From TALKING POINTS MEMO:
Michael Steele introduced a new fashion accessory at today’s Republican National Committee meeting in Kansas City, when, like almost everyone in the audience, the RNC Chairman donned a bright-red “Fire Pelosi” cap. It was something of a theme at the event. And a “Fire Nancy Pelosi” bus tour will begin this fall.
What is it with Michael Phathead Steele and hats? From POLITICO (4/30/09):
Republican National Chairman Michael Steele said Thursday that despite Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter’s recent departure, the GOP remains a party of many hats because “that’s how we roll.”
“I look at it this way,” Steele explained to the hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “The four of us are, let’s say for the sake of this example, all wearing a hat that says ‘GOP.’ All right?”
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From POLITICAL HOTSHEET at CBS NEWS:
Conservative Fox News television host, author, and radio host Glenn Beck has started a university.
According to an announcement on Beck’s Web site, “Beck University is a unique academic experience bringing together experts in the fields of religion, American history and economics.” In July, August and September, interested parties can participate in “captivating lectures and interactive online discussions” in which “experts will explore the concepts of Faith, Hope and Charity and show you how they influence America’s past, her present and most importantly her future.”
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From THE HILL:
It was a bittersweet night for Democrats as they won a House special election but saw one senator fall and another incumbent go to a runoff.
Meanwhile Republicans saw their favored Senate candidate lose in Kentucky to a darling of the Tea Party movement.
Most of all, Tuesday’s primaries were another sign of the anti-incumbent mood that has swept the nation and has lawmakers worried about their futures.
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From 44 at The Washington Post:
President Obama’s nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens was met with criticism from the left and the right Monday as liberals continued to raise questions about her views on executive power and conservative bloggers honed in on her lack of experience as a judge.
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From THINK PROGRESS:
In April, former Republican Sen. Arlen Specter (PA) switched his party affiliation to caucus with the Democrats after being targeted by right-wing activists and others within the GOP. Shortly before his departure, an anti-Obama tea party rally focused its attention at Specter, hate radio host Rush Limbaugh demanded that Specter be “flushed” out of the party. A campaign with the theme “Benedict Arnold” subsequently harassed Specter for voting for the stimulus.
Now, after voting to confirm Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court and expressing a willingness to build a compromise approach to clean energy legislation, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) appears to be the new target of tea party activists. At a Graham town hall in Greenville yesterday, activist Harry Kimball of “RINO HUNT” protested by constructing a display that depicted Graham, as well as moderates like Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), being flushed down a toilet:
KIMBALL: This is for every RINO who has failed to represent us. […] [the toilet represents] flushing them, flushing them.
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One attendee of the event asked the senator, “when are you going to announce that you are switching parties?” The question drew loud applause from the crowd. Graham defended himself, and denounced the influence of Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) on the Republican party:
GRAHAM: I’m going to grow this party, I’m not going to let it get [inaudible], I’m not going to let it be hijacked by Ron Paul. […] I’m going to find people in Maine, Delaware, Illinois, other places–
AUDIENCE: Move there!
GRAHAM: That can win as Republicans, and I’m going to go up, and we’re going to move this party, and this country forward, and if you don’t like it, you can leave.
Graham’s fellow South Carolina senator Jim DeMint (R) was an outspoken proponent of ejecting Specter from the Republican Party. DeMint told a conservative blogger Specter “cut our knees from under us.” He added that conservatives in the Senate need to aggressively “go after” Specter and other GOP moderates.
Update According to the newspaper The State, Graham repeatedly responded to those who accused him of being a “traitor” to “chill out.”
(Video at THINK PROGRESS link above)
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From the Los Angeles Times:
When he announced the other day that he was switching to the Democratic Party, Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter offered to return campaign donations from any contributors who might take offense.
Turns out that includes a lot of his Senate Republican colleagues who lent money to the cause.
Georgia Republican Johnny Isakson was first in line — asking Specter to return his $5,000 leadership political action committee contribution. Other Republicans requesting refunds on behalf of their PACs: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky ($10,000), Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander ($5,000), Texas Sen. John Cornyn ($5,000) and Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker ($5,000).
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