TPM News

Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-FL), the Democratic nominee in the Florida Senate race, has a new radio ad out attacking independent Gov. Charlie Crist -- and seeking to undermine any feeling among Dem voters that Crist could end up caucusing with the Democrats.

The ad declares that Crist's "home" is with the GOP, and features audio of various statements that Crist made when he was a Republican. Examples include, "I'm a Jeb Bush Republican," "I was impressed at Governor Palin being picked," and "I'm about as conservative as you can get."

"Now Charlie Crist is running for Senate as an independent -- while he still supports extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy," says the announcer. "Don't be fooled. If Charlie Crist gets to Washington, his heart will lead him right back where he belongs."

The TPM Poll Average gives Republican Marco Rubio a narrow lead with 35.2%, followed by Crist at 34.7% -- and Meek way behind for now with 17.8%.

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Democrats are staying on the attack against Pat Toomey, using a new TV ad to once again blame the GOP Senate candidate for the financial crisis.


The new ad from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, embedded at bottom, comes two weeks after the party first went on the air in Pennsylvania, and just a couple days after Democratic nominee Joe Sestak started running his first ad. Toomey and his conservative allies have been hammering Sestak on the airwaves for months.

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Five teenagers have been arrested for disrupting religious services at a mosque in upstate New York after allegedly driving by the mosque during Ramadan services, honking their horns and firing a shotgun.

The five, who are all 17 and 18, have allegedly driven by the World Sufi Foundation mosque in Carlton, N.Y., during Ramadan services twice over the past week, yelling obscenities.

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The charges keep flying in New Jersey as fired Education Commissioner Bret Schundler (R) and Governor Chris Christie (R) continue to spar over whether Schundler should have been fired over his explanations as to why New Jersey lost out on $400 million in federal education funding due to a mistake on a grant application.

Who's telling the truth and who is just trying to cover themselves? TPMMuckraker looks into the charges and counter charges and breaks it down.

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Don't underestimate Republicans' desire to stymie or unwind the health care law. But not all of them are as committed to its demise as Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R), who yesterday issued an executive order forbidding his state's officials from applying for grant money from the new law.

It turns out that seven of the states -- Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska and Nevada -- that have applied and been approved for subsidies to cover the cost of caring for retired state government employees are also part of a coalition of more than 20 states suing the federal government over the constitutionality of the health care law's individual mandate, which experts say is critical to the success of the policy. Minnesota's attorney general, Lori Swanson (D), refused to join to Pawlenty's displeasure.

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Ronald Reagan's eldest son, talk show host Michael Reagan, unveiled a brand new website this week: "The Reagan Report."

The Reagan Report has a handful of articles on healthcare or border protection, but the crux of the site (worthy of a flashing button on the masthead) seems to be getting you to sign up for your very own "conservative email address."

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If Social Security is "a cow with 310 million tits" then what's the proper metaphor for veteran's benefits? We don't know. But Alan Simpson seems to think they're too expensive. Or too overused. Or something. Anyway, it's bad.

"The irony (is) that the veterans who saved this country are now, in a way, not helping us to save the country in this fiscal mess," said Alan Simpson, co-chair of the White House's fiscal commission, according to the Associated Press.

Simpson was referring specifically to the disability benefits the Department of Veterans Affairs dispenses to Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange.

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The Office of Congressional Ethics, a semi-independent body that investigates House members on ethics charges and forwards its findings to the official House ethics committee, says the conduct of three members warrants further investigation.

The OCE has been investigating Reps. John Campbell (R-CA), Joseph Crowley (D-NY) and Tom Price (R-GA) for fundraisers they held in the days before voting on financial reform legislation last December. The office dismissed similar investigations against five other members.

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