Wednesday, July 22, 2009



07.22.09 -- 9:48AM // RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (4)

A Spain-Shaped Lesion on His Taint

Colbert took on ACORN last night in a hilarious interview w/ chief organizer Bertha Lewis, who was a great sport, but still, as everyone is, a victim of Colbert. Lewis actually previewed the segment with a blog post last night at TPMCafe.

--David Kurtz

07.22.09 -- 9:14AM // RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (4)

Specter In Trouble?

Ultra conservative Pat Toomey has surged into a tie with Arlen Specter in a general election matchup in the Pennsylvania Senate race, according to a new poll. Toomey also out-polls Joe Sestak, though there's a high number of undecideds in that matchup because neither candidate has high name recognition.

--David Kurtz


07.22.09 -- 9:11AM // RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (1)

TPMDC Morning Roundup

Arlen Specter refunded $224,000 in the last quarter to donors disgruntled about his party switch. That and the day's other political news in the TPMDC Morning Roundup.

--David Kurtz


07.21.09 -- 9:57PM // RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (53)

Trump Card

Chris Matthews whips out Obama's birth certificate in interview with "Birther Bill" co-sponsor Rep. John Campbell (R-CA).

Kind of like Dorothy throwing water on the Wicked Witch.

--David Kurtz

07.21.09 -- 6:31PM // RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (72)

Fox News: Surgeon General Too Fat

In what has to be among Fox News' all-time lowlights, Neil Cavuto had a segment a short while ago on whether the new surgeon general nominee, Dr. Regina M. Benjamin, is "too fat" for the post. Seriously. In support of this argument, they had on as a guest some guy wearing a "No Chubbies" T-shirt. Again, I'm serious. Watch.

Late Update: It's not just Fox. ABC has a straight news story about Benjamin's weight. I don't remember C. Everett Koop being svelte. But then he wasn't black or a woman.

Later Update: The Fox guest is quite a character. His name is Michael Karolchyk, and he runs an outfit in Denver called the Anti-Gym (NSFW), a fitness club with an emphasis on getting clients in shape for sex: "With live DJs, cage dancers, and our elite co-ed Ravish Room, Anti-Gym boasts the hottest facilities and clientele in Denver."

Read more »

--David Kurtz

07.21.09 -- 6:03PM // RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (9)

The Day in 100 Seconds: Blue in the Face

Full-size video at TPMtv.com.

--Ben Craw

07.21.09 -- 5:49PM // RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (134)

A Seminal Moment?

TPM Reader AB:

Just to mention something that is obvious, but hopefully not overlooked, i.e., if this country cannot pass a bill which insures that every citizen has access to medical care, which every developed country has managed to do (and got done many many years ago), there is something very fundamentally and structurally wrong with this country.

Such an event, in my mind, would confirm that we live with a completely corrupt and dysfunctional form of government. Forty nine states, each with bicameral legislative bodies, some of which have distinguished themselves recently with unabashed levels of incompetency and cluelessness. Then, graft a federal government over that, which is also bicameral, the non-representative portion of it being filled with officials who are certifiable morons and/or who are bought and sold like whores by wealthy contributors.

Talk about a Waterloo.

This is a defining moment in our history. Do we fulfill our supposed status as a "shining city on a hill" or continue our long slow decline into a second rate oligarchy?

I am not one prone to hyperbole.

I believe this to the depths of my soul.

--David Kurtz

07.21.09 -- 5:14PM // RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (29)

I Got Him Right Where I Want Him

Sen. Jim DeMint: Obama "played right into my hands."

--David Kurtz

07.21.09 -- 5:12PM // RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (11)

More Ethics Trouble for Palin

Hard to say from this AP article how much of this ethics violation is on Sarah Palin herself, and how much might have been the result of her legal defense fund being improperly set up or not kept at sufficient arm's length. We're trying to get ahold of the new report.

--David Kurtz

07.21.09 -- 3:36PM // RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (7)

Digging In

The Chamber of Commerce is rolling out an anti-public option campaign with the slogan: "Don't Drag Down Health Care Reform."

--David Kurtz

07.21.09 -- 1:30PM // RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (83)

Can They Do It?

Since the fiasco of 1994, health care has been a drum Democrats have banged away on at election time with the more or less open understanding that it would be safely stowed away again after November. But now we're at a point where we should soon see whether this is an issue that can ever be conquered or dealt with in any real way. The Dems went into this round with as many advantages as they're likely ever to have -- a president with commanding authority, big majorities in Congress and a mood in the country that seemed decidedly favorable if not quite sold on the prospect of major reform. The one big exception to this favorable picture was the near collapse of the country's economy (which ain't nothing), but which the White House has nonetheless (and with real merit) argued is a reason for moving now on health care reform rather than delay.

But a series of developments over just the last couple of weeks have transformed this from what seemed like almost a done deal to a really, really tough challenge. Health care is a really complex issue. And the entrenched interests are probably as powerful as any other issue a president can face. Let's not pretend it's even close to easy, ever. But conservative Democrats are digging in on the cost front; the insurance companies have a hold over a lot of senators and representatives on the public option; and for a number of reasons, the president's own popularity has come down significantly.

It is definitely true that the president is still quite popular. But his numbers are now the sort that don't necessarily scare elected officials on the margins or give reassurance to House Democrats in marginal districts. And let's face it, a lot of these members of Congress are simply owned by different parts of the health care industry -- something that a president needs a lot of public support to overcome.

This is a clearly testing time for Obama. But much more for the Democrats. If not now, really, when? Is the hill just too steep?

--Josh Marshall

07.21.09 -- 1:29PM // RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (9)

Delay = Death For Reform

More from the Blue Dogs who are fighting health care reform. "We've gotta slow things down," Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK), a key Blue Dog, said on Fox today.

--David Kurtz

07.21.09 -- 1:12PM // RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (11)

Big Deal

Looming over the health care negotiations has been the absence from the Senate of Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd for health reasons, denying Dems two of their much-needed 60 votes. But as of today, Byrd is back at work.

--David Kurtz

07.21.09 -- 12:59PM // RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (11)

Just Dance Tax

The GOP's latest effort to get hip is a Lady Gaga parody video that Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA) played at the weekly Republican conference meeting this morning.

Not in the same league as that rap that made the rounds a couple of months ago, but still cosmically lame.

--David Kurtz

07.21.09 -- 12:54PM // RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (9)

Who's the Boss?

House Blue Dogs are heading to the White House for a meeting with the President to demand delay on the health care bill. A House aide brags: "The landscape will change after that meeting." Oh, really?

--David Kurtz

07.21.09 -- 12:10PM // RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (6)

FBI Noose Tightening on Murtha?

Another defense contractor with ties to Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA) pleads guilty.

--David Kurtz

07.21.09 -- 11:51AM // RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (4)

GOP Slow Rolling Sotomayor

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee have succeeded in delaying a committee vote on her nomination for another week.

--David Kurtz

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