TPM News

In an apparent reversal, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach's office is instructing election officials in the state to send out overseas military ballots without Democratic Senate nominee Chad Taylor or any other Democratic Senate candidate listed.

Kobach spokeswoman Samantha Poetter confirmed to TPM that the ballots would be sent out by Saturday, the deadline under state and federal law.

"Our ballots are going out without Chad Taylor (or any Democratic candidate) for U.S. Senate," Poetter said. "They've been ordered to send them out as soon as possible."

TPM obtained a copy of the official order sent to local election officials.

"The list does NOT contain the name of a Democratic nominee for United States Senate," the order said. "There are three candidates, Randall Batson, Libertarian, Greg Orman, independent, Pat Roberts, Republican."

"All (overseas military) ballots MUST go out by tomorrow to comply with the 45 day requirement under state and federal law," it said.

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"We are all Georgians now," Republican presidential candidate John McCain famously declared in 2008, after speaking to Georgia President Mikheil Saakashvili amid a growing conflict between Russia and the post-Soviet nation. McCain's campaign was playing up the conflict to paint candidate Barack Obama as inexperienced on foreign policy.

Six years later — and two years after he was ousted as president — it turns out Saakashvili is quite happy living the American life in a "self-imposed exile."

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House Republicans have hired a new lead attorney to handle their lawsuit against President Barack Obama over his unilateral tweaks to Obamacare.

William A. Burck of the firm Quinn Emenual Urqhart & Sullivan has been retained, after David Rivkin backed out under pressure his firm faced from other clients, a House Republican aide with knowledge of the lawsuit said.

As Burck notes in his official biography, he was the defense counsel for Maureen McDonnell, wife of now-convicted Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), in his recent high-profile political corruption trial.

The news was first reported by David Drucker of the Washington Examiner.

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Former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin took to Facebook on Friday to make what appeared to be her first veiled comments about the bloody brawl her family was allegedly involved in earlier this month at a house party in Alaska.

The post focused on how proud she was of her eldest daughter, Bristol Palin, who witnesses have said was seen repeatedly punching the owner of the house during the Sept. 6 melee in Anchorage. One witness who spoke to TPM described Bristol's actions as "quite violent."

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