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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 Washington Wire:

After calling for bipartisanship, President Bush surprised Senate Democrats late Tuesday by renominating a controversial list of judges – some of whom may be unacceptable even to a few Republican senators. “It’s an unfortunate signal,” said one senior Democratic Senate aide.

The likelihood of action is remote on any of the nominees before the Dec. 15 scheduled adjournment of the lame-duck session. The White House action is viewed largely as an effort to appease the party’s conservative base.


Empty gestures intended to placate an angry base. Another reminder of what a weakened White House looks like.

Good thing the voters have spoken loud and clear about corruption and graft in Washington. That way the President can't help but hear the message:

President Bush on Tuesday renominated the chairman of the agency that directs U.S. overseas broadcasts even though the nomination has been stalled in the Senate amid allegations of misconduct.

Kenneth Y. Tomlinson was nominated again as chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors and for a term on the board expiring Aug. 13, 2007. . . .

A report by the State Department's inspector general, released Aug. 29, said Tomlinson misused government funds for two years as chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors. Tomlinson disputed the allegations in the report.


Message returned. Undelivered.

Trent Lott (R-MS) won election to the Senate GOP leadership by one vote this morning. He defeated Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) for the post of minority whip.

More soon . . .

OK, so Lott is back.

Nice to see that the segregation wing of the Republican Party can still muster a majority of votes in the Senate GOP caucus. Or as Matt Ygelsias put it yesterday:

I'm confused. My recollection was that after Lott was exposed as a die-hard segregationist, the American conservative movement washed their hands of him and made him a committee chair banished him from the realm as a token of their commitment to the new rightwingery with twice the homophobia and half the racism. Now they're going back on all that? Didn't everyone love Michael Steele.


After running a race-baiting campaign against Harold Ford in Tennessee, the GOP bypasses the other senator from Tennessee to install a leader nostalgic for the Dixiecrats.

Hey, Ken Mehlman. How's that outreach to African-American voters going?

If you haven't already, go take a look at the internal Fox News memo obtained by the Huffington Post. It's a doozy.

Jack Abramoff behind bars this morning:

Abramoff arrived at about 6:30 a.m. EST at a relatively secluded prison facility in western Maryland and began to serve a nearly six-year prison sentence for a fraudulent deal to buy a fleet of casino ships in Florida.


Even with all we now know, part of me still shakes my head with wonderment that this is where Jack ended up.

In CT-02, "Landslide Joe" Courtney wins by 91 votes, ousting Republican incumbent Rob Simmons.

Juliette Kayyem:

I know we all should be eagerly awaiting the results of the Baker-Hamilton report, right? The press is giddy with the notion that this will be the cure for what ails us: an insolveable problem in Iraq, a way forward between the "stay the course" and "cut and run."

Let's be serious here, cause it is war. We, including Democrats, are setting ourselves up for some closure that doesn't exist. As Jim Zogby has written, we're all "waiting for godot." Remember, he never arrives.

Profile in courage:

Denver Clerk and Recorder Wayne Vaden resigned today amid chaos in the Denver Election Commission which he oversees.

Citing his belief "that accountability is the underpinning of honorable public service," Vaden said he was resigning from a "personal disappointment over my efforts" with the commission.


I don't know any of the backstory on this. But the election in Denver was a disaster, and I have long thought that the European model of falling on your sword when a disaster happens on your watch is noble, honorable, and should be emulated here in the States.

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