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Rep. Allen West (R-FL) is now making the rounds of the right-wing talk radio circuit, in the wake of his e-mail to DNC Chair and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), in which he declared that she has supposedly "proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!" His message for the GOP base: Liberals hate African-American conservatives like him for leaving their "21st-century plantation."

West appeared Wednesday evening on the Mark Levin radio show, and criticized Wasserman Schultz for, among other things, her remarks against his vote on the House Republicans' budget proposal (for which he sent the e-mail), and for having organized a protest outside his campaign headquarters during the 2010 campaign in which he was accused of sexism. No mention was made during the interview about the conflicting reports that he claimed to have apologized, though both his own office and Wasserman Schultz say he has not.

"The thing that really most aggravates me is that there is this double standard, in that the people on the hard left can continue to attack conservatives and especially minority conservatives, and female conservatives," said West. "But yet when all of a sudden you stand up and you say that you will not tolerate this anymore, then they claim to be a victim -- which I find just absolutely laughable."

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As any political pundit worth his or her salt will tell you, you can't win the presidency as a Republican, Democratic, Whig or Bull Moose party member without winning the state of Ohio. Right now, President Barack Obama leads all GOP challengers there.

The quintessential swing state has done just that over the last two cycles, with Democrats making gains in 2006 and 2008 and Republicans taking some back 2010. In 2006, the Goverorship went Democratic for the first time in sixteen years, and incumbent GOP Sen. Mike DeWine lost his re-election bid in the wake of former Gov. Bob Taft (R) becoming the first Ohio Chief Executive to be convicted of a crime. In 2008, President Obama took the state by well over 200,000 votes.

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Retreating from a tough attack on a rival, Tim Pawlenty is backtracking on his suggestion that Michele Bachmann's migraines may disqualify her from the presidential race.

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Meet The 2012 GOPers: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN)]

"I think it's mostly a sideshow," Pawlenty told FOX News on Wednesday, when asked about the story. "I've observed Congresswoman Bachmann. I've never seen her have a medical condition or impairment that would seem to be a concern."

But earlier in the day, Pawlenty became the first and only presidential candidate to directly go after Bachmann on the issue.

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After being fast tracked by a House panel and passing the House last week, a bill that would strip fundamental powers of the EPA to regulate water toxins crept closer to a Senate vote.

It bears a striking resemblance to several pieces of "model legislation" recently leaked from The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and might be the newest testament to the organization's potency.

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Wisconsin has been in the grips of one political battle after another, ever since the Republican wave of 2010 was followed up by Gov. Scott Walker's legislation to eliminate most rights for public employee unions. The state Senate could potentially flip from Republican to Democrat in August, due to the recall elections called in response. But after that, it will be far from over -- with the state Democratic Party's public vow to recall Walker himself at some point next year.

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Madison Comes to D.C: Protesters Swarm Lobby of GOP Fundraiser]

As of right now, the state Senate recalls are headed into the home stretch. Last week, Democratic primaries were held for races targeting six incumbent Republicans, with the official Democratic candidates all winning against fake Dem opponents -- who were in fact Republican activists planted in the races by the state GOP in order to delay the general elections. And on Tuesday, in the first general election of the batch, Democratic state Sen. Dave Hansen won in a landslide against a politically and personally damaged Republican opponent, after the GOP had failed to collect a sufficient number of valid petition signatures for their recruited candidate.

This leaves eight races to go. On August 9, general elections will be held in six races targeting incumbent Republicans. Then on August 16, two more races will be held targeting incumbent Democrats.

But after that -- and lurking underneath the surface of the campaigning this year -- has been the Dems' main recall threat, against Walker himself.

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Ever wanted to know who to thank for House Speaker John Boehner's congressional career? The late Ohio Republican Rep. Donald "Buz" Lukens was your man.

It was 1990. Lukens was in his second term in Congress. The year before, the 58-year-old congressman had been caught on a television network's hidden camera in a McDonald's restaurant speaking with the mother of a 16-year-old girl he was allegedly sleeping with.

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Like some kind of strange VH-1-C-SPAN hybrid, the bottom rung of the 2012 presidential race is turning into an episode of I Love Esoteric Political Rivalries Of The Early-2000s. Rick Santorum, down on money and lagging in the polls, is turning to an old foe, columnist Dan Savage, to help fill his coffers and grab some headlines.

Savage, who back in 2003 perfected the Google bomb that's still plaguing Santorum, is happy to oblige him.

"We just can't quit each other," Savage told TPM in an email.

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If Ronald Reagan was the Teflon President, Barack Obama may be the Kevlar President -- bad news can bruise him, but none can pierce his armor to cause any severe damage to his approval ratings.

That's according to Gallup Editor In Chief Frank Newport, who spoke to reporters Tuesday at a breakfast meeting sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor. Newport says he's crunched the numbers as far back as they go in Gallup's polling archive and found that no one's done as well as Obama when the public is as unhappy with the economy.

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