David Kurtz

David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.

Articles by David

The Senate is playing who can be nicest to military figures today. Sen. Barbara Boxer's resolution condemning political attacks on all current and former military figures (Grant? MacArthur?) got 51 mostly Democratic votes, less than the 60 needed to overcome the GOP's procedural roadblock. That was just a sideshow to the real sideshow, a vote on the GOP resolution condemning the MoveOn Petraeus ad, which is coming shortly.

Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu to be indicted in Southern District of New York today, according to reports, on fraud and campaign finance charges.

I'll be interested in looking at the indictment to see if it can be determined when the feds' investigation started. The Wall Street Journal article that first reported on Hsu's suspicious campaign finance activity ran at the end of August. That is what appears to have sparked the investigation. If so, I don't recall the last time I saw a white collar criminal case go from launch of investigation to indictments in less than a month. Perhaps some of our federal criminal lawyer-readers can enlighten us.

Late Update: The AP is now reporting that prosecutors will unseal a criminal complaint, not an indictment.

After blocking measures on habeas corpus and Iraq yesterday, Senate Republicans will seek to condemn MoveOn's Petraeus ad today. Sen. Barbara Boxer has proposed an alternative resolution that includes condemnations on other political attack ads, too, including on John Kerry in 2004 and Max Cleland in 2002.

Late Update: No word on whether there is a statue of limitations on congressional condemnation of attack ads.

Later Update: Reid and Levin to vote against GOP resolution and support Boxer alternative.

Senate Republicans killed three major measures via filibuster threats today: habeas corpus for enemy combatants, a House member for DC, and the Webb Amendment on troop rotations. It is part of an unprecedented use of the filibuster by Senate Republicans in the 110th Congress. I don't use "unprecedented" lightly. McClatchy ran the numbers, as we noted back in July (thanks to Kevin Drum for the reminder). At that time, Republicans were on pace this term to nearly triple the previous record high for the use the filibuster in the modern era. It's worth taking a look.

Following the vote on the Webb Amendment, Sen. John McCain took to the floor and praised the high level of debate in the Senate over the measure. Perhaps he missed the speech by RNC Chairman and Florida Sen. Mel Martinez: "I think we would demean their service if we were to say to them that there had to be a parity between the time in service out of the country and the time at home."