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At the Take Back America Conference in St. Louis last week, a woman named Kitty Werthmann gave a lecture titled "How to recognize living under Nazis and Communists," in which she urged listeners to "buy more guns" in order to fight "a bloody battle" against socialism.

Werthmann grew up as a Christian in Nazi-controlled Austria, and has been preaching that America is turning into Hitler's Germany for years. At the conference -- headlined by Mike Huckabee, Michele Bachmann and Steve King, among others -- she spoke to an overflowing room about the parallels between 1930s Austria and today's America.

"If we had our guns, we would have fought a bloody battle. So, keep your guns, and buy more guns, and buy ammunition. ... Take back America. Don't let them take the country into socialism," she said, according to Think Progress.



One audience member asked what they should do if they were asked to give up their guns.

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Creigh Deeds, the Democratic candidate for governor of Virginia, is bringing out a big gun in his efforts to turn around his narrow deficit in the polls: Sen. Mark Warner, a former governor and the single most popular Democrat in the state, and who is starring in Deeds' newest ad.

"The choice in this election for Governor is really pretty simple," says Warner, who won a landslide Senate victory in 2008. "Do we move Virginia forward by continuing the pro-business economic policies that I helped put in place, or do we go backwards with the failed economic approach that ruined our economy?"

The ad hits on several main themes of the Deeds campaign. It presents Deeds as a moderate, centrist Virginia Democrat, and casts that he's in the same mold as the popular Warner. Furthermore, it ties Republican nominee Bob McDonnell to the legacy of the Bush administration -- which was so unpopular, it helped drive Virginia to the Democratic column last year, for the first time in 44 years.

The attorney behind the first-ever Birther infomercial started teabagging way before it was cool.

Back in the mid 1970s, Gary Kreep spearheaded a national tea bag-based movement to protest the Ford Administration's tax policies, he confirmed to TPMmuckraker today.

"To protest unreasonably high taxes, people stapled tea bags to their tax returns," explains Kreep, now director of the United States Justice Foundation, but then a law student and an officer in the California chapter of the Reaganite Young Americans for Freedom.

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There was never much doubt about this, but just to make it official, Sen. Paul Kirk (D-MA) does indeed support a public option.

"Senator Kirk believes there should be a public option to keep costs down and keep insurance companies honest," says his spokesman, Keith Maley. "[D]uring his short service in the United States Senate, he looks forward to seeing what can be done to reach that goal."

It comes as no surprise, of course, that a Massachusetts Democrat replacing Ted Kennedy supports a public option. But this demonstrates that, with Kennedy's seat filled, the 60th vote for health care reform won't necessarily belong to public option skeptic Olympia Snowe--and the question of a public option is technically one for Democrats to answer alone.

Start your engines, Hans Von Spakovsky and John Fund...

Every election cycle, Republicans scream about Democratic voter fraud -- without providing any evidence that fraudulent votes have actually been cast. Now, in an obscure local election in upstate New York, the GOP may finally have unearthed the holy grail -- credible allegations of actual bogus voting. But the story appears to be a lot more intricate than partisans on both sides may want to admit.

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A lot of the most pressing political questions about health care reform will soon be answered, and reformers and pols alike are grappling with the fact that Democrats now have enough votes to pass a public option without any Republican votes.

"Hopefully when push comes to shove, Democrats will support a strong public option, and do the right thing," said Jacki Schechner of the reform campaign Health Care for America Now.

"We're in a good spot right now," added Schechner. "We'll see where we are after tomorrow.

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A new line of attack against President Obama may be emerging from the GOP. Within minutes of each other this afternoon, Karl Rove and Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) both criticized President Obama for not speaking regularly enough with Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.

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A new Rasmussen poll of California finds that of the two Democratic candidates for governor, state Attorney General Jerry Brown and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Brown is currently much more electable than Newsom.

The poll tested Brown, who was himself governor in the 1970's and early 1980's, leads all three Republicans: Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, and former Rep. Tom Campbell. Newsom, on the other hand, trails all three Republicans -- though the pollster's analysis suggests that this could change if Newsom were to actually win the nomination, given the state's Democratic leanings.

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A new Gallup poll appears to confirm something that we've all somewhat known for a while: Americans are more tuned into politics now than at any time in recent memory.

As the graph below shows, the number of Americans saying they follow national politics "very closely" increased to a high of 43% last year, in the middle of the election, and has now declined slightly to 36%. It's obviously to be expected that political attention would fall after an election year, but look closely at the numbers. This year's number of 36% is equal to the 2004 election year number.

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Judge Clay Land today granted Birther attorney Orly Taitz's motion to withdraw as counsel for her ex-client, but said he was not authorizing any breach of attorney-client privilege, and reminded her that she still must respond to his threat of sanctions for frivolous filings.

Land, of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, writes in the order today:

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