TPM News

Las Vegas -- Senate candidate Sharron Angle (R-NV) revved up a conservative crowd today, even as she denied her pre-primary win statements on phasing out Social Security.

Addressing the conservative convention RightOnline at the Venetian casino this afternoon, Angle was hailed for pledging to "permanently repeal the death tax" and for saying she stands with Arizona's new immigration law. She has become a conservative darling in her bid to unseat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).

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Obama: GOP Proposals 'The Same Policies That Led Us Into This Recession' In this weekend's YouTube address, President Obama promoted his economic program and the recently-signed Wall Street reform bill. In a sign of increased political content as the country approaches the 2010 midterm elections, he also attacked "the Republican leader in the House of Representatives," without directly naming Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), for promoting the repeal of health care reform and opposition to other Democratic policies as the Republican platform.

"These are not new ideas. They are the same policies that led us into this recession," said Obama. "They will not create jobs, they will kill them. They will not reduce our deficit, they will add $1 trillion to our deficit. They will take us backward at a time when we need to keep America moving forward."

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Las Vegas -- President Obama greeted progressive activists and liberal bloggers this morning via video message, telling the group during the final full day of Netroots Nation that he gets their frustration that "change hasn't come fast enough."

"I hope you take a moment to consider all we've accomplished so far," Obama said. Then the pre-recorded video showed a segment from MSNBC's Rachel Maddow rattling off the administration's achievements.

Obama promised, "we're not done." He said that the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell is in the works and touted his own plan to draw down 90,000 troops from Iraq.

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Las Vegas -- Rep. Michele Bachman brought the conservatives attending RightOnline to their feet multiple times tonight in a keynote speech where she said she'd like to repeal "almost everything" and predicted President Obama is a one-term president.

During the wide-ranging speech at the Venetian casino here, Bachmann (R-MN) bragged she'd reached 40 members of her newly formed Tea Party Caucus, but stressed her goal is not to be a "mouthpiece" for the movement. Instead, she said, members would listen and be an "ear piece."

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Las Vegas -- Organizers of a conservative convention designed to counter Netroots Nation tonight declared they'd put together a larger event for the first time, mocking the progressive activists also in town as "angry and bitter."

"Netroots Nation going down faster than Mel Gibson's career," Erik Telford of Americans for Prosperity told a laughing crowd at the Venetian casino gathered for the third annual RightOnline.

AFP started RightOnline to counter Netroots Nation, celebrating its fifth anniversary and holds the event each year in the same city as the progressive event.

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Former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN), who lost his fiercely-disputed 2008 Senate re-election bid and subsequent recount against Democrat Al Franken by a very narrow margin, was asked on CNN this afternoon about whether he will run against Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele. Norm's answer: that's not the focus right now.

"Between now and November, I'm gonna work with Chairman Steele to make sure that we move this country forward to the path of fiscal responsibility," Coleman told Wolf Blitzer, "replace the spendthrift, out-of-control Democrat majority in the House and in the Senate, and move this country to the path of fiscal responsibility."

Coleman also acknowledged that the RNC has some problems.

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Las Vegas -- Every political convention needs a straw poll, and Netroots Nation is no different. TPMDC obtained an advance look at most of the questions the netroots will be answering over the next few days, and there are more than a few surprises.

Netroots participants will be answering questions, of course, about how they feel about Obama, which parts of his agenda are most important to them and what they think his greatest accomplishments to date are. They'll be asked what Congressional races are most important to them, and given choices from a familiar line-up of heavily contested seats. But they'll also be asked, like CPACers before them, who their preferred candidate is for the top of the Republican ticket in 2012. And, of course, Sarah Palin's a potential contender on their list, too.

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The Federal Air Marshal office in Orlando has been plagued with scandal over the past few years, most famously for a Jeopardy-style game supervisors played with derogatory categories for African-Americans and people they thought were gay.

With the special agent in charge of the office, Bill Reese, announcing his retirement this week -- presumably due to allegations of discrimination and impropriety, although TSA officials say it's because of personal reasons -- we thought we'd recap some of what's allegedly been going in the office.

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Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) -- who acknowledged last year that he acted as an "intermediary" between Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) and Doug Hampton, the man with whose wife the Nevada senator had an affair -- has turned over emails to the feds who are investigating Ensign's affair, Politico reports.

Coburn and Ensign were roommates at a Christian house on C Street at the time of the affair.

Coburn didn't tell Politico what's contained in the emails -- but said "there weren't many."

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Las Vegas -- When liberal activists and progressive bloggers took their seats today for a panel on the 2010 elections, they found fliers with instructions about how to track Republican candidates and upload unflattering video for the Democratic National Committee to use during this fall's races.

The DNC's "Accountability Project," which we first told you about last month, allows voters to be their own trackers in races across the nation. DNC executive director Jen O'Malley Dillon told party supporters in an email announcing the new effort they could help capture the next "macaca" moment, a reference to former Sen. George Allen. Allen (R-VA) was unseated in 2006 in part because a video went viral thanks to the then-newly strong netroots movement.

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