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1||On Monday, June 6, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) admitted to sending a lewd picture of himself to a woman in Seattle, and of engaging in similar virtual trysts over a three-year period with other women. Of course, this wasn't the first time a politician has been caught with his pants down, so to speak. TPM takes a look back at some of the more memorable political sex scandals in recent years. ||Craig Ruttle/MCT/Newscom&&

2||Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), who has preached the "sanctity of marriage," admitted in June 2009 to an affair with Cynthia Hampton, a staffer and the wife of another Ensign staffer, whom Ensign helped to secure new employment after the affair was discovered. Ensign later resigned amid a congressional investigation.||Newscom/Lauren Victoria Burke/WDCPIX.COM&&

3||In March 2008, The New York Times revealed that Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D-NY) had had liaisons with seven or eight high-end call girls, at a cost of up to $80,000. He resigned later that month.||KRISTIN CALLAHAN - ACEPIXS.COM/KRISTIN CALLAHAN - ACEPIXS.COM/Newscom&&

4||Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), an abstinence-only sex ed advocate, was linked to the high-end DC Madam escort service in July 2007. He won re-election in 2010 by nearly 20 points.||WDCPIX.COM&&

5||In June 2007, Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) was arrested for allegedly attempting to solicit a police officer in an airport men's room for sexual activity. He wavered in his response to the charges -- first maintaining his innocence, then pleading guilty, and announcing his intention to resign before deciding to serve out the rest of his term.||WDCPIX.COM&&

6||Florida State Rep. Bob Allen (R), co-chair of McCain's 2008 Florida campaign, was arrested for offering an undercover cop $20 to perform oral sex on him. He later said he was afraid of becoming a "statistic," as he thought the black cop was a mugger. ||.gov&&

7||Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (D), who was embroiled in his fair share of other scandals, was revealed in January 2008 to have exchanged 14,000 text messages, many of them sexual and graphic, with his female chief of staff. For his more criminal indiscretions, he landed in prison, where he remains.||f31/f31/ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

8||In 2007, The National Enquirer alleged that former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) was having an extramarital affair with a campaign worker. Edwards admitted the affair the next year and revealed in 2010 that he'd had a child with the woman. On June 3, 2011, he was indicted on six felony charges.|| Dennis Van Tine/ABACAUSA.COM/Newscom&&

9||On February 9, 2011, Gawker revealed that Rep. Chris Lee (R-NY) had solicited a male-to-female transsexual on Craigslist with a shirtless photo. Lee resigned the same day.||KEVIN DIETSCH/UPI/Newscom&&

10||Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC), who called for the ousters of Bill Clinton and Rep. Bob Livingston (R-LA) over their extramarital affairs, admitted to a year-long affair with a woman in Buenos Aires after disappearing for a week in June 2009. He served out the remainder of his term.||Newscom/KRT&&

11||In February 2010, a senior member of Rep. Eric Massa's (D-NY) staff filed a complaint that Massa had made sexual advances toward and harassed a younger male staffer. He resigned in March 2010. It was later revealed that he was being investigated for allegedly groping multiple male staffers.||Douglas Graham/Roll Call Photos/Newscom&&

12||In late 2006, Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons (R) was accused of assaulting a woman in a parking garage by throwing her against a wall and threatening to rape her. She dropped criminal charges, citing intimidation by his campaign, but filed a civil suit. In June 2009, Gibbons asked a judge to seal his phone records against her lawyers, something that may also have to do with his ongoing divorce proceedings, in which he was accused of more affairs. He served out his term. ||Newscom&&

13||After Rep. Vito Fossella (R-NY) was arrested for drunk driving in May 2008, he revealed that he had had an extramarital affair and had a three-year old child by his mistress. He served out his term. ||Newscom/Ron Sachs/CNP&&

14||After Gov. Jim McGreevey (D-NJ) came under criticism for appointing an unqualified homeland security adviser, it was revealed that McGreevey was in a relationship with the man. Facing threats of a sexual harassment lawsuit, McGreevey announced in August 2004 that he was gay -- and resigning. ||wikimedia&&

