TPM News

We already told you how True the Vote, the anti-voter fraud effort launched by a Texas Tea Party group, had lined up two of the biggest stars on the anti-voter fraud circuit for their upcoming national convention.

Now comes news they've added three of the biggest voter fraud alarmists in the country: Big Government founder Andrew Breitbart, Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund and former Bush Justice Department official Hans von Spakovsky.

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Obama Under Scrutiny For Clues On Deficit In Speech Reuters reports: "President Barack Obama aims to rise above party politics in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, but he must prove he is serious about tackling the budget deficit that could unleash a bitter partisan fight."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama and Vice President Biden will receive the presidential daily briefing at 9:30 a.m. ET. Obama will deliver the State of the Union Address at 9 p.m. ET.

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The latest in a recent string of Constitution gaffes might make Republicans think twice about their earmark moratorium.

On Monday, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) hosted a seminar for (mostly Republican) House members on the Constitution. Her special guest was Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who presided over what was reportedly a fairly dry, straightforward discussion of his legal doctrine, and answered a handful of other Constitutional questions.

At least one of these, it turned out, was embarrassingly rudimentary.

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Critics of conservative Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia were quick to raise red flags Monday after he emceed a member seminar on the Constitution at the behest of Tea Party caucus leader Michele Bachmann. MSNBC hosts Lawrence O'Donnell and Rachel Maddow, in particular, suggested his visit was a symptom of the increasing politicization of the Court -- particularly among its conservative members.

But Monday evening, two progressive members who attended the seminar vouched for Scalia and the event, and dispelled the notion that anything untoward happened.

According to Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), who addressed reporters just outside the forum, the event was "incredibly useful, partly just to get the sense of Justice Scalia as an individual."

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CUNY professor Frances Fox Piven is taking a break from academia to battle adversary Glenn Beck on his own turf: the media. The sociology scholar, whose work on armed revolution in the 1960s has made her Beck's latest arch-nemesis, joined Cenk Uygur this evening and while she said she initially found Beck "funny," recent death threats have left her scared.

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation had two major roles in the life of the late Benjamin Hooks, the lifelong civil rights activist and NAACP director who died in 2010.

The FBI investigated multiple threats against the life of Hooks, who directed the country's oldest civil rights organization from 1977 to 1992. They also had a confidential informant photograph Hooks (and other civil rights activists) in the wake of the shooting of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and later did an extensive background check on Hooks -- as a White House nominee -- flagging his alleged ties to communists and noted his involvement in fried chicken restaurants which went bankrupt.

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Montana state Sen. Greg Hinkle (R) is sponsoring a bill to give local sheriffs supreme authority in their counties, and requiring "that federal employees shall obtain the county sheriff's permission to arrest, search, and seize."

In a meeting before the state's Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday, the Helena Independent-Record reports that more than 25 people testified in support of the bill, including Gary Marbut, president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, who said that authority should rest with the guy that we know and the rascal we can throw out."

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At the end of next month, two of the Patriot Act's controversial provisions -- one authorizing "roving" wiretapping and one allowing the government to pull all sorts of records and electronic communications from U.S. citizens -- will expire.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), the new chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has already introduced legislation that would simply extend the provisions for one more year.

That would essentially be a repeat of what happened a year ago, after the provisions expired in December 2009. There was a bit of a fight from civil liberties advocates, but the measures were renewed for another year at the end of last February.

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