TPM News

On Fox News Sunday this morning, Herman Cain calmly and succinctly took one of the hardest lines against Muslims in modern mainstream politics.

Islam is not a religion like other religions, he said, and Americans have the right to keep it out of their communities if they wish.

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We've reached crunch time in the debate over the nation's borrowing limit. In Washington, politicians are huddling, trying to find a politically palatable way to avoid economic disaster while still keeping their bases in line. Out on the campaign trail, the Republicans running for president have a wholly political goal: to take a side in the debt ceiling debate that keeps the base from heading for the hills (or another candidate's campaign) before the primaries kick off.

How's that working out?

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The Republican speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives wants a fellow Republican legislator who sponsored a voter ID bill and was charged with drunk driving to resign from his seat.

Speaker William G. Batchelder said that he doesn't think Rep. Robert Mecklenborg will "come back to the capitol building," Jim Siegel of the Columbus Dispatch reported.

Mecklenborg was arrested back in April on drunk driving charges in neighboring Indiana while he had a 26-year-old woman in the car with him. He failed several field sobriety tests and refused to take a breath test. A blood test indicated he had Viagra in his system. Video of his arrest was later released by the Dearborn County Prosecutor's Office.

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Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign is over $1 million in debt, nearly half of which -- $451,946 -- is attributable to his preference for private jets.

That's how much the Gingrich campaign owes to Moby Dick Airways, the same company he used for flights paid for by his former 527 group, American Solutions. In April, May and June of last year, American Solutions gave $677,539 to Moby Dick Airways.

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Mitt Romney, the frontrunner in the GOP presidential primary, has released the names of his top money men -- six lobbyists who have helped him raise a combined half a million dollars or $517,450 to be exact.

The sum is only a fraction of the $18 million Romney raked in during the April-to-June fundraising period, which outgunned his closest Republican rival so far, Tim Pawlenty, by a 9-to-1 margin. The list of six names provides a little sunlight about his political allies.

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On the heels of its fairly epic fundraising totals, the Obama campaign provided some more insight into where the Obama Victory fund got the $86 million it raised last quarter.

A good chunk of it came from bundlers, super-donors who are very rich, max out their personal fundraising amounts, and then call on their wealthy friends to do the same.

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Les Hinton, the CEO of Dow Jones and publisher of the Wall Street Journal, announced Friday that he is stepping down from his position, amid questions about his role in the News Of The World phone hacking scandal during his tenure as chief executive of News International.

Hinton ran News International, which publishes News Corp's U.K. newspapers, from 1995-2007, during which time reporters for News Of The World allegedly hacked into the phone records of murder victims, terrorism victims, and public officials.

In his resignation letter to Rupert Murdoch, Hinton denied any knowledge of the phone hacking during his tenure. "That I was ignorant of what apparently happened is irrelevant," Hinton wrote, "and in the circumstances I feel it is proper for me to resign from News Corp, and apologize to those hurt by the actions of the News of the World."

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Michele Bachman raised $4.2 million for her presidential bid over the last quarter, FEC filings show.

However, the numbers are partly carried over from her Congressional war chest: she transferred about $2 million. Bachmann, who is already on the air in Iowa, has been burning through her cash at a pretty quick rate as well, spending about $2.44 million. According to her campaign, she now has $3.6 million cash on hand.

Among the donors offering the maximum contribution: Koch Industries' Political Action Committee, who pledged $5,000 to her campaign. Koch PAC has also donated to Bachmann's own political action committee as well as her Congressional campaign.

Most contributions were small, however: according to the campaign, the average donor gave $48.00.

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