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Pamela Geller is pretty worked up about the Southern Poverty Law Center's designation of her group, Stop Islamization of America, as a hate group. But not because she gives the designation any credence. On the contrary, Geller -- the blogger behind Atlas Shrugs and one of the most vociferous opponents to a planned Muslim community center near Ground Zero in New York City -- says "a slam from the SPLC is a badge of honor."

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Some Senate Republicans, less than enthused by saber-rattling from Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and John McCain (R-AZ) on Libya, warned on Monday that sending military aid to anti-Qadaffi rebels could draw the US into all-out war.

"Dependent upon the method of delivery and what we decide to do we could decide to have a war in Libya to join the war in Afghanistan and Iraq," Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) told reporters, saying he opposed arming the Libyan resistance or imposing a no-fly zone. "You know, people need to be very thoughtful about entering wars without a declaration and without much more congressional scrutiny of what's involved."

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A pair of national progressive groups are firing the first shots in what could become a full-scale recall campaign against Republican state Senators in Wisconsin, TPM has learned.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy For America are launching a robocall campaign to test the waters for the immediate recall of several state Senators as well as Senate President Michael Ellis and moderate Senator Dale Schultz, who voters would be able to recall in a year under Wisconsin law.



The robocall, voiced by a New London, WI teacher, will be dispatched to 50,000 constituents of Republican Sens. Luther Olsen (District 14), Robert Cowles (2), Dan Kapanke (32), Schultz and Ellis.

The calls gauge voter interest in recalling their Senator.

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Fox News host Neil Cavuto compared the spending habits of Congress to troubled Hollywood actor Charlie Sheen's alleged drug addiction problem on his program Monday. Cavuto said that just like Sheen -- who appears to be in the midst of a very public meltdown -- Congress isn't willing to acknowledge it has a problem.

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In his quest to transform himself from establishment elder statesman to tea party insurgent, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) just took a few steps down the path toward becoming the Melissa Leo of the U.S. Senate.

A spokesperson confirms to TPM that the Senior Senator from Utah referred to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as "an awful piece of crap" and a "dumb-ass program" during an appearance at Utah State University last week.

Hatch immediately apologized for dropping the twin PG-13 bombs on the room full of college Republicans, and promised to "repent for using the words that he did."

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Days after snubbing embattled Rep. David Rivera (R-FL) on a visit to Florida, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) told reporters on Monday that he was keeping an eye on reports of a brewing scandal surrounding the freshman Republican.

"There are ongoing investigations in Florida involving Congressman Rivera and we are respectful of those investigations," Cantor said in a briefing with reporters. "I'm obviously very concerned about the reports surrounding those investigations, but we'll wait to see the result of them."

Rivera is reportedly under investigation over questions surrounding $817,000 his campaign paid to a political consultant as well as additional issues involving a $500,000 payment from a dog track to a consulting firm run by his mother to help pass a gambling initiative he supported while in the Florida House of Representatives. According to the Florida Clarion, Cantor deliberately avoided contact with Rivera on a trip to Miami last weekend.

1||February 26, 2011: As people continued to flood the Wisconsin State Capitol to protest Gov. Scott Walker's (R) proposal to ban collective bargaining for most of the state's public employees, solidarity protests swept the nation on Saturday. TPM readers sent in their photos. Here protesters gather in Olympia, Washington.||Fuse&&

2||Also in Olympia a firefighter tells the government to "stop attacking middle America".||Fuse&&

3||Protesters gather on the steps of the Washington State Capitol.||Fuse&&

4||Protesters join in solidarity in Philadelphia.||Andrew Chalfen&&

5||A large crowd gathered inside the Washington State Capitol on Saturday.||Fuse&&

6||In Philadelphia, a young girl joins the protests.||Andrew Chalfen&&

7||In Olympia, protesters line the streets - donning "Cheeseheads" in support of those protesting in Wisconsin.||Fuse&&

8||Protests In Nashville, Tennessee, on Saturday.||Janet Eyler&&

9||Protests on the west coast as well - these in Los Angeles.||Paul Gulino&&

10||A protester in Sacramento poses with the local "fat cat".|| Robin Kozloff&&

11||A little boy in Chicago grins and poses with a sign in solidarity with other protesters.||Karin Sconzert&&

12||Also in Chicago.||Karin Sconzert&&

13||Protesters also came together in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. ||Kenneth Neumayer&&

14||In Denver, people lined the streets. ||Dick Buckley&&

15||Tucson, Arizona. ||David Safier&&

16||Protestors brave 5 degree weather, in solidarity on the streets of St. Paul, Minnesota.|| Avi Viswanatha&&

Wisconsin voters already have buyers remorse about electing Gov. Scott Walker (R).

In a PPP poll released Monday, a majority of registered Wisconsin voters say that in a hypothetical re-do of last year's gubernatorial election, they would vote for Democrat Tom Barrett, whom Walker defeated in November. That finding comes as Walker continues to stand firm on his budget proposals that would strip most state public employees of long-held collective bargaining rights.

Fifty-two percent of respondents said they would vote for Barrett if the election were held today, while 45% said they would vote for Walker. That's almost exactly the opposite of what happened in the election, when Walker won the governorship with 52% of the vote to Barrett's 47%.

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In a meeting with reporters on Monday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) pushed back against independent assessments suggesting his party's proposed budget cuts would cause a spike in unemployment, lighting into Moody's chief economist Mark Zandi.

Zandi, who has advised leaders in both parties on economic policy, released a report today suggesting that House Republicans' budget plan would lower job forecasts for the next two year by 700,000. Cantor downplayed Zandi's independent credibility, tying him to Democratic leaders.

"I have seen several reports of Mark Zandi this morning saying that cutting spending would somehow cost hundreds of thousands of jobs," Cantor said. "I would also note that Mr. Zandi was a chief proponent of the Obama-Reid-Pelosi stimulus bill that we now know has failed to deliver on the promise of making sure unemployment did not rise above 8 percent."

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