TPM News

With Election Day three months behind us and new legislators settling in across the country, Republicans in many states are trying to push new laws that would require photo ID at the polls. The laws, they say, would prevent rampant voter fraud.

Seven states already have laws requiring photo ID at the polls. Another 19, including some of the states below, require some form of identification, but it doesn't need to have a photo.

Critics say it such requirements impose undue hardships on those trying to vote, reminiscent of the literacy tests of yore that kept black voters from voting in the South.

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The Arizona sheriff who has claimed "our own government has become our enemy" and starred in a campaign ad for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has been awarded the 2011 Ferris E. Lucas Award for Sheriff of the Year by the National Sheriffs' Association. The group, which calls itself the largest association of law enforcement professionals in the U.S., credits Sheriff Paul Babeu, of Pinal County, Arizona with becoming "one of the most progressive Sheriffs in the country."

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The DCCC is already targeting 19 Republicans from marginal districts with local radio ads.

For the most part, the ads criticize the members for supporting GOP spending cut proposals. But they're also going after a couple of members -- Reps. David Rivera (R-FL) and Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA) -- who remain under ethical clouds.

"Did you know Congressman David Rivera is under criminal investigation for receiving secret payments from his mother's company?" says a narrator in the Rivera ad. "Tell Rivera to come clean so he can finally get to work for us."

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The White House is telling reporters in Washington this week they expect former Gov. Jon Huntsman (R-UT) -- now the administration's Ambassador to China -- to quit his job soon and mount a 2012 bid against President Obama.

Huntsman has been seen as a threat to Obama since the president was inaugurated, with many tea-leaf readers in DC calling Huntsman's appointment to head one of the nation's most important embassies back in 2009 as a preemptive strike by the White House's political team to eliminate a strong reelection rival from the board.

Now, it seems, that rival is back.

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Saturday Night Live over the weekend gave Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) another chance to deliver her tea party response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address.

"Unfortunately, that response was marred by some technical difficulties, and it seems that its core message was not properly conveyed," said Kristen Wiig, playing Bachmann. "Accordingly, I have asked for this time tonight to try again."

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Speaker John Boehner took to the Fox News Sunday airwaves this weekend for his first Sunday show interview since ascending to the top job in the House this month. Previewing what is likely to be bitter budget fight this year, Boehner appeared to dismiss all the new government spending projects President Obama mentioned in his State Of The Union address last Tuesday.

Obama proposed boosting government support for education, internet access and infrastructure as part of a US response to a rising China, what Obama called America's "Sputnik moment." Boehner, who rode into power thanks to a surge of anti-spending tea party voters, told FNS host Chris Wallace not to hold his breath waiting for Obama's requests to make it into a House-passed budget.

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