TPM News

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), whose presidential campaign has been beset by a collapse in the polls and possible staffing issues, is taking on a new political front; she's introducing a strongly anti-abortion bill in the House, which could potentially help her rev up pro-life voters.

Bachmann's proposed "Heartbeat Informed Consent Act," announced on Thursday, would require a woman seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound, in order to view and hear a fetal heartbeat.

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The Congressional Budget Office on Friday released a report that predicts the a $1.3 trillion deficit for 2011, the AP reports:

The figure matches last year’s deficit tally but shows slight improvement over a record set two years ago.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) spoke at the Values Voter Summit on Friday, telling the audience that President Barack Obama’s press conference yesterday “just goes to show you that those blinded by tax-and-spend big government ideology will never see the truth.”

Remember all the handwringing from the Secret Service and the National Security Agency over President Obama's decision to keep using a Blackberry while serving as commander-in-chief?

Turns out, it may have been warranted for reasons entirely unrelated to personal or national security. In every Washington scandal or headline grabbing lawsuit, it's the emails that getcha, and for the first time a sitting President is known to have plenty of the chatty Internet missives piling up.

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Last week on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart wondered what Sarah Palin was doing touring the country and speaking at tea party rallies. Either she's running for president, he said, or she's a crazy person.

Well, Palin announced on Wednesday she won't enter the race. "So, I'm ready to call it with 100 percent of Sarah Palins reporting tonight, 'crazy person,'" Stewart said.

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As explained at length here, Harry Reid's Thursday night power play set a very narrow new precedent in the Senate. But it was a power play nonetheless. Setting aside its less-than-modest real impact, it required using the same "nuclear option" tactics Republicans threatened in 2005 during the fight over judicial filibusters. If in 2005 the GOP was threatening to detonate a massive H-bomb over a major city, last night Harry Reid set off a rusty old fission devise in the empty desert. Both nukes, very different impacts.

But Republicans are steamed. Steamed doesn't really even begin to describe it. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was practically trembling in anger Thursday night. On Twitter, NRSC chairman John Cornyn (R-TX) called the move "tyranny". And a Senate GOP leadership aide sent me the following remark, suggesting Republicans will remember this whenever they take the majority.

"Democrats are remarkably short-sighted--they forget they'll be in the minority someday and will have to live with THEIR rules," the aide said.

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Skateboarders were getting some air in Freedom Plaza on Thursday night. There was a shoeless man with a long gray ponytail meditating on a yoga mat. Others gathered in the White House adjacent park to bang on a giant drum as rap blasted from a speaker hooked up to an iPad and a group of friends chatted as they sat in a circle of folding chairs outside a giant camping tent. A few yards away, a couple laid on sleeping bags snacked on Nutella, watching a half dozen volunteers erect a giant blue tarp with the words "DEMOCRACY," "COMMUNITY" and "DIGNITY."

So ended the first day of Occupy D.C.

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