TPM News

Michele Bachmann has a response to comments from a Tim Pawlenty adviser, former Congressman Vin Weber, who listed Bachmann having "sex appeal" as among her advantages in the race, and then apologized: Thanks!

As Jim Geraghty of National Review reports, Bachmann was asked about the comments Thursday night, in an interview with conservative talk-radio host Scott Hennen.

As it turns out, Bachmann was a good sport about the whole flap. "Well listen, I'm 55 years old, I've given birth to five kids and I've raised 23 foster kids," Bachmann said, "so that sounds like good news to me!"

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Wisconsin Democrats face the next hurdle in the state Senate recalls on Wednesday, with primaries being held in the races to go up against six Republican incumbents -- and they'll have to beat the fake Democrats before they can take on the real Republicans.

Soon after the recall elections were triggered, Republicans declared a strategy to plant fake candidates in the Democratic primaries -- which they have called "protest candidates" -- in order to delay the general elections from July to August, while the GOP incumbents run unopposed. Also, it turns out the whole scheme will cost local governments throughout the state over $400,000.

Now, Greg Sargent has obtained a flyer being distributed by a group called "Patriot Advisers," 18th District race against GOP incumbent Randy Hopper -- encouraging conservatives to go vote in the open Democratic primary, for Republican plant John Buckstaff against real Dem Jessica King.

On the one hand, it's possible to look at this as a dirty trick. On the other hand, how could the Dems ever hope to take on the real Republicans if they can't drub the fake Dems first?

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Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), a leading advocate of shrinking entitlement spending and the architect of the plan to privatize Medicare, spent Wednesday evening sipping $350 wine with two like-minded conservative economists at the swanky Capitol Hill eatery Bistro Bis.

It was the same night reports started trickling out about President Obama pressing Congressional leaders to consider changes to Social Security and Medicare in exchange for GOP support for targeted tax increases.

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Hey Big Spenders: What Else Could Wealthy Candidates Buy With All That Campaign Cash?]

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A Colorado man who allegedly threatened to shoot up Sen. Michael Bennet's office back in January has written a rambling eight-page letter to a federal judge asking for a new lawyer and demanding to be treated just like Charlie Sheen and Mel Gibson.

In the letter, John Troy Davis -- who allegedly claimed in phone calls to Bennet's office that he is a schizophrenic -- says he wants to become famous by becoming a preacher.

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi dumped the last shovel-full of dirt on the idea that President Obama can ignore the national borrowing limit if Congress refuses to raise it.

At her weekly press conference on Capitol Hill, she gave reporters a glimpse into a Thursday meeting at the White House with Democratic and Republican leaders, which, she said, became dominated by the question of the Constitutionality of the debt ceiling.

"At our meeting they spent a whole lot of time talking about the 14th Amendment. I said, 'you know what? Why are we talking about something that's not going to happen.'"

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Following recent reports that President Obama and congressional Democrats are considering some sort of changes to entitlements as part of a broader debt-limit deal, House Republicans have decided to go for the jugular by again pressing for further cuts in order to "strengthen" - or cut - Social Security, a program forecast to stay solvent until at least 2036.

At a Friday hearing called in response to a delayed Government Accountability Office statement on future Social Security benefit payments, Republicans used the opportunity to whack the Social Security pinata once more, highlighting their unease with its financing even though it doesn't contribute to the deficit at all.

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New York City will open its clerk's offices on Sunday, July 24, to allow same-sex couples to wed on the first day the state's gay marriage bill goes into effect, officials said this week. Although clerk's offices in the five boroughs are normally closed on weekends, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that for this momentous occasion, they will open.

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Utah's elected officials are rallying around Mitt Romney instead of former Governor Jon Huntsman because Huntsman is an "unknown quantity" even in his own state, according to Senator Mike Lee (R-UT).

Lee, who worked as Huntsman's chief counsel, told TPM that even he wasn't sure yet where his former boss stood on the big issues as a presidential contender.

"He's such a new entry that a lot of people -- including me -- have not yet had an opportunity to review his platform," he said. "He's something of an unknown quantity as a presidential candidate."

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