TPM News

The Republican National Committee spent thousands of dollars at hotels and clubs in February, the Daily Caller reports.

According to FEC reports, the RNC spent $1,946.25 at Voyeur West Hollywood, which the Caller describes as "a bondage-themed nightclub featuring topless women dancers imitating lesbian sex." Voyeur is an exclusive, expensive club frequented by celebrities and, for example, hosted Heidi Klum's Halloween party last year.

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And so it begins -- less than a week after health care reform was signed into law, it has become a problem for Mitt Romney.

In an interview with a New Hampshire newspaper over the weekend, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) used GOP anger over the Democratic reform bill to make a not-so-veiled attack on Romney, who signed a similar plan into law when he was governor of Massachusetts.

Romney and Pawlenty, of course, are central players in the nascent 2012 GOP presidential nomination fight. And New Hampshire, of course, is a central battlefield in that fight. So it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why Pawlenty chose the Nashua Telegraph to slam RomneyCare as a bad example for the nation to follow.

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Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) suggested on Sunday that President Barack Obama is "mocking Americans" by challenging Republicans to run on repealing health care reform, and criticized the president's weekend recess appointments.

DeMint said although "hundreds of his nominations have been confirmed unanimously," Obama has "mixed in with these batch of nominations some pretty radical folks."

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The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (MCDC), the Arizona-based anti-illegal-immigration group whose members keep watch on the border, is disbanding as a national organization, after its leader asked for volunteers to come "locked, loaded, and ready," then got more than she bargained for.

On March 16, Minuteman president Carmen Mercer sent out an email to members, urging them to come to the border "locked, loaded and ready," reports the Arizona Daily Star. She added: "You are strongly encouraged to exercise your rights and duty as an American citizen to carry a long arm and if challenged use it to defend the United States of America." Mercer also suggested changing the group's rules to allow members to track illegal immigrants and drug smugglers, rather than just reporting them to the Border Patrol.

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Nine members of the Christian militia group Hutaree have been indicted on multiple charges involving an alleged plot to attack police, including seditious conspiracy and attempted use of weapons of mass destruction, the U.S. Attorney in Michigan announced this morning.

"Six Michigan residents, along with two residents of Ohio and a resident of Indiana, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Detroit on charges of seditious conspiracy, attempted use of weapons of mass destruction, teaching the use of explosive materials, and possessing a firearm during a crime of violence," according to the government's press release, which you can read in full below.

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A caller to C-Span this morning, who identified himself as a Republican from North Carolina, accused the network of taking too many phone calls from black people.

"You have black folks calling in on the Republican line, independents. And you have so many of 'em I can't believe this is just an accident. If you keep on with the way you've been programming, you should change your name from C-Span to black-span," he said. "I know they have an opinion but I wish that they would be honest and call in on the right line."

"Everyone one of 'em thinks that Obama is Jesus Christ and they don't like when anybody criticizes him," he added.


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Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), known for saying outrageous things to rile Republicans, told a radio show last week that he received a threatening phone call, according to Politico.

Grayson said a woman called his home and threatened his life. "If you vote for health care, I'll kill you," he said she said.

He then compared Republicans to Nazis:

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Hutaree, the Christian militia in southeast Michigan reportedly raided by the FBI Sunday, was preparing to battle the Antichrist because "Jesus wanted us to be ready to defend ourselves using the sword and stay alive using equipment," according to its Web site.

A Joint Terrorism Task Force, led by the FBI, arrested at least seven people in three states as part of the raids on the Adrian, Michigan-based group, the Detroit News reported.

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Play offense and "don't run away" from health care reform.

That's the advice Democratic leadership is giving rank-and-file members as they fan out across the country to their home districts with a health care victory in their pocket. For all the celebrating, there are real concerns about the next two weeks of Congressional recess spiraling out of control.

Democrats tell us they are confident the rowdy town halls from August won't be duplicated, and are peppering members with data and facts about the health care bill to make sure they are armed with information. Last summer, members were caught unprepared and were faced with angry voters, loud protests and televised meetings that portrayed them in many cases as fumbling and unsure of how to talk about a bill that didn't actually exist yet.

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