TPM News

Stephen Colbert had conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham on his show last night to promote her new book, The Obama Diaries, which is made up of fake diary entries by the President.

Colbert read from one entry: "It's the era of 'Barack The Beautiful,' long may I reign," and then asked, "What are the odds that Barack Obama's private musings would completely and perfectly match up with the narrative that the right is trying to push about him?"

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Quinnipiac released new numbers from the Connecticut Senate race this morning, and they show Linda McMahon, the former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO and the frontrunner in the GOP primary, gaining on Democratic state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. Meanwhile, support for former Rep. Rob Simmons (R-CT) -- who seemingly dropped out of the race only to re-enter it -- is picking up support in the Republican primary.

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After Rep. Anthony Weiner's (D-NY) impassioned rant against Republicans on the House floor last week, there was considerable buzz about Weiner's long and colorful history of quipping and snapping his way through the cable news shows, and into our hearts.

Here's a round-up of some of Weiner's sassiest moments this year...

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Rep. Jerry Moran (R-KS) has won the Republican primary for Senate in Kansas to succeed Sam Brownback, a contest that is historically tantamount to election in a deep-red state that hasn't elected a Dem Senator since the 1930s.

With 94% of precincts reporting, Moran leads his fellow Congressman Todd Tiahrt by 49%-45%. Democrats have nominated college administrator Lisa Johnston, who took 31% of the vote to communications executive Charles Schollenberger's 24%. Tiahrt had been endorsed by Sarah Palin.

Brownback, meanwhile, easily won his nomination for governor, and is the favorite for the general election against Dem state Sen. Tom Holland after eight years of Democratic governors Kathleen Sebelius (now Secretary of Health and Human Services) and her successor Mark Parkinson.

The Kilpatrick family's mucky saga in Detroit seems to have finally come to an end, with the scandals surrounding former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick now blowing back on his own mother, Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, who just lost her Democratic primary for re-nomination after 14 years in office.

With 55% of precincts reporting, state Sen. Hansen Clarke leads the elder Kilpatrick by 48%-41%, and has been projected as the winner by the Associated Press. Clarke previously ran for mayor of Detroit in 2005, when Kwame Kilpatrick was re-elected, but only took 8% for fourth place in the first round.

Clarke is now a virtual shoo-in for election. The district voted for Barack Obama in 2008 by a margin of 85%-14%. Kilpatrick had very nearly lost her 2008 primary, winning only because of divided opposition -- but even then she won the 2008 general election with 74% as the Democratic nominee.

[Update Aug. 4, 8:30 ET]

The Michigan primaries have now selected Democratic Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero and Republican businessman Rick Snyder as the nominees in the race to succeed term-limited Dem Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

With 50% of precincts reporting, Bernero leads state House Speaker Andy Dillon by 59%-41%. In the Republican primary, Snyder has 36%, followed by Rep. Pete Hoekstra with 27%, state Attorney General Mike Cox with 23%, Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard with 12%, and state Sen. Tom George with 2%.

The TPM Poll Average for the general election, based on pre-primary data, shows Snyder beginning the race ahead of Bernero by 44.6%-27.2%.

Snyder has marketed himself as a competent technocrat, pitching himself in his ads as "one tough nerd." As the Detroit Free Press reports: "Snyder, who's never run for elected office before and has spent nearly $6 million of his own money on his campaign, was banking on Democrats and independent voters to cross over to his side in an effort to upset the GOP establishment, which is largely behind Cox and Hoekstra. Free Press interviews with voters suggest some and perhaps many are doing so."

Correction: In a previous version, this post incorrectly reported that Bouchard had 24% of the vote.

In the end, the people trying to stop the construction of a mosque in Temecula, California were vastly outnumbered by the crowd welcoming the growth of the Muslim community in Riverside County. Last week, we told you about the plan by some conservatives opposed to the construction of the new mosque to show up over the weekend outside the Temecula-area Muslim group's current digs to tell those inside they weren't welcome. To prove the point, the group planned to bring dogs -- which one protester characterized as pretty much the Muslims' mortal enemy, saying that Muslims "hate dogs."

Here's how it all turned out: the anti-mosque protesters were outnumbered by pro-mosque supporters, the local tea party disavowed the protest and called it hate speech, the protester we talked to dropped off the face of the earth and only one dog made it to the planned protest.

It was a fittingly unexpected end to an extraordinary tale.

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Senate Democrats announced this afternoon they will go home for a month-long recess without taking action on a scaled-back energy measure that was their best chance for any legislation addressing the issue before the midterm elections. A voted had been scheduled on the energy bill, which would create jobs and establish new thresholds for BP's financial responsibility along the Gulf Coast.

With senators citing the hottest July on record, they bashed Republicans for not joining them on a bill they said would hold BP accountable for the oil spill and which would create incentives for green jobs.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid declared, "We are not giving up on energy," but pointedly said something would be accomplished by the "end of the year," not before the election. Republicans hopeful they could win back control of Congress this fall are cautioning Democrats against any major legislation during a lame-duck session.

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