorable" view of the second-largest religion on the planet, while 37% said they don't have an opinion on the faith.

Not surprisingly, those numbers translated into very little support for the Cordoba House project. Just 22% of all respondents said it was "appropriate" for the Muslim cultural center to be built near Ground Zero, while 71% said it was "inappropriate."

Among the plurality who hold an unfavorable opinion of Islam, support for the project was almost nonexistent. Nine percent said it was appropriate for Cordoba House to be built, while 88% said it was inappropriate. Those holding a favorable view of Islam split on Cordoba -- 50% said building it was appropriate, while 42% said it was inappropriate.

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Danny Tarkanian, the businessman and former UNLV basketball player who lost the Republican Senate primary in Nevada to Sharron Angle, is getting back in the game to campaign against Senate Majority Leader Reid.

Tarkanian came in third place in the June 8 primary with 23% of the vote, behind Angle at 40% and Sue Lowden with 26%. Now he has set up a new committee, called "1001 Reasons to Vote Against Harry Reid," and a web site called HarryReidVotes.com. He said in a statement: "The voters of Nevada are hard working, smart people. I believe that once they are presented with the facts, they will say 'No' to Sen. Reid's cynical spin and elect someone new to represent our great state in the U.S. Senate."

Interestingly, this comes after Tarkanian's mother, Lois Tarkanian, revealed after the primary that she is a Democrat and is now campaigning for Reid against Angle.

The TPM Poll Average currently puts Reid ahead of Angle by 46.4%-43.8%.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has a new TV ad attacking his Republican opponent Sharron Angle -- and rolling a whole bunch of her crazy statements into one theme.

"What do you call a candidate who says the way things are going, the time may be coming for Second Amendment remedies -- an armed response to our government?" the announcer says. "Who says a teenage rape victim should be forced to have the baby? Who proposed a Scientology massage program for prisoners? And who says that Medicare and Social Security violate the Ten Commandments? What do you call that candidate? Extreme. Sharron Angle -- just too extreme."

The TPM Poll Average currently puts Reid ahead by 46.4%-43.8%.

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Jon Stewart reported on the Arizona Republican primary last night, and described how Sen. John McCain managed to "hold off a challenge from flesh covered right-wing ventriloquist dummy J.D. Hayworth. Seen here en route to his all-puppet production of 'Guys and Dolls.'"

Stewart added: "McCain trounced Hayworth by standing strong on principle. Mainly the principle that he would like to die in his Senate seat."

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