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Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who is slowly recovering from a gunshot wound to the head, recorded a message to her supporters saying she is getting better and looking forward to getting back to work.

“I’m getting stronger. I’m getting better,“ said Giffords in a message released today.

Listen to the full audio message here.

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is running for the Republican presidential nomination, but you might not realize that from the debates: he’s been excluded from most of them on the grounds of low poll numbers. However, one of his constant complaints has been that there are plenty of other candidates on the stage (Jon Huntsman for instance) who are doing just about as poorly as he is. According to an email from his campaign today he’s making his most recent complaint official with the FEC and FCC.

From the email:

November 15, 2011, Santa Fe, NM -- The Presidential campaign of former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is filing complaints with both the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to protest Johnson’s exclusion from Saturday’s Republican debate in South Carolina.

Citing prohibitions against corporate contributions, the campaign’s FEC complaint makes the argument that, by arbitrarily choosing who benefited from valuable air time during the broadcast debate and excluding others, CBS was “directly and significantly supporting those candidates it favors, and advocating the nomination of one of their favorites and opposing the nomination of Complainant, whom CBS evidently disfavors.”

Similarly, in a complaint filed with the FCC, the Johnson campaign asserts that “The public owns the airways over which CBS broadcasts, and the public deserves to be free from bias- favoring some candidates over others- as well as illegal support of certain presidential candidates on national network television.”

In a statement, Johnson senior campaign advisor Ron Nielson said, “As this campaign progresses, it is clear that nationally televised debates are having a tremendous impact. Candidates are moving up and down in the polls with every debate, fundraising is impacted dramatically, and Republican voters obviously remain undecided. When one looks at the inconsistent and arbitrary criteria networks such as CBS have used to decide who gets to be on the stage for the debates, it is apparent that decisions are being made in board rooms that are having the effect of ‘preselecting’ candidates.

“That is just wrong. We owe it to our supporters and to the process to take this basic unfairness and clear bias to those agencies whose job it is to insure that the power of the airwaves is not being misused in an arbitrary manner in the Republican nominating process.”

A new poll of the Iowa caucuses is the latest in a string of polls that confirms Newt Gingrich’s momentum in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Also notable is Ron Paul’s strong showing in the poll.

The poll of Iowa, released by Bloomberg News and conducted by the Iowa firm Selzer & Co.,  shows a tight race, with the top four candidates in a statistical dead heat. Herman Cain leads with 20%, Ron Paul is in second with 19%, and Mitt Romney is in third with 18%.

Gingrich, technically in 4th  place with 17% of the vote, is actually  only three points out of the lead — within the poll’s 4.4% margin of error. By comparison, Gingrich came in fifth place in Selzer & Co.’s  previous poll of the state, but with only 7% of the vote — 16 points out of first place.

In the poll released Tuesday, Rick Perry garners  7% of the vote, Michele Bachmann 5%, Rick Santorum 3%, and Jon Huntsman 1%.

In Bachmann’s new memoir, “Core of Conviction,” the Republican presidential hopeful criticizes former President George W. Bush for “socialism” for bailing out big banks in 2007, ABC News reports.

Watch Gloria Cain, Herman Cain’s wife, talk to Greta Van Susteren on Fox Monday night:

Ms. Cain stood by her husband in the face of the sexual harassment allegations dogging his campaign. It was her first TV interview of the cycle. Read the transcript here.

FBI agents arrested former Prince George's County, Maryland Executive (and Golden Duke nominee) Jack B. Johnson and his wife Leslie Johnson over a year ago in a corruption plot involving development deals. Thanks to a federal wiretap, transcripts told us that Jack and Leslie chatted about flushing dirty money down the toilet and stuffing cash in her "panties." Now there's audio.

Ahead of Leslie's sentencing on Dec. 9, federal prosecutors have disclosed tapes of Johnson and Johnson discussing -- as FBI agents knocked on the door of the couple's home -- about where to hide cash they acquired though corrupt relationships with developers.

Read More →

Liberals and progressive groups are livid at a Sunday New York Times report, which reads as if Super Committee Democrats are about to capitulate to the GOP: spending cuts now in exchange for the promise of higher revenues later. But Democratic aides privy to the negotiations say the angry reaction misreads the Dems' position. And indeed the most recent Democratic offer to Super Committee Republicans would have squared this issue by automatically nullifying entitlement cuts if future tax legislation didn't raise revenues.

The Times story is based on a comment Republican co-chair Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) made on CNN's Sunday show State of the Union.

Under this approach, the panel would decide on the amount of new revenue to be raised but would leave it to the tax-writing committees of Congress to fill in details next year, well beyond the Nov. 23 deadline for the panel itself to reach an agreement. That would put off painful political decisions but ensure that the debate over deficit reduction stretched into the election year.

"There could be a two-step process that would hopefully give us pro-growth tax reform," Representative Jeb Hensarling of Texas, the top Republican on the panel.

Progressives took this to imply surrender.

Read More →

Some bad news for News International: an investigation launched after the phone hacking scandal came to a head over the summer suggests that the illegal practice spread much further than originally thought, the BBC reports.

In all, almost 30 News of the World employee names were written in the notes of private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, who was arrested and convicted of phone hacking for the now-defunct British tabloid. Mulcaire also wrote The Sun and the Daily Mirror in his notes, which the BBC reports might suggest Mulcaire did work for those papers, as well. A Trinity Mirror spokesman told the BBC that "the company has no knowledge of ever using Glenn Mulcaire."

Robert Jay, who is a government lawyer for the inquiry -- originally launched by British Prime Minister David Cameron -- said Monday that "it would not be unfair to comment that (phone hacking) was at the very least a thriving cottage industry."

Read More →

At an event in Sheldon, Iowa on Monday night Bachmann took a question from a supporter about her previous remarks concerning the Gardasil vaccine.

The supporter, Julie Weppler, has a daughter named Jessica who is unable to attend school because of various physical ailments. Weppler thanked Bachmann for bringing the issue to national attention.

“Parents have to make that decision for their kids because it isn’t the schools that are going to follow up with Jessica,” Bachmann said. “It isn’t the schools that live with Jessica every day. It’s Jessica who’s having to have her body live with the ravages of this vaccine.”

Bachmann continued on to decry Perry’s former chief of staff, Mike Toomey, who lobbied for Merck, the company that produces the vaccine. “And that’s a very big issue, and we can’t sacrifice the health of even one child on the altar (for) profits for some big drug company,” she said.