TPM News

Tea Party turmoil continues in the Sunshine State...

A group of Florida Tea Partiers has filed suit against the team of conservative activists that registered the Tea Party of Florida (TPOF) as an official state party, alleging that their rivals "fully intend to 'hijack' the phrase 'Tea Party' for their political will and objectives."

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Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), an outspoken advocate for a single-payer health care system, said today reform might be dead if the Republican wins in Massachusetts.

"I think you could make a pretty good argument that health care might be dead," he said on MSNBC.

Asked if the House might pass the Senate bill word-for-word -- one of the alternatives if Democrats lose their 60-seat majority -- Weiner didn't sound optimistic.

"I think it's gonna be very hard to ask us in the House to take the Senate bill, which everyone acknowledges was a worse bill," he said. "I don't see us doing that."

He also said he personally would have a "very difficult time" voting for the Senate bill.

"I'd have to get some kind of assurance that tomorrow we're gonna get 15 things changed in it, and that's not usually the way legislation happens," he said.


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Boston-area TV station WBZ reports voter turnout "appears high" in the Massachusetts special election today. High turnout could be good news for Democrats, who vastly outnumber Republicans in the state. But increased turnout in the right areas could also be good news for Republicans, who are fired up about Scott Brown's (R) chances to replace Ted Kennedy in the Senate.

Massachusetts Secretary of State Scott Galvin told WBZ "he expects about 40-percent of voters to turn out" today, roughly double the number that voted in the primaries in December.

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In a preview of what will apparently be a scorching Inspector General report, the Washington Post today details how the FBI illegally collected more than 2,000 U.S. phone records over several years during the Bush Administration.

The crux of the lawbreaking was the FBI's use of so-called "exigent circumstances letters" to get phone records. That's was a post-9/11 tool created to allow quick searches of phone records in case of emergency.

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On last night's Daily Show, Jon Stewart tore into the Democrats' handling of both the Massachusetts special election and health care reform.

"Let me see if I have this straight. You need to replace perhaps the most beloved liberal in the history of the Senate with a candidate that believes Curt Schilling is a Yankee fan. Because if this lady loses, the health care reform bill that the beloved late senator considered his legacy will die," Stewart said. "And the reason it will die is because if Coakley loses, Democrats will only have then an 18-vote majority in the Senate. Which is more than George W. Bush ever had in the Senate when he did whenever the f**k he wanted."


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After casting her ballot this morning, Martha Coakley (D) told reporters she's going to win the Massachusetts special election today. The AP report:

Coakley said she wasn't paying attention to media or polls suggesting she might lose to Brown, who's ridden a wave of support across the solidly Democratic state. She planned to greet voters at a commuter rail station in Boston before heading to cities in the southern and western part of the state and also scheduled a return to Boston Tuesday night to await the results.

Click here for video of Coakley's brief press conference this morning from WBZ-TV in Boston.

Today: The Massachusetts Special Senate Election Today is the special election for Senate in Massachusetts. Republican Scott Brown is widely viewed as the frontrunner to pick up the Senate seat formerly held for 47 years by Democratic icon Ted Kennedy -- which would deprive Democrats of their 60-seat supermajority -- with Democrat Martha Coakley hoping for the state's Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts to put her over the finish line. The polls will close at 8 p.m. ET.

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will receive the presidential daily briefing at 9 a.m. ET. Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will hold a discussion with sixth grade students at 10 a.m. ET, at the Graham Road Elementary School in Virginia, and Obama will deliver remarks at 10:25 a.m. ET on the "Race to the Top" program. Obama will meet at 11:30 a.m. ET with Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH), in the Oval Office. He will have lunch with Vice President Biden at 12:30 p.m. ET. He will receive the economic daily briefing at 1:30 p.m. ET, and meet at 4:25 p.m. ET with senior advisers.

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