TPM News

Rumours of an Elizabeth Warren Senate challenge to Republican Scott Brown (R-MA) grew Thursday as the champion of consumer protection penned a suggestive op-ed in the democratic blog Blue Mass Group.

Addressing Massachusetts voters, Warren gave a brief overview of her life story including a description of the fiscal constraints her family faced during her early childhood, her time in Washington establishing CFPB, and her desire to continue helping the middle class.

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Following Democrats' and organized labor's near-miss in the Wisconsin state Senate recalls, in which they fell just short of picking up the magic number of seats that would have flipped control of the chamber, the political world will now turn to a new battle: Ohio.

The Wisconsin fight was triggered due to newly-elected Gov. Scott Walker's anti-public employee union legislation, which eliminated most collective bargaining rights that unions had previously enjoyed for decades.

Over in Ohio, where Gov. John Kasich passed similar legislation, labor and other liberal groups have pursued a different tack under that state's election procedures: Triggering a referendum for this November, in which voters will be able to strike down the legislation directly, and which has in fact placed the very law itself on hold pending their decision.

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Debate host Byron York asked Michele Bachmann about her past quotes that she became a tax lawyer at her husband's insistence, citing Biblical passages that a wife should be "submissive" to her husband.

"As president, would you be submissive to your husband?" York asked -- prompting vociferous booing from the audience.

"Thank you for that question, Byron," Bachmann responded, to applause. "Marcus and I will be married for 33 years this September 10th. I'm in love with him, I'm so proud of him. And what submission means to us -- if that's what your question is -- is respect. I respect my husband...and he respects me as his wife. that's how operate our marriage. We respect each other, we love each other."

Bachmann then added that together, she and her husband had built a business, raised their children, and raised 23 foster children. "I'm very proud of him."

Remember that nice friendly New Hampshire debate from June when the GOP's fresh-faced field candidates, still basking in fluffy magazine profiles, joined hands to sing songs of President Obama's failed stimulus? That wasn't this debate.

Instead the candidates mixed it up early and often, even lashing out at the moderators. We compiled the pugilistic highlights, from Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann's snowball fight to Newt Gingrich's war on FOX News, into a video. Read on for the nitty gritty details after that.

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Sparks flew between Ron Paul and Rick Santorum during Thursday night's Republican debate, over Paul's opposition to a hawkish foreign policy approach against Iran.

"Why wouldn't it be natural that they might want a nuclear weapon? Internationally they would be given more respect," said Paul. "Why should we write people off? We should at least talk to them - Reagan talked to the Soviets."

Paul added that during the Cold War that the Soviet Union and China had many nuclear weapons -- compared to Iran's current efforts to produce just one -- and represented genuine threats to the United States. But America did not go to war with those countries, instead maintaining diplomatic relations.

This prompted a fiery response from Rick Santorum, who boasted of how he had passed legislation to isolate Iran when he was in the Senate.

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In a very fiery exchange, Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann dueled over the ins and outs of Minnesota's 2005 budget standoff, wading into abortion politics along the way.

For non-Minnesotan observers, however, the debate was likely a blur. So here's a quick and dirty explainer. The big -- and most currently relevant -- compromise on Pawlenty's behalf was a 75-cent fee on cigarette packs, dubbed a tax by critics, in order to free up cash for K-12 education.

"I did agree to the cigarette fee," Pawlenty said in the debate. "I regretted that. The courts held it to be a fee. But nevertheless it was an increase in revenue."

But Bachmann charged, noting that she had been "very vocal against that tax, and I fought against that tax." However, she did in the end vote for the bill that contained it. So what happened?

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