TPM News

Dr. Dwight McKenna, candidate for New Orleans Parish Coroner, today defended his campaign ad that depicts the incumbent coroner as a Dr. Frankenstein who sells body parts, saying the ad is "fair."

He also said that as a result of the ad he has been unfairly depicted "as someone who doesn't appreciate organ donation."

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The Obama Administration has adopted the flawed rhetoric of "recidivism" to discuss former Guantanamo detainees who are now said to be engaged in violence, according to a new ABC report, which uses the same problematic language.

The item by ABC's Jake Tapper, titled "Brennan: All Transferred Detainees Who Returned to Terrorism Were Released by Bush, No Recidivism for Those Released by Obama," broke the news of a letter from national security adviser John Brennan to Nancy Pelosi that states:

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CNN has a lengthy (for TV) report on the infighting that, as we've detailed, is besetting the Tea Party movement.

The high-note comes when CNN gets on camera the GOP consultants who run the Tea Party Express to answer charges that their "grassroots" Tea Party group is little more than a front for the Republican Party.

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RNC Chair Michael Steele and Ex-Dem Rep. and potential NY-Sen candidate Harold Ford Jr. will share the stage Thursday evening at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock to "discuss America's future direction."

The event, dubbed "Left, Right, and Forward: On the Future of America" will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday night. According to the school, "the discussion by the two African-American political combatants kicks off UALR's annual Black History Month program."

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Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard who is running for Senate from California, released a web video today claiming her Republican primary opponent, former Rep. Tom Campbell, is a "fiscal conservative in name only."

In other words, a wolf in sheep's clothing.

The video begins with a pastoral scene of sheep grazing and the pleasant voice of a female narrator describing fiscal conservatives as people "we admire."

Then, one of the sheep -- the Campbell sheep -- rises on a pedestal. The sky turns dark. Lightning strikes. The music becomes ominous. Campbell Sheep falls, tumbling from the pedestal as a deep male voice says, "But one way to fall."

The video then bashes Campbell on deficits, budgets, tax increases and the like. But it returns to the sheep pasture for the climax. Just watch extra closely at the 2:26 mark. And then at 2:38. There are no words:

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It's hard to blame people for tuning out the periodic reports of bailed out financial firms still paying huge bonuses to their staff. After all, there's only so much outrage a person can summon over the long haul.

But here's one that's worth a fresh round: AIG, the bailed-out insurance behemoth whose lavish "retention payments" triggered the first round of fury last year, plans more payments this month, worth $100 million, reports the Washington Post. And this week, the employees scheduled to cash in are from the firm's financial products division. That's the unit whose dodgy credit default swaps triggered the billion dollar losses that led to the financial crisis, and subsequent bailout, in the first place.

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House Republican leaders are calling on their supporters to send money after last week's extraordinary Q&A session with President Obama. Their recollection of the meeting, as described in the fundraising letters? We stuck it to Obama, so give us some money.

In a fundraising email sent out to the NRCC list today, House Minority Leader John Boehner argued the GOP came out on top in the session "[Obama] finally acknowledged that we'd been offering solutions -- Democrats just haven't listened," Boehner wrote. "You see, we're not just fighting to put the brakes on their jobs-killing agenda - we're showing what a new Republican-led Congress would do differently."

Reports today indicate that Boehner's not the only Republican to see the Q&A as a fundraising opportunity. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) -- the man whose take on the budget Obama called "factually inaccurate" during the session -- said his performance at the Q&A merits some campaign donations, too.

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Sen.-elect Scott Brown (R-MA) sent a letter today to the Massachusetts governor and secretary of state, demanding the election be certified right away so he can be sworn in to the U.S. Senate tomorrow afternoon.

In the letter, Brown's lawyers say he wants the election certified no later than 11 a.m. tomorrow so Brown can be sworn in tomorrow afternoon.

"While Senator-elect Brown had tentatively planned to be sworn into office on February 11, he has been advised that there are a number of votes scheduled prior to that date," the letter reads. "For that reason, he wants certification to occur immediately."

A spokeswoman for Gov. Deval Patrick's office said the office is aware of the letter but could not immediately comment. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's office declined to comment.

Brown said last week he expected to be sworn in Feb. 11 and was comfortable with that date.

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