TPM News

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) -- the GOP's top budget guy, and author of the "Roadmap for America's Future" that suggests Congress partially privatize Social Security and turn Medicare into a voucher system -- insists that his pet plan is not representative of the GOP's official position on the fiscal future of the country. But he's going to do all he can to make sure the incoming class of Republican House members are well versed in its conservative dogma.

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California Attorney General Jerry Brown (D) has called for a court-appointed monitor to have "complete and unfettered access to all matters relating to the City" of Bell, following a salary inflation scandal that resulted in the arrest of eight city officials last month.

In a September 30 letter, Brown asked that the monitor investigate "fraud, dishonesty, incompetence, misconduct, mismanagement, or any irregularity" in the city government, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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A new University of Delaware poll gives Democratic nominee Chris Coons a huge lead over the colorful Republican Christine O'Donnell in this state's Senate race.

The numbers, including leaners: Coons 61%, O'Donnell 37%. Even without leaners, Coons leads by 49%-30%. There is no previous University of Delaware poll of this race.

The TPM Poll Average gives Coons a lead of 60.2%-38.7%.

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Opponents of trying terrorism suspects in a federal court in New York City openly anticipated a disaster last November after Attorney General Eric Holder announced that Sept. 11 so-called mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other terrorism suspects would be tried in the Big Apple. The civilian court system just wasn't capable of handling these type of issues, they said. The terrorists could get off scot-free, they added, on some technicality and be roaming the streets in no time.

But this week, admitted Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad -- whose case was handled entirely in the domestic courts despite calls for him to be tried in a military tribunal -- was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. And, today, another accused terrorist, Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, faces the start of his trial in New York City with virtually no fanfare.

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Louisiana officials want to keep building sand berms, man-made islands off the coast, to protect wetlands from the "million of barrels of oil [still] in the Gulf," even though BP's leaking well has been sealed.

According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Louisiana officials on Monday asked the Army Corps of Engineers for an emergency permit to construct berms along 40 miles of coastline.

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Last night, when Jon Stewart heard about America's apology to Guatemala for something that happened over 60 years ago, he was at first relieved: "I'm so glad it wasn't the atomic bomb thing."

But he was a little less relieved when he heard that the apology was for intentionally and secretly infecting people with STDs. In a segment called "syph happens," Stewart said: "By the way Guatemalan syphilis experi-mint -- worst Ben and Jerry's flavor ever."

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RNC chairman Michael Steele has a penchant for putting his foot in his mouth. But confessing ignorance about the federal minimum wage in the midst of a campaign where Republicans are shouting "Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!" from every rooftop may rank among his recent highlights.

In an interview on Lawrence O'Donnell's new MSNBC show last night, Steele first tried to change the subject before admitting he has no idea what minimum wage workers (Republican campaign ads refer to these folks as among the "average Americans") are paid in the country Steele and the rest of his party is so desperate to "take back."

"The reality of it is, that is not the most paramount issue that voters out there are facing," Steele explained to O'Donnell after he was asked what the federal minimum wage is. "When you've lost your job, whether you know what the minimum wage is is not relevant."

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Best Boss Ever? Michael Steele & The RNC Interns]

Eventually, Steele -- who many say will likely lose his job as RNC chair when his term ends -- conceded that he is among those who thinks the minimum wage is irrelevant in the current political debate.

"That'll be your headline," Steele tells O'Donnell. "'Steele doesn't know the minimum wage.'"