15||Randall Tobias, Bush's Global AIDS Coordinator who spoke out against prostitution (and condom use, for that matter), resigned from the State Department in April 2007 after he was linked to an escort service. He maintained that there was no sex, just massages. ||Newscom/Evan F. Sisley/Sipa Press&&

16||In September 2006, it was revealed that Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) had sent sexually suggestive emails and text messages to teenage boys who were former congressional pages. He resigned later that month. ||p77/p77/ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

17||After Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-FL) won Mark Foley's old seat in 2006 thanks to Foley's sex scandal, it was revealed that Mahoney had a sex scandal of his own: He'd paid a former mistress (and current staffer) who was threatening him with a lawsuit. He admitted that he'd had "numerous" affairs and lost his 2008 reelection bid.|| p77/p77/ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

18||In May 2010, Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN) resigned from Congress after admitting he'd had an affair with a married female staff member -- with whom he'd earlier recorded a video preaching abstinence. ||Tom Williams/Roll Call Photos/Newscom&&

The most influential labor organization in the country is pushing President Obama to appoint Elizabeth Warren to run the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau during the next congressional recess.

"By refusing to make any appointment to lead the CFPB, Senate Republicans effectively have recused themselves from having any input into whom President Obama appoints," reads an email alert to activists delivered Wednesday evening. "It's a dereliction of their constitutional duty to "advise and consent" on the president's nominees."

Fortunately, President Obama can bypass these obstructionists by making a recess appointment.

No matter who gets the recess appointment of President Obama, Republicans have made it clear they'll scream and holler. This reflects a sorry state in our politics--but it's also a historic opportunity to recess appoint Elizabeth Warren, who's already shown as acting director of the CFPB that she's a true champion for working families.... Urge President Obama to appoint Elizabeth Warren the next time Congress goes on recess.

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Scott Bloch, the former Bush administration official who is appealing his sentence to one month in prison for misdemeanor contempt of Congress, has filed a class action lawsuit against the private security firm Blackwater, alleging they've withheld benefits from workers they classified as independent contractors.

Mike Scarcella reports that Bloch's suit was filed on behalf of four former security contractors working for Blackwater (now Xe Services) who say they were improperly classified as independent contractors.

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Members of a Louisiana State Senate panel voted Wednesday to issue a rare legislative subpoena, and gave the Jindal administration 24 hours to turn over a report it commissioned on the agency that manages state employees health insurance.

The administration's plan to privatize the agency, the Office of Group Benefits (OGB), has been under fire from critics for months, and questions have been raised over the fate of OGB's $500 million surplus. Recently, the fight has centered on the so-called "Chaffe report," a financial analysis of OGB prepared for the state by New Orleans-based Chaffe & Associates. Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater, in charge of the agency that oversees OGB, told members of the State Senate's Senate & Governmental Affairs Committee at a hearing last week that they could have copies, but later went back on that pledge. Those same Senators have now put some force behind their request.

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1||May 6, 2011: President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden walk across the tarmac before departing from Fort Campbell, KY.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

2||May 5, 2011: Obama and firefighters toast during a lunch at Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9 Firehouse in New York. The firehouse, known as the "Pride of Midtown," lost 15 firefighters on 9/11 -- an entire shift and more than any other New York firehouse. Obama visited New York to pay respects to 9/11 first responders after the death of Osama bin Laden. ||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

3||May 10, 2011: Obama shakes hands with people in the crowd following his remarks on immigration reform at Chamizal National Memorial Park in El Paso, Texas||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

4||May 12, 2011: Obama and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) talk after a meeting with the Senate Republican Caucus in in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner stands to the right.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

5||May 12, 2011: Obama and Biden meet with members of the National Association of Police Organizations and TOP COP honorees in the White House's Roosevelt Room.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

6||May 12, 2011: Obama meets with the Congressional Black Caucus in the State Dining Room of the White House.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

7||May 12, 2011: Obama meets with Senate Republicans in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

8||May 11, 2011: First Lady Michelle Obama stands as the national anthem is played during the Senate Spouses luncheon at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington||Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy&&

9||May 9, 2011: Obama greets Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan during a meeting with heads of the Chinese Strategic Economic Dialogue delegation in the Oval Office.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

