Rbzswuatscnipmb5upus

Sahil Kapur

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.

Articles by Sahil

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) downplayed reports that President Obama's reelection campaign recently informed Democratic leaders that it will not be utilizing its funds to help congressional Dems in the November elections.

"I don't know why anyone's concerned about the conversations that we had," Reid said Sunday on CNN's State of the Union. "It's the same conversation I've had with presidents over the years. They have to guard their money. I didn't expect them to bring their checkbook with them."

Reid added that he maintains a very good relationship with the White House.

CNN reports:

Nine children and three women were among 16 Afghan civilians allegedly killed by a U.S. service member in Kandahar province Sunday, President Hamid Karzai said in a statement.

NATO's International Security Assistance Force confirmed that a soldier had gone off base and fired on civilians before turning himself in, but did not say how many victims there had been. 

The soldier who's believed to be responsible for the tragic incident was condemned by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).

The morning after the airing of HBO's "Game Change," former McCain-Palin campaign senior adviser Nicolle Wallace weighed in on the veracity of the film that chronicled the ill-fated GOP presidential campaign.

The exchange between Wallace and George Stephanopoulos on ABC's This Week Sunday:

STEPHANOPOULOS:  Well, the Palin campaign didn't like it.  How true to life? 

WALLACE:  Well, true enough to make me squirm.  But, you know, look, this isn't a movie about campaign staff, and this isn't even really a movie about McCain and Palin.  This is a movie about the vast gray area in which 99 percent of our politics actually takes place.  And I think that what gets boiled down or sometimes the fights or the instant analysis or the black and white, who's up and who's down.

But the truth is -- and I think everyone around this table has had some experience in their political careers -- where you're just feeling your way through a very gray area and you're doing your best.  And this campaign was certainly one of those instances for me.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY), the No.3 Democrat, backed up President Obama's declaration that if sanctions and diplomatic efforts fail to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, the U.S. ought to take military action.

"As the president said," Schumer told ABC's This Week on Sunday, "if sanctions don't work, we will have to use military force."

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a strong support of the Afghan war, chimed in Sunday on the news that a U.S. service member in the region opened fire and killed up to 16 Afghan civilians.

"I believe, one, this is tragic and will be investigated, and that soldier will be held accountable for his actions under the military justice system," Graham said on ABC's This Week. "Unfortunately, these things happen in war.  You had an Israeli soldier kill worshippers by the Dome of the Rock mosque. You just have to push through these things."

Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY), a top Democratic strategist, on Sunday pushed back against GOP claims that comedian Bill Maher should return the $1 million he gave to a pro-Obama Super PAC.

Schumer said the Republican notion that Maher is akin to Rush Limbaugh is a false equivalence, in part because Limbaugh has a firm grip on the GOP while Maher has "very little influence" on Dems.

"I mean, look, the bottom line is that Rush Limbaugh's comments were just nasty and directed at a particular young woman who had a particular point of view and was expressing herself. Bill Maher is a comedian," Schumer said on ABC's This Week. "It's much different. Rush Limbaugh has tremendous weight in the Republican Party. No one will rebut him. Bill Maher's a comedian who's on at 11 o'clock at night but has very little influence on what's happening here."

"So, you know, again, they're sort of -- they're sort of in a hole, and they're always trying to look for excuses."

A U.S. service member in Afghanistan reportedly entered Afghan civilians' homes in the middle of the night and opened fire, killing as many as 16 of them, according to NBC News and BBC News.

NBC reports:

"It was a shooting incident involving multiple civilians wounded," NATO spokesman Captain Brockhoff said. Brockhoff would not confirm or deny the number of civilians who had been killed or injured, but he did say that the wounded were receiving treatment at NATO medical facilities.

The soldier then reportedly turned himself in to U.S. military authorities.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Sunday on CNN that what the soldier did was "absolutely wrong." He called it "very, very sad" and said "no one can condone or make any suggestion that what he did was right."

"Well of course, our hearts go out to these innocent people," Reid told Candy Crowley.

Update: U.S. officials confirm to AP that the soldier suspected of killing up to 16 Afghan civilians was an American Army service member.

Outgoing Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) -- who lost a brutal primary battle on Tuesday to Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) -- vehemently criticized the Obama administration's program of targeted killings of US citizens abroad without due process, declaring it a "dangerous" violation of the Constitution that ought to meet resistance from Democrats and Republicans alike.

"Any assault on the Constitution ought to be challenged," Kucinich told TPM in a Thursday interview at his Capitol Hill office. "This is absolutely an assault on the Constitution."

Read More →

Less than 48 hours after suffering defeat in a brutal primary contest, a pensive Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) says his political career isn't necessarily over. In an interview in his Capitol Hill office, Kucinich told TPM he's "open" to new possibilities but hasn't made up his mind about what he'll do next.

Kucinich pointed out that of the 40 elections he's contested, he has won 32 of them and lost eight, including four unsuccessful bids for Congress before he finally came to Washington in 1997.

"I'm no stranger to defeat," he told me. "But defeat has never had power over me. It's never changed me. Nor has victory. So I'm at peace with where things are with respect to me. And I'm open for whatever possibilities are out there."

Read More →

All twelve female Democratic senators wrote a letter to Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on Thursday asking him to halt movement on House legislation aimed at rolling back the Obama administration's contraception mandate.

The letter -- first reported by the Washington Post's Greg Sargent -- reflects an effort to force House Republicans to publicly concede defeat in the contraception wars -- the battle was effectively over when the Blunt amendment was struck down in the Senate last week.

House GOP leaders, like their Senate counterparts, are about ready to call it a day on the issue. But because there are conservative members who feel strongly about fighting to repeal the birth control rule, expect House leaders to soft-pedal their desire to move on.

TPMLivewire