TPM News

It seems like every week we get a new Republican presidential primary debate (and it seems that way because it's basically true.)

That means we're seeing a lot of the candidates in primetime, even the ones who don't really have a shot at winning the nomination. Sometimes it seems like we spend most of the time watching the also-rans talk, while the actual frontrunners are pushed to the side.

Turns out that's not really the case.

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Herman Cain during a press available in New Hampshire Wednesday said his recent successes can be chalked up to a theme: he wins.

“We’re now going to ramp up…we are ramping up and filling some very valuable positions that we need to fill,” Cain said, according to CNN. “The compression of the time leading up to the first caucus and primary and we now have the money to do so.”

Addressing an audience in Flint, Michigan on Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden stressed the importance of sufficient police forces in the fight against violent crime.

“In 2008, when Flint had 265 sworn officers on their police force, there were 35 murders and 91 rapes in this city,” Biden said. “In 2010, when Flint had only 144 police officers, the murder rate climbed to 65 and rapes—just to pick two categories—climbed to 229. In 2011, you now only have 125 shields. God only knows what the numbers will be this year for Flint if we don’t rectify it.”

The Weekly Standard, however, chose to go in a different direction when reporting on the VP’s remarks. “Biden Warns of More Rapes and Murders If Jobs Bill Is Not Passed,” their headline reads.

Reuters reports:

Saudi Arabia and the United States traded charges with Iran Wednesday over an alleged plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to Washington, deepening divisions and sharpening a contest for power in the oil-rich Gulf.

The U.S. Marine Corps has just awarded a grant of $850,000 to a Wisconsin businessman and an engineering professor to develop a new high efficiency engine that can run on renewable biofuels and biogas, as well as ordinary diesel fuel. The new engine, called K6, is still in the design stage, and the grant will go to building and testing a prototype. If successful, K6 could be up to 30 percent more efficient - and far more quiet - than a conventional diesel engine. The engine also won't require any modifications when different fuels are used.

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Michele Bachmann is looking to revive her campaign this weekend by hitting Rick Perry in a town that shares the Texas governor’s name. At campaign stops in Perry, IA, Bachmann is expected to discuss immigration — a topic that has played poorly for Gov. Perry ever since he expressed sympathy for immigrant education in a recent debate.

“Perry, Iowa, is dealing with the consequences of our weak immigration laws,“ Bachmann spokesperson Alice Stewart told the Des Moines Register. "It’s fitting for Michele to go there and highlight her strong stance on immigration reform, which includes building a fence, enforce existing laws, no amnesty, and no magnets to lure illegals to this country.”

Bachmann’s critique is the latest in a string of attacks on Perry from the right on immigration. Last week, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s campaign said Perry’s “liberal immigration policies are out of step with Iowa.”

Updated Oct. 12 10:50 a.m.

A Tennessee lawmaker who is a major proponent of legislation allowing gun owners to carry firearms in bars was arrested on Tuesday and charged with driving under the influence and possession of a handgun while under the influence, Davidson County Sheriff's Office confirmed to TPM.

Rep. Curry Todd (R) was pulled over around 11:15 p.m. Tuesday, according to the local Fox affiliate. Todd allegedly failed a roadside sobriety test and refused to take a breathalyzer test, the Associated Press reports. The gun -- a Smith & Wesson 38 Special -- was holstered next to the driver's seat and loaded.

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The Massachusetts Republican Party has a scary new Web video out against Elizabeth Warren, the former White House financial reform adviser who is running to challenge incumbent Republican Sen. Scott Brown.

The video plays snippets of Warren using some colorful, figurative language during a TV interview -- with added sound effects and video blurring, with the picture zooming in further and further on Warren's mouth as she speaks: "I have really done three things in my life, I have taught school...I've done research...And I have thrown rocks at people that I think are in the wrong."

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Updated:Oct. 12, 12:42PM

Some breaking news from the trial of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab: the Nigerian man who allegedly tried to blow up an airplane with a bomb in his underwear plans to plead guilty, according to the Associated Press.

The development came on the second day of the trial. On Monday, witness Mike Zantow testified that he heard another passenger tell Abdulmatallab: "Hey, dude, your pants are on fire."

Jurors were supposed to hear from a flight attendant and other passengers on the December 2009 flight today.

Attorney General Eric Holder said the outcome proved that civilian courts could handle terrorism cases.

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