TPM News

The Arkansas Democratic Senate primary, already one of the toughest in the country, took the back-and-forth between Sen. Blanche Lincoln and Lt. Gov. Bill Halter to a new battlefield today: cyberspace.

Lincoln took to Twitter this afternoon to respond to a story published this morning suggesting her mind maybe have changed on reconciliation. In the tweet, she reaffirmed her opposition to reconciliation. A few minutes later Halter fired back with a tweet of his own making it clear that he supports the reconciliation process as a means to get health care reform.

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Has Liz Cheney damaged her cause, and her reputation, by running an ad that questioned the loyalties of Justice Department lawyers who defended Guantanamo detainees? After a barrage of attacks on the ad, including some from prominent conservatives, it's worth asking the question.

Last week, Keep America Safe, the pro-torture advocacy group that Cheney co-chairs with Bill Kristol, ran a web ad that labeled seven DOJ lawyers who had previously represented detainees at Gitmo -- or simply filed amicus briefs in their cases -- "the Al Qaeda Seven."

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Michelle Obama spoke at the Smithsonian today for the unveiling of her inaugural gown. Here's the full text of her remarks:

MRS. OBAMA: Thank you, everyone. Thanks so much. Well, clearly, it's a pleasure and an honor to be here with all of you today. Let me begin by thanking Secretary Clough for that generous introduction. I want to thank him and his wife Anne for their dedication to the mission of the Smithsonian.

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Two Ohio Republicans this weekend made birther jokes questioning President Obama's citizenship status at a local fundraising dinner starring Senate candidate and former Bush administration official Rob Portman.

Master of ceremonies and former state Rep. Jim Buchy, president of Buchy Food Service, opened his remarks at the Darke County Lincoln Day Dinner Saturday with a comparison between Obama and the 16th president.

According to audio recorded by someone at the dinner and obtained by TPMDC, the joke concludes with: "Lincoln was a skinny lawyer. Obama is a skinny lawyer. Lincoln was a Republican. Obama is a skinny lawyer. Lincoln was highly respected. Obama is a skinny lawyer. Lincoln was born in the United States. Obama is a skinny lawyer."

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Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), a potential presidential candidate, is already being "greeted" on his visit to Iowa today -- by some nasty robocalls impugning his conservative bonafides. However, it is not known who is actually behind the calls.

The 40-second robocall, reported by CNN, hammers Santorum as "a pro-life fraud." Although Santorum was known for his strong social conservative agenda during his two terms in the Senate, the call attacks him for campaigning in 1997 on behalf of New Jersey's pro-choice Republican Gov. Christie Whitman -- and for Sen. Arlen Specter in 2004, back when he was still a Republican and was facing a tough primary challenge from conservative Rep. Pat Toomey.

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Democrats have emerged with a new counterattack against the mounting GOP assault on Democratic ethics lapses, and it goes something like this: You've gotta be kidding me!

In the wake of a handful of Democratic scandals, Republicans are piling on, hoping to associate Democrats with the same stink that brought down the Republican majority: corruption. The GOP has tarred Democrats who accepted campaign money from Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY), and continue to attack the Democratic leadership for what they call hypocrisy on ethics and transparency.

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Eric Massa, the ex-congressman who Rush Limbaugh celebrated at length on his show yesterday, once went on a YouTube tirade blasting Limbaugh as a "schoolyard bully" and a "pompous coward" whose show is "destructive to this country."

The cognitive dissonance between Massa's past identity as a fiery Democratic congressman and his new role as what Politico calls a "conservative media hero" is likely to get even more intense tonight when Massa is interviewed by Glenn Beck.

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The National Republican Congressional Committee has been attacking Democrats for not returning contributions from Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY), who this week stepped down from his Ways and Means chairmanship over an ethics investigation, and calling his donations "tainted money."

But House Minority Leader John Boehner doesn't have a problem with the "tainted money" Rangel gave to Rep. Parker Griffith (AL), a Democrat-turned-Republican who switched parties in December.

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Vice President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered joint remarks today in Israel. Here's the full text:

PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: Vice President Biden, Joe, welcome to Israel and welcome to Jerusalem. We've been personal friends for almost three decades. Can you believe it has been that long? VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: No. You're getting older, Bibi, I don't know how.

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