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O’Donnell: ‘My Faith Has Matured’ Since My 20s (VIDEO)

“Delaware Republican Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell and her Democratic opponent Chris Coons met tonight for their first candidate forum. And of course, O’Donnell tried to clear the air and dispel the negative scrutiny of comments from her religious right activism in the 1990s — asking the people to look past her wild 20s of non-sex and anti-masturbation zealotry.

“These questions come from statements I made over 15 years ago,” O’Donnell said, the local Fox affiliate reports. “I was in my 20s, and very excited and passionate about my newfound faith. But I assure you, my faith has matured.”

(Fact check: Many of these statements are less than 15 years old — ranging from her appearance on MTV 14 years ago to promote the anti-masturbation cause, to speaking out against the promotion of condom usage just four years ago. And of course, let’s not forget her speaking out three years ago in opposition to stem cell research, citing the purported fact that scientists have already created mice with human brains.)”

Texas Board Of Ed Wants To Scrub Textbooks Of ‘Pro-Islamic, Anti-Christian Distortions’

“The Texas Board of Education, whose decisions can set textbook standards for the entire country, is now trying to take on the “Muslim propaganda” in world history books.

The social conservatives on the board, who earlier this year set new standards requiring textbooks to include sections on anti-Equal Rights Amendment crusader Phyllis Schafly, the Contract with America and the Christian beliefs of the Founders, want to pass a resolution warning textbook makers not to include “gross pro-Islamic, anti-Christian distortions” in their books.

According to board member Ken Mercer, many world history books are rife with such “Muslim propaganda.”

“One of the books I reviewed has 120 lines referencing Christian beliefs, but has 248 lines referencing Muslim beliefs,” Mercer told WOAI News Radio. “

Fox News Took ‘Dramatic Step’ In Suing Political Campaign, Says Copyright Expert

“Fox News’ decision to sue a Democratic candidate over her campaign’s use of footage first aired on the network in an ad is an apparent escalation of such fair use battles — bringing disputes between media companies and campaigns from YouTube to the courtroom.

The suit the network filed against the campaign of Robin Carnahan, a Democrat challenging Rep. Roy Blunt (R) for a Senate seat in Missouri, appears to be the first time such a fair use fight between a media company and a political campaign has been taken to court. It is much more common for media companies to flag the videos to YouTube and assert their copyright.

“This is the only case that I know of where a broadcast news organization has sued a political campaign over use of news footage in an ad,” Ben Sheffner, a lawyer who specializes in copyright issues and writes the Copyrights & Campaigns blog, told TPM. “There’s been a number of disputes over this issue, but they never got to a court case, that I’m aware.”

Fox News said in a statement to TPM that they filed the suit to protect the journalistic integrity of their host.”

DeMint: Businesses Tell Me ‘The Best Thing’ Would Be ‘Complete Gridlock’ (Updated)

“Last summer, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) offered a quote that symbolized the GOP’s strategy of reflexive opposition to the President. “If we’re able to stop Obama on this [health reform], it will be his Waterloo. It will break him,” he said. DeMint was clear that his strategy was purely political. “If we stop him on health care,” he said, “then I think we have the opportunity to maybe realign the whole political system in our country.” Fortunately, DeMint didn’t get his way and 32 million more Americans will soon have health care.

But due to his successful efforts to help drive tea party senatorial candidates like Christine O’Donnell, Pat Toomey, and Marco Rubio to victory over establishment candidates, DeMint is emboldened. He told Bloomberg that businesses want him to produce “complete gridlock” in the Senate:

DeMint doesn’t care. “I’ve been told by businesses that if we would stop the tax increases the best thing that could happen for business after that is complete gridlock.”

Rove Backs Off O’Donnell Criticism After Limbaugh Declares He’s ‘In Charge’ Of Saying Who’s Electable

“In the early days of the Obama presidency, the Republican Party was so bereft of a leading voice that hate radio host Rush Limbaugh had to fill the vacuum. His reign was so powerful that Republicans dared not cross him, and if they did, they would inevitably beg for forgiveness shortly thereafter.

