TPM News

Carly Fiorina is probably the most high-profile candidate in the 2010 California senate race -- perhaps even more than three-term incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer (D).  She's routinely profiled in national publications; her statements, good and bad, are quickly written up by almost every campaign reporter.  Indeed, Fiorina is so ubiquitous on the media radar that you could be forgiven for not realizing that she probably won't even make it to the general election.

Fiorina has stumbled, and now is a consistent second place candidate as the June 8 California GOP Senate primary fight shifts into high gear. Yet even as it's becoming increasingly clear that Carly Fiorina is not the candidate to watch, it's likely you've haven't heard much about the man she's losing to, or why she's failing to excite voters in California.

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Louisiana state Rep. Henry Burns (R) has introduced a bill in the Louisiana House that would allow churches to institute a "security plan" enabling congregants with concealed weapons permits to carry guns into churches and temples.

According to a Burns spokesperson, "we buy fire extinguishers in case there's a fire," and allowing churchgoers to carry concealed is just the "final stage of security" for places of worship.

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There are two broad categories of costs associated with the catastrophic BP Gulf oil spill: one is cleanup; the other is damage caused by the oil -- to shoreline property, local tax revenues, the fishing and tourism industries, and other businesses and individuals.

Here's a guide to who's on the hook for which costs.

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Did the suspect in Saturday night's failed Times Square bombing attempt come close to getting out of the country before he could be apprehended?

The Washington Post reported that according to "a source close to the United Arab Emirates," Faisal Shahzad's name was put on the U.S. government's no-fly list around midday Monday. But despite that, the source added, Shahzad was able to buy a ticket to Dubai through Emirates Airlines, check in at JFK Airport, pass through security, and get on a plane. Shahzad was taken into custody last night by U.S. Customs and Border Enforcement officials, after being pulled off Emirates Airlines Flight 201, which had just left the gate, government officials have said. It appears that Shahzad bought his ticket while driving to the airport. A loaded handgun was found in the car he drove, which was parked in the airport parking lot.

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The new Rasmussen poll of Florida shows Republican-turned-independent Gov. Charlie Crist taking a narrow lead in the three-way Senate race since he bolted the GOP.

The numbers: Crist 38%, Republican Marco Rubio 34%, and Democrat Kendrick Meek 17%. The survey of likely voters has a ±4.5% margin of error. The TPM Poll Average has Crist ahead with 37%, followed by Rubio at 31.9%, and Meek with 17.2%.

Two weeks ago, before Crist officially left the Republican Party to run as an independent, Rubio led with 37%, with Crist at 30% and Meek at 22%. The big question is whether this is just a temporary bump, with Crist benefitting from the publicity of his party switch and Meek losing support, or if it will be a long-lasting change to the nature of the race.

Times Square bomb suspect Faisal Shahzad was questioned before he was read his Miranda rights, FBI Deputy Director John Pistole announced at a press briefing moments ago.

Shahzad was questioned last night and this morning under the "public safety exception" to the Miranda rule, Pistole said. Shahzad was "cooperative," and "provided valuable intelligence and evidence."

"He was eventually transported to another location, Mirandized, and continued talking," Pistole said.

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Attorney General Eric Holder just announced that the U.S. plans to charge Times Square bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad with an "act of terrorism" and attempting to use "a weapon of mass destruction."

Holder said Shahzad would also be hit with a variety of explosives charges.

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Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) will co-sponsor an amendment that would require government auditors to open up the books at the Federal Reserve.

The "audit the Fed" measure, first introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), is actually popular on both sides of the aisle, but is staunchly opposed by the White House, the Fed and the financial industry. Sanders is trying to round up the 60 votes it need to overcome a likely filibuster.

The Obama administration will most likely be under intense pressure to veto the entire financial reform bill if "audit the fed" survives.

Reporting by Brian Beutler

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid doesn't want any screwing around on financial reform, so he's recommending that votes on amendments, and indeed the final bill, be kept to majority rule: no filibusters, no supermajority requirements.

"I would hope also that we don't get locked into something that appears to be the order of the Congress around here that everything has to have 60 votes. On our side we're willing--I can't speak for everyone by I think I'm going to certainly--I'm more within my power to tell my senators, let's just have a 50-vote margin," Reid said on the Senate floor this morning. "Why do we need to have 60 votes on everything we do around here? That makes it so much more difficult, and I think that's unnecessary."

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