During Wednesday's Justice Department oversight hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) stumped Attorney General Eric Holder on what should have been a fairly routine question for America's top law enforcement official.

Maybe more surprisingly, NPR reported it at its website.

As NPR's Frank James noted, "The exchange started with Graham stumping Holder with a question one would have thought the attorney general would have been prepared for."

I quite agree (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t Steve Malzberg):

Sarah Palin's new book "Going Rogue" is set for release on Nov. 17 and with that will likely come a media blitz of epic proportions. However, based on the cover of the Nov. 23 issue of Newsweek, someone felt a response was warranted.

The wizards of smart at Newsweek took an image from a shoot of Palin that originally appeared in Runner's World magazine for the cover and splashed the headlines, "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Sarah?" and "She's Bad News for the GOP - and For Everybody Else, Too."

Mike Allen of Politico previewed the cover in the Nov. 14 edition of his "Playbook." In it, he included these comments from Newsweek editor John Meacham who blamed Palin for Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., struggles with his conservative base in South Carolina. One of those struggles for Graham was his acknowledgment that climate change is a manmade phenomenon in need of a so-called "compromise," And that backlash is somehow former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's fault:

The New York Times Caucus blog reported moments ago that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has been censured by the local Republican Party in his home state "for many of the positions he has taken that do not represent the wishes of the people of South Carolina."

In essence, he's getting slammed for being what conservatives call a RINO -- Republican in name only.

As the Times' Bernie Becker reported:

On Sunday’s Face the Nation on CBS, host Bob Schieffer tried to provide some perspective on the Fort Hood shooting, committed by an Islamic extremist: “It’s looking more and more like he was just, sort of, a religious nut. And you know Islam doesn’t have a majority – or the Christian religion has its full, you know, full helping of nuts too.”

Schieffer made the comments while speaking to Senator Lindsey Graham, who agreed that Muslims do not have “a corner” on extremism. Schieffer went on to wonder what role political correctness played in the shooter, Major Nidal Hasan, not being held accountable for radical comments he made prior to the attack: “Do you think the fact that he was a Muslim may have caused the military to kind of step back and be reluctant to challenge him on some of this stuff for fear that they’d be accused of discrimination or something like that?”

Graham replied: “I hope not. I hope – I hope that’s not the case....his actions do not reflect on the Islamic – Muslim faith” Schieffer added: “Well, I’m not suggesting that they do.” Promoting the very political correctness that Schieffer asked about, Graham argued: “But some people are. Some people are, and I want to say, as a United States Senator, that I reject that....Let’s don’t accuse people of basically giving him a pass because he’s a Muslim. Because I don’t think there’s any evidence of that.”

"The glow from a health care triumph faded quickly for President Barack Obama on Sunday as Democrats realized the bill they fought so hard to pass in the House has nowhere to go in the Senate."

That's not a quote from National Review, the Weekly Standard, NewsMax, or World Net Daily.

Such was the opening paragraph of a truly surprising Associated Press article published moments ago:

Chris Matthews, on Tuesday's "Hardball," invited on HBO's Bill Maher to mock GOP criticism of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor as Maher accused them of being "racist," and Matthews marveled at how Republicans can admire Sarah Palin but not someone who worked as hard as Sotomayor to achieve her position, as he pondered: "Why do they like somebody who's shown no sweat equity against somebody who's shown nothing but sweat equity?"

Before discussing Republican treatment of Sotomayor Matthews asked Maher to rate the audiences that come to see him in the South. Maher, not surprisingly, belittled most of the region, saying the ones that do come to his shows are the minority as they are "marbled in and surrounded by a bunch of hillbillies and rednecks." To which Matthews rejoined: "Isn't it refreshing to meet Southern liberals? Because the great thing about Southern liberals is they don't, they're not competing for the latest nuance of sexual freedom like in Greenwich Village. They are liberals, meaning they're, they're for black equality for example. Things like that, that are pretty nice and wholesome." [audio available here]

Not long after that slam against non-liberal Southerners, Maher threw out the charge of Republican racism:

MSNBC hosts Tamron Hall and David Shuster on Tuesday repeatedly grumbled at the tough questions Senator Lindsey Graham posed to Sonia Sotomayor over the judge's ability to keep her feelings in check. At one point during live coverage, Shuster derided the lawmaker's remarks as "patronizing" and fretted that "the blogs are already going crazy over this." Hall saw the statements as insinuating the nominee is too "hot blooded."

The comments that drew the ire of the anchors were Graham's quizzing of Sotomayor as to reports that lawyers have found her difficult to deal with in the courtroom. Graham probed, "I never liked appearing before a judge who was a bully. Do you think you have a temperament problem?"

Co-host Hall vociferously objected to Graham's queries. Responding to news articles about the subject, she complained, "These are anonymous sources....One might read into this that he's [Graham] talking about her being a hot-blooded person or a woman who can't control her emotions."


Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Pres.-elect Barack Obama and VP-elect Joe Biden meet in Washington January 14, 2009, after Biden and Graham's recent trip to Iraq and Afghanistan. Photo Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

So much for a "stunt."

John McCain got involved in the bailout negotiations after Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson told Sen. Lindsey Graham yesterday that the bailout plan would fail unless McCain came in and brought balky Republicans aboard.  That's what Bob Schieffer reported on this morning's Early Show.  Schieffer's account stands in stark contrast with the allegation by Dems like Barney Frank and their MSM cohorts that McCain's moves of yesterday were nothing more than a political "stunt."

Here was Schieffer speaking with the Early Show's Maggie Rodriguez at 7:05 AM EDT today:

BOB SCHIEFFER: I am told, Maggie, that the way McCain got involved in this in the first place, the Treasury Secretary was briefing Republicans in the House yesterday, the Republican conference, asked how many were ready to support the bailout plan. Only four of them held up their hands.  Paulson then called, according to my sources, Senator Lindsey Graham, who is very close to John McCain, and told him: you've got to get the people in the McCain campaign, you've got to convince John McCain to give these Republicans some political cover. If you don't do that, this whole bailout plan is going to fail. So that's how, McCain, apparently, became involved.

Continued Schieffer . . . 

On Sunday’s "Face the Nation" on CBS, correspondent Chip Reid, filling in for host Bob Schieffer, discussed the fifth anniversary of the Iraq war with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and Democratic Senator Jack Reed, who he helped with the anti-war talking points:

REID: The cost of the war. Democrats have really been harping on that recently, trying to tie it to the economy, Barack Obama even suggesting that it's costing the average family more than $1,000 a year, and that it's one of the reasons we're having such economic difficulties right now. Do you buy that argument?

REED: I think I do. We've spent over $500 billion in direct spending in Iraq. That's a $500 billion stimulus package...

REID: And that's 10 times more than the president predicted this war would cost.

REED: Ten times more. And in fact, the indirect cost is probably trillions of dollars, as Professor Stiglitz has pointed out. That's a $500 billion stimulus package for Iraq.