TPM News

A new ABC/Washington Post poll finds some curious facts about Birthers, the people who think that President Obama was born in another country instead of in Hawaii. As it turns out, there is a divide between those who only suspect this to be the case, and those who think there is solid evidence -- and furthermore, some of them approve of his job performance.

As part of its general national survey of adults in late April, ABC/WaPo asked, "where was Barack Obama born, as far as you know?" The initial answer was 68% United States, 14% another country. ABC then pushed the undecideds, by asking for their best guess. After those leaners were pushed, the final result was 77% United States, 20% somewhere else.

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President Obama is getting this close to making his Supreme Court selection to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of Justice John Paul Stevens, so we know what that means -- Washington is in a tizzy about when and how and who will be his choice.

Politico's Mike Allen set the Internet aflame this morning by reporting in his Playbook newsletter that the nomination would definitively come on Monday and with a strong suggestion it would be Solicitor General Elena Kagan. Is the report accurate? I asked the White House.

"In a word? No," an aide told me.

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Carly Fiorina -- who's trailing in the Republican Senate primary in California -- is apparently already looking ahead to the general election, releasing two new campaign ads this morning targeting Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer.

The ads target Boxer's record on job growth, taxes, and supposed history of "bitter partisanship and huge expansion of our federal government."

The 30-second ads, entitled "Work" and "Jobs," intone ominously on "deficits," "spending," and "trillions in new taxes."

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A new Gallup poll finds that the passage of the health care bill has not actually improved Americans' outlook on their health care costs, with people still worried about whether they would be able to pay their medical bills.

The poll found that 61% of Americans are very or moderately worried about being able to pay medical costs for normal healthcare, up from 58% a year ago. Also, 48% are very or moderately worried about not being able to pay medical costs in case of a serious illness or accident, up from 48% a year ago. And in both cases, these figures are the highest they've been in Gallup's annual figure for the entire past decade.

The poll of American adults has a margin of error of ±4%.

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President Obama hailed new job numbers today that show 290,000 new jobs were created in April, saying the numbers are "very encouraging" -- though "we still have more to do."

Obama said "the truest measure of progress would be whether or not we are creating jobs. That's what matters in people's lives. What matters is whether someone who needs a job can find work, and that people can provide for their families and save for their future."

"Everything we've done," the president said, "has been with this goal in mind. And today I'm happy to report that we received some very encouraging news."

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In case you thought Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) hadn't been sufficiently clear about his position on climate and energy legislation, he now has new reasons to declare it dead--at least for now.

In a new statement to reporters, Graham says that, in addition to Democrats' new push on immigration reform, the oil spill in the gulf has made passing a climate and energy bill this year "impossible."

"Some believe the oil spill has enhanced the chances energy legislation will succeed," Graham said. "I do not share their view."

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CIA Agent Andrew Warren was already on probation on charges that he had sex with a drugged woman in Algeria, where he was serving as CIA station chief, before breaking down in Virginia last month in what sounds like an epic unraveling.

According to a new federal court filing, Warren allegedly exposed himself to a woman, lied about his name and social security number when confronted by police about it, and said he had a "Glock service weapon" (that he refused to show police). And then, during a conversation with police at his home on April 3:

Warren then proceeded to show the officer a disguise kit and said that he could use it to hide from anyone because he had been trained by the CIA. Warren told the officer that he had been trained in the martial arts, all types of weapons and spoke eight Arabic languages. During this communication, the officer reported that Warren took down the officers' names and unit numbers and stated words to the effect of "it will be different the next time I meet with you".

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National Democrats may end up abandoning the HI-01 special election, the Associated Press reports -- potentially ceding a seat to the Republicans that President Obama carried with 70% of the vote -- due to the vote-splitting of the two Democratic candidates, former Rep. Ed Case and state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa.

"It's an extremely difficult race, since two Democratic candidates are splitting the vote," said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD). "The local Democrats haven't been able to come together and resolve that, so we'll have to re-evaluate our participation."

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