MSNBC is removing Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews as the anchors of live political events, “bowing to growing criticism that they are too opinionated to be seen as neutral.” David Gregory will take over the anchor seat for events such as this fall’s presidential and vice presidential debates and election night.
A CQ analysis finds that this year, federal lawmakers in both parties “have opposed the president far more often than at any other time since he’s been in the White House, and the erosion in support is dramatic among Republicans.” GOP House members, for example, supported Bush 94 percent of the time in 2001 and 2003, but just 63 percent in 2008.
Alaska lawmakers “are scheduled to meet Friday to decide whether to issue subpoenas” to members of Gov. Sarah Palin’s (R-AK) administration as part of their investigation into abuse of power allegations against Palin. The McCain campaign has also endorsed a plan by “key Alaska allies” to derail the investigation to prevent it from producing “embarrassing information” about Palin before the election.
Palin’s church, Wasilla Bible Church, is “promoting a conference that promises to convert gays into heterosexuals through the power of prayer.” “You’ll be encouraged by the power of God’s love and His desire to transform the lives of those impacted by homosexuality,” reads a recent insert in the church’s bulletin describing Focus on the Family’s upcoming Love Won Out Conference in Anchorage.
On the trail today: John McCain and Sarah Palin will hold a rally this morning in Lee’s Summit, MO. Barack Obama “returns to Michigan today to discuss the economy at events in Flint and Farmington Hills.”
In a move that will spare conservatives from a politically difficult vote before the November elections, “Congressional Democrats have scrapped plans for another vote on expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program.” Democrats concluded “that President Bush would not sign their legislation and that they could not override his likely veto.” Bush has already twice vetoed similar legislation.
Declaring that clergy “have a constitutional right to endorse political candidates from their pulpits, the socially conservative Alliance Defense Fund is recruiting several dozen pastors to do just that on Sept. 28, in defiance of Internal Revenue Service rules.”
“Cellphone pictures taken in the aftermath of a U.S. military operation in Afghanistan are providing new evidence that a large number of civilians may have been mistakenly killed by American troops last month,” according to NATO officials. The images show at least 11 dead children; the U.S. military has insisted that only five to seven civilian were killed.
Gen. David Petraeus will hand over the command of U.S.-led forces in Iraq to Gen. Raymond Odierno on September 16. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes that “questions linger, as they did not for Petraeus, about how ready Odierno is for the strategic challenges of Iraq.”
Libyan leader and former terrorist sponsor Moammar Gadhafi dined with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice last week, completing “a remarkable five-year rehabilitation.” Gadhafi presented Rice with several gifts, including “a locket with an engraved likeness of himself inside.”
And finally: The AP reports, “Should this world ever cease to exist, Stephen Colbert will live on. The comedian’s DNA will be digitized and sent to the International Space Station.” Essentially, Colbert will be preserved so that “aliens can clone him.” Colbert said that this move brings him one step closer to his “lifelong dream of being the baby at the end of 2001,” referring to the science fiction film, “2001: A Space Odyssey.”
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