TPM News

Wisconsin state Supreme Court Justice David Prosser, who is seeking re-election in this swing state's now highly-polarized environment, is continuing to explain the poor relationships on the court, which resulted in the public recently learning that he called Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson "a total bitch" last year. As Prosser tells it, the liberal members have ganged up on him and created a "foul atmosphere" -- which, he said, will be solved once he is re-elected.

Prosser's campaign has hit a serious bump in the road, due to the recent stories about internal squabbles on the court. "I probably overreacted," Prosser recently told reporters. "But I think it was entirely warranted...They (Abrahamson and Justice Ann Walsh Bradley) are masters at deliberately goading people into perhaps incautious statements. This is bullying and abuse of very, very long standing."

On Tuesday, as the Associated Press reports, Prosser and his opponent, Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg, attended a lunch forum hosted by the Dane County Bar Association. They were then each asked by the moderator how they would improve civility on the court:

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Setting aside the question of political wisdom, Anthony Weiner says he thinks the Supreme Court will strike the individual mandate in the health care law -- and practically welcomes it. That'll give Dems a second (third? fifth? tenth?) bite at the public option, he says.

So if an adverse court ruling is such a promising opportunity, why is he leading the charge to have Clarence Thomas recuse himself from health care reform lawsuits?

Ohio Gov. John Kasich's first term in office is off to a rocky start. A new Quinnipiac poll shows that less than one third of registered voters approve of his job performance.

In the poll, just 30% of Ohio voters said they approved of Kasich's job performance, compared to 46% who said they disapproved. When Quinnipiac polled the state back in January, Kasich also posted a 30% approval rating. But at that time, just 22% of voters disapproved of his job performance, a number that has now more than doubled.

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On the one year anniversary of President Obama signing the health care overhaul into law, a new CNN poll finds that a a majority of Americans still oppose the law. Thirteen percent, however, say they wish the law was actually more liberal than it currently is.

The poll found that public opinion toward the law has changed little over the past year. Last March, a CNN poll showed that 39% of Americans supported the law, compared to 59% who opposed it. In the latest poll, support slipped to 37%, while opposition checked in at 59% again.

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This is more in the spirit of partypooping than of celebration. But on the first anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, one of the law's most dogged defenders, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), admitted he thinks the Supreme Court will strike down the individual mandate. It's not that he thinks the mandate is unconstitutional, but that the court has become so partisan, that its conservative justices will rule against President Obama in a 5-4 decision. He wasn't glum about it, though -- if the mandate goes he said it will pave the way for Congress to pass the public option.

"If lightning strikes, and it turns out that as many of us believe, the Supreme Court turns out to be a third political branch of government and they strike down the mandate -- big deal," Weiner said, expressing a 'so what?!' sentiment. "Big deal!"

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Maureen Dowd's column yesterday suggested that the primary influencers on Obama's decision to involve the U.S. military in Libya were primarily the senior female advisers (namely Sec. of State Hillary Clinton, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and National Security Adviser Samantha Power.) This spawned an interesting discussion on Morning Joe today, which lead conservative pundit Pat Buchanan to suggest that women in the administration were making an emotional argument in their advice to get the U.S. involved. Hoo boy!

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It's Diego Rivera Redux in Maine, as Governor Paul LePage is taking down a mural in the state Department of Labor building depicting the history of the labor movement and changing the names of conference rooms that he deems too pro-labor.

The 11-panel installation depicted such figures as Rosie the Riveter and FDR-era Labor Secretary Frances Perkins as well as events like a 1937 shoe mill strike and 1986 paper mill workers' strike. Several rooms are named after historic labor figures including Perkins and Cesar Chavez.

A spokesman for LePage told the Lewiston Sun Journal that business had complained about the piece and "The message from state agencies needs to be balanced." He added that the rooms could instead be named "after mountains, counties or something."

Progressive and labor groups are upset about the change and the artist who painted it, Judy Taylor, told the paper that the mural's message was already fair.

"There was never any intention to be pro-labor or anti-labor," she said. "It was a pure depiction of the facts."

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Arizona's 'birther' bill is back. Legislators passed a bill out of committee Tuesday that would make presidential candidates provide copies of their birth certificates in order to qualify for the ballot.

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