TPM News

Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) had a bit of a blooper on his weekly radio show -- when giving out the number to call into his show, he accidentally gave the number of a phone-sex hotline.

The problem here was that he used an 800 area code, when the actual number was 866.

I wouldn't be too quick to laugh at Pawlenty, though, as I've personally made this exact same mistake myself. And for the record, I was trying to call a news company.

Seven former CIA directors have sent a letter to President Obama, urging him to overturn Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to appoint a torture prosecutor.

Holder's decision, they wrote "creates an atmosphere of continuous jeopardy for those whose cases the Department of Justice had previously declined to prosecute." they added that the probe "will seriously damage the willingness of many other intelligence officers to take risks to protect the country."

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Rep. Joe ("You Lie") Wilson's outburst during President Obama's speech last week didn't exactly make him out to be sympathetic to illegal immigrants, to put it mildly. There's also little evidence he ever worked as an immigration lawyer, as he's claimed.

But the South Carolina Republican's hard line on the issue may not be as consistent as you might expect. In fact, on one recent case, it looks like he went downright soft -- and what's even more interesting is the possible reason why.

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In an interview with Jeffrey Brown on PBS, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) referred to the current protests on health care as a "modern-day political rebellion in America," and quoted Thomas Jefferson to say that rebellion is a good thing -- but it should be done in a civil way:

Boehner: And so this conversation that's underway is healthy for our democracy. It was Thomas Jefferson 220 years ago who said, "A little rebellion now and then is good for our democracy."

Brown: Right, but "rebellion" is a charged word, of course, because the rebellion back then was a serious matter.

Boehner: It was. But having Americans engaged in this public debate is healthy. And I would hope that it would continue, but continue in a civil way.


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Orly Taitz must like the abuse.

Sometime between being thoroughly smacked down by a federal judge and threatened with sanctions Wednesday, then denouncing said judge to TPM as a corrupt puppet, then having a formal complaint filed against her by a fellow member of the California bar for her comments, self-appointed Birther leader Taitz filed a motion in the U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Georgia challenging the judge's order tossing her most recent case.

Now, the judge is threatening her with a fine to the tune of $10,000.

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While reporting this afternoon from the floor of the Values Voter Summit, MSNBC reporter Brian Mooar was heckled by several audience members who said he was being rude and disrespectful.

Mooar was giving a live broadcast as Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO) was speaking to a crowd of about 2,000. A woman in white gets up and yells something at him, which is inaudible.

"Somebody here is not liking what we're talking about," Mooar said as he was about to sign off.

Then, a man came up to him. "You're being rude," he said.

Mooar countered: "We were invited guests."

"Too bad," the audience member said. "You're being rude."

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Several outlets, including ABC News and Fox News, are reporting that Mohammed Zazi, the man whose Colorado home was this week raided by the FBI in connection to a suspected terror plot has admitted ties to al Qaeda, and is negotiating to plead guilty to a terror charge.

That plea would be part of a deal to cooperate with the government. According to a law enforcement official, Zazi received explosives training. Other reports have suggested he was found with plans for building bombs on his recent trip to New York.

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Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO), who is currently a candidate for Senate in 2010, just told an interesting story to the Values Voters Summit, explaining the state of pandemonium in Washington.

A long time ago in India, Blunt said, a group of British occupiers set about building a golf course from what was formerly a stretch of wilderness. Much to their surprise, as soon as the first balls were played, monkeys would run out and play with them. The monkeys might throw a ball from fairway to sand, from sand to fairway -- or even back at the golfer.

Eventually, the golfers had to agree to a new rule, never before used in the game. "You have to play the ball where the monkey throws it. And that is the rule in Washington all the time," Blunt said, to the applause and laughter of the crowd.

"You know the world is turned upside down," he added for context, "when Al Franken is in the United States Senate, and Tom DeLay is going on Dancing With The Stars."

Late Update: Here's the audio, courtesy of Fired Up Missouri:

Health care reform "is very much a women's issue," a part of the feminist movement, First Lady Michelle Obama told a group of women's rights activists today.

"If we want to achieve true equality for women ... then we have to reform the system," she said.

Women, she said, pay more for insurance while earning less and are more likely to work part-time or for small companies that don't offer health insurance. On top of that, she said, eight in 10 women are responsible for the health care of their children and their spouses, and sometimes their aging parents.

"Women play a unique and increasingly significant role in our families. We know the pain, because we are usually the ones dealing with it," Obama said. She spoke of when her daughter Sasha had meningitis -- "We were terrified" -- and how her father had multiple sclerosis.

"What would we have done, as a family ... if my father hadn't had insurance?" she said.

Watch the video after the jump.

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