TPM News

Derivatives, Bubba and shoe leather -- the Democratic candidates in the Arkansas Senate runoff are going to be pounding the pavement and pulling out all the stops in the final 15 days of campaigning. Sen. Blanche Lincoln is bringing in the big guns for a kickoff rally Friday with former President Bill Clinton in Little Rock. Lt. Gov. Bill Halter has a progressive army on his side as national groups and labor unions send supporters his way to help knock on doors and get-out-the-vote.

Both camps say they can do a better job of getting their voters to return to the polls June 8, but statistics prove runoffs are tricky business.

In the meantime, buckle up. It's about to get a lot nastier. The state's favorite animal is a razorback, after all.

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Sheriff Joe Arpaio is up-in-arms about an unusual newspaper ad placed by the Mexican Tourist Board, which appears to reference Arizona's controversial new immigration law.

The ad, which ran Friday in the Arizona Republic, declares: "In Sonora, we are looking for people from Arizona." Below those words is a picture of a man in what looks like a military helmet, holding binoculars to his face.

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Former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ), who is challenging Sen. John McCain in the Republican primary, said that the United States did not formally declare war on Germany in World War II -- at least, that's how it went in his history.

While speaking last week to a local GOP organization in Phoenix, Hayworth was asked by an attendee about America's failure to formally declare war in our modern conflicts. Hayworth defended the modern-day authorizations for the use of military force. "But I would also point out, that if we want to be sticklers, the war that Dwight Eisenhower led in Europe against the Third Reich was never declared by the United States Congress," said Hayworth. "Recall, the Congress passed a war resolution against Japan. Germany declared war on us two days later. We never formally declared war on Hitler's Germany, and yet we fought the war."

The questioner then responded that he thought the United States did declare on Germany, and he would check it. Hayworth responded: "I think we should check it. Perhaps we made the rationalization -- since there was the Axis alliance -- that the attack of Japan was tantamount to the attack of the Third Reich. But as I recall in my history, Germany declared war on the United States, not vice-versa."

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The White House today held a meeting on Don't Ask, Don't Tell, with congressional leaders and gay rights activists, an administration official confirms to TPM.

Congress is gearing up to vote on repealing the policy this week, according to several reports. The administration official said it is the White House's "understanding that Congress is determined to act this week."

"We're learning more about this proposal now," the official said.

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California Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve Poizner has a new ad up that bashes his primary opponent, Meg Whitman, for having "the same position on illegal immigration as the president of Mexico."

Last week, state Insurance Commissioner Poizner released a web video that claimed Whitman used to sell porn when she ran eBay.

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In a new Esquire profile, beleaguered former Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) claims to have inside knowledge of a series of secret meetings between General David Petraeus and Dick Cheney in which the former Vice President encouraged Petraeus to run for President. If Petraeus had been successful, Massa says, it would have been "the functional equivalent of the political overthrow of the commander in chief."

The profile also paints Massa (D-NY) as a somewhat frustrated and pathetic figure, "a disgrace in moccasins," who tried to kill himself twice following allegations that he had sexually harassed staffers.

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A prominent South Carolina blogger, Will Folks of FITSNews, claimed today that several years ago he had "an inappropriate physical relationship" with South Carolina Republican gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley -- prompting a swift denial from Haley.

Folks, a former spokesman for Gov. Mark Sanford and a self-proclaimed supporter of Haley's gubernatorial campaign, said the relationship occurred before he was married. Haley, a state representative, has been married since the mid-1990s and has two children.

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On Thursday, two police officers pulled over a white van in West Memphis, Arkansas, for a traffic stop, and the driver opened fire with an AK-47, killing the officers, according to police.

The driver of the van was Jerry Kane, who traveled the country giving a debt-elimination seminar and had recently spoken of killing IRS agents and being stopped at a "Nazi checkpoint" in New Mexico. Kane and his 16-year-old son were killed shortly after in a shootout with police in a Walmart parking lot. Two other police were wounded in the second shootout.

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A star-studded lineup of right-wing extremists graced this weekend's "Liberty Convention" in Montana.

The event -- organized by far-right activist Mona Docteur, and her Celebrating Conservatism group -- was predicted to attract 5000 conservative foot soldiers. In fact, only around 250 showed up. But what the event lacked in numbers, it more than made up for in the anti-government animus -- and sometimes outright wackiness -- of some of its speakers. (See a flier for the event here.)

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