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Republican Senate hopeful Pat Toomey appeared to be trying a little revisionist history this week when he claimed he never called for privatizing Social Security.


Toomey made the statement at the end of his appearance at the Pennsylvania Press Club Monday, only to see a wave of critics calling him out. That included the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which dug up a 2003 headline from Toomey's hometown newspaper, The Morning Call, which read: "Toomey: Privatize Social Security."


The former Club for Growth president said he does favor allowing younger workers to deposit savings into private accounts, a position he has held since his first congressional term in 1999. He recently touted it in his book, "The Road to Prosperity," which is now selling for $3.03 on Amazon.


The key to understanding this semantic subterfuge is, well, semantics. The word Toomey uses is "personalized" Social Security accounts.


The increasing volume on Social Security was escalated Wednesday, when former Senat0r Alan Simpson the GOP co-chair of President Obama's deficit commission, was force to apologize for sending an e-mail to a female activist for seniors in which he described Social Security as "a milk cow with 310 million tits."


The flap has prompted an outcry amongst groups like AARP, which are calling for Simpson to resign or for the president to fire him from the commission post.


Democrats have been charged with trying to gin up anxiety about the future of Social Security benefits, like when President Obama recently said some GOP leaders are "pushing to make privatizing Social Security a key part of their legislative agenda if they win a majority in Congress this fall.


The president called such privatization "an ill-conceived idea that would add trillions of dollars to our budget deficit while tying your benefits to the whims of Wall Street traders and the ups and downs of the stock market."


The issue resurfaced in time for election year political football after Congressman Paul Ryan, the top Republican on the House Budget Committee, offered a proposal that would allow younger people to put Social Security money into personal accounts.


This pretty much mirrors the proposal pushed unsuccessfully by former President George W. Bush--which was supported by Toomey.





The original version of the story appears here: http://www.pa2010.com/2010/08/toomey-changes-verb-but-not-intent-for-social-security/

pa2010.com is a non-partisan, political news Web site, providing insider reporting and commentary on Pennsylvania's big 2010 elections.

A state investigator said today that Gov. David Paterson (D-NY) mislead investigators under oath about paying for tickets to Game One of the World Series -- something that could warrant criminal perjury charges against the governor.

Judith Kaye, a retired judge appointed by the state attorney general, said in her report that Paterson lied to the state ethics commission when he said he had intended to pay for the tickets for his son and his son's friend before the game.

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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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