TPM News

On The Daily Show last night, Jon Stewart addressed the recent threats made against Democrats following the passage of health care reform, including a bag of suspicious white powder sent to Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY).

Stewart had a confession to make: "That white powder that was sent to his office was merely a lot of cocaine that I had shipped to him, per his request, so that he could sell it. Or use it to get prostitutes."

He also knocked a Fox News Contributor who compared House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's walk through a crowd of tea party protesters to Nazis who provocatively marched through an Illinois town: "Who does she think she is, walking to work?"

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Joshua Stone, the son of the leader of the Christian militia Hutaree who was the ninth person charged in an alleged plot to kill police, has surrendered and will appear in court today, the AP reports.

Stone was previously described as a fugitive.

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Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) was never going to have an easy time winning re-election in 2010. As a conservative Democrat facing reelection in a state that went for John McCain by an overwhelming 59-39 margin, she has had to do a delicate dance to distance herself from the national party led by a Democratic President whose unfavorable ratings there hover around 60 percent. And it doesn't help her cause that the conservative base has been re-energized by their antipathy to her party.

But instead of dancing with a ballerina's deft footwork, Lincoln has often struggled with two left feet. As time has gone on--and as her prospects for reelection have diminished--Lincoln has stumbled repeatedly.

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The Republican National Committee late Monday night announced that RNC Chairman Michael Steele has fired a staffer who went to a bondage-themed club with topless dancers in Los Angeles using $2,000 in committee funds. (TPM's coverage of the issue is here and here.)

Here is a statement from RNC communications director Doug Heye.

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has a new fundraising e-mail out, making light of the Tea Party rally that was held this past weekend in his small hometown of Searchlight, Nevada. In particular, Reid challenges the Tea Partiers basic political knowledge, insofar as they call Democrats "socialists."

"I double checked the definition of 'socialism,' and it's defined as a political philosophy that advocates for government ownership of private industry. Absolutely needless to say, not a view I agree with in the least," Reid writes.

"My first thought was that we could hold a fundraising drive to buy dictionaries for all these folks and mail them out lickity split. But my campaign manager rightly pointed out that with the first quarter coming to an end, we should raise money for the campaign in dictionary-sized increments instead."

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Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, a candidate for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in California, has a new TV ad touting her businesswoman sensibilities.

"So we have no choice but to make California far more efficient and effective than it is, by running this thing a little bit more like a business," says Whitman. "Government will never be a business, it shouldn't be a business. But it does need a dose of 'How do we do more for less?'"

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We've been writing about Jon Scott Ashjian, the official Tea Party of Nevada Senate candidate aiming to beat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) this fall.

Ashjian has been taking heat from groups that make up the tea party movement who say he's just been set up to siphon votes from Republican candidates, and he's also facing a felony charge of writing a bad check to a business consultant for his asphalt company. He's also had his contractor's license revoked and other business woes.

Geraldo Rivera asked Ashjian in a recent appearance on Fox News if he was a Democratic plant, a few days after the Tea Party Express group produced an Internet ad suggesting Ashjian is a fraud. Rivera also asked about the legal troubles.

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March 27, 2010: Tea Partiers gather for the 'Showdown in Searchlight' Tea Party Express rally in Searchlight, Nevada. The event, described as a "conservative Woodstock," took place in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-NV) hometown, and kicked off the group's national tour.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin spoke at the event.

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Photo by Mike Hickey

U.S. Marshals in Michigan have released mugshots of eight Hutaree militia members charged with seditious conspiracy and other crimes in an alleged plot to kill police.

Pictured here, clockwise from top-left: David Stone, Sr., Tina Stone, David Stone, Jr., Jacob Ward, Joshua Clough, Michael Meeks, Kristopher Sickles and Thomas Piatek. A ninth man, Joshua Stone, is described by authorities as a fugitive.

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