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On Sunday, White House Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough gave a speech at a Muslim center in Virginia, highlighting the Obama administration's attempts at "engagement" with Muslim communities. On Thursday, Rep. Peter King (R-NY), chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, will hold hearings on the "radicalization" of American Muslims. And while McDonough didn't mention King, The New York Times calls the timing of the speech "no accident."

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1||March 7, 2011: On March 5, the spatter cone Puʻu ʻŌʻō on Kilauea flank began to rapidly deflate along with Kilauea's summit. The subsequent quick drain of magma pushed Puʻu ʻŌʻō's crater floor to collapse causing a new eruption from a fissure between Napau Crater and Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Shown here, clouds of ash billow out as Pu`u `Ō `ō's crater floor collapses from magma withdrawal. ||USGS&&

2||Lava leaps up to heights of 10 meters from Kilauea's newly opened fissure segment. Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, is the youngest volcano on the big island of Hawaii.||USGS&&

3||An aerial view of the fissure eruption shows ash and smoke enveloping surrounding foliage.||USGS&&

4||In an eruption of incandescent orange and black, this large fissure, which began March 6, spews spatter and lava flows to char nearby trees.||USGS&&

5||Pu`u `Ō `ō has been continually erupting since 1983. Here, a piece of the old floor can be seen in the background of its collapsing crater.||USGS&&

6||Massive amounts of lava cascades from the fissure, only to surge back down into a nearby crack.||USGS&&

7||Lava breaking the surface at the northeast end of Kilauea's new fissure.||USGS&&

8||The ejections from this relatively small fissure reach 20 meters in height.||USGS&&

9||The lion's share of the activity on March 6 centered on this vent, to the southwest of Pu`u `Ō `ō.||USGS&&

10||Lava sprays above a fissure to the west of Pu`u `Ō `ō's base.||USGS&&

11||Lava spatter leaps over the tree line as flames lick a line through a grove surrounding the new fissure eruption southwest of Pu`u `Ō `ō.||USGS&&

12||The fissure west of Pu`u `Ō `ō crater boasted spatter at heights of 40 meters.||USGS&&

The Wisconsin AFL-CIO is firing back at Gov. Scott Walker's (R) Monday press conference, in which he attacked state Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller (D) and his caucus for not returning to the state -- and accused Dems of secretly taking their marching orders from the unions instead of having real negotiations. In response, the union says Walker is the one who isn't negotiating in good faith -- and is also the one who was caught on a phone call with someone he believed to be an out-of-state backer.

"Given that Walker's refusal to negotiate in good faith was embarrassingly revealed in a phone call with someone he believed was his billionaire political benefactor David Koch, it is beyond comprehension that he would suggest Democrats are taking direction from out-of-state phone calls," says a statement from the state AFL-CIO. "Indeed, it was an out-of-state phone call from 'Koch' that directed Walker to take his 'baseball bat' to Wisconsin's working families and launch an all-out assault on the middle class."

TPM also asked Miller spokesman Michael Browne for comment on Walker's allegations of secret calls with union leaders, and got a short response:

Sorry, no secret calls.

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A former staffer for a bipartisan commission once chaired by Rep. Alcee Hastings has filed a federal lawsuit which accuses the Florida Democrat of harassing her with "unwelcome sexual advances, crude sexual comments, and unwelcome touching."

Winsome Packer, in a suit filed by the conservative group Judicial Watch, accuses Hastings of harassing her when he was her boss at the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe.

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Wisconsin state Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller, head of the 14 Democrats who have fled the state in order to block budget quorum on Gov. Scott Walker's anti-public employee union proposals, has just released a statement responding to Walker's Monday press conference -- in which Walker slammed Miller's request for a meeting at the state line, and accused Miller of being responsible for the breakdowns in negotiations.

In his statement, Miller says that the people "have spoken loudly and clearly" on the main issues. "They oppose Governor Walker and the legislative Republican's radical overreach that uses a budget repair bill as an excuse to try to strip workers of their rights and make a power grab that endangers health insurance for working families and helps seniors afford their prescription drugs," Miller writes. "They also want their elected leaders to reach a reasonable compromise that moves their state forward."

