TPM News

In a judicial smackdown reminiscent of the Orly Taitz saga, the investigating officer in the court martial of Birther Army doctor Terrence Lakin has denied Lakin's request to compel President Obama to testify, robbing the Birthers of what they hoped would be a golden opportunity to try the "eligibility" question in a high-stakes trial setting.

Lakin is being court martialed for refusing to follow orders to deploy to Afghanistan on the grounds that Obama is not eligible to be president and that therefore, in Lakin's view, all military orders are illegitimate.

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It sounds like South Carolina State. Sen. Jake Knotts' "raghead" comments last night are even worse than first reported.

Not only did he refer to Republican gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley as a "raghead" during an internet political radio show taped in a bar -- but Knotts called her a "f---ing raghead" afterward, according to a report from the Free-Times.

"She's a f---ing raghead," Knotts reportedly said.

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Stephen Colbert was pleased last night that BP got back its diamond-encrusted saw after it got stuck while trying to cut the pipe. He "was worried because it was a really nice saw."

"They chose it for the occasion," Colbert said, "because like a diamond, this oil spill is forever."

He added that now it is estimated that the spill might keep leaking until Christmas, which means there's "a good chance the hot holiday toy this year is going to be the clean-it-yourself egret."

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Heading into the final weekend of the California Republican gubernatorial primary, everything is coming up Meg Whitman. The new Field Poll in California (one of the state's longest running) shows Whitman cruising past Steve Poizner with a 2-1 lead.

The poll shows Whitman ahead by a margin of 51-25, just another in a string of big leads that public pollsters have reported for her in the final days of the race toward the June 8 primary. Concerns among some Republicans -- and excitement among Democrats -- that Poizner could pull off an upset after polls showed him closing the gap with Whitman several weeks ago appear to be unfounded.

The TPM Poll Average for the race shows Whitman ahead by a margin of 48.4-28.3.

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South Carolina State Sen. Jake Knotts (R) has apologized for referring to President Obama and Republican gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley as "ragheads," saying that he meant the comment as a joke.

"We've already got a raghead in the White House, we don't need another raghead in the governor's mansion," Knotts said on the internet political talk show Pub Politics, according to co-host Phil Bailey.

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Witness the South Carolina governor's race degenerate into a late-era Maury Povich special: Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer has challenged state Rep. Nikki Haley to take a polygraph to prove she did not sleep with former Bauer consultant Larry Marchant.

Remember, Haley, who denies an affair with Marchant, accused Bauer at a debate this week of pushing the story in the media with just a few days before the June 8 GOP gubernatorial primary.

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Though Glenn Beck claimed on his show that out of everyone in the media, only he would show footage of the flotilla raid by Israeli commandos, Jon Stewart last night pointed out that CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC and others had all showed the footage before Beck's program aired.

"This could mean only one of two things," said Stewart. Either "Mr. Beck lives in a cloistered world of paranoid delusion that is impervious to a priori evidence that contradicts his worldview."

But the more likely scenario, according to Stewart, is that "Glenn Beck has become so powerful that his wise words can be acted upon retroactively."

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It's been a wild ride the last couple weeks in South Carolina's Republican gubernatorial primary. And at least one candidate says it's "been embarrassing."

"The behavior of my opponents, their campaigns and their supporters over the last few weeks has not served our state well," Attorney General Henry McMaster said in a statement. "In fact, it's been embarrassing."

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Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) has a new ad featuring former President Bill Clinton, her state's former governor and favorite son, attacking the national labor unions for going after her in the contested Democratic primary runoff.

The ad uses footage of Bill at a rally for Lincoln last week. Bill is shown pointing out a newspaper article to the audience. "Here is an article from the Washington Post, it says some national unions made a decision a few months ago that they wanted to make Senator Blanche Lincoln the quote 'poster child' for what happens when a Democrat crosses them," Bill says, then adding after a quick cut: "This is about using you and manipulating your votes...If you want to be Arkansas's advocate, vote for somebody who will fight for you. Vote for Blanche Lincoln."

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