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The recall movements are continuing in Wisconsin, in the wake of Republican Gov. Scott Walker's newly-passed law curtailing public employee unions. And while it has appeared that more energy is on the Dem side, the Republicans could be on the verge of triggering a recall against at least one Democrat.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:

Dan Hunt, chairman of Taxpayers to Recall Robert Wirch, says his organization has "well over" the 13,537 signatures required to force Wirch into a recall election, though he said the group still has a goal to collect 18,000, in case some of the signatures are disqualified. He said it's likely the signatures would be filed with the state Government Accountability Board next week.

"Let the voters of Senate District 22 decide whether Senator Wirch was justified when he left the Senate to flee to Illinois," Hunt said in a statement, referring to a tactic used by Democratic state senators to stall a vote on Gov. Scott Walker's budget-repair bill. After three weeks, Republicans stripped the bill of items that made a Democratic presence necessary, and passed it without Democratic votes.


On the other side of the coin, Democrats have already filed petitions to trigger a recall against GOP state Sen. Dan Kapanke, and local Dems are currently reviewing their signatures against GOP state Sen. Randy Hopper. Other recall petitions efforts are still ongoing, and have due dates ranging from late-April to mid-May.

If you're John Boehner, you really hate Chuck Schumer right now. Schumer responded to the latest government shutdown contretemps by calling the House Speaker's posture a phony dance for the Tea Party.

"A compromise on the budget is right there for the taking, assuming the Speaker still wants one," Schumer said in a statement to reporters. "We take it for granted that because of the intense political pressure being applied by the Tea Party, the Speaker needs to play an outside game as well as an inside game. As long as he continues to negotiate, it's OK by us if he needs to strike a different pose publicly."

Contra the GOP, Schumer says Boehner has agreed to a spending cut number privately, and just needs to find a way to make the medicine go down with members of his own party.

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The recall drives in Wisconsin, where Democrats are seeking to throw Republican state Senators out in a backlash against Gov. Scott Walker's newly-passed law curtailing public employee unions, are picking up further steam -- with local Dems saying they might already have enough signatures to recall GOP state Sen. Randy Hopper.

The Oshkosh Northwestern reports:

Organizers of a campaign to oust Republican Senator Randy Hopper believe they may have enough signatures to force a recall election.

Organizers are in the process of verifying that the signatures came from eligible voters before filing the petition with the state, said Fond du Lac Democratic Party Chairman Rich Mantz. He would not say how soon organizers would be ready to file the recall petition.

"We have not confirmed we have enough signatures. We still are doing all our double-checking," Mantz said.

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Former Tea Party Express spokesman Mark Williams, who stepped down from the group after making a series of racist remarks, has a plan to "infiltrate and sabotage" the Obama campaign by volunteering as a campaign worker.

In an interview with TPM, Williams could not specify what exactly his subterfuge would entail, but said it would probably "come under the general heading of 'not exactly representing him in a fine light.'"

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With the threat of a government shutdown looming if Republicans and Democrats don't agree on spending cuts by the end of the week, President Obama is stepping up his role in last-minute budget negotiations and plans to meet with Congressional leaders over lunch Tuesday.

Democratic senators and Vice President Joe Biden have said both sides have agreed to a rough spending-cut figure of $33 billion but are still haggling over whether to include several policy riders on the bill and exactly where to focus some $6 to $8 billion of the spending cuts.

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Negotiations between congressional Democrats, Republicans and the White House to avoid a government shutdown took a turn for the worse Monday, as top Republicans issued coordinated statements calling Democrats' spending cut goals too low, and preemptively blaming them if the Friday deadline passes without a deal.

"Despite attempts by Democrats to lock in a number among themselves, I've made clear that their $33 billion is not enough and many of the cuts that the White House and Senate Democrats are talking about are full of smoke and mirrors," said House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). "That's unacceptable. ... If the government shuts down, it will be because Senate Democrats failed to do their job."

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Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), who is exploring a run for president, has also been exploring something else: awkward pop culture references, in a speech this past weekend to the Iowa Federation of College Republicans.

The Des Moines Register reports:

"I think what the younger voters have figured out is that this is a broken relationship. He made soaring promises and grand expectations. He's broken those promises," he told the crowd of students. "If this was a Lady Gaga song, the relationship between the youth vote and Barack Obama would be 'Bad Romance.'"

Pawlenty, Minnesota's most recent former governor and a potential future presidential hopeful, said the news of the day has been dominated by the tragedy in Japan, issues in the Middle East, and Charlie Sheen.

"We may not in this room have tiger blood like he does," Pawlenty said, referring to the television actor, "but we've got something else in common with him. There's going to be a lot of winning on the Republican side in 2012."


Who knows -- maybe it'll sound better in Pawlenty's next action movie trailer campaign video.

Prepared remarks from Attorney General Eric Holder:

"In November 2009, I announced that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other individuals would stand trial in federal court for their roles in the terrorist attacks on our country on September 11, 2001.

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