TPM News

In a mass email sent out last night to the supporter list of the Columbus Tea Party and obtained by TPMmuckraker, leaders of the group issued a set of "do's and dont's" for protesters attending an April 15 Ohio State House event -- chief among them: absolutely no pre-gaming.

Specifically, the email warns those planning to attend the "Tax Day" event, "No alcohol (or other mood-enhancer) or pre-drinking."

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In a new web video, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) paints his primary challenger J.D. Hayworth as a birth-certificate-searching, horse-marriage-fearing, Dracula-believing whackadoo.

Hayworth, a former congressman, is mounting a challenge from the right and attacking McCain as overly moderate. Although Hayworth is still lagging in the polls, he could give McCain a serious run for his money.

The video, using clips from the Lion King and Mars Attacks, says Hayworth considers the "most pressing challenges" to be President Obama's birthplace, interspecies marriage and whether Dracula is real. Also, martians.


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The White House quickly tamped down a suggestion, made by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) this morning, that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would make a good replacement for retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters in his daily briefing today that President Obama has no plans to move Clinton to the judiciary branch.

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Prosecutors allege that a dizzying array of drugs, weapons and even a collection of speeches by Adolf Hitler were found at the homes of several of the alleged members of the Hutaree Christian militia.

The AP got a look at the search warrant records in the case, in which prosecutors allege that nine Hutaree members were plotting to kill police. At the trailer of Hutaree leader David Stone, three DVDs labeled "Waco," a grenade holder, over 35 guns, and materials for a "funnel shape charge" were allegedly found.

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Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA), who is widely viewed as being one the most vulnerable House Democrats this year, announced a strong fundraising quarter over the weekend, bringing in over $600,000 and having $1.4 million in cash on hand.

Perriello's district voted 51%-48% for John McCain in 2008, while Perriello narrowly unseated incumbent Republican Rep. Virgil Goode by margin of just 727 votes out of over 315,000 cast. There is currently a crowded Republican primary to face Perriello.

Meanwhile, Politico reports that unlike other House members in vulnerable seats, who are lying low after voting for the health care bill, Perriello has been actively campaigning in the district, meeting with voters and discussing how it will affect them.

Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) has declined an invitation to attend a Tea Party event this week with Sarah Palin, the Boston Herald reports.

The senator's spokesman, Felix Browne, told the Herald that Brown applauds the "energy and enthusiasm" that Tea Partiers and Palin have brought to the GOP, but can't get away from the in-session Senate in D.C. to attend the Wednesday event.

"He'll be doing the job he was elected to do - serving the people of the commonwealth of Massachusetts," Browne said.

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Sen. Barbara Boxer's (D-CA) reelection bid is getting a boost from President Obama next Monday. According to the the Boxer campaign, the President will appear at a fundraiser for Boxer in Los Angeles April 19. The visit comes as polls show Boxer could be in trouble in her bid for a fourth term.

Boxer is leading her Republican opponents in a general election matchup, but not by much. The TPM Poll Average for a race between former HP CEO Carly Fiorina and Boxer shows Boxer ahead by a slim margin of 46.0-42.1.

Against the front runner in the June 8 GOP primary race, former Rep. Tom Campbell, the TPM Poll Average shows Boxer's locked in a dead heat, with Boxer getting 43.7% the vote to Campbell's 43.3.

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The National Republican Congressional Committee is making the health care bill a bit issue in the upcoming May 18 special election for the Pennsylvania House seat formerly held by the late Democratic Rep. John Murtha, with a new TV ad attacking Dem nominee and ex-Murtha staffer Mark Critz.

"Americans said 'no' to government-run health care. But Congress and liberals like Mark Critz didn't listen," the announcer says. The phrasing makes it seem almost as if Critz is already the incumbent, though he was not in Congress for these votes. (Murtha voted for the House health care bill this past November, and there is no reason to think he would have voted otherwise on the final bill in March if he had not passed away in February.)

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The country of Afghanistan, despite heavy U.S. military presence for nearly a decade, has remained in many respects out of reach of American military power. That's what makes the overthrow of the government in nearby Kyrgyzstan last week so vexing for the U.S. government.

Kyrgyzstan is home to the only American military base in the former Soviet republics of Central Asia, a base which the U.S. relies on to send troops and supplies into Afghanistan as the war there rages on.

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