TPM News

1||Veteran's Day Parade in Detroit, Michigan, November 8, 2008. ||flickr/cc/Wigwam Jones&&

2||U.S. Army Ssg. Jason Rasmussen, prepares to begin digging fighting positions at Observation Post Barracuda near Bala Murghab in Badghis Province, Afghanistan on May 25, 2010.||n87/ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

3||Pompano Beach High School JROTC participant salutes the fallen heroes of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Wednesday, November 10, 2010. ||Joe Rimkus Jr./MCT/Newscom&&

4||U.S. soldiers who were liberated from German POW camps in spring 1945, upon arriving at an airstrip in France following their evacuation.||akg-images/Newscom&&

5||Isabella Peterson, right, and other kindergarten students sing ''You're a Grand Old Flag'' during the annual Veteran's Day Celebration at Gulfside Elementary in Holiday, Florida on November 10, 2010. ||s70/ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

6||U.S. soldiers and infantrymen from the South Vietnamese military wait for an enemy attack from their position at the edge of a rice field.||akg-images/Newscom&&

7||American soldiers establish a machine-gun nest during the Meuse-Argonne offensive in World War I.||HANDOUT/Scripps Howard News Service/Newscom&&

8||U.S. soldiers returning from a deployment to Taji, Iraq, arrive at the Andrews Joint Base outside Washington D.C., on August 28, 2010.||Zhang Jun/Xinhua/Photoshot/Newscom&&

9||After replenishing their water and ammunition supply, soldiers from the 173rd U.S. Airborne troops continue their "Search and Destroy" patrol in the Phuoc Tuy province in 1966. ||akg-images/Newscom&&

10||Army reservist marchers in the 91st annual Veteran's Day Parade in New York on Wednesday, November 11, 2009.||RICHARD B. LEVINE/Newscom&&

11||U.S. soldiers from an African-American mortar unit of the 92nd Division aiming at German machine gun positions during the Battle of Massa, November 1944..||akg-images/Newscom&&

12||A soldier with some children in Afghanistan ||flickr/cc/Afghanistan Matters&&

13||President Wilson with British Field Marshal Sir John French, reviewing a parade of marines during a visit to England.||akg-images/Newscom&&

14||The Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C. ||Pete Souza/KRT/Newscom&&

15||U.S. soldiers in Tikrit, Iraq in July 2009. ||cc3/ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

16||Oklahoma Veteran's Day parade, November 7th, 2009. ||flickr/cc/pcol&&

17||The Marine Corps Memorial in Washington, D.C. ||Reed F W/Newscom&&

Did Joyce Kaufman, the South Florida right-wing radio talk show host who was named (and then unnamed) as Republican Rep.-elect Allen West's chief of staff, inspire the deranged person whose threats led to yesterday's lock down of Broward County public schools, libraries and post offices? It looks that way.

As you might recall, someone emailed Kaufman's radio station, WFTL, declaring that he or she was planning a violent act against some kind of government building, possibly a school. A phone call to the station yesterday, from a woman identifying herself as the e-mailer's wife, later warned that this man could potentially commit a terrorist act against a public school. That prompted a countywide lock down of all public schools.

The local Fox affiliate since reported that the threat-maker had said he was inspired by none other than Joyce Kaufman, who had received publicity in the last few days for her previous calls for violent action against the government in order to protect citizens from the tyranny of the Obama administration.

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Rep.-elect Allen West (R-FL) has had a change of plans -- he is not hiring as his chief of staff local talk radio host Joyce Kaufman. Kaufman recently called outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) "garbage" and earlier this year called for violent revolution if the Republicans didn't win the midterm elections.

As The Hill reports:

"It is with deep regret that this congressional office and the people of CD 22 will not have Joyce Kaufman as my chief of staff," West said in a statement. "Joyce is a good friend, and will remain loyal to South Floridians and to me. I will always seek Joyce's counsel for being a good representative of this congressional district."

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In an appearance today on ABC's TopLine, Alaska Republican Senate nominee Joe Miller insisted that he could yet win the election -- that is, if a strict spelling standard is applied to those write-in votes cast for incumbent GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

"Well, if the margin of disqualification holds, and assuming that the courts uphold that, and the court makes a decision on how these votes will be counted, we're gonna be right in there," said Miller, who garnered 36% of the vote in an election in which 40% of the total were write-in votes.

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Just a few months after the 2010 mid-term elections ended, the 2012 presidential cycle will begin. Politco and NBC News will co-sponsor the first Republican presidential debate "during the spring of 2011," the website reports today. The debate will be held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA.

A spring presidential debate, though it comes months before caucusing begins in Iowa or most Americans are paying any attention, is becoming a tradition of the now elongated presidential election process. The Democratic candidates for president in 2008 gathered in Orangeburg, SC on April 26, 2007 for what was then the earliest presidential debate. The organizers of next year's debate did not announce specific dates for the forum, but there's a chance it could come even earlier than the '07 debate did. (The Reagan Library was also the site of the first Republican debate of 2008, but it took place in May after the Democratic forum.)

For Republicans, the early debate comes in a much different environment than the Democratic debate three years ago did. Democrats, newly unified by their party's win in the 2006 Congressional elections, were vying for the nomination in a world where there would be no incumbent in the presidential race and most gave the advantage to the Democratic nominee.

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Last night, Stephen Colbert kindly took time out of "The Colbert Report" to offer Michelle Obama a much-needed lesson after her greeting to an Indonesian minister sparked an uproar among Indonesians. Michelle had shaken the poor man's hand, which Stephen knows is just not how it's done.

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Get out of the pool! It's filled with Sharia!

At George Washington University, the Muslims Students Association this year successfully lobbied to create a weekly women-only swim hour at the pool. Once a week, a dark tarp is hung over the glass door, a female lifeguard watches the pool and only female swimmers are allowed in.

The program, called "Sisters Splash," went unnoticed by the larger GWU community -- until the school paper wrote about it.

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While most Republicans are jockeying for promotions in the new leadership structure in the wake of massive electoral victories, RNC chair Michael Steele is facing down a bunch of his fellow Republicans who want to see him start collecting unemployment. Steele hasn't committed to running for a second term as the head of the party, but already Republicans embarrassed by his first year in office are lining up to stop him if he tries.

The serious efforts began even before the election that saw the Republicans sweep into power in the House. As Steele was on this cross-country "Fire Pelosi" bus tour aimed, he said, at boosting turnout in Congressional races, a group of "well-known Republicans" was pressuring former RNC chair and current Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour to take Steele on in an RNC leadership race.

After the election, Steele told TPMDC on a press call that he understands it's been a rocky road at the RNC this year. But he said he's ready to do better.

"The learning curve was steep and quick," he said, "but I got it."

He might have it, but there are plenty of Republicans that don't want him to keep it. Since the election -- in which Republicans did in fact "fire Pelosi" -- pressure on Steele has only ramped up.

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Senate Democrats' top budget guy spoke supportively this morning of the controversial proposal unveiled yesterday by the chairmen of the White House's fiscal commission.

"I am going to vote for proposals that do as much as this does in terms of reducing the debt," Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) said on ABC. "There is no way of doing it that's not controversial and difficult... if some of us have to sacrifice a political career to get this country back on track, then so be it. It has to be done."

Conrad stopped short of fully endorsing the plan, but in a later appearance on MSNBC suggested he thinks it's generally on point. "From 30,000 feet I think they are going in the right direction," Conrad said.

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