TPM News

Terry Jones, the Dove World Outreach Center pastor who plans to lead a mass Koran-burning on -- and in commemoration of -- 9/11, said on MSNBC today that his intent is to send a "very clear, radical message to Muslims," that the United States will not tolerate sharia law in its courts.

Jones said he fears that the U.S. will become like Europe, where as the Muslims "gained in population, they also began to demand sharia law, sharia courts, which is a very violent form of punishment." The Koran-burning day, he said, is about sending a "warning" that "that is not welcomed in America."

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Joe Miller is asking for cash with an ominous sounding fundraising email, warning his supporters that a "recount is imminent" in his Alaska Republican primary bid to unseat Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

The race won't be decided for weeks, and while Murkowski waits, her campaign brought in a lawyer who might be used to request a recount. Miller leads by 1,668 votes and TPM sources in Alaska expect him to prevail.

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Sen. Lisa Murkowski might just keep her seat, but it's going to be weeks before she knows for sure.

Murkowski (R-AK) is trailing upstart Republican and tea party favorite Joe Miller by 1,668 votes, with all the votes from Tuesday's polling locations counted. But there are as many as 16,000 absentee ballots remaining. TPM's Alaska sources say the outstanding ballots are from the bush and rural outposts in the state's southeast region, where Murkowski has a stronghold of support.

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Federal prosecutors will not retry Robert Blagojevich, the brother of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, for two counts of extortion conspiracy and one count each of wire fraud and extortion reports the Chicago Tribune.

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File under "Where this is headed."

Democrats are pretty clearly going to lose some seats in November. And, if this Fox News clip last night is any indication, Republicans will use that defeat to press Obama to abandon what remains of the stimulus bill itself and other job-creating strategies.

Here's what Karl Rove told Greta van Susteren last night: "there needs to be an event that causes -- that gives them, gives them the excuse, gives them the opportunity, whatever verb or noun you want to attach to it, to shift gears. And that moment's coming. It's in 60-some-odd days. It's called the November election."

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Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson is calling for a probe into the Oakland County Democratic Party in connection with allegedly fraudulent candidate filings by the mysterious Tea Party there.

Tea Partiers in Michigan claim that the Michigan Tea Party -- which had aimed to get 23 candidates on the ballot this fall -- was set up by Democrats in an effort to split the Republican vote. And the conservative Patterson is calling for a one-man grand jury to investigate whether Jason Bauer, former political director of the Oakland County Dems, committed a crime when he notarized and filed papers for those Tea Party candidates.

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The new ad from Sharron Angle in the Nevada Senate race uses some really amazing metaphors and imagery -- namely involving a love triangle between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), President Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

"It may be the most tragic love story of our time. Pelosi, Obama -- and Harry Reid," the announcer says. "Together, they promised to change America. And boy, did they: Taxpayer funded bailouts for Wall Street, a $787 billion stimulus that failed, and spending so reckless, it's led to record deficits and skyrocketing unemployment. They say you can't buy love. But we've certainly paid a heavy price."

The ad's official title is "Love Triangle." It's not really very subtle about what it's implying in the viewer's imagination, with the images of Reid hugging Obama and kissing Pelosi on the cheek.

The TPM Poll Average currently puts Reid ahead of Angle by 46.4%-43.8%.

Late Update: Reid campaign spokesman Kelly Steele put out this statement in response: "The most tragic love triangle of our time is Sharron Angle's unwavering commitment to the trinity of eliminating Social Security and Medicare, abolishing the Department of Education and the Millennium Scholarship for Nevada's students, and kicking out-of-work Nevadans off unemployment because they're 'spoiled' by their benefits. Most hypocritically, Angle has said repeatedly she would not fight for the jobs of struggling Nevadans as a US Senator and would overturn Wall Street reform passed by Sen. Reid to prevent anything like the current economic and housing crises from happening in the future."

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An estimated 88,500 inmates reported one or more incidents of sexual victimization by another inmate or facility staff during 2008 and 2009, according to a new study by the Justice Department.

That statistic is based on a survey of 81,500 from a sample of 463 facilities between October 2008 and December 2009. Inmates were asked about incidents that occurred in the 12 months before they were surveyed.

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Rick Scott, the former health care executive who won Tuesday's primary to become the Republican nominee for governor of Florida, could be inching his way to the center after running his right-wing insurgent campaign: He does not support amending the Constitution or otherwise working to get rid of birthright citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants.

Scott, who made his support for Arizona's crackdown on illegal immigration a strong point of his ads, was asked about birthright citizenship in an interview last night with John King on CNN.

"I don't believe we ought to be changing the law. I think we ought to leave the law exactly the way it is, the 14th Amendment," said Scott. When asked again by King for confirmation, Scott made it clear that he believes in birthright citizenship for all: "That is a right. If you're born in our country, you're a citizen of our country."

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