Then Miller says that it's the Republican leaders who have said they have "zero flexibility" on the proposals, while Dems "remain united" and want to negotiate -- a possible reference to GOP claims that some of the Dems were on the verge of breaking ranks and coming home. "I would hope as we move forward the Governor and Republican leaders will spend less time at press conferences and more time on the phone or at meetings pursuing a resolution to our differences."

The full statement can be read here.

Now that former Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M.) is throwing her hat into the ring for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), expect a nasty, bitter race and plenty of ghosts turning up from Wilson's decade-long Washington career.

Wilson, a former Air Force officer and director at the National Security Council, was a rising GOP star and a standout on defense and intelligence matters post-9/11. But her Washington career ended in 2008 when she lost a GOP Senate primary to Rep. Steve Pearce, who then lost the general election to Democrat Tom Udall.

In the lead up to that primary, Wilson suffered a series of public relations blows for her role in the U.S. attorneys' scandal, improperly politicized firings of U.S. prosecutors by the Bush administration, which Democrats spent months investigating in 2007 and 2008. A lot of information about Wilson's role wasn't ever really scrutinized to the extent it could have been because she lost her first Senate bid.

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1||March 6, 2010: Protesters gather in Times Square, in New York City, for a "Today, I Am A Muslim, Too" rally. The demonstrations were held in opposition to a congressional hearing scheduled for this Thursday, organized by Rep. Peter King (R-NY), on the threat of Islamic radicalization. ||Newscom/Sipa&&

2||Hip hop mogul and activist Russell Simmons, Rabbi Marc Schneier, and Imam Shamsi Ali all addressed the crowds.||Newscom/Sipa&&

3|| ||Newscom/Sipa&&

4||Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who led the controversial effort to build the Park51 Islamic Center in downtown New York City.||Newscom/Sipa&&

5|| ||Newscom/Sipa&&

6|| ||Newscom/Sipa&&

7|| ||Newscom/Sipa&&

8|| ||Newscom/Sipa&&

9|| ||Newscom/Sipa&&

10||Russell Simmons.||Newscom/Sipa&&

During Gov. Scott Walker's (R-WI) press conference on Monday -- held in response to state Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller's (D-WI) letter calling for a meeting at the Illinois state line -- Walker and state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald both claimed that they were close to a deal with key Senate Dems to get them to return to the state. And in response, the Dems are saying no way, that didn't happen -- and that Walker and Fitzgerald's claims have only made it less likely.

During Walker's press conference, Fitzgerald told the press that he'd had other discussions with the lead negotiators, state Sens. Tim Cullen and Bob Jauch, about coming back.

"At no time did Sen. Miller become a part of those discussions. But what I really thought I was doing was negotiating with those two senators to come back on their own," said Fitzgerald, adding that they also believed the two could get a "magic number" of five others to come back with them, in order to provide full political cover.

"By Tuesday, a promise was given to me that that in fact was gonna happen," said Fitzgerald. "And on Wednesday, they didn't show up."

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At a press conference Monday afternoon, Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) fired back at state Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller (D), the leader of the 14 Democrats who have fled the state in order to block budget quorum on Walker's anti-public employee union proposals, who this morning sent Walker a letter calling for a meeting at the Illinois state line. And in his attacks on Miller, Walker suggested - with no apparent irony - that perhaps Miller has been having secret phone calls with special interest backers in organized labor.

Readers will recall Walker's own phone call two weeks ago with blogger Ian Murphy, who was posing as Republican financier David Koch. During that call, Walker discussed his ideas about tricking the Dems into coming back, his passion for busting the public employee unions in the mold of President Reagan firing the air traffic controllers, and other fun business. On Monday morning, state Dems announced that they were filing an ethics complaints against Walker, regarding things discussed on the call.

Walker started off by blasting Miller's letter and his handling of this whole situation. "We need to walk through why this letter is so ridiculous. And I think it's important," said Walker. "Because for the last several weeks, Sen. Fitzgerald [state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald] and my administration have been reaching out to reasonable senators, many of whom are interested and willing to come back to the state of Wisconsin. And time and time again, the person standing in the way of making that happen is Sen. Mark Miller."

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