TPM News

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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Republican Senator Scott Brown leads in a new poll of the Massachusetts senate race, but his chief rival Elizabeth Warren is within the margin of error. The Western New England University poll showed that 47 percent go for Brown versus 42 for Warren in a trial heat. Independent voters, which make up a large portion of the MA electorate, split solidly for Brown, who picks up 57 percent to Warren’s 32. Brown still retains a high favorability rating among state voters, and Warren’s is positive as well, but she is far less known.

The poll also asked if Mass. registered voters thought the fact that Warren is a Harvard Law School professor made them more or less likely to support her. Only 13 percent said that fact made them less likely to, 21 percent said it would be them more likely, and 63 said it would make no difference at all.

Warren’s day job has been a point of attack for Republicans in the state, who asked Harvard to stop paying Warren when she officially became a candidate.

The 2011 Values Voter Summit -- the massive social conservative confab hosted by the Family Research Council -- kicks off in Washington today, the first of a three-day celebration of the religious right that will feature appearances by just about all of the major Republican candidates for president.

Where last year's VVS -- also known as the national coming out party for Christine O'Donnell -- was heavy on talk of where the tea party and the social conservative movement can unite, the VVS 2011 agenda is more focused on the social right's recent political resurgence.

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New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg during his weekly radio address took some shots at the growing anti-Wall Street protests in lower Manhattan and around the country.

“The protests that are trying to destroy the jobs of working people in this city aren’t productive,” Bloomberg said, according to the Village Voice

Bachmann emails supporters:

With the breaking news that Governor Palin and Governor Christie will not seek the Republican nomination for president of the United States — there is only one true conservative in this race. […]

The other candidates can talk the talk, but I am the only one who is actually “walking the walk.“ As a member of Congress, I have fought every single day against the Washington establishment for our conservative values and beliefs. I am not in politics for my personal benefit — I am a public servant because I know and believe Americans deserve better.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Friday responded to Eric Cantor’s uneasiness with the anti-Wall Street protests, saying “I sense a little hypocrisy unbound here.”

“What we’re seeing on the street of (New York) is an expression of democracy,” Carney said. …“I can’t understand how one man’s mob is another man’s democracy.”