Karl Rove — who recently guest-hosted Limbaugh’s radio show — appears to be the latest GOPer to bow down before Rush. Rove has taken considerable heat from the right for attacking Delaware’s newly-minted GOP U.S. Senate candidate and Tea Party favorite Christine O’Donnell, saying she’s a bad candidate who has “serious character problems.” Yesterday, Limbaugh joined in:

“This is about conservatives taking back the Republican Party. … Who the hell are they, anyway, to anoint or disanoint somebody as electable or not electable?” Rush Limbaugh asked Wednesday. “I’m in charge of that! … That’s always been my purview and nothing’s changed.” “

After Threatening To Filibuster Unbalanced Budget, Paul Endorses Extending All Bush Tax Cuts Without Offsets

“This week, a spokesman for Kentucky’s Republican senate nominee Rand Paul said that, if he’s elected, Paul “will vote against and filibuster any unbalanced budget proposal in the Senate.” Leaving aside Paul’s ignorance regarding whether or not budgets can be filibustered (they can’t), eliminating a $1.3 trillion deficit in a single year is totally unrealistic. In fact, Rudolph Penner, who ran the Congressional Budget Office under President Reagan, called it “implausible.” And the task is going to get a whole lot harder if Paul has his way when it comes to the Bush tax cuts, as he told the Lexington Herald-Leader that he would “absolutely” vote to extend all of the tax cuts, even if they aren’t paired with corresponding spending cuts:

Paul, who has built his campaign around opposing big government and a $13.4 trillion national debt, said it would be better to pair the tax cuts with a plan to reduce spending. However, asked if he would vote to extend the tax cuts without corresponding spending cuts, Paul said, “Absolutely. The money is not the government’s. It is ours.””

At last, Senate OKs bill to help small businesses

“Sharply divided along partisan lines, the Senate Thursday passed by 61 to 38 the Obama administration's plan to provide the nation's ailing small businesses with tax breaks and easier access to capital. Republicans had stalled for months.”

Obama puts bark in consumer watchdog: Elizabeth Warren

“President Barack Obama on Friday will appoint Harvard Law School professor Elizabeth Warren to oversee the creation of the new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, a decision that cheered consumer advocates and Democrats, while dismaying Republicans and business groups.”

Boehner Demands Up-or-Down Vote on Taxes

“Today, Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), the House minority leader, called on Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to offer an up-or-down vote on an extension of all of the Bush tax cuts — rather than moving an alternative or compromise package”

Obama Meets With Menendez, Gutierrez and Velazquez on Immigration

“President Obama again pledged his support for the DREAM Act during a meeting today with Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Reps. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) and Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), reportedly promising he will talk to senators to encourage them to vote for the act as part of the defense authorization bill. His support is a step in the right direction, the three vocal supporters of immigration reform told reporters after the meeting.

“I think the White House, the Democrats, and the allies that support serious immigration reform are going on offense and the President is our quarterback,” Gutierrez said in a press release. “I have been pushing hard to get us all pointing in the same direction on this issue and now with the White House standing with us and the Senate poised to act, I think we are seeing that effort begin to bear fruit.””

South Korea Sends Aid to North as Reunions to Resume

“A convoy of South Korean trucks carrying the first rice aid to North Korea in three years crossed the peninsula’s heavily armed border on Friday in the latest of a series of conciliatory moves between the rivals.”

Dispute Grows Over France’s Removal of Roma Camps

“An uproar over France’s removal of Roma migrants overshadowed a meeting of European Union members, as President Nicolas Sarkozy lashed out at critics.”

China’s Rise Complicates Goal of Using Less Energy

“A senior official said the country still hoped to reach a self-imposed goal of reducing “energy intensity” by 20 percent over the next five years.”

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