TPM News

NBC’s Jaime Novogrod reports that Michele Bachmann is defending her stance on Muslims, saying repeatedly in Iowa that she doesn’t “hate Muslims.”

Bachmann’s comments come after a heated back-and-forth with Ron Paul in last Thursday’s debate, and comments made by Paul Friday on Jay Leno, where he said: “She doesn’t like Muslims. She hates Muslims. She hates them. She wants to go get them.”

Held Sunday night and announced Monday, Newt Gingrich has won the Tea Party Patriots' straw poll, reports CNN:

"An overwhelming number of activists from around the nation showed they are serious about electing a candidate who advances Tea Party principles," said National Coordinator Jenny Beth Martin.

Bradley Manning’s attorneys argued that Manning’s actions were influenced by the fact that he was a gay soldier under the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. The hearings will determine whether there is enough evidence to bring Manning to trial on charges of treason.

Ron Paul made an appearance on Jay Leno’s show on Friday night, and – as The Daily Caller notes – he came out with a string of newsworthy things.

In a jokey but revealing section where he was asked to discuss the other candidates, he said of Michele Bachmann, “She doesn’t like Muslims. She hates Muslims. She hates them. She wants to go get them.” Similarly, he boiled Rick Santorum’s entire platform down to "gays and Muslims.”

Paul refused to rule out a third party bid, though he did say it would be “premature” to think about given that he was “soaring in the polls.”

Paul also silenced the crowd when asked to name his favorite president. “Grover Cleveland,” he replied, to an apparently baffled audience. “He was a Democrat… But he loved to veto bills,” Paul explained. “And he believed in the Gold Standard.”

New Hampshire’s Keene Sentinel endorsed Jon Huntsman on Sunday, calling on Republicans and independents to support the candidate. They praised his experience as ambassador to China, and called him both conservative and flexible on domestic policy issues:

His principal qualifying distinctions include a boldness in economic policy that belies his temperate personal demeanor and a belief that the country’s divisions cannot be closed by bulldozers moving in only one direction. His appeal is enhanced by hands-on experience in international affairs, principally involving China, that’s entirely lacking in every other Republican whose name will be on the presidential primary ballot on Jan. 10.

Women's groups think they've found a formidable female candidate they hope will replace retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman in the Senate. As a veteran of Connecticut politics and an able campaigner, Susan Bysiewicz has everything they desire in a candidate. Next November is a make or break moment for women in the Senate with fully half the women in the Senate up for re-election. Women's advocates are hoping to retain incumbents and even grow their numbers with candidates like Bysiewicz.

But the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is backing a different candidate, Rep. Chris Murphy. Headed by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the DSCC knows that women's representation is an issue but still prefers Murphy.

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Long, long ago - well, on Friday night to be exact - it looked like a two month extension of the expiring payroll tax cut was on a glide path to passage in both the House and Senate -- preventing an automatic tax increase on 160 million workers on January 1 and giving Republicans and Democrats until the end of February to negotiate an extension through the end of 2012.

But as soon as the deal was announced, House GOP aides privately speculated that the deal wouldn't fly with the majority of their caucus despite buy in from Speaker John Boehner, Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell, all of his deputies and the vast majority of Senate Republicans.

Sure enough, they were right. The deal collapsed in spectacular fashion early Saturday. After passing the Senate with an overwhelming majority, Boehner presented the deal to his members, many of whom -- including Boehner's top lieutenants -- rejected it. Sunday morning, he appeared on NBC to declare it dead on arrival.

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A video that claims to be by the group of computer hackers known as Anonymous threatens to disrupt the Iowa Caucuses, reports the Huffington Post. The video calls the political process corrupt and calls on supporters to “peacefully shut down” the caucuses.

It’s unclear how serious a threat this is, if at all, but Republican Party officials in Iowa are taking precautions, including recommending backup paper ballots and taking additional steps to secure their computer systems.

Newt Gingrich is struggling to get on the Virginia primary ballot, reports ABC. The state has some of the strictest requirements in the nation for candidates to qualify. Meanwhile, Romney has qualified and filmed a short web video with his wife Ann, thanking his supporters who mobilized in the state and gathered signatures. It’s unclear if the video, which went up hours after news broke of Gingrich’s struggles, was a coincidence or an intentional jab at Newt.

Watch the video below: