TPM News

Sen. Patrick Leahy wants to make sure that the Justice Department Inspector General probes the ATF operation that deployed “gun walking” tactics during the Bush administration.

In a letter to Acting Inspector General Cynthia A. Schnedar, Leahy writes that “documents provided by the Department of Justice to Congress show that the ATF utilized similar investigative techniques years earlier,” referring to Operation Wide Receiver.

“I am writing to ask whether your office’s investigation includes a review of the tactics developed and used earlier in these prior ATF operations,” Leahy wrote.

Was it a hoax, a self-aggrandizing publicity stunt, a real plot that fizzled, one that partially succeeded, or one that has yet to fully develop?

Whatever happened with "Operation Cartel" -- a supposed plan from self-identified members of the hacktivist collective "Anonymous" to release identifying information online about associates of Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas on November 5, 2011-- things decidedly did not go according to the stated plan.

For starters, the plan, announced in an October 6 YouTube video (but which did not achieve widespread publicity in the mainstream media until an October 28 report from global intelligence firm Stratfor), was abruptly canceled over fears of risk to innocent lives from retaliatory cartel violence, only to be re-started just days before its November 5 deadline.

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The Des Moines Register reports:

Bob Vander Plaats, president of the Family Leader, a conservative organization that promotes Christian values, said in a telephone interview that Cain needs to address these allegations head-on, or a “cloud of doubt will envelop his candidacy.”

“The Iowa and American voter are fair when humility, sincerity and authenticity are communicated. This is a ‘tipping point’ for the viability of his campaign,” Vander Plaats said.

A jury has found Michael Jackson’s personal doctor, Conrad Murray, guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

The Des Moines Register reports:

The former Massachusetts governor blamed the president for racking up huge deficits, which he said could lead to the kind of financial crisis being seen in Europe as Greece struggles to fend off default. “The difference of course would be that there’s no one big enough to bail out the United States of America,” he said.

Romney promised to “slay the deficit beast.” The first step, he said, would be to reverse Obama’s health-reform law. After that, he said, Americans would have to prepare to have some popular programs to disappear. He listed public broadcasting, Amtrak and the National Endowment for the Humanities as examples. “These are wonderful things, but I’m not willing to borrow a billion dollars to pay for things we don’t absolutely need. We can’t keep buying and spending and passing it on to our kids,” he said.

Hank Skinner, a Texas death row inmate, has received a stay of execution. His lawyers had petitioned Texas authorities – including Gov. Rick Perry – for a 30 day reprieve in order to test the crime scene for DNA evidence.

Skinner was convicted in 1993 of murdering his former girlfriend and her two sons.

Kentucky Republican gubernatorial nominee David Williams, who is also president of the state Senate, appeared Monday morning in an interview with the local Fox affiliate in Louisville, in an effort to boost his underdog campaign in the home stretch. And of course, the local TV host asked Williams about the continued controversy that Williams kicked up in the campaign in the last week -- when he attacked Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear for participating in a Hindu religious ceremony, and subsequently called upon Hindus to come to Jesus.

"Well, my criticism was not for his attendance," Williams told host Lindsay Allen (more on that later). "You know, Governor Beshear is the one that's made a big deal out of him being -- his father being a Baptist minister, his grandfather being a Baptist minister. I just think that Governor Beshear needs to treat Christians as well as he does Hindus and other folks.

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A 'sovereign citizen' and member of the Alaska Peacemakers Militia was arrested for illegally possessing a firearm when attempting to cross into Canada, and was found with instructions on how to make pipe bombs, information on carrying concealed firearms and lists of websites that teach "remote viewing."

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Let's just get this out of the way: there is basically no chance that Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) will endorse the eventual GOP nominee.

Appearing on 'Fox News Sunday,' Paul was asked by host Chris Wallace if on the "off chance" he doesn't win the nomination, he would support the candidate that did.

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You may have heard Republicans call President Obama a socialist a few times. But now Michele Bachmann is using the loaded term to attack Mitt Romney, dropping a veiled shot at an unnamed "frugal socialist" who could challenge Obama in 2012.

"Unfortunately for too many Republicans, they also aspire to be frugal socialists," Bachmann told an audience at the Family Research Council in Washington, citing health care in particular as a telltale indicator. "We cannot preserve liberty if the choice is between a frugal socialist and an out-of-control socialist."

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