TPM News

Politico reports this morning that Vito Fossella, the New York Republican who dropped out of his re-election campaign in 2008 after a DUI arrest led to the revelation that he had fathered a child during an extramarital affair, is considering running for his old House seat.

Sources close to Fossella said he's thinking about challenging Rep. Mike McMahon (D-NY) for his seat from a district in Staten Island. The Staten Island Republicans reportedly delayed a candidate screening meeting this week in order to allow Fossella more time.

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President Obama is open to changing the decades-old Miranda rule that bars prosecutors from using information from interrogations of suspects before they are informed of their right to remain silent, top White House political adviser David Axelrod told CNN Monday night.

"I think the president is open to looking at that issue," Axelrod told Wolf Blitzer. "The question is whether the public safety exception that allows a delay in administering those rights is -- how elastic is that and do we need to make any sort of adjustment to it."

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Jon Stewart wondered last night why the media always blames "a perfect storm" of events for every crisis the U.S. faces.

"Why is it that whenever something happens," he asked, "that the people who should have seen it coming, didn't see coming, it's blamed on one of these rare, once in a century perfect storms that for some reason take place every f*cking two weeks?"

"I'm beginning to think these are regular storms," he added, "and we have a sh*tty boat."

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As unpopular government initiatives go, the financial bailout would seem to rank somewhere up there between Prohibition and the Stamp Act.

In the political sphere -- and not just in far-right circles -- it's something close to a consensus view that the bailout was a corrupt giveaway of taxpayers dollars to Wall Street that will leave us deep in the red for decades. As Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) put it after TARP passed: "Only two things are certain: the bill will provide hundreds of billions of dollars to investors who made bad decisions and Wall Street executives; and our children and grandchildren will now face a national debt that is hundreds of billions of dollars higher." Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT) was just ousted by state Republicans, who cited his vote for the TARP and derisively nicknamed him "Bailout Bob." And Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has taken to claiming, implausibly, that he only supported the bailout because he was misled about the fact that it was targeted at the financial sector (seriously).

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After taking a look last night at some of the failed methods used to contain the oil spill in the Gulf Coast, Stephen Colbert realized: 'So no one knows what the f*ck they're doing."

He decided he wanted in on that action, and using his "oil containment solution randomizer," offered authorities some alternative ways to clean up the spill.

Some of his suggestions? "Breaded Juggalos delivered by trained dolphins," or "ultraconcentrated packing peanuts delivered by monkey submarines."

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Biden: Kagan Will Be Confirmed 'With Strong Bipartisan Support' Appearing on CBS's The Early Show, Vice President Biden said he was "confident" that Elena Kagan will be confirmed to the Supreme Court. "I think they'll be a lot of noise, but this is a mainstream, incredibly qualified woman," Biden said, who adding that Kagan will "pass with strong bipartisan support."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will receive the presidential daily briefing at 9:30 a.m. ET, and the economic daily briefing at 10 a.m. ET, and will meet with senior advisers at 11:20 a.m. ET. He will have lunch with Vice President Biden at 12:30 a.m. ET. Obama and Biden will meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at 1:25 p.m. ET, and with Clinton and Ambassador to Iraq Karl Eikenberry at 1:45 p.m. ET. Obama will meet at 2:15 p.m. ET with Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT). Obama and Biden will meet at 4:30 p.m. ET with Gen. Stanley McChrystal and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

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With top Obama Administration officials now saying that alleged Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad was trained in Pakistan, the natural next question is: what kind of terrorist training results in what was by all accounts an extremely crude bomb that not only failed to go off, but also included 250 pounds of nonexplosive fertilizer?

TPMmuckraker put the question to explosives expert James Cavanaugh, who recently retired after more than three decades with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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At 9:30 tomorrow morning the NRSC is calling on Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) to help the group raise a little money from some high-dollar donors. Ensign -- whose $50.00 in first quarter fundraising for his own campaign might call into question his ability to bring in the bucks for anyone these days -- will be the "draw" at this month's regular NRSC coffee for high-dollar donors.

According to an invitation to the event obtained by TPMDC, Ensign will be the guest of honor when Policy Board Members (those who gave at least $15,000 to the NRSC in the last year) gather at NRSC headquarters for coffee. But you don't need to have 15 grand lying around to grab breakfast with Ensign in D.C. tomorrow morning. The cost for other guests is $250.00 for individuals, and $500.00 for PACs. But don't clear your calendar -- the NRSC says Ensign's coffee is already sold out.

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On the heels of new public polling showing Gov. Charlie Crist (I) leading the Florida Senate race -- mostly thanks to Democrats and Independents, who seem to be choosing Crist over Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) -- comes confirmation that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid reached out to Crist by phone recently.

The Wall Street Journal first reported news of the call this morning. The paper said that news that Reid is communicating with Crist, who will be looking for a party to caucus with if he gets to the Senate, is evidence that Reid might be hedging his bets in the contest.

Nonsense, Reid's office told TPMDC.

"Sometimes a phone call is just a phone call," Reid spokesperson Jim Manley said.

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