TPM News

Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio (R) today commented on the new Arizona law that targets illegal immigrants by requiring law enforcement officers to ask for the papers of anyone they have a "reasonable suspicion" is in the country illegally.

Rubio, who is the son of Cuban immigrants, said he has some "concerns" about the law.

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Let the expletives fly.

Moments ago, Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) had a swear-laced exchange with former Goldman Sachs partner Daniel Sparks during today's Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations hearing. The subcommittee is part of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

"Boy," Levin said, reading from an internal June 22, 2007 Goldman email, "that Timberwolf was one shitty deal."

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The Republican consultant behind the RNC's misleading fundraising mailers marked "Census" proudly touts the mailers on his firm's website. And he's dismissing the bipartisan outrage over the missives as "the ankle biting of the political process," adding that the Virgin Mary "had to go to Bethlehem to be part of a census."

The website for The Lukens Company, run by GOP consultant Walter Lukens and boasting a list of big-name clients, includes "Republican National Committee Census" as an example of the firm's work. The mailer is said to be the "most successful prospecting package for [the] RNC," and to have "generated hundreds of thousands of new donors to the RNC file."

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A new Mason-Dixon poll commissioned by the Salt Lake Tribune suggests that Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT) could be doomed to defeat at his state GOP's convention in May -- which would defeat him for renomination without even having a primary.

The poll of convention delegates gave attorney Mike Lee 37%, followed by businessman Tim Bridgewater with 20%, the incumbent Bennett at only 16%, and businesswoman Cherilyn Eagar with 11%. In addition, a whopping 61% of delegates view Bennett unfavorably, with only 28% giving him a favorable rating.

Under the rules of the Utah GOP, a candidate with 60% of the convention vote will be nominated outright, with no primary. If the super-majority is not reached, then the final two contenders will have a primary -- meaning that a candidate must receive at least 40% of the convention vote in order to make it to the primary. With the incumbent Bennett at only 16%, it is seems highly unlikely that he could make it out of the convention.

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Following up on Sen. Carl Levin's (D-MI) dismantling of Goldman Sachs at this morning's Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations hearing, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) slammed the investment bank in her opening statement.

Saying that Goldman hides behind complicated jargon to mask financial moves and products that aren't quite above board, McCaskill offered some definitions.

"Let me just explain in very simple terms what synthetic CDOs are," she said. "They are instruments that are created so that people can bet on them."

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You don't have to go back in time too far to remember when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ran the Senate in a way that drove progressive Democrats into fits of apoplexy: timidly, and unwilling to use the body's rules for political advantage. Suddenly, with health care reform behind him, and bleak political prospects for both himself and his party staring him in the face, Reid has decided that it's finally time to charge hard.

After quarterbacking health care reform through its tricky final moments in the Senate, Reid put the GOP on the spot yesterday, forcing them to filibuster a broadly popular Wall Street reform bill, and promises to do so over and over again. He's calling out deception, and turning his attention to issues--immigration--that marginalize his opponents, and cleave the Republican party in two.

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Gov. Charlie Crist (R-FL), who is trailing in the polls for his Republican primary for Senate, has announced that he will decide on Thursday whether he will bolt the GOP and run as an independent.

This is one day earlier than when Crist would legally have to make his decision, at the Friday filing deadline on Friday. From the Associated Press report: "Asked what's changed that's making him consider an independent run, Crist quietly responded that he didn't know."

If Crist doesn't know why he might be considering an independent run, here are some quick clues. The TPM Poll Average for the Republican primary gives Marco Rubio a lead of 59.1%-27.9% over Crist, the opposite of where things were a year ago. Meanwhile, the poll average for a three-way general election only gives Rubio a narrow lead with 33.8% of the vote, followed by an independent Crist at 27.8%, and Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek with 22.5%.

Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) just finished up his opening statement at this morning's Senate Permanent Subcomittee on Investigations -- and it was quite a show.

Levin ripped Goldman Sachs -- charging that the investment bank has consistently misrepresented its role in the financial crisis, and misrepresented its profit motives to customers.

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When Stephen Colbert goes to the hospital, he makes sure to "always wear clean underwear, and carry plenty of farm animals," which he demonstrated last night using a chicken, rabbit, parakeet, and duck.

Riffing off of Nevada Senate candidate Sue Lowden's (R) advice to "barter with your doctor" to save money on health care, Colbert added that he also keeps a dead trout on hand just in case his doctor doesn't eat meat.

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