TPM News

Sen. Patrick Leahy has been floating the idea of bringing former Supreme Court justices back to the bench to help decide cases where current justices might have conflicts of interest.

It's an intriguing concept in the very early idea stages, according Leahy's aides on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Leahy (D-VT) raised the idea of legislation allowing for the SCOTUS switcharoo first in the National Journal and again in more detail to the Washington Post.

Of course, the former justices in question would be more likely to side with the court's liberals.

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Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in announcing new cost-saving measures for the Pentagon, said the DOD will dramatically cut funding for service support contractors, by 10 percent each year for the next three years.

He cited a "dramatic increase in the use of service support and advisory contractors" over the last 10 years -- from 26 percent of workforce spending in 2000 to 39 percent last year. And that's "not counting contractors supporting the war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan."

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At the heart of the ethics investigation into Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) -- which today yielded a Statement of Alleged Violation against Waters -- is her connection to the California-based bank OneUnited and its receipt of TARP funding in 2008. A new investigation by students at American University details the timing of those transactions, and calls into question some of the assumptions at the heart of the investigation.

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry today hand-delivered a letter asking President Obama to deploy more troops to the border, saying the administration hasn't done enough to combat the "dire threat" coming from "international drug cartels and transitional gangs."

"The need for border security along the Rio Grande should no longer be underestimated by the federal government, Mr. President," Perry wrote in the letter, which he gave to Obama as the president landed in the Lone Star State for an education speech and some campaign events.

He added, "America cannot have a rational discussion of immigration reform without real, effective border security."

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Sharron Angle is reiterating her opposition to the new health care reform law -- and saying that there is nothing wrong with the American health care system, and that access is not being denied.

From Angle's interview with the local ABC affiliate in Las Vegas:

"I think we get confused a little bit. Our healthcare system is the best in the world. There's nothing wrong with our healthcare system. Our doctors are the best," says Angle.

"But how many people get access to the best healthcare in the world," asks Action News reporter Marco Villarreal.

"The access is not what is being denied. It is the cost that has become prohibitive and that's what we need to address," she answers.


The TPM Poll Average gives Harry Reid a lead of 45.1%-42.7%.

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Outside groups are making their presences felt in the closing days of the Colorado primaries as two new ad campaigns -- one attacking Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, the other praising Republican Jane Norton -- hit the airwaves.

One series of ads, sponsored by a 527 group called "New Leadership For Colorado," slams Bennet for voting to "bail out Wall Street" and for voting against benefits for seniors. The ads (which you can hear on the 527's website) are made to sound like news reports -- and that's not the only reason they're misleading:

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Vince McMahon, the chairman and CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, is upset about the use of his franchise's content against his wife, former CEO Linda McMahon, in her campaign for the Republican nomination for Senate in Connecticut.

In an interview with the Associated Press last week, Vince McMahon said that critics have not mentioned the "soap opera elements" in the storylines that have led up to any objectionable moments. "Most of the people have not even seen our show. They don't even know what this business is about," said Vince McMahon. "They haven't been to a live event. They really haven't watched on television at all. All they've seen is like one little snippet and try to make up their minds as to whether or not it's acceptable programming."

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Bringing The Smackdown: Linda McMahon's Campaign For Senate, And Her Colorful Pro-Wrestling Past]

Vince and Linda McMahon have both appeared on the show, playing fictionalized versions of themselves as the evil multi-millionaire bosses of the company, and even participated in the dramatized violence. For example, Vince was depicted forcing a female wrestler onto her knees and making her bark like a dog, while Linda has kicked a man in the groin -- the latter episode has even made its way into an ad by one of McMahon's GOP rivals, financial commentator Peter Schiff.

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