TPM News

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has a new ad out, touting Reid's efforts to secure bank loans for City Center in Las Vegas when the company was falling on hard times -- and slamming Sharron Angle for saying in a radio interview that she wouldn't have done anything.

"Reid saved 22,000 jobs," the announcer says. "But Sharron Angle wouldn't have saved City Center."

The ad also shows video of Angle saying, "As your U.S. Senator, I'm not in the business of creating jobs." The announcer then says: Sharron Angle's just too extreme

The TPM Poll Average gives Angle a lead of 45.9%-41.7%.

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Running Twitter Inc. sounds like any entrepreneur's dream: Cash flows freely. The press is smitten. Celebrity users abound. But CEO and co-founder Evan Williams is said to be on the verge of being ousted from his microblogging paradise.

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In a new interview, Rand Paul is back to suggesting he might not vote for Mitch McConnell to lead the Republicans in the Senate if he wins a seat there. In a new twist, he's also promising to create a sort of Senate Justice League consisting of Sharron Angle, Tom Coburn, Utah's GOP Senate nominee Mike Lee and Jim DeMint.

"I think I will be part of a nucleus with Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn, who are unafraid to stand up," Paul told National Review recently. "If we get another loud voice in there, like Mike Lee from Utah or Sharron Angle from Nevada, there will be a new nucleus."

What would this new "nucleus" bring to the Senate?

"Term limits, a balanced-budget amendment, having bills point to where they are enumerated in the Constitution," Paul says in the interview. "Those issues resonate with the tea party."

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The right has been howling over a video that they say shows Harry Reid declaring that there are no illegal immigrants working as construction workers in Nevada. Of course, a close examination shows that Reid did not say that -- though it's not quite clear what he actually did say, either, or whether it was accurate.

The local CBS affiliate in Las Vegas asked Reid about illegal construction workers in the state. "I think that any information you have in that regard is absolutely without foundation," said Reid. They then informed him of a Pew Hispanic Center study showing that 17 percent of all construction workers are in the country illegally. "That may be some place, but it's not here in Nevada," Reid replied.

It appears that this might not be true, either -- as the station notes, Pew shows that Nevada is the state with the highest percentage of "unauthorized immigrants" in the total labor force, at 12 percent. But that's not the approach that the GOP took.

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1||July 14, 2010: Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston told Us Weekly they're engaged -- and that they didn't tell Sarah Palin before making the big announcement. The couple called it quits after making their relationship -- and out-of-wedlock pregnancy -- very public during the 2008 campaign. Here's a look back at their tumultuous, very public, off-again on-again relationship.||Newscom/UPI&&

2||September 2008: The couple appeared together at the Republican National Convention with the rest of the Palin family during the 2008 presidential campaign. Bristol and Levi made waves when it was revealed in the lead-up to the convention that the vice presidential nominee's teenage daughter was pregnant -- but they went on stage and smiled all the same.||Newscom/UPI&&

3||December 2008: Bristol and Levi called off their original engagement two weeks after their son Tripp was born. ||Newscom/UPI&&

4||May 2010: Bristol Palin embarked on a media tour to promote abstinence, despite previous statements (and past actions) indicating that she believed teen abstinence was not realistic. ||Newscom/Sipa&&

5||September 2009: In a Vanity Fair interview, Johnston slammed Sarah Palin, calling her a "phony" who doesn't actually hunt, and whose whole family would watch her media appearances during the campaign and "sit there and pretty much laugh at things she said." ||CNN&&

6||February 22, 2010: Playgirl featured Johnston on the cover. The young Alaskan seemed poised to fully distance himself from the Palins -- and his old life -- even developing an alter-ego for himself that he dubbed "Ricky Hollywood."||Newscom/WENN&&

7||July 6, 2010: In an interview with People Magazine, Johnston apologized to the Palins for his "youthful indiscretion" of saying things about the family that were "not completely true." ||Newscom/SPN&&

8||July 14, 2010: After hearing of her daughter's secret engagement to Johnston, Sarah Palin said: "Bristol believes in redemption and forgiveness to a degree most of us struggle to put in practice in our daily lives."

That was quite a difference from when Palin jabbed at "Ricky Hollywood" and his "porn" career in an interview last year with Oprah Winfrey.

We imagine we haven't heard the last from these Palins...||Newscom/Sipa&&

Three New Orleans police officers charged this week in the post-Katrina shootings on Danziger Bridge have pleaded not guilty.

Robert Gisevius, Kenneth Bowen and Anthony Villavaso pleaded not guilty today to charges of civil rights violations and conspiracy for allegedly shooting unarmed civilians in the days after Hurricane Katrina, killing two and wounding four, and then attempting to cover it up.

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The new Rocky Mountain Poll of Arizona shows Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) continuing to demolish his challenger in the Republican primary, former Rep. J.D. Hayworth.

The numbers: McCain 64%, Hayworth 19%, and conservative activist Jim Deakin 5%. The survey of registered voters has a ±5.4% margin of error. The previous Rocky Mountain numbers from April had McCain ahead by 54%-28%, with Deakin not included, and it's only gotten worse for Hayworth since then. The TPM Poll Average gives McCain a lead of 52.3%-30.6%.

Hayworth has been trying to build up an anti-establishment, Tea Party-style campaign against McCain. However, McCain has noticeably veered right on issues like immigration, somewhat neutralizing Hayworth's appeal. And of course, Hayworth has been dragged down thanks to public scrutiny over an infomercial he did in 2007 for a company offering shady seminars on how to receive "free money" from the government. D'oh!

It was a Democrat -- James Carville -- who coined the phrase "it's the economy, stupid." And to this day, leading Democrats understand that Carville was correct. They get it all the way down to their trembling bones. They'd love to take dramatic steps to improve the economy, but Republicans are using every tool at their disposal to prevent that. It's led Democrats to blame Republicans explicitly for causing Americans economic pain for short-term political gain, but it also means we're not going to see much in the way of economy-improving legislation in the months ahead.

"They think the worse the economy is come November, the better they're going to do election wise," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at a press conference this morning.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) echoed that analysis last month on a conference call with reporters.

"If [the GOP] can stop the recovery from occurring, if they can create as much pain as possible, people will be angry and will not vote at all or will vote against those in the majority," she implored.

With Republicans pushing for tax cuts for the rich and blocking unemployment benefits, you can see where they're coming from. And yet, with unemployment hovering near 10 percent, and a midterm election threatening to sweep them out of power on Capitol Hill, Democrats are trapped and running out of time.

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Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) must be really hard to work for -- even staffers who seem to do a good job end up leaving.

As Politico reported, Bachmann's chief of staff Ron Carey, a former Minnesota GOP chairman, has now become the fifth chief of staff to quit Bachmann's office during her mere three and a half years in Congress. A previous chief of staff had quit just this past November, and Carey was hired to be the new chief in February.

In addition, Bachmann's campaign finance director Zandra Wolcott left the campaign, too. Think about this: Bachmann's fundraising has been great. In the last quarter she raised a whopping $1.7 million. Her Democratic opponent Tarryl Clark only raised $910,000 -- which by itself would have been impressive in this Midwestern district, but paled in comparison to Bachmann. And still, the staffers keep coming and going.

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