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Bill McCollum -- who may be seeing the Republican gubernatorial primary in Florida finally shifting his way after months running behind Rick Scott -- appears to ready to try and ride his way to victory on the back of an immigration enforcement proposal he himself calls "tougher" than Arizona's controversial 1070 law.

The details of McCollum's plan, as reported by the Miami Herald: "The proposed law would require immigrants to carry valid documentation or face up to 20 days in jail and would allow judges to hand down stiffer penalties to illegal immigrations who commit the same crimes as legal residents."

"Arizona is going to want this law,'' McCollum told reporters. "We're better, we're stronger, we're tougher and we're fairer.''

The proposed law is already creating the expected headlines: "Is Florida the New Arizona?" Time wondered. But in a state where prominent Republicans like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio publicly frowned on key provisions of Arizona's law, the answer to that question is probably no.

So, what's behind the shift? Simple politics, Democrats say. McCollum is proving himself willing to swing way out to the right to beat Scott -- who has been hammering McCollum as too moderate -- leaving the the Democrats potentially facing a nominee who could be on the wrong side of Florida's large immigrant population.

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The new SurveyUSA poll of the California gubernatorial race gives Republican Meg Whitman a one-point advantage over Democratic state Attorney General and ex-governor Jerry Brown, in the race to succeed GOP Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The numbers: Whitman 44%, Brown 43%. The survey of likely voters has a ±4.1% margin of error. In the previous poll from a month ago, Whitman actually had a wider lead of 46%-39%.

The TPM Poll Average currently gives Brown a narrow lead of 44.6%-42.7%.

Bryan Fischer, who wrote a blog post this week arguing that the U.S. should have "no more mosques, period," explained to TPM today that "every single mosque is a potential terror training center or recruitment center for jihad" and thus "you cannot claim first amendment protections if your religious organization is engaged in subversive activities."

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Anderson Cooper did a fun takedown last night of the latest right-wing meme against birthright citizenship -- that according to anonymous former FBI officials, there is a long-running plot to have "terror babies" born here as U.S. citizens, then flown overseas and trained to come back and attack the United States 20 to 30 years later. Last night, Cooper brought on an actual former FBI official to debunk it.

The "terror babies" plot has previously been discussed on the House floor by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX). On Tuesday night, Cooper hosted Texas state Rep. Debbie Riddle, who also pushed the great danger of the terrorist babies -- though she said she would not reveal her sources and did not have the evidence on hand. So on Wednesday night, Cooper hosted Tom Fuentes, who served as the FBI's assistant director in the office of international operations from 2004 to 2008.

"The FBI has 75 offices overseas, including offices in Jordan, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Pakistan," explained Fuentes. "There was never a credible report -- or any report, for that matter -- coming across through all the various mechanisms of communication to indicate that there was such a plan for these terror babies to be born.

"Also, I'd like to add, there seems to be a lot of former FBI agents lurking in the halls of Congress and in the legislature in the state of Texas, so I'm kind of curious about that issue as well."

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The jury in Rod Blagojevich's corruption trial told the judge today that they have only come to unanimous agreement on two of the 24 charges.

As for the other 22 charges, the jury said they haven't even begun to discuss the 11 wire fraud charges. They have not been able to come to a decision on the other 11.

According to the Sun Times, Judge James Zagel is instructing the jurors to keep trying:

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And now you know why politicians run negative ads. A new poll from Mason-Dixon out today shows Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum back in the lead of the Florida Republican gubernatorial primary race. The poll shows McCollum leading former hospital executive Rick Scott 34-30. That's a huge swing from Mason-Dixon's last poll, which showed Scott ahead 37-31 only a week ago.

The poll is great news for McCollum, who many observers had all but written off after Scott's multi-million dollar ad blitz knocked McCollum, the establishment choice, into a solid second place. If Mason-Dixon's new numbers are correct, the August 24 primary is now basically a toss-up. To what does McCollum owe his improved fortunes?

According to the Miami Herald, McCollum's "nonstop attacks" on Scott's "integrity and business record have put him in the lead for the first time." McCollum has stepped up his attacks on Scott in recent weeks, spending money and turning his attention to the challenge after largely ignoring Scott at first. It looks like McCollum's efforts are paying off.

But Mason-Dixon pollster Brad Coker told the paper the real winner in the nasty Republican primary appears to be Democrat Alex Sink.

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House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) has come out strongly against the Muslim community center project near Ground Zero in New York, going so far as to invoke the "come on" exception to America's freedom of religion.

"I think that is the ultimate insensitivity," Cantor said during an interview with National Review. "Anyone looking at that with any common sense would say, 'What in the world would we be doing, you know, fostering some type of system that allows this to happen.' Everybody knows America's built on the rights of free expression, the rights to practice your faith, but come on.

"The World Trade Centers were brought down by Islamic extremists -- radicals who were bent on killing Americans and accomplished that in unimaginable ways. I think it is the height of insensitivity, and unreasonableness to allow for the construction of a mosque on the site of the World Trade Center bombings. I mean, come on."

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Rep. Kendrick Meek is up with yet another ad touting his Democratic credentials and slamming his opponent in the Senate primary in Florida, billionaire investor Jeff Greene, for making his fortune from betting that the housing market would collapse.

While Meek's first spots were aimed primarily at hitting Greene, this new ad spends about half the time (that's 15 seconds for those playing at home) talking Meek up as the only legitimate candidate in the race.

"Every major newspaper has endorsed Kendrick Meek for U.S. Senate," the ad begins. "Presidents Obama and Clinton, [Florida] teachers and police all support Kendrick Meek."

With the clock ticking down toward the August 24 primary -- and Greene still running very close to if not ahead of Meek in polls -- Meek can't afford to let any endorsement go unheralded. He also can't afford to let an opportunity to rip Greene pass him by. That's why the back half of the ad is as negative as it is.

"And Jeff Greene?" the ad's narrator asks. "A flat-out liar."

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Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY), in a campaign speech today in which he (again) defended himself against charges by the House ethics committee, said a middle finger well represents how he feels about the charges, the press and, indeed, the whole process.

Last night, at Rangel's star-studded birthday party fund-raiser, former New York City Mayor David Dinkins flipped off a protester who was calling for Rangel to resign.

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