TPM News

New details are beginning to emerge about the plane crash that killed Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) and four others -- Dana Tindall, her daughter, Corey, 16, lobbyist Bill Phillips and the pilot, Terry Smith. Sean O'Keefe, EADS CEO, his son Kevin, lobbyist Jim Morhard and Phillips' son Willy, 13, remain hospitalized in Anchorage. Although the crash site remains relatively inaccessible due to weather conditions, NTSB investigators have pieced together a preliminary report based on accounts from rescuers and witnesses.

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In a campaign season swelling with populism, where candidates try to out-folk each other and prove their anti-elitist credentials, having a symbol of extreme wealth as potent as a 145-foot yacht is already a liability.

It's way more of a liability if your yacht has been involved in a number of untoward episodes over the past decade -- if, like Florida Senate candidate Jeff Greene, your yacht has destroyed part of a precious Belizean coral reef, showed up "caked in vomit" in travel-embargoed Cuba and, possibly, fueled some of Mike Tyson's less proud moments.

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is not backing down from a strong remark he made yesterday -- that Hispanics should not be Republicans because of that party's actions blocking immigration reform.

"I don't know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican, OK," Reid said on Tuesday. "Do I need to say more?"

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Republican Ben Quayle, son of former gaffe-prone vice president Dan Quayle, is running for Congress in Arizona's third district. He's out with a new TV ad! And it's so crazy.

The ad opens with a close-up on Quayle staring intensely into the camera. "Barack Obama is the worst president in history," he says. "In my generation, we'll inherit a weakened country. Drug cartels in Mexico, tax cartels in D.C....what's happened to America?"

Quayle, who's been sitting, dramatically stands up. "Somebody has to go to Washington and knock the hell out of the place." Yikes!

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The bill to provide health care to 9/11 rescue workers has so far caused Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) to furiously rant on the House floor and to angrily debate Rep. Peter King (R-NY) multiple times.

Weiner's latest showdown was with Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough on MSNBC today. Scarborough accused Weiner of using theatrics to distract from the fact that the Dems used a procedural trick that was ultimately the cause of the bill's failure.

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Just hours after Republican Linda McMahon won the GOP's Senate primary in Connecticut last night, Democratic nominee Richard Blumenthal is out with a new television spot. The ad focuses on Blumenthal, the state's attorney general, who touts his record of fighting against corporate interests.

"As I look at Washington D.C., I don't see a lot of people standing up for the people, against the special interests," Blumenthal says in the ad, citing battles against the pharmaceutical industry, utilities, and tobacco companies. "The people of Connecticut know me, and one thing they know about me for sure is that I will fight for them," he says. "No matter how big or powerful the foe, I will stand up for them."

Watch the ad:

McMahon, meanwhile, told ABC's Good Morning America that she's willing to spend up to $50 million of her own money to defeat Blumenthal.

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Bringing The Smackdown: Linda McMahon's Campaign For Senate, And Her Colorful Pro-Wrestling Past]

The TPM Poll Average shows Blumenthal leading McMahon, a former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, 51.4%-39.6%. Check out TPMDC's full coverage of the race here.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel has conceded the Republican gubernatorial nomination to former Rep. Nathan Deal.

At last count, Deal was up by less than 2,500 votes in the runoff primary, triggering speculation that a long recount process was coming. Now Deal can avoid that process and shift gears to taking on the Democratic nominee, former Gov. Roy Barnes.

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Washington's Senate primary is next Tuesday, and with a week left before voters head to the polls, it looks like Democrat Patty Murray and Republican Dino Rossi will advance to the general election, a new SurveyUSA poll finds. Washington state has an open primary, meaning the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, move on to compete in November. In SurveyUSA's new poll, Murray leads with 41% of the vote and Rossi gets 33%. Clint Didier, a Tea Partier and former NFL player, is a distant third with 11%.

Past polling of the race has also shown Murray and Rossi to have commanding leads over other primary contenders. The last time SurveyUSA polled Washington, they found Murray with 37% and Rossi with 33%, while Didier lagged behind in third with 5%.

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