TPM News

"There was no indication" that Osama bin Laden wanted to surrender to U.S. forces who killed him on Sunday night, Attorney General Eric Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

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A new survey of registered voters in Arizona by Public Policy Polling finds that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D), who has been in physical rehabilitation since she was shot in the head at a district event near Tucson in early January, would lead in the state's open U.S. Senate race if she were able to run.

As TPM has previously reported, Giffords had been viewed as a potential candidate before she was shot, and many state Democrats believe that she should have a right of first refusal for the race after incumbent Republican Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl announced his retirement in February.

This new poll gives Giffords a lead over the likely Republican nominee, Rep. Jeff Flake, of 48%-41%. The survey of registered voters has a ±3.9% margin of error.

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Two Republicans representing Congress at a forthcoming meeting with Vice President Joe Biden on debt reduction say they need more information from the Obama administration before they can constructively participate in negotiations.

In a letter to Biden, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) press for a fully fleshed-out version of President Obama's plan to reduce the deficit.

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Mitt Romney may be focusing most of his time and attention on New Hampshire lately -- in hopes of winning the state's all-important first presidential primary next year -- but he hasn't made his case to one Granite Stater.

Mother Jones reports Bruce Keough, who ran Romney's 2008 New Hampshire campaign, isn't signing on for 2012 and is instead lobbing arrows at his old boss.

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A Texas high school teacher has been placed on administrative leave following an incident where he allegedly told a 9th grade Muslim girl in his algebra class "I bet that you're grieving" on Monday following the death of Osama bin Laden.

According to one parent at Clear Brook High School in Houston who spoke about the incident to a local ABC affiliate, the teacher also said, "I heard about your uncle's death."

The parent said the student "understood that he was referring about Osama bin Laden being killed and was racially profiling her."

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Wisconsin Democrats scored a small but significant victory Tuesday night in the political battles over Republican Gov. Scott Walker's anti-public employee union legislation, picking up a Republican-held Assembly seat in a special election -- in an area that is also caught up in the recall elections for the state Senate, in which Democrats hope to pick up at least three seats and take a majority in that chamber.

Three special elections were held on Tuesday night, to replace Republican legislators who had been appointed to positions in Walker's administration. Two of them were in solidly Republican areas, and were not seriously contested. But the contested race, for the district of former state Assembly Speaker and current Walker Secretary of Administration Mike Huebsch, was also located within the Senate district of GOP state Sen. Dan Kapanke, who is facing a likely recall election.

The result: Democrat Steve Doyle 54%, Republican John Lautz 46%.

As WisPolitics reports, Doyle says Democrats are energized going into the recalls:

The Onalaska Dem said that while going door to door, "I heard, over and over again, two words: Scott Walker."

Stephen Colbert jokingly adopted some conservative talking points Tuesday night, knocking Obama for taking too much credit for bin Laden's death, and lauding President Bush for really getting the job done.

Specifically, Colbert mocked Rush Limbaugh for his claim that Obama was taking too much credit for bin Laden's death.

"Rush is right," Colbert said. "The President is a credit hog, which is deeply offensive to Rush and other hog-Americans."

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CIA Director Leon Panetta sat down with PBS Newshour's Jim Lehrer, and described how before the successful mission to take out Osama bin Laden, they "were never really certain about whether or not bin Laden was there."

"We were never able to verify that in fact it was him," Panetta said. "But when you put all these pieces together, the security precautions, the nature of the compound, some of the additional information that we had gotten, we had the best intelligence case that we ever had on bin Laden since Tora Bora."

I think it was that information that required that we had an obligation to act. That's why the President took his steps, the steps that he did," he said.

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Former U.S. President George W. Bush may wish to remain out of the spotlight, even in the wake of Osama Bin Laden's death, but that's not stopping the wheels of parody. In a new Funny or Die video, Will Ferrell's back in his tremendously popular impersonation of Bush, issuing a statement from the "Sizzler Steakhouse on Canyon Ranch Road." In the video, Ferrell's Bush details how he's personally overseen a "strategic and covert operation that killed the gopher who's been tearing up my backyard."

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