TPM News

Ken Cuccinelli has made his latest play to curry favor with the GOP's far-right wing, and to turn himself into a power player in conservative circles.

The hard-charging Virginia attorney general addressed religious conservatives Thursday night at an event sponsored by Jerry Falwell's Liberty University -- whose roster of speakers included a self-proclaimed "Christocrat", as well as an evangelist who has claimed she can cure AIDS and other diseases through prayer.

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In news buried by the Goldman fraud charges, the Inspector General for the SEC issued a blistering 159-page report Friday concluding that the agency's Fort Worth office knew that Texas businessman Allen Stanford was operating a Ponzi scheme in 1997 -- but didn't make a serious effort to pursue the matter for eight years, until 2005.

Stanford, a flamboyant Texas billionaire, is currently in jail facing charges of operating a $7 billion Ponzi scheme.

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Rep. Michele Bachmann's (R-MN) national profile, with her heated rhetoric against President Obama and the Democrats for what she has called their Marxism and tyranny, has attracted a lot of attention in her suburban Minnesota district -- with the race becoming nationalized politically, and money coming in from all around.

The Star Tribune reports that 63% of Bachmann's donations in the first quarter of 2010 came from outside the state. On the Democratic side, the party's endorsed candidate state Sen. Tarryl Clark has seen 30% of her major donations come from outside Minnesota, and former state university regent Maureen Reed has seen 10% of her donations major donations come from out of state.

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A Tea Party rally in Greenville, South Carolina over the weekend took some of the Tea Party's violent rhetoric to new levels, with speakers attacking everything from President Obama's citizenship to Sen. Lindsey Graham's sexuality.

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Mark Critz, the Democratic nominee in the special election for the House seat of the late Rep. John Murtha (D-PA), has a message in his latest ad: He opposed the health care bill, and he is not a liberal.

In his new ad, Critz responds to an ad from the National Republican Congressional Committee, which attacked "liberals like Mark Critz" for passing the health care bill.

"That ad's not true," Critz says in his new TV spot. "I opposed the health care bill. And I'm pro-life, and pro-gun. That's not liberal."

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Andrew Romanoff, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate from Colorado, apologized Friday for a photograph on his web site that was altered to show an African-American woman standing next to the candidate. Romanoff also removed the photo.

Romanoff, who is challenging Sen. Michael Bennet for the Democratic nomination, in a statement apologized if the photo offended any one. But he also defended himself.

"I take offense at any suggestion that our campaign attempted to deceive anyone. That's outrageous and false," he said.

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Former President Bill Clinton has some advice for President Obama on the Supreme Court -- find someone young who fills a void on the high court in experience or demographics. Oh and by the way, he says he and Hillary Clinton don't want the job.

It's a lesson Obama can learn from Clinton, who named Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the court when she was 60. Clinton told ABC's Jake Tapper yesterday that it would not be "a good idea" for him to follow in William Howard Taft's footsteps and take a seat on the court because he's too old.

"I'm already 63-years-old, I hope I live to be 90," Clinton said on "This Week."

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In a new court filing, prosecutors allege that Hutaree leader David Stone and other members of the Christian militia held a February live fire training session in which they discussed "ambushing police officers, killing police officers during traffic stops, torching the homes of police officers and then shooting them and their families as they fled their burning homes."

Nine alleged Hutaree members are charged on various counts in an alleged plot to kill police. The new filing argues against bail for Stone.

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Obama Health Team Turns to Carrying Out Law The New York Times profiles the Obama administration officials whose job it will now be to put the new health care reform law into practice: "Jay Angoff, a longtime consumer advocate and nemesis of the insurance industry, will lead efforts to regulate insurers and insurance markets. Jeanne M. Lambrew, an idealistic veteran of the Clinton White House, is carrying out provisions of the law aimed at expanding coverage. And Phyllis C. Borzi, a top Labor Department official, will police the conduct of employers, who provide health benefits to more than 150 million Americans. Their task is to translate the promise of the law into reality, with help from the private sector, if possible."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will meet at 12:30 p.m. ET with senior advisers. He will meet at 1 p.m. ET with Sudan Special Envoy General Scott Gration. He will depart from the White House at 3 p.m. ET, and from Andrews Air Force Base at 3:15 p.m. ET, arriving in Los Angeles at 8:25 p.m. ET. He will deliver remarks at a 9 p.m. ET fundraising reception for Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and the DNC, at another fundraising event for Boxer and the DNC at 9:40 p.m. ET, and at a fundraising dinner for Boxer and the DNC at 11:45 p.m. ET.

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Senate Republicans say they're prepared to work constructively with Democrats on a consensus financial reform bill. But this weekend, after the White House offered up a key substantive concession, they swatted President Obama's hand away in a fashion that was all too reminiscent of their strategy of opposition to health care reform.

"We ought to go back to the drawing board," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on CNN Sunday morning.

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