TPM News

Mike Huckabee continues to own the entire GOP field in early polls of the Iowa caucus, with a PPP poll of registered voters released on Tuesday showing the former Arkansas governor winning several hypothetical ballots by big margins.

And interestingly, Mitt Romney emerged as the second choice for Iowa Republicans in the poll, even though nearly two-thirds of respondents said they would not consider voting for a candidate who supported a state-level universal health care law, which is precisely what Romney did as governor of Massachusetts.

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Karl Rove, among the big name conservatives who are openly hostile to Donald Trump's birther-centric sort of-presidential campaign, apparently tried to give Trump a rhetorical way out of his talk about President Obama's birth certificate.

On Fox News on Monday, Rove described how Trump apparently took the advice to heart -- and then immediately ignored it.

It's the latest round of the war of words between Trump and Rove, which kicked off when Rove told Fox that Trump was "joke candidate."

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There's a brand-new Muslim conspiracy theory in town.

Rep. Peter King (R-NY), who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, has sent a letter to the Department of Justice demanding that it explain a report that they dropped a probe of suspected terrorism ties among Council On American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) officials. "It raises the most serious question for the Justice Department to decline to even attempt to prosecute individuals and organizations, accused by a US Attorney and found by a federal judge, to have a nexus with fundraising for an organization which conducts terror attacks upon civilians," King wrote in his letter.

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During the first stop of a three-day campaign-style blitz across the country promoting his vision for reducing the $1.4 trillion deficit, President Obama decried the country's "crumbling" infrastructure and said proposed GOP cuts would lead to "potholes everywhere."

The Republican plan, he said, would cut transportation costs by a third, leading to more deterioration of the nation's roads and bridges, which would in turn, would hamper economic growth.

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Former Bush Solicitor General Paul Clement, the lawyer House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) chose to support the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on behalf of Congress, will be paid $520 per hour in taxpayer money up to $500,000, according to a contract his law firm signed with the General Counsel of the House and the House Administration Committee.

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As Republicans and President Obama square off over the Defense of Marriage Act, a new CNN poll shows that a small majority of Americans now support legal recognition for same sex marriages.

In the poll, 51% of adult Americans said they thought same sex marriages should be recognized by law, while 47% said they should not. That's a significant reversal from the same poll two years ago when Americans opposed same sex marriage by a 10-point spread, with 44% in favor and 54% against.

It's the second time in as many months that a pollster has for the first time found majority support for legalizing same sex marriage. In March, a Washington Post/ABC News poll showed that 53% of adults supported legalizing same sex marriage, while 44% opposed it.

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Donald Trump's birther bluster is continuing, with him declaring that he might release his tax returns -- but only if President Obama will release his "real" birth certificate.

In an interview with George Stephanopoulos of ABC News, Trump lamented how he would give up his private life if he were to run. "I have a great company. I've done a great job -- which if I run, you'll see what a great job, because I'll do a full disclosure, finances--"

"Including your tax returns?" asked Stephanopoulos.

"We'll look at that -- Maybe I'm gonna do the tax returns when Obama does his birth certificate," Trump responded.

He also added: "I'd love to give my tax returns. I may tie my tax returns into Obama's birth certificate."

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Nearly two-thirds of American adults say the country is headed in the wrong direction - the highest level of pessimism about the nation's direction recorded in a McClatchy-Marist poll since President Obama assumed office over two years ago.

Immediately after the midterm elections, Obama seemed to be turning a corner, as Americans had more rosy opinions of both him and the nation's direction. But in the past few months, that brief bump has been quickly reversed.

In the poll, 64% of respondents said the country was headed in the wrong direction, while just 30% said it was headed in the right direction. That's a stunning turnaround since January when 41% said the country was on the right track, and 47% said it was on the wrong track.

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A Philadelphia company called PrimeTel Communications has, over the past 13 years, acquired nearly a quarter of all 1-800 numbers in the U.S. and Canada, according to a report by the Associated Press. PrimeTel now controls 1.7 million 1-800 numbers, more than any other company, and, the AP says, many of those numbers redirect to a phone-sex service run by a company with close ties to PrimeTel.

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