TPM News

Kris Kobach, the Secretary of State-elect in Kansas who ran on a platform of ending supposedly endemic voter fraud in Kansas, told TPM that it wasn't yet clear if voter fraud was an issue in the election.

Speaking with TPM after a panel on civil rights at the Federalist Society's National Lawyers Convention on Thursday, Kobach said he would have to wait until all the reports came in.

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On his blog Thursday, Bryan Fischer defended his comments this week that the Medal of Honor has become "feminized" because "we now award it only for preventing casualties, not for inflicting them."

Fischer, who is the "Director of Issues Analysis" for the conservative Christian group the American Family Association, explained himself after what he called "blowback" to his column: "The bottom line here is that the God of the Bible clearly honors those who show valor and gallantry in waging aggressive war in a just cause against the enemies of freedom, even while inflicting massive casualties in the process."

"What I'm saying is that it's time we started imitating God's example again," Fischer wrote.

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Three men have been indicted for allegedly running a Ponzi scheme and stealing $43 million from investors who thought they were putting their money in a Sharia-compliant investment strategy.

According to federal officials, the men ran a firm called Sunrise Equities and told Pakistani-American investors and banks in Chicago that their money would go exclusively into real estate development. Earning interest is prohibited under Sharia, or Islamic law, and observant Muslims cannot invest in financial products that earn interest.

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With November's elections behind us, exit polls can now help explain how exactly things played out at the polls. The American Enterprise Institute For Public Policy Research released their analysis of this year's House exit polls, and within it, a picture emerges of this election season's altered, right-leaning electorate.

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Recount? What recount?

Democrat Mark Dayton is making it clear that he's going to be ready if he is declared the next governor of Minnesota, launching his transition site, -- recount or no.

The site leads with a welcome message from Dayton and his running mate, Yvonne Prettner Solon, saying that while election officials sort out who the official winner is, "the challenges facing us and our State simply cannot wait."

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he's willing to do "whatever it takes" to extend the Bush tax cuts for the middle class, up to and including allowing a vote on extending all the cuts, not just those on incomes below $250,000.

Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill this afternoon after a Democratic caucus meeting that focused on the Bush tax cuts -- which will expire in January unless something is done in the lame duck session -- Reid said that he's willing to allow a vote on Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's plan to extend all the cuts in exchange for many votes on dealing with the upper-income cuts while letting the middle class cuts continue.

Such a bargain would put Republicans in the politically tricky position of having to filibuster middle class tax cuts, or abandon their goal of permanent tax cuts for wealthy Americans.

"We want an opportunity and -- and we mean plural -- to vote once, twice, whatever it takes to show the American people that we support the middle class," Reid said. He said there could be "multiple variations" on how to proceed on the cuts for wealthier Americans.

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