TPM News

Rep. Kendrick Meek may not have the smooth path to the Democratic nomination in the Florida Senate race he once did, but at least he still has his friends by his side. According to the St. Petersburg Times, Bill Clinton will make a trip down to Florida on Meek's behalf in the run up to the August 24 primary, yet another appearance for Meek by the popular former President.

Clinton's early public support for Meek at the beginning of the cycle was seen as a big help in essentially clearing the early primary field. Clinton has held multiple fundraisers for Meek, who endorsed his wife Hillary in the 2008 presidential contest.

Meek is probably hoping Clinton's return will help again. Meek was running essentially unopposed for the Democratic nomination until April 30, when wealthy investor Jeff Greene kicked off his own self-funded campaign for the nomination. Greene has spent millions on ads, and is running neck-and-neck with Meek in recent polls. Clinton's popularity could put Meek back in the lead in the homestretch of the primary.

The new Rasmussen poll of the Georgia Republican gubernatorial primary shows a close race going into this Tuesday's first-round primary, which is likely headed to a runoff in August.

The numbers: Former Rep. Nathan Deal 25%, former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel 25%, state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine 20%, and former state Senate President Pro Tem Eric Johnson 13%. The survey of likely voters has a ±3% margin of error. In the previous Rasmussen poll, from all the way back in December 2009, Oxendine had 28%, Handel 14%, Deal 13%, and Johnson 2%.

A runoff between Deal and Handel should be interesting -- Deal has demanded to see President Obama's birth certificate, and Handel has been endorsed by Sarah Palin.

1||July 14, 2010: APEC holds its 2011 Launch Reception at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C. It is the first official event held by the committee, which is preparing for next year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, which will be held in Honolulu. It's the first time since 1993 that the U.S. will have chaired the forum.

Here, Ronald "Ron" Kirk, the United States trade representative, Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), and Craig Mundie, Chairman of APEC 2011 USA Committee.||Photo by Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

2||Dr. Elliot J. Feldman of Baker Hostetler, and Angelito A. Nayan, Economic Officer for the Embassy of the Philippines.||Photo by Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

3||APEC Vice President Alex D. Parle and Eric Holloway, Representative of the Office of US Trade.||Photo by Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

4||Barbara Wanner, Senior Projects Coordinator at U.S. Asia Pacific Council, East-West Center; Jeff Skeer, Coordinator for Multilateral Activities at U.S. Department of Energy; and Jay Sweeney, of Levi Strauss & Co.||Photo by Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

5||GE Vice President and Ambassador Karan K. Bhatia; Dorothy Dwoskin, Senior Director of Global Trade Policy and Strategy at Microsoft Corporation; and Ronald "Ron" Kirk, the 16th United States trade representative.||Photo by Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

6||Randolph Dove, Executive Director of Government Relations at Hewlett-Packard, and William Kelly of the National Foreign Trade Council.||Photo by Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

7||Craig Mundie, Chairman of APEC 2011 USA Committee.||Photo by Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

8||Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT).||Photo by Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

9||Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) and Fred Bergsten, director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. ||Photo by Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

10||Robert Hormats, Under Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs, and Greg Slater, Director of Global Trade and Competition Policy at Intel Corporation.||Photo by Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

11||Robert Hormats, Under Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs; Ronald "Ron" Kirk, the United States trade representative; and Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT).||Photo by Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

12||Jim Wallar, Sr. Vice President of International Development at Nathan Associates, and former Ambassador Thomas Hubbard, senior director at Kissinger McLarty Associates.||Photo by Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

13||Robert Hormats, Under Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs.||Photo by Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com&&

You have to give Tom Emmer credit. When the presumptive Republican nominee for governor of Minnesota held a town hall meeting with waiters on Wednesday -- as part of a damage control effort after he publicly complained that they were making over $100,000 per year in tips and hurting their employers -- his campaign clearly was not screening the attendees.

The event Wednesday was supposed to last for an hour and a half. Instead, it ended a half-hour early, as the Star Tribune reports: "An hour later, he walked out after a bag of 2,000 pennies was dumped inches from his face by a man exclaiming, 'I have a tip for you too, Emmer!' as cascading pennies bounced in every direction and the crowd at a Roseville restaurant erupted into chaos."

Check out some truly amazing photos.

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Sen. Arlen Specter was a wild card when it came to Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court, but today said he'll support her even though the confirmation hearings this month were a "charade." It's a change of heart for Specter, who voted against her February 2009 nomination to the solicitor general post when he was still a Republican. He was the most likely Democrat to oppose her, but Specter's support clears the way for a smooth confirmation vote next week in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Specter (D-PA) announced today that Kagan did "just enough" to win him over.

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Stella got her groove back on a trip to Jamaica. Republicans got theirs, apparently, by filibustering everything in sight. In a speech today, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is set to tell a group of young Republicans that the GOP "got our groove back" this year by, essentially, slowing the legislative process to a halt.

"Republicans in Washington -- the ones who were supposed to be beaten down, demoralized, and despondent -- well, we were listening," McConnell says in the prepared version of the speech, according to Politico. "We shared your frustration. And we girded for the fight, confident that we had supporters behind us. We broke out of the Washington echo chamber and fought the government-driven solutions that Democrats were proposing. We got our groove back."

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Never say the Army isn't creative.

In 2001, the Army found a fun way to describe the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy to troops: They published a full-color comic book.

The comic book reviews discharge proceedings, harassment, what counts as "credible information" about a soldier's sexuality. Most of the action in the book is conversations between camouflage-clad service members, but the authors jazzed it up with wacky angles and lots of images of open-mouthed soldiers asking questions.

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Arizona Immigration Law To Get First Major Court Hearing The Associated Press reports: "A federal judge is scheduled to hear arguments Thursday over whether Arizona's new immigration law should take effect later this month, marking the first major hearing in one of seven challenges to the strict law. U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton also will consider arguments over Gov. Jan Brewer's request to dismiss the challenge filed by Phoenix police Officer David Salgado and the statewide nonprofit group Chicanos Por La Causa. The judge said last week she wasn't making any promises on whether she will rule on the officer's request to block enforcement of the law before it takes effect July 29."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will receive the presidential daily briefing at 9:30 a.m. ET, and will meet at 10 a.m. ET with senior advisers. He will depart from the White House at 10:45 a.m. ET, and depart from Andrews Air Force Base at 11 a.m. ET, arriving at 12:35 p.m. ET in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He will deliver remarks at 1:30 p.m. ET at the groundbreaking of the new Compact Power plant, an electric vehicle battery company funded by the stimulus program. He will depart from Grand Rapids at 3:15 p.m. ET, arriving at Andrews Air Force Base at 4:45 p.m. ET, and back at the White House at 5 p.m. ET.

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In a perhaps misguided attempt to relive our glory days, last week TPM enrolled in Glenn Beck's online "university."

The second installment of the Beck University lecture series was last night, and this time we learned the economic importance of hope, and that Beck University Professor David Buckner gets touchy at the airport.

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