TPM News

You have to give Tom Emmer credit. When the presumptive Republican nominee for governor of Minnesota held a town hall meeting with waiters on Wednesday -- as part of a damage control effort after he publicly complained that they were making over $100,000 per year in tips and hurting their employers -- his campaign clearly was not screening the attendees.

The event Wednesday was supposed to last for an hour and a half. Instead, it ended a half-hour early, as the Star Tribune reports: "An hour later, he walked out after a bag of 2,000 pennies was dumped inches from his face by a man exclaiming, 'I have a tip for you too, Emmer!' as cascading pennies bounced in every direction and the crowd at a Roseville restaurant erupted into chaos."

Check out some truly amazing photos.

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Sen. Arlen Specter was a wild card when it came to Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court, but today said he'll support her even though the confirmation hearings this month were a "charade." It's a change of heart for Specter, who voted against her February 2009 nomination to the solicitor general post when he was still a Republican. He was the most likely Democrat to oppose her, but Specter's support clears the way for a smooth confirmation vote next week in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Specter (D-PA) announced today that Kagan did "just enough" to win him over.

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Stella got her groove back on a trip to Jamaica. Republicans got theirs, apparently, by filibustering everything in sight. In a speech today, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is set to tell a group of young Republicans that the GOP "got our groove back" this year by, essentially, slowing the legislative process to a halt.

"Republicans in Washington -- the ones who were supposed to be beaten down, demoralized, and despondent -- well, we were listening," McConnell says in the prepared version of the speech, according to Politico. "We shared your frustration. And we girded for the fight, confident that we had supporters behind us. We broke out of the Washington echo chamber and fought the government-driven solutions that Democrats were proposing. We got our groove back."

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Never say the Army isn't creative.

In 2001, the Army found a fun way to describe the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy to troops: They published a full-color comic book.

The comic book reviews discharge proceedings, harassment, what counts as "credible information" about a soldier's sexuality. Most of the action in the book is conversations between camouflage-clad service members, but the authors jazzed it up with wacky angles and lots of images of open-mouthed soldiers asking questions.

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Arizona Immigration Law To Get First Major Court Hearing The Associated Press reports: "A federal judge is scheduled to hear arguments Thursday over whether Arizona's new immigration law should take effect later this month, marking the first major hearing in one of seven challenges to the strict law. U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton also will consider arguments over Gov. Jan Brewer's request to dismiss the challenge filed by Phoenix police Officer David Salgado and the statewide nonprofit group Chicanos Por La Causa. The judge said last week she wasn't making any promises on whether she will rule on the officer's request to block enforcement of the law before it takes effect July 29."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will receive the presidential daily briefing at 9:30 a.m. ET, and will meet at 10 a.m. ET with senior advisers. He will depart from the White House at 10:45 a.m. ET, and depart from Andrews Air Force Base at 11 a.m. ET, arriving at 12:35 p.m. ET in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He will deliver remarks at 1:30 p.m. ET at the groundbreaking of the new Compact Power plant, an electric vehicle battery company funded by the stimulus program. He will depart from Grand Rapids at 3:15 p.m. ET, arriving at Andrews Air Force Base at 4:45 p.m. ET, and back at the White House at 5 p.m. ET.

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In a perhaps misguided attempt to relive our glory days, last week TPM enrolled in Glenn Beck's online "university."

The second installment of the Beck University lecture series was last night, and this time we learned the economic importance of hope, and that Beck University Professor David Buckner gets touchy at the airport.

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We saw this one coming, but Sen. Jeff Sessions finally has given the most explicit description yet of why he thinks Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan has a problem when it comes to health care reform.

Sessions (R-AL), the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee (which is tasked with Kagan's nomination next Tuesday), is now suggesting that Kagan can't sit on the bench and decide on state challenges to health care reform because as solicitor general, she must have spoken with the Obama administration about the lawsuits.

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We now have something we haven't had in awhile: A poll, albeit a partisan poll, showing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) ahead of his Republican opponent, Sharron Angle. Also, the data looks a bit old.

As Jon Ralston reports, the new poll by Fairbanks, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, commissioned by the liberal Patriot Majority PAC, shows Reid at 44%, and Angle with 40%. The survey of likely voters has a ±4% margin of error.

Interestingly, the poll was conducted from June 28-July 1, giving us a fortnight-old data set. That said, the TPM Poll Average gives Angle a narrow edge of 44.4%-42.3%.

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has a new ad out, touting Reid's efforts to secure bank loans for City Center in Las Vegas when the company was falling on hard times -- and slamming Sharron Angle for saying in a radio interview that she wouldn't have done anything.

"Reid saved 22,000 jobs," the announcer says. "But Sharron Angle wouldn't have saved City Center."

The ad also shows video of Angle saying, "As your U.S. Senator, I'm not in the business of creating jobs." The announcer then says: Sharron Angle's just too extreme

The TPM Poll Average gives Angle a lead of 45.9%-41.7%.

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