TPM News

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) stopped by CNN this morning and addressed her embarrassing gaffe where she told a reporter the actor John Wayne was born in Waterloo, IA right after she kicked off her presidential campaign in the town.

Wayne was acutally born hours away in Winterset, IA. The John Wayne Waterloo is connected with is John Wayne Gacy, the notorious serial killer who committed a couple of sex crimes in the town in his 20s.

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Budget negotiations are going down to the wire in Minnesota -- where the state is heading for a government shutdown if a budget deal isn't passed by the end of the week. And lawmakers are keeping tight-lipped about the progress of their negotiations.

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton met with Republican House Speaker Kurt Zellers and Republican Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch Monday evening to continue hammering out a deal. But details of the meetings have, for the most part, been kept under wraps. The meeting Monday follows negotiations over the weekend that broke off abruptly Sunday.

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They say the sun never sets on an English friendship. Certainly that's the case in the Republican primary this year, where Ronald Reagan's partnership with Margaret Thatcher comes up often in speeches, interviews, and even campaign slogans.

Britain's "Iron Lady," famed for her free market ideals and tough-minded style of governance, has always been a popular figure in Republican circles across the pond, but she seems to have taken on new relevance in recent years for the party's leading lights. While George W. Bush identified strongly with wartime Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, as he struggled to prosecute the War on Terror, national security has fallen far down the list of priorities for the party and the field is significantly divided on foreign policy. Instead, the focus is on the weak economy, which is clearly Maggie's wheelhouse.

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Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), who defeated longtime campaign finance crusader Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) last year, has been under the microscope in recent days for possibly violating laws against corporate underwriting of campaigns.

Last week the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel started asking uncomfortable questions about $10 million in deferred compensation Johnson received from his former company, Pacur, weeks after his $9 million self-financed successful 2010 campaign came to an end.

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The National Organization for Marriage has a flair for the dramatic. Their much-mocked advertisement against gay marriage featured literal clouds forming over the heads of actors portraying regular American citizens whimpering at the thought of an impending gay marriage-acalypse.

If they'd chosen a cinematic interpretation of the "D-Day" metaphor they used in emails to anti-gay marriage supporters before their big loss last week, it might feature flamboyant soldiers invading the shores of the Hamptons.

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By Nelson Ireson

We just managed to snap these spy shots of a Tesla Model S prototype testing not far from our home offices (and Tesla's) in Palo Alto, California.

What's the big deal, considering the Alpha build was revealed earlier this year?

This model shows some more changes, and may represent the most production-ready Model S seen to date.

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The man in charge of keeping John Wayne's legacy alive in his native Winterset, Iowa says he's not blaming Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) for her apparent gaffe regarding the actor's birthplace this morning.

But Brian Downes, executive director of the John Wayne Birthplace Museum, pointed out that other presidential candidates -- Ronald Reagan in 1984 and Barack Obama in 2007 -- have found their way to John Wayne's boyhood home.

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Wisconsin Republicans just hit a bump in the road in the state Senate recall campaigns, with one of their chosen candidates against a Democratic incumbent having just gotten knocked off the ballot -- leaving another candidate who is less than ideal.

The state Government Accountability Board, which oversees elections in the state, knocked GOP state Rep. John Nygren off the ballot Tuesday in his effort to unseat Dem state Sen. Dave Hansen. Nygren's campaign had initially only turned in 424 petition signatures for Nygren, just over the 400 minimum -- but following Democratic challenges, this was busted down to 398, just two short of the required total.

As WisPolitics reports, Nygren is vowing to appeal the decision in court, saying in a statement: "Since Dave Hansen has chosen legal maneuvers to silence the voters of northeastern Wisconsin, I feel obligated to my supporters to fight this decision and pursue further legal options."

However, another Republican will remain on the ballot: GOP activist David VanderLeest, whose signatures passed muster against Dem challenges. Thus, the good news for Republicans is that Hansen will not run unopposed.

But the bad news for the GOP is, VanderLeest is going to be Hansen's opponent.

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