TPM News

The Democrats really aren't going to let Sue Lowden forget the "Chickens For Checkups" stuff.

Earlier today, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee sent some volunteers to demonstrate outside a Lowden fundraiser in Washington, D.C. One volunteer was dressed up in a chicken-suit, in recognition of Lowden's promotion of the barter system as a means of lowering health care costs, and her discussion of how her grandparents' generation would bring a chicken to the doctor for payment. Another was dressed up as a doctor, with a sign saying "Don't Take Lobbyist $$ Barter."

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Another attempted terror attack, another chance for Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) to try to gain a political advantage.

In recent years, the New York Republican has gained a reputation for demagoguing every terror incident by hyping the threat of radical Islam and suggesting that Democrats' policies are putting Americans' lives at risk. And now he's back at it.

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It looks like Fox News v. White House is heating up again...

Ex-FEMA director Michael Brown said on Fox News last night the Obama administration wanted the oil spill to happen -- and let it get really bad before stepping in so they'd have a good reason to scrap offshore drilling.

Today, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs struck back.

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Rep. Bart Stupak told reporters on Capitol Hill today that he thinks the Oil Production Act will be reexamined "again and again and again" and that offshore drilling wasn't off the table but that the catastrophic oil spill is a "difficult hurdle" for advocates of drilling to overcome in the short term.

"We're still going to drill, but we will look at our plans better. We should learn from this one," Stupak (D-MI) said after an Energy and Commerce Committee hearing investigating the spill.

Stupak also said that it was too early for companies involved in the spill to identify exactly what went wrong. He said it was "premature" to detail what happened and said numerous studies must be finished before anything is known for certain.

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has rounded up an impressive, bipartisan array of cosponsors to an amendment he authored requiring an audit of the Federal Reserve. Just today, he added Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) to a list that includes 12 Republicans, seven Democrats, in addition to Sanders himself.

In the past, a different version of legislation opening up the fed to audit received 59 votes--one shy of the 60 required to break a filibuster. But eight of the Republicans who voted no are now cosponsors of Sanders' amendment. That should mean it's a shoo-in, right?

Not necessarily.

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A new Rocky Mountain Poll of Arizona finds the state's controversial new anti-illegal immigration law break down along clear lines of both partisanship and ethnicity.

The top-line number shows 52% in favor, to 39% opposed for Arizona's new law to require police to stop and check the immigration status of anyone they believe could be in the country illegally -- a measure that has caused the state to be accused of racial profiling by many national commentators and politicians. The sample of Arizona adults has a ±3.9% margin of error.

Among whites, the law is supported by a margin of 65%-28%. Among Hispanics, though, support is at a mere 21%-69%, and among non-Hispanic minorities the law is at 29%-63%. When broken down by part, Republicans favor the law 76%-15%, Democrats oppose it 30%-58%, and independents favor it 60%-30%.

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With a stacked agenda, and time running out before midterm elections and the end of the year, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he may have to eat into members' vacation time if they don't move quickly on issues like financial reform and nominations.

"I also told my caucus -- I haven't had a chance to tell Senator McConnell today -- I said there's no definite decision been made yet, but the first week of our vacation in August, don't put family vacations in there or something that you can't get out of, because we may have to be here," McConnell told reporters at his weekly press conference.

Reid says the Senate has no choice but to finish up work on financial reform next week, despite objections from his counter part, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, that the bill should be on the floor for more than two weeks.