TPM News

Hmm, somebody didn't get the civility memo.

During yesterday's House debate on repealing health care reform, one freshman Republican offered a fun example of the rhetoric on the right, comparing the policies of the elected Obama administration and previously elected Democratic Congress to oppressive regimes of times past.

"As Virginians, we did not accept the chains of George III," said Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA). "Nor will we accept the chains of Obamacare."

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With one year to go before the first votes are cast in the 2012 presidential primaries, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee holds a narrow advantage nationally for the party nod, with Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney close behind, according to a new ABC-Washington Post poll.

Among a crowded hypothetical field of 14 candidates, Huckabee came out on top with 21%, though Palin and Romney were close on his heels at 19% and 17%, respectively. The poll has a margin of error of 5.5%, meaning the three front runners are locked in a statistical dead heat.

Beyond those top three candidates, the tallies drop off significantly, with no other candidate breaking into double digits. Newt Gingrich placed fourth at 9%, followed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (8%) and Texas Gov. Rick Perry (3%). Mitch Daniels, Mike Pence, and Tim Pawlenty tied at 2% each, while Haley Barbour, Jon Huntsman, Jim DeMint, and Rick Santorum all garnered 1%. John Thune polled under 1%.

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When the former chair of the Republican Party of Florida was arrested and charged with grand theft and fraud, investigators seized his computers. On them, they found unfinished book manuscripts that reportedly were packed with details about former Gov. Charlie Crist, to whom the ex-chair was close, and the conservative takeover of the party.

This week, at the request of Jim Greer's lawyers, a Florida judge sealed the manuscripts until the trial.

The computer files were called "Betrayal and Vengeance" and "The Rise and Fall of the Moderate Wing of the Republican Party." Judge Marc Lubet ordered them sealed until the trial begins.

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Democrats now have a primary in the Connecticut Senate race, where incumbent independent Sen. Joe Lieberman is retiring. Rep. Chris Murphy has officially announced his campaign -- and in his announcement video, he clearly pitches himself as a more liberal change from the ex-Dem Lieberman who split with the party over foreign policy.

"Connecticut deserves a new progressive voice in the Senate," Murphy says "who listens to us, who knows that creating jobs requires extending health care to all Americans, and that reducing our deficit means bringing these wars to an end."

Murphy also makes an interesting pledge of openness during the campaign: "So think of this as me knocking on your door. If you send me a question or a comment, I'll respond -- to every single one. Because the only way we do this, is together."

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With Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) retiring in 2012, he's already positioning himself to be as independent as he's ever been. In an interview with the right-wing NewsMax site, the former Democrat said that it's "too early" to decide whether he would support President Obama's re-election bid in 2012.

"I haven't agreed with everything he's done, but I think he's building a decent record," said Lieberman, who endorsed and campaigned aggressively for Republican nominee John McCain in 2008. "The reason I said it's too early is because we're only halfway through the Obama administration and we don't know who the Republicans will put up, so I'll watch it with real interest."

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Goodbye, Joe: Lieberman Announces He'll Retire In 2012]

Is it conceivable that he could back a Republican, NewsMax asked? "It's conceivable, but I wouldn't want to overstate that," Lieberman responded, "because I think in many ways President Obama, particularly in the past several months, has heard the voice of the American people in the election last November, and I think he's followed that course."

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Republicans were pretty excited about yesterday's House vote to repeal health care reform. A bit too excited.

"WE JUST REPEALED OBAMACARE!" Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) tweeted in all caps, exhibiting the same exuberance with which he screamed at President Obama during last year's State of the Union address.

Sarah Palin aide Rebecca Mansour retweeted an ally who tipped his hat. "Governor Palin's hard work and sacrifice made today's repeal of ObamaCare possible. Please tell the Governor Thank You."

One correct response to these statements is, "YOU LIE!"

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