TPM News

Students at a high school in Red Wing, Minnesota brought school spirit to new lows with a "Wigger Wednesday" dress-up day tradition, according to a lawsuit filed against the school district.

Quera Pruitt, a Red Wing high school alumna, is suing the school district and administrators over creating a hostile and racist educational environment.

Here's what happened: Students during the 2008 and 2009 homecoming celebrations wore "oversized sports jerseys, low-slung pants, baseball bats cocked to the side and 'doo rags' on their heads," according to the suit. About 60 or 70 students took what was supposed to be "tropical day" and turned it into "wigger day," the suit claims. To the unfamiliar, and as the case points out, the term "wigger" is a derogatory term for a white person who emulates African-American culture.

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RNC chair Reince Priebus, a former chair of the Wisconsin Republican Party, says there's no need for national political reporters to try and glean anything about the 2012 elections from the state Senate recall fight underway in his home state, where Democrats seem to have the momentum.

"I don't think its a test run," Preibus said on a conference call with reporters this morning. He added that even though some of the key issues on the ballot in the coming weeks in his home state are "a similar debate to what we're having in the country," the "the localized nature of it doesn't allow it to be analogous to the 2012 election."

If the polls are to be believed, that's good news for the GOP.

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By John Voelcker

Driving is often a pain, particularly in dense, congested urban cores.

Start and stop, brake suddenly, stay carefully in your lane, drive defensively, then park in tight spaces.

What if the car could do all that for you?

Last week, BMW showed off its new BMW i3 Concept, which points the way toward the 2014 BMW i3 battery-electric car that it will put on sale in late 2013.

The i3 may have the highest degree of autonomous driving we've yet seen--though no one present at the event actually drove the cars, so for the moment, all we have to go on is BMW's description of the "visionary mobility services" it plans to offer on the car.

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Before yesterday, Republicans on Capitol Hill liked to feign anger about Senate Democrats' failure to pass a budget in over two years.

Now that the debt limit deal is done -- and it's essentially a 10-year budget, with the force of law -- Republicans are...still attacking Democrats for...not passing a budget!

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RNC chair Reince Priebus is raining on President Obama's 50th birthday fundraiser in Chicago, saying the president is too focused on campaigning.

"I suppose the White House thinks he should stick to the job he really likes, raising money from fat cat donors, while the rest of America struggles with trying to make ends meet," Priebus said in a call with reporters on Wednesday.

The messenger for the attack was a bit odd given that the RNC's primary duty is fundraising for Republican campaigns. In Priebus' case, he campaigned for the job specifically based on his ability to reel in big-money donors that had left during Michael Steele's tenure. "We will work to regain the confidence of our donor base and I will personally call our major donors to ask them to rejoin our efforts at the RNC," he wrote in a letter to committee members last year.

Priebus was asked by a reporter on Wednesday's call why Obama's fundraising crossed the line.

"I think it's another case of this president's rhetoric not matching his deeds," Priebus replied. "He's tried all week to try this spin that now the White House is pivoting to jobs, which they've tried many times before, and the first job Obama is interested in saving is his own."

Flirting with a kingmaker role, Sarah Palin bashed Mitt Romney and praised Michele Bachmann in an interview with Sean Hannity on Tuesday night.

"Bless his heart, I have respect for Mitt Romney, but I do not have respect for what he has done through this debt increase debate," she said. "He waited until it was a done deal that we would increase the debt ceiling and more money would be spent, more money would be borrowed and spent on bigger government, and then he came out and made a statement that he didn't like the deal after all. You can't defer an issue and assume that the problem is then going to be avoided."

Her words echoed similar attacks from Romney rival Jon Huntsman as well as Democratic strategists like Priorities USA's Bill Burton. Like Huntsman, she praised Bachmann for taking an early position on the debt ceiling (she was a firm "no" on any increase from the start).

"She spoke out and she cast her vote according to her principles, she stood true," she said.

Palin has shown little indication she'll enter the race, though she said in the interview she hasn't made up her mind yet. But her direct attack on Romney suggests that she might play a significant role from the outside. It's unclear if she still has the same influence she used to, however, even with her famously loyal base of followers. A heavily promoted pro-Palin film, Undefeated, proved a box office disaster this month even as Palin lent it her personal seal of approval.