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Tea Parties Forge Alliances In Bid To Advance Agendas The Wall Street Journal reports: "The tea-party movement is turning more professional. Around the country, tea-party groups are building increasingly sophisticated political organizations and overcoming early bickering to push legislative platforms, elect their own delegates, shake up statehouses and even form alliances with the Republican Party establishment they profess to dislike. Nowhere is this evolution more vivid than in Virginia, where a federation of more than 30 groups scattered across the state now has the ear of the Republican governor, top state legislators and the state's congressional delegation."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will receive the presidential daily briefing at 11:15 a.m. ET, and the economic daily briefing at 11:45 a.m. ET. Obama will have lunch with Vice President Biden at 12:30 p.m. ET. Then at 1:45 p.m. ET, Obama will posthumously award the Medal of Honor to the late Staff Sergeant Robert J. Miller, U.S. Army, for heroic actions in Afghanistan. Obama will meet at 3 p.m. ET with senior advisers. He will depart from the White House at 4:25 p.m. ET, and depart from Andrews Air Force Base at 4:40 p.m. ET, arriving at 5:30 p.m. ET in Newark, New Jersey. He will attend a Democratic National Committee fundraising dinner at 6 p.m. ET in Cresskill, New Jersey. He will depart from Newark at 7:45 p.m. ET, arriving at 8:35 p.m. ET at Andrews Air Force Base, and arriving back at the White House at 8:50 p.m. ET.

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1||Connecticut Republican Senate nominee Linda McMahon, with supporters at the Newtown Labor Day Parade. Check out TPMDC's full coverage of the race here.

As the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, McMahon and her family have had a colorful past. Some of the highlights...||Linda McMahon for Senate&&

2||WWE wrestler Mark Henry and McMahon's husband, Vince McMahon.||Newscom/Carrie Devorah /

3||2007: Donald Trump shaves Vince McMahon's head during a WWE event, joined by Stone Cold Steve Austin.||Scott R. Galvin/UPI/Newscom&&

4||The McMahons.||Josh Williams/Splashnews/Newscom&&

5||Vince McMahon promoting a WWE giveaway.||Newscom/Zuma&&

6||March 2010: Connecticut Republican senate primary candidates Peter Schiff, former Rep. Rob Simmons, and Linda McMahon.||Newscom/krt&&

7||Bob Britz, left, president and CEO of the New York Stock Exchange, points to where traders are working as McMahon and WWF champion John "Bradshaw" Layfield look on. They are on hand for the ringing of the closing bell at the exchange, where the WWF is promoting the upcoming WrestleMania.||Monika Graff/UPI/Newscom&&

8||McMahon playing a fictionalized version of herself for WWE.||youtube/Dectbat&&

9||One of the problems that's dogged McMahon throughout the campaign is a series of negative headlines about WWE performers who have died. One of them is the late WWE wrestler Chris Benoit. (1967-2007)||wikimedia&&

10||March 14, 2008: Vince and Linda McMahon on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, where Vince was honored with the 3,357th star for his contribution to the entertainment industry.||Jim Ruymen/UPI/Newscom&&

11||Vince McMahon performing at a WWE event.||flickr/cc:jrandallc&&

12||McMahon in Greenwich, Connecticut.||Linda McMahon for Senate&&

13||McMahon at the Bristol Mum Festival Parade.||Linda McMahon for Senate&&

14||, August 10, 2010: McMahon celebrating her victory in the Republican primary for Senate.||Linda McMahon for Senate&&

15||McMahon at the New Britain Great American Boom July 4th celebration.||Linda McMahon for Senate&&

16|| ||Newscom/Zuma Press&&

17||McMahon, playing a fictionalized version of herself in WWE, in a video re-used in an attack ad against her by Republican primary opponent Peter Schiff. McMahon has asked voters to look past WWE's content, calling it a "soap opera."||Schiff For Senate&&

So: which tea party candidate is going to lose it and actually knock someone out before Election Day? With so many potentially dangerous hotheads (or at least candidates who appear to be interested in coming off that way) running for office on the conservative side of the Republican ballot line, this is a very important question for campaign volunteers, political opponents and anyone else who may find themselves in close proximity to some of these folks.

From New York to Alabama, this year has produced some of the gun-totin'est, threat-makingest, just-plain-wired-to-blowingest crop of potential members of Congress and governors in a long time. And most if not all of the of the ticking time bombs come from the tea party crop. So strap on your black belt, grab your pepper spray, dial 9-1 (be prepared to press the final "1" when necessary) and let's meet the Most Dangerous Men In Tea Partydom.

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