TPM News

Tuesday is election day in one of the Wisconsin state Senate recalls, with Democratic incumbent Dave Hansen heavily favored to defeat his Republican challenger, David VanderLeest. But this is hardly the end, with recalls on August 9 for six Republican state Senators, and on August 16 for two Democrats -- with a lot of campaign spending, and get-out-the-vote operations, yet to be seen.

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Presidents have engaged in the perhaps unseemly but legal practice of using the White House as a backdrop for their campaign ads pretty much since campaign ads became a thing. But now the head of the RNC is calling President Barack Obama's decision to do the same thing an "apparent crime."

"As Chairman of the Republican National Committee, I have the responsibility to hold the President accountable for his reckless spending, for the unsustainable growth of government and the crushing debt he is leaving for future generations of Americans, and now, sadly, for his apparent criminal behavior," RNC Chair Reince Priebus wrote in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder.

"I never expected I would be in this regrettable position, but the President's conduct and the White House staff's stonewalling leave me no choice," Priebus wrote.

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Now that the White House has decided not to nominate Elizabeth Warren to run the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, she's taking her fight to protect the new agency directly to Republicans. And she says the time has come either for President Obama to recess appoint his designated director, or to engage in a loud, public fight with the GOP senators who have vowed to block the confirmation of any nominee, regardless of ideology or affiliation.

On a conference call with reporters and bloggers Monday evening, Warren described the impasse Republicans have erected as an opportunity.

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An attorney for Rep. Maxine Waters' (D-CA) is calling on the Ethics Committee to dismiss immediately the charges against her in the wake of an unprecedented leak of secret internal committee documents providing a blow-by-blow account of the panel's alleged bungling of the case.

The scores of Ethics Committee e-mails and memos, reported by Politico Monday with links to the documents, paint a picture of a committee consumed by partisan dysfunction and accusations of professional misconduct surrounding Waters' case.

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Herman Cain made an issue of Mitt Romney's Mormon faith in an interview the Washington Times published Monday.

Arguing he'd make a better choice than Romney, Cain said that current GOP presidential frontrunner's religion will be a problem with a large and important segment of the base.

"it doesn't bother me," Cain told the Times, "but i do know that its an issue with a lot of Southerners."

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If you're wondering just how angry conservative political leaders are about Senate Minority Mitch McConnell's fallback plan to avoid a debt default, check out the latest bright line from Red State founder -- and Tea Party weather vane -- Erick Erickson.

"In the future, as we support candidates for the U.S. Senate in Republican Primaries, we will not support any candidate who goes on the record supporting Mitch McConnell as Senate Republican Leader," he insists.

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Edible car contests are a fixture at college campuses and grade school science classes, where whacky fun combines with an exercise in engineering and imagination, but it seems that foodstuffs are no longer confined to scale models.

But as illustrated by Ford's newly announced use of soybean oil to make engine gaskets and seals, car makers are beginning to turn in all seriousness to vegetation in their search for lighter, more durable, and potentially less expensive materials.

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