TPM News

To say that Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) has had an interesting week would be an understatement.

That’s because for the Democrat from Tennessee, most of his time in Congress has been “interesting.”

His latest brush with the ridiculous came during a House Judiciary hearing on Tuesday when he asked a conservative sheriff and Fox favorite whether he agreed that marijuana was not in fact the "scourge of the black community." Cohen, visibly taken aback by the sheriff’s disagreement, called him out for not giving the “obvious answer.”

That’s just the latest. Below are some of his greatest hits and gaffes since becoming a member of Congress in 2007.

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All four of the GOP governors with 2016 ambitions are facing budget shortfalls back home that their critics would argue are disasters of their own doing. It puts them in a politically difficult position: consider tax increases that put their fiscal conservative credentials on the line, or move forward with ugly cuts that risk high-profile showdowns with their legislative counterparts.

Complicating matters, three of the four -- Louisiana's Bobby Jindal, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Ohio's John Kasich -- have signed the anti-tax pledge heralded by conservative activist Grover Norquist, while New Jersey’s Chris Christie has verbally promised to not raise taxes. That limits their options to address revenues that have fallen short of expectations.

“Post-Tea Party there are new requirements for being a successful candidate if you’re a Republican,” Norquist told TPM. “And that includes reining spending more than some are willing to do.”

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WASHINGTON (AP) — American and Cuban officials were trying Thursday to complete talks to re-establish embassies in each other's capitals after a half-century interruption. Many differences appeared close to being resolved.

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State Rep. Sarah Davis is making history in the Lone Star State by becoming the first Republican lawmaker to publicly support same-sex marriage.

Davis refused to sign an anti-gay letter issued by her Republican colleagues last week, and made comments in an interview with the Texas Observer that amounted to an endorsement of the right of same-sex couples to marry.

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