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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

From a statement this morning by Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO), on his election as House minority whip:

“For twelve years, the Democrats have gotten away without leading, without offering an agenda, and without saying what they’re actually for. Now they will be forced to govern.

“Under this Republican leadership, the job of the Minority Whip will no longer be to go to the House floor every day and lose. Instead, each time we hold our team together and force the Democrats to vote like Democrats, we’ll be taking one more step toward recapturing our majority in 2008.

“One-hundred-forty-nine Democrats demonstrated yesterday that they are willing to buck Nancy Pelosi. We’ll work each day to give those Democrats a viable alternative to her liberal, San Francisco agenda."


Bring it on.

Uh-oh. There's more news out this morning on the alleged domestic violence incident involving Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY)--something about New York State Police creating a scrubbed version of the police report. TPMMuckraker has the details.

The House GOP is content to dance with the girls it brought.

House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) has defeated Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) 168-27 for the post of minority leader, and Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) has won 137-57 over Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ) for the post of minority whip, according to Roll Call.

Outgoing Speaker Dennis Hastert declined to seek a leadership post after his party lost its majority.

Take a walking tour down the 100 block of D Street SE in the District, with McClatchy's Matt Stearns, where you can see the rise and fall of the GOP first hand. Nice work.

New low for CNN:

On the November 14 edition of his CNN Headline News program, Glenn Beck interviewed Rep.-elect Keith Ellison (D-MN), who became the first Muslim ever elected to Congress on November 7, and asked Ellison if he could "have five minutes here where we're just politically incorrect and I play the cards up on the table." After Ellison agreed, Beck said: "I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, 'Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.' " Beck added: "I'm not accusing you of being an enemy, but that's the way I feel, and I think a lot of Americans will feel that way."


Media Matters has the transcript.

Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi has another problem on her hands. In addition to the Blue Dog Democrats pressing her to name one of its own, Ranking Member Jane Harman (D-CA), as the new chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, a development we first reported today, the Congressional Black Caucus has voted to support one of its own, Alcee Hastings (D-FL) for the post. A letter to Pelosi from the CBC is forthcoming, according to The Hill:

The dueling letters will likely raise the stakes for the Speaker-to-be. Coming on the heels of a divisive race for majority leader, her decision has the potential to alienate one of two powerful groups: the 44-member Blue Dog Coalition or the 43-member Black Caucus.


Harman has apparently alienated Pelosi with her aggressive lobbying for the post. Before being elected to Congress, Hastings was a federal judge, until he was impeached.

New York State Police have demoted a 28-year veteran detective following the pre-election leak of a police report involving one of our favorites, Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY):

The move comes following the explosive surfacing of a State Police report just a few days before this year's elections. The report contained information about State Police responding last December to the congressman's Clifton Park home. It stated that a 911 call from Sweeney's wife, Gayle, resulted in an observation at the home of scratches on Sweeney's face. The report said Gayle Sweeney had complained about being physically attacked by her husband.


According to the Albany Times Union, neither police officials nor the detective, Capt. Frank Pace, would comment on the circumstances of the demotion. But Sweeney's attorney told the paper there was "no question" Pace leaked the report. Pace had been the investigating officer of an earlier unrelated incident involving Sweeney's son, who was charged with assault.

Sweeney was defeated last week for re-election.

Tom Delay's successor claims his staff destroyed files in the congressional office, the AP reports:

Just three days after being sworn in, U.S. Rep. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs wants Congress to investigate the destruction of files in her office by former staff members of her predecessor, Tom DeLay.

. . .

Sekula-Gibbs said in a statement Thursday that seven employees in her Washington office and the district office in Stafford, Texas, outside Houston, "deleted records and files without my knowledge or permission" before quitting.

. . .

Sekula-Gibbs, who is serving out the last seven weeks of DeLay's term, said the walkouts were "suspicious" in that the seven took the time to delete files before leaving without notice.


Sekula-Gibbs won the special election to finish out Delay's term, but she lost the general election for the full term beginning in January. She sure is making her seven-week tenure fun.

Tom Delay's choice for Time's Man of the Year? Nancy Pelosi. Said Delay:

"She worked for years putting a strategy together, building a huge coalition. She held the Democrats together in the House like I have never seen before. She is going to change America!"


And, yes, Time actually had Delay on its selection panel.

Update: Delay was actually on a panel at a symposium hosted by Time on who should be selected Man of the Year.

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