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Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said today that President Obama "favors the black person" by default in an argument.

Media Matters reports that King made the remarks this morning in an appearance on the G. Gordon Liddy radio show, during a discussion of the Obama administration's criticism of the new Arizona anti-illegal immigration law:

King: When you look at this administration, I'm offended by Eric Holder and the President also, their posture. It looks like Eric Holder said that white people in America are cowards when it comes to race. And I don't know what the basis of that is but I'm not a coward when it comes to that and I'm happy to talk about these things and I think we should. But the President has demonstrated that he has a default mechanism in him that breaks down the side of race - on the side that favors the black person.

In an interview from three weeks before the Nevada Republican primary, Sharron Angle made it clear that getting rid of Medicare and Social Security is a non-negotiable issue for her.

Greg Sargent reports that in a radio interview with a local Nevada NPR affiliate on May 19, Angle talked about how the VA and Medicare were not covering medications for her father -- and she suggested that they shouldn't, "not if you're working towards a privatized system."

Going on in the interview, Angle talks about how as a Senator she would work with other legislators to formulate a proper solution for her idea, haggling over the details and implementation of privatization without giving up on the main idea itself: "The idea of privatizing and getting out of Medicare and Social Security is not up for grabs."

Rep. Henry Waxman, who chairs the House Subcommittee on Energy and Commerce, sent a letter with Rep. Bart Stupak to BP CEO Tony Hayward today, ahead of Hayward's testimony before the committee. The letter outlines the questions raised by the committee's investigation into the spill, and asserts that BP's "carelessness and complacency have inflicted a heavy toll on the Gulf."

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Meet Bob Etheridge, the North Carolina House Democrat who got caught on camera last week roughing up an activist affiliated with Andrew Breitbart's Big Government project.

Etheridge has since apologized for his behavior, though that's done little to stop the fallout from the altercation. Republicans are hammering him, and Democrats are hitting back at Republicans for setting up Etheridge and trying to provoke other members as well.

But who is Etheridge?

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Does your brother manage your campaign? Did your dad's team help you capture the nomination? Does your husband answer your house phone and speak to reporters? If you're the unlikely winner of your Senate primary, and you answered yes to any of the above questions, the national party needs to talk to you.

In the year of the insurgent, the tea party and electoral surprises, smart national politics can sometimes fall to the wayside. Senate nominee Rand Paul (R-KY) learned that the hard way, and the D.C. Republican establishment quickly stepped in to shut him up and tamp down his national profile. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is helping coach Rep. Joe Sestak after his surprise shellacking of Sen. Arlen Specter last month, helping him choose a new campaign team since his brother has been one of his closest advisers.

In such a critical election cycle where the Republicans are attempting to win back control of Congress, there's no way either party would leave a campaign up to chance. The under-the-radar changes to each insurgent campaign aren't likely to surface until the fall. But they are in the works.

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The Hill reports today that the House Office of Congressional Ethics has asked lobbyists for information and documents relating to eight House members: five Republicans and three Democrats.

The members are Reps. John Campbell (R-CA), Joe Crowley (D-NY), Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Christopher Lee (R-NY), Frank Lucas (R-OK), Earl Pomeroy (D-ND), Tom Price (R-GA) and Mel Watt (D-NC). All of them serve on either the Financial Services Committee or the Ways and Means Committee.

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Former Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA), who retired in 2008 while under investigation as part of the probe of lobbyist Jack Abramoff, announced last week that the Department of Justice has closed its investigation of him and will not press charges.

The DOJ declined to comment to TPMmuckraker.

Abramoff had hired Doolittle's wife's firm for event planning work; Abramoff gave Doolittle's office $140,000 over the years; and Abramoff allegedly gave gifts like tickets to the Washington Redskins to Doolittle's staff in exchange for legislative favors.

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Florida Gov. Charlie Crist's switch from Republican to independent is still having some after-effects in state politics, the St. Petersburg Times reports, with Crist's appointees to the state GOP executive committee now being dismissed from their posts.

Under Florida law and the party's rules, the governor gets to appoint ten at-large members to the executive committee of his state party. But since Crist is no longer a Republican at all, his ten appointees have now been removed.

We asked Florida GOP spokesperson Katie Betta whether any of the ten individuals had expressed a desire to remain in their positions with the party. "I don't believe we encountered an instance where this was a problem, because these positions no longer exist on the committee," said Betta. "And those members who served on the committee serve with an understanding of the constraints of that position."

The Louisville Courier-Journal has a much-discussed story today about Kentucky Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul and his lack of certification from a mainstream ophthalmology board.

As we reported last month, Paul is the founder and president of the National Board of Ophthalmology, a certifying board for eye doctors that has left little public record, and whose legitimacy seems unclear at best. He hasn't been certified by the mainstream board since 2005. He is certified by the NBO.

The Courier-Journal points out today that Paul's board "is not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties, which works with the American Medical Association to approve such specialty boards."

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One of President Obama's most influential advisers has softened his position on derivative reform, suggesting for the first time that he might be amenable to Sen. Blanche Lincoln's plan to force major financial institutions to spin off their lucrative swaps desks. The development comes as members of Congress who back Lincoln's plan push to preserve it as part of Wall Street reform legislation. But aides on the Hill who back the plan remain skeptical.

According to the Financial Times, former Fed chairman Paul Volcker has opened somewhat to the Lincoln plan, provided it not ban banks from hedging their own risk, or that of their customers, by trading in derivatives.

Just a month ago, though, Volcker, who chairs Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, had a fairly cut and dry view: "I am...aware of, and share, concerns about the extensive reach of Senator Lincoln's proposed amendment," Volcker wrote in a letter to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd. "[M]y sense is that the understandable concerns about commercial bank trading in derivatives are reasonably dealth with in...your reform bill as presently drafted."

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