TPM News

The Arizona sheriff who has claimed "our own government has become our enemy" and starred in a campaign ad for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has been awarded the 2011 Ferris E. Lucas Award for Sheriff of the Year by the National Sheriffs' Association. The group, which calls itself the largest association of law enforcement professionals in the U.S., credits Sheriff Paul Babeu, of Pinal County, Arizona with becoming "one of the most progressive Sheriffs in the country."

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The DCCC is already targeting 19 Republicans from marginal districts with local radio ads.

For the most part, the ads criticize the members for supporting GOP spending cut proposals. But they're also going after a couple of members -- Reps. David Rivera (R-FL) and Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA) -- who remain under ethical clouds.

"Did you know Congressman David Rivera is under criminal investigation for receiving secret payments from his mother's company?" says a narrator in the Rivera ad. "Tell Rivera to come clean so he can finally get to work for us."

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The White House is telling reporters in Washington this week they expect former Gov. Jon Huntsman (R-UT) -- now the administration's Ambassador to China -- to quit his job soon and mount a 2012 bid against President Obama.

Huntsman has been seen as a threat to Obama since the president was inaugurated, with many tea-leaf readers in DC calling Huntsman's appointment to head one of the nation's most important embassies back in 2009 as a preemptive strike by the White House's political team to eliminate a strong reelection rival from the board.

Now, it seems, that rival is back.

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Saturday Night Live over the weekend gave Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) another chance to deliver her tea party response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address.

"Unfortunately, that response was marred by some technical difficulties, and it seems that its core message was not properly conveyed," said Kristen Wiig, playing Bachmann. "Accordingly, I have asked for this time tonight to try again."

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Speaker John Boehner took to the Fox News Sunday airwaves this weekend for his first Sunday show interview since ascending to the top job in the House this month. Previewing what is likely to be bitter budget fight this year, Boehner appeared to dismiss all the new government spending projects President Obama mentioned in his State Of The Union address last Tuesday.

Obama proposed boosting government support for education, internet access and infrastructure as part of a US response to a rising China, what Obama called America's "Sputnik moment." Boehner, who rode into power thanks to a surge of anti-spending tea party voters, told FNS host Chris Wallace not to hold his breath waiting for Obama's requests to make it into a House-passed budget.

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Roger Stockham, the 63-year-old Vietnam vet who was arrested last week for allegedly plotting to attack the largest mosque in North America, has a long history of run-ins with the law and mental health issues.

Contemporaneous news reports spanning the past five decades chronicle a number of troubling incidents that resulted in both state and federal charges. Stockham has frequently argued that he's insane and has been put in a variety of programs.

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Police and officials informed about the arrest of a man who allegedly threatened to attack mosques and was found with explosives outside of the largest Islamic center in North America last week had planned to keep it quiet. Then the imam of the threatened mosque weighed in.

Imad Sayid Hassan Al-Qazwini informed worshippers about the arrest of Roger Stockham during his sermon on Friday, and a video of his speech was posted to YouTube. That's when the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) decided to put out a press release over the weekend.

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