Breaking - Both Bloomberg and Mayor's Against Illegal Guns got letters that tested positive for Ricin
Psst! - Barack Obama, there IS a Democrat running for Governor in New Jersey, as Shush Walshe reports: While President Obama played arcade games Tuesday with Gov. Chris Christie at the New Jersey shore, there was no sign of the Democrat who's challenging Christie for governor. Instead, state Sen. Barbara Buono was reduced to tweeting, " @BuonoForNJGov It was great to meet with @BarackObama today as we cheer the shore's re-opening: a testament to all we accomplish when we work together. -BB" http://abcn.ws/174ZTbM (Shushannah Walshe)
Bachmann in Overdrive - Everybody's got one of these, but here's ours… the greatest hits of Michele Bachmann (including her exchange with George Stephanopoulos about whether the Founding Fathers did in fact work tirelessly to abolish slavery) - http://abcn.ws/Zu5PII
How Steven Seagal Is Trying to Rodman in Russia (and why it has anything to do with Bachmann) - http://abcn.ws/ZfcYdT
Independent No More - Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee to Become a Democrat: The White House today rolled out the welcome mat for Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, the Republican-turned-independent who now plans to affiliate with the Democrats before his 2014 re-election run, three Democratic sources told ABC News today.
Said President Obama in a statement circulated by the DNC:
"I'm delighted to hear that Governor Chafee is joining the Democratic Party. For nearly 30 years, Linc Chafee has served his beloved Rhode Island as an independent thinker and leader who's unafraid to reach across party lines to get things done. I enjoyed working with Linc when he was a Republican in the United States Senate, and I look forward to continuing that collaboration on the issues that matter not just to the Democratic Party, but to every American. Creating good jobs that pay good wages. Access to health care that's there for you when you get sick. An affordable college education even if you're not rich. An economy that rewards hard work, no matter who you are, what you look like, or who you love. And above all, a fair shot to leave our kids a better life than we've known.
"I'm thrilled to welcome Linc to the party of Jefferson and Jackson, Roosevelt and Kennedy - and I look forward to working with him in the years ahead."
(Chris Good, Jeff Zeleny, Rick Klein) http://abcn.ws/ZeKhxs
A lot of party switchers don't fare well - Arlen Specter, Charlie Crist… we're looking at you. Although there are some bygone examples of success: Arlen Specter the first time, Richard Shelby, Strom Thurmond.
But with Crist and Chafee both potentially back on the ballot, it could be time for a reassessment.
Republicans Hope IRS Scandal Taints Democrats, 'Obamacare': Conservative groups are preparing to use the deepening public distrust of the Internal Revenue Service to discredit the Affordable Care Act, and the Democrats who support it, in the 2014 election cycle.
Now that the IRS has admitted to unfairly targeting conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, Republicans plan to make the agency, which is responsible for carrying out much of President Obama's health care law, the poster child for dysfunctional government, and a giant liability for Democrats. http://abcn.ws/10zpMMW (Abby Phillip)
McConnell Campaign Ad Uses IRS Scandal Against Obama: Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is seizing on the scandal at the Internal Revenue Service in a new campaign advertisement, using vintage video footage of Richard Nixon to amplify his criticism of President Obama and his administration.
No opponent has yet emerged to challenge McConnell in Kentucky, so he is biding his time by sharply condemning the Obama administration in the wake of the IRS acknowledging that conservative groups had been unfairly targeted. http://abcn.ws/ZdPG83 (Jeff Zeleny)
Marco Rubio Latest to Bash 'Obamacare' With IRS Scandal: Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is the latest Republican to jump on the opportunity to use the Internal Revenue Service scandal to push for the repeal of President Obama's health care law.
"Now as far as the IRS's role in Obamacare, well that's chilling," Rubio said in a video posted to YouTube today. "Because if you notice, the IRS is deeply involved in implementing Obamacare. They're on the front lines of it." http://abcn.ws/18uGotz (Abby Phillip)
Probes of Obama Administration Continue While Lawmakers Recess: Before the devastating EF-5 tornado ripped through Moore, Okla., last week, President Obama was reeling through one of his most challenging weeks in the White House.
Dramatic testimony examining the Internal Revenue Service's ill-advised tactics to target conservative groups conquered the news cycle. An investigation into the Department of Justice's decision to secretly obtain communications records of journalists and the constant trickle of detail leaking about the Benghazi terrorist attack provided added fodder for talking heads discussing the controversies on cable television. http://abcn.ws/12iSBQT (John Parkinson)
Obama to Push Low Student Loan Rates: President Obama will urge Congress to halt an upcoming hike in student loan interest rates during an event with college students at the White House on Friday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday. (Arlette Saenz) http://abcn.ws/133CsLX
Gun Show - Elizabeth Warren Admires Michelle Obama's Arms: At a Boston fundraiser Wednesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., joked about how First Lady Michelle Obama's well-toned arms show she has a tough fighting spirit.
"I love Michelle Obama. She's a real fighter. Just take a look at those biceps," Warren said to laughter and applause at a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee fundraiser at the Taj Boston Hotel on Wednesday. http://abcn.ws/1189RBS (Arlette Saenz)