TPM News

An Alabama couple who considered themselves sovereign citizens -- who required their tenants to pay rent in silver coins and buried $350,000 worth of gold coins in their backyard -- were convicted of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and three counts of tax evasion on Friday.

Monty Ervin and Patricia Ervin, owners and managers of Southern Realty, amassed "hundreds of investment properties over the last decade, receiving more than $9 million in rental income," but paid nothing in federal income taxes, according to the Justice Department.

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Drew Pritt has dropped out of the campaign for House in Arkansas after what he calls "malicious gossip" on the internet regarding an investigation into whether he stole money from a fundraiser for a wounded veterans.

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This fifth of November, 2011, could be more memorable than most, and not merely because it marks the 406th anniversary of Guy Fawkes and company's foiled plot to blow up part of the British Houses of Parliament and assassinate King James I.

This year, a number of distinct but somewhat overlapping quasi-political protest events against banks, media companies and a Mexican drug cartel have been planned for November 5, 2011 by various groups, including various people working under the name of the hacktivist collective Anonymous, the Occupy Wall Street protesters and one woman dedicated to undermining the nation's largest banks. Even MTV is getting in on the action.

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Joel Bennett, the attorney for one of the woman who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment while he was CEO of the National Restaurant Association, says that a second woman contacted him to explore the possibility of suing Cain on similar grounds before deciding against it.

"[She said] that she was sexually harassed by Herman Cain when she worked at NRA," he told TPM. "I called her back and she said she decided not to pursue it."

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Since we heard the news that Herman Cain settled two sexual harassment cases against him, we've heard some very creative pushback from the man himself. However, a lot of Cain's answers seem primed to distract from the issue rather than address the allegations directly. So that means it's time for an episode of "Does This Affect Whether Or Not Herman Cain Sexually Harassed Two Women In The 1990s" with your host Benjy Sarlin!

How do you play the game? Contestants try to defend Herman Cain -- but be careful, don't name something that Doesn't Affect Whether Herman Cain Sexually Harassed Two Women In The 1990s! Otherwise the buzzer sounds and you lose major points.

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Updated: Oct. 4, 6:25PM

Some recent video of Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT) shows the Senate candidate holding up and waving around this cartoon depicting President Obama as the late bloodthirsty tyrant Muammar Qaddafi.

But a Rehberg's Senate campaign staffer said Friday that just because he's holding the cartoon in a video captured by some Democratic trackers doesn't mean he has any interest in the comic or what it portrays.

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A lawyer representing one of two women who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment told reporters on Friday that his client's initial complaint was legitimate and that Cain's statements to the press have been inaccurate. Nonetheless, she has declined to come forward to tell her story.

The attorney, Joel Bennett, read aloud a statement that he says he wrote with the woman, who he says has been married for 26 years, saying that she "stands by the complaint she made."

"She made a complaint in good faith about a series of inappropriate behaviors and unwanted advances from the CEO," Bennett said. "The complaints were resolved in an agreement with the acceptance of a monetary settlement. She and her husband see no value in revisiting this matter now, nor in discussing the matter any further, publicly or privately. In fact it would be extremely painful to do so."

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White House Counsel Kathryn H. Ruemmler shot back at House Energy & Commerce Republicans Friday, characterizing a subpoena the committee had approved along party lines Thursday as an "unreasonable burden on the President's ability to meet his constitutional duties."

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