TPM News

In the last few days we've told you about Kris Sickles, aka "Pale Horse," who in the past has posted videos urging people to arm themselves and march on Washington, and this week was charged -- along with eight other members of the Hutaree, a Christian militia group -- with seditious conspiracy in connection with an alleged plot to kill law enforcement.

But Sickles, who in those videos identified himself as a member of the Ohio Militia, may also have a lighter side. The accused plotter looks to have starred in a deeply Not Safe For Work movie, filled with cursing, mock violence, pot jokes, and sound effects conveying flatulence. Sickles appears entirely naked but for a mask of President George W. Bush that obscures some, but not all, of his genitalia.

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Mitt Romney is continuing to walk a tight-rope on the similarities between his Massachusetts health care plan and the new national health care reform law from President Obama. During an appearance Tuesday night at Emory University, Romney acknowledged that there are "a number of similarities" between the two, while simultaneously opposing Obama and even favoring court challenges.

"If you lose a job or change a job, you won't lose your insurance. Everybody in Massachusetts is able to keep insurance throughout their life. It's not taken away from them. So it's portable," said Romney, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. "No. 2, you can't be canceled if you have a pre-existing condition or if you become ill once you're insured. So in that respect, it's very similar."

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The National Republican Senatorial Committee is so pleased with President Obama, they've put out a web video lauding his accomplishments. Among the many things the GOP group gives Obama credit for are: -39% unemployment, low-emission unicorns, renewable rainbow energy, trillions of jobs created and free health care. Even the opposition can't ignore a track record like that.

Wait a second...

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The C Street Center, a boarding house for Christian lawmakers made famous by its role in the Ensign and Sanford scandals, is facing two complaints from a group of Ohio pastors. The pastors allege that the center is improperly using its tax status to offer below-market rents to members of Congress -- a charge that could ensnare the members as well.

The 13 pastors, who say they're concerned about the separation of church and state, filed one complaint with the IRS arguing that C Street has improperly declared itself a "church" for taxation purposes on February 23. Their second IRS complaint, filed this week and obtained by TPM, alleges that C Street's rent is much lower than market price. The problem, according to the complaint, is that the members are either not paying taxes on that extra income, or that they're receiving unreported gifts.

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It's tough being Blanche Lincoln these days. Her approval ratings are in the tank, and she faces a bleak reelection landscape, assuming she defeats her primary challenger. By and large, she's dealt with this reality by distancing herself from the Democratic party, in an at-times heavy handed fashion--so why is she now paying for an ad that boasts, "[w]hen Blanche Lincoln, our U.S. Senator, helped President Barack Obama pass health care reform, the tea party and insurance companies attacked her. But she didn't back down"?

It's because that ad is running on black radio.

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The Republican Governors Association released the following statement today announcing its first-quarter fundraising for 2010. The Democratic Governors Association also released its fundraising numbers today.

The Republican Governors Association announced today that it received contributions totaling $9.04 million in the first quarter of 2010 and holds $31.2 million cash-on-hand.

"The smart money is with the RGA this year," said RGA executive director Nick Ayers. "We are receiving a record number of donations from supporters at all levels because they are confident in our strategy and know we will win back a majority of governorships this November."

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FBI agents found 46 guns and 13,000 rounds of ammunition in the Indiana home of one of the nine alleged members of the Hutaree Christian militia, prosecutors said at a hearing Wednesday.

That man, Thomas Piatek, was ordered held without bond and will face charges with the other charged Hutaree members in Detroit.

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