10||May 9, 2011: Obama walks through the Rose Garden of the White House for an outdoor meeting with senior staff. Walking with Obama, from left, are: senior advisor David Plouffe, senior advisor Valerie Jarrett, Counselor to the President Pete Rouse, and outgoing White House counsel Bob Bauer.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

11||May 9, 2011: Michelle Obama participates in the "Pit Crew Challenge" during an event with the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition on the South Lawn of the White House||Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy&&

12||May 7, 2011: Michelle Obama receives applause following her commencement address to the 2011 graduating class at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa.||Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson&&

13||May 6, 2011: Obama disembarks Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, following his trip to Fort Campbell, Ky.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

14||May 6, 2011: Dr. Jill Biden walks down the Cross Hall en route to a Mother's Day Tea in the East Room of the White House. Michelle Obama and Jill Biden hosted the tea for military spouses, relatives and friends.||Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson&&

15||May 6, 2011: Michelle Obama greets guests in the Blue Room of the White House during the Mother's Day Tea.||Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson&&

16||May 5, 2011: A signed message from Obama is seen on a pamphlet during his meeting with 9/11 family members at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum preview site near Ground Zero in New York.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

17||May 4, 2011: Obama meets with Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, in the Oval Office.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

18||May 4, 2011: Obama and Biden head towards the Oval Office Private Dining Room for lunch.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

19||May 3, 2011: Obama meets with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in the State Dining Room of the White House.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

20||May 3, 2011: Obama and Cabinet members applaud Defense Secretary Robert Gates on the successful mission against Osama Bin Laden.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

21||May 3, 2011: Michelle Obama greets students at Alice Deal Middle School in Washington.||Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson&&

22||May 3, 2011: Michelle Obama dances during a Flash Mob Dance at Alice Deal Middle School.||Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson&&

23||Obama talks with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) during a dinner with chairmen and ranking members of Congress in the East Room of the White House.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

24||Obama and Chief of Staff Bill Daley at a fiscal policy meeting in the White House's Roosevelt Room.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

Just a few days before his resignation was announced, Scott Kipper, the man handpicked to help the Jindal administration privatize Louisiana state employees' health insurance, was grilled by lawmakers about the plan. At a hearing on June 1, some members of the State Senate's Senate & Governmental Affairs Committee accused Kipper of being less than truthful in his testimony.

The administration has said that privatizing the Office of Group Benefits, which manages the health insurance of around 250,000 state workers, retirees and their dependents, would save taxpayers money, and get the state out of the health insurance business. But critics have countered that OGB isn't broken, and doesn't need fixing, and some have raised questions about the fate of the agency's $500 million surplus.

At the hearing last week, though, the senators were particularly focused on the so-called "Chaffe report," an evaluation of OGB recently prepared by a New Orleans company named Chaffe & Associates. Lawmakers wanted to know why the administration has kept the report private, and Kipper struggled to come up with answers they liked.

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As it stands now, the biggest threat to President Obama's reelection bid isn't a Republican challenger -- it's the economy, stupid.

Obama's overall approval rating -- and by extension his odds of winning reelection next year -- are inextricably tied to the health of the economy, as a number of recent polls have made very clear. While it's still a long way till election day, at the same time that economic pessimism has grown polls are showing Americans losing confidence in Obama's ability to turn things around.

The good news for Obama is that polls have not yet shown any of the Republican presidential candidates consistently topping him in hypothetical matchups, or even putting up much of a fight. So while these polls have reinforced the time-tested notion that the economy's health is crucial to a president's reelection bid, they've also illuminated how weak the current crop of Republican frontrunners are -- including presumed frontrunner Mitt Romney.

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Herman Cain was once one of TARP's strongest supporters. In fact, he still thinks the idea was a good one, in theory anyway. This puts Cain in direct opposition to the tea party followers largely responsible for his meteoric rise of late up the Republican presidential polls.

Cain acknowledges this could be an issue.

"If they want to nail me with my support for TARP -- you know what? I'm not going to be able to counter that," Cain told TPM in a wide-ranging interview last weekend. "Here's what we will do -- we will have a spot on our website that says, 'if you really want to know the truth about my position on TARP, go look at this two-minute video.' If they choose not to, I can't change that."

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