TPM News

Congress will holds its first vote on the debt ceiling on Tuesday, with the GOP House majority bringing up a "clean" bill that would raise the limit on the government's borrowing ability with no strings attached, i.e., no spending cuts. That's exactly what most Democrats have been calling for, so why would Republicans give them a chance to vote on it? That's where this gets tricky.

The vote is intended to expose fault lines within the Democratic caucus, with Republicans counting on sizable number of Democrats to side with them and bolster their case that Democrats need to agree to deep spending cuts as a condition to raising the debt limit.

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Apple Inc said Chief Executive Steve Jobs, who has been on medical leave, will open up the iPhone maker's annual developers' conference next week with a keynote speech.

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Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) appears to be inching ever closer to a run for president -- and as she has now said in her latest public statements, her prayers on the subject have now yielded a calling from God himself.

In an interview with Iowa Public Television, broadcast on Friday:

Henderson: You recently referenced your Christian faith. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, when he announced he would not run, said that he just didn't feel called to do that. Have you had that sort of calling to run for president?

Bachmann: Well, every decision that I make I pray about as does my husband and I can tell you, yes, I've had that calling and that tugging on my heart that this is the right thing to do and because it's such a momentous decision, not only for myself, my husband and our 28 children, it is a momentous decision what ideas will I bring to bear? What are the resources that I have to marshal in terms of people, assets, the message and also the finances, the amount of time this will take, what this will mean for the nation. Am I the right person for the job? Every decision and every endeavor my husband and I have made we think it through, we're not rash people. We make a plan because we want to succeed, we don't want to fail and so we've been very deliberative in this process and that's why we're now coming to the culmination and next month, as I announced last night, I'll make that decision right here in Waterloo and the world will know.

[Note: Bachmann has had five biological children, and a total of 23 foster children over a span of many years.]

Bachmann has previously said she was praying for an "inner assurance" about her 2012 decision. It should be pointed out that for Bachmann, this stuff about receiving a divine calling to run for office is no joke -- it has allegedly happened before.

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Those who work in the arena of political media have been scratching their collective heads trying to make sense of what Sarah Palin is up to with her One Nation bus tour. In an exclusive interview with Fox News' Greta Van Susteren , Palin explains that her tour is 'not about me,' adding that many in the media are looking for a story that calls this a "conventional campaign-type tour," which she reminds this is not, "except to campaign on our Constitution, our charters of liberty."

The full interview between Van Susteren and Palin is set to air this evening, but show producers, Fox News (and/or maybe the Palin team themselves) smartly released an excerpt of the interview late last night, ironically maximizing the publicity of the exclusive interview, and yes, the tour itself.

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The former governor of Massachusetts just set the bar for a Mitt Romney presidency very high. In an interview Tuesday morning on Today, Romney was asked to take a look at President Obama's term in office so far and come up with a letter grade. He didn't hesitate to flunk him.

Romney didn't mention if his grading curve included winning the Nobel Peace Prize, ushering in historic health care reform, signing into law dramatic steps forward in LGBT rights or, you know, killing Osama bin Laden -- but he said that taken on the whole, Obama's term in office gets a goose egg on the Romney meter.

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Samsung Electronics has asked a U.S. court to force Apple Inc to hand over its next-generation models of the iPhone and iPad in the latest volley in a series of patent infringement suits between the two technology companies.

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Rep. Anthony Weiner's spokesman says the New York Democrat has retained counsel to explore possible legal action after a lewd photograph was posted on his Twitter feed this weekend. According to Weiner, the photograph, which showed a close-up of a man's crotch in tight underwear and was addressed to a 21-year-old Seattle woman, was the work of a hacker.

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Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has been cagey in his comments on the Ryan Medicare plan thus far, but on Sunday he offered his clearest indication yet that it had his support.

"I'm personally very comfortable with the way Paul Ryan would structure it," McConnell said on NBC's Meet The Press. "But we have a Democratic president. We're going to have to negotiate with him on the terms of changing Medicare so we can save Medicare."

McConnell, along with the overwhelming majority of his Republican colleagues in the Senate, voted for the House GOP budget containing the Ryan plan last week, giving them less cover to hedge on its Medicare provisions. Pressed by host David Gregory whether the Medicare proposal would ultimately be dumped in negotiations with the White House, McConnell emphatically denied the notion.

"No," he said. "It's on the table."

1||The 24th annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally took place on Sunday, May 29 in Washington D.C. The ride is meant to honor American prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action. ||Jeff Malet/

2||An estimated 250,000 riders participated in Rolling Thunder XXIV. ||Jeff Malet/

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4||Sarah Palin made an appearance at the rally, irking some riders when fans and journalists caused a minor stir by swarming around her. ||Jeff Malet/

5||Palin's husband, Todd, and daughter, Piper, joined her on the ride. ||Jeff Malet/

6||Freshman Rep. Allen West (R-FL) delivered a speech at the event. ||Jeff Malet/

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8||Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen also addressed the crowd. ||Jeff Malet/

9||A man portraying an imprisoned POW. ||Jeff Malet/

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13||One woman handed out "Biker Bibles." ||Jeff Malet/

14||The ride had several starting points, and ended at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. ||Jeff Malet/

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18||Todd and Piper Palin. ||Jeff Malet/

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20||Sarah Palin, with husband, Todd, and daughter, Piper. ||Jeff Malet/

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24||Sarah Palin ||Jeff Malet/

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26||Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen. ||Jeff Malet/

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28|| Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. ||Jeff Malet/

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