1.) GOP field Ames to please — The Republicans had another debate last night, this one in Ames, Iowa. If you like debates, it was definitely a debate. Here’s some of the stuff that happened during the debate. TheDC’s Alex Pappas: “The gloves came off Thursday night as Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann, the two GOP presidential candidates from Minnesota, traded one-liners during a fiery Republican presidential debate at Iowa State University. It started with Pawlenty during the Fox News-sponsored showdown, saying Bachmann’s ‘record of accomplishment and results is nonexistent…’ Bachmann, the Minnesota congresswoman, countered by accusing Pawlenty of favoring the ‘cap and trade’ environmental legislation. She also said he has praised ‘the unconstitutional individual mandate’ for purchasing health insurance.” Viking-on-viking violence! This calls for a “wood chipper” joke, but such violent rhetoric might send Paul Krugman completely around the bend. More from Pappas: “You’d almost think Rick Perry was on the stage. The Texas governor, who is signaling his intention to join the race for the White House, didn’t participate in Thursday night’s Republican debate. But participants mentioned his name more than a few times… ‘I’m very pleased he’s coming in, because he represents the status quo,’ said Texas Rep. Ron Paul… ‘Welcome to the contest,’ [Herman] Cain said about Perry. ‘From my perspective, it doesn’t bother us or my campaign. That’s just one more politician, and that makes this business problem-solver stand out that much more…’ ‘We all need prayers,’ [Jon] Huntsman said…” And he would know. One more debate tidbit from the very busy Pappas: “Rep. Michele Bachmann dismissed a moderator’s question during Thursday night’s Iowa presidential debate asking if she would be submissive to her husband if elected president. Boos erupted from the debate hall at Iowa State University after the Washington Examiner’s Byron York asked Bachmann about a past statement about being ‘submissive’ to her husband, Marcus. ‘Thank you for that question, Byron,’ Bachmann responded… ‘What submission means to us, if that’s what your question is, it means respect. I respect my husband.’” The last time somebody went after a politician about wives “submitting” to their husbands, Alan Grayson was sent packing from Congress. So that’ll work. P.S. The Obama campaign used the debate for fundraising, of course: “This whole group is way out of the mainstream.” Which is what people said about Obama four years ago, but that was different because it was Obama.
2.) Rick Perry announces announcement — TheDC’s Caroline May reports: “The most reluctant potential Republican nominee so far will announce at the conservative RedState gathering in South Carolina this Saturday that he is running for president. Texas Governor Rick Perry, known for hating the Washington scene, had previously eschewed mounting a national campaign, but pressure from the public and his wife appears to have steered him into the race.” Okay, everybody, when he springs the big news, act surprised! Hey, here’s a good one: You know who else inherited an economy from George W. Bush? Rick Perry.
3.) Meanwhile, at the Hall of Just Us… — A lot of people are worried about the deficit these days, but not to worry. The Supercommittee is here to save the day! For themselves. TheDC’s Amanda Carey reports: “Some Democratic members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, tasked with identifying $1.5 trillion in spending cuts, have become the subject of criticism, but their appointments were only finalized Thursday. Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, and Reps. James Clyburn of South Carolina and Xavier Becerra of California are already being targeted for circumstances that could compromise their abilities to negotiate. Becerra, for example, wasted no time before using his appointment as a fundraising tool for his own campaign. About two hours after House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi released Becerra’s name as one of her appointees, an invitation went out inviting Wall Street lobbyists to a $1,500 per-ticket event. The invitation highlighted Becerra’s membership on the exclusive committee.” Some are criticizing Clyburn’s fondness for earmarks, an odd trait for someone on a budget-cutting committee. And Murray is the head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which raises questions about her ability to negotiate with Republicans. So, pretty much Washington as usual, then.
4.) NC Dems in double trouble — Your vote counts. And if you vote for Obama, that goes double! TheDC’s Matthew Boyle reports: “Three Wake County, North Carolina, Democrats have admitted to voter fraud charges, according to local news reports. Kierra Fontae Leache, Shelia Romona Hodges and Brandon Earl Mclean each admitted to casting two ballots in recent elections. Local reports indicate all three voted for President Barack Obama twice in 2008. According to ABC News Channel 11 in Raleigh-Durham, authorities have placed the three on $10,000 bonds. The North Carolina Republican Party says this kind of fraudulent voter behavior is why the state needs a voter ID law.” Or more honest Democrats! Ha ha, just kidding. How about a riddle: Why did the Democrat vote for Obama twice? Because there are only so many hours in a day.
5.) Fell on Rebecca Black days — You might think the life of a YouTube superstar is all fun and games, what with the partyin’ partyin’ yeah and lookin’ forward to the weekend and whatnot. But you don’t even know, dude. You don’t even know. TheDC’s Laura Donovan reports: “Even celebrities aren’t exempt from school bullying. Such was the case with ‘Friday’ songbird Rebecca Black, whose cheesy tune hit airwaves earlier this year and was quickly declared the ‘worst song ever’ by many. Speaking to ABC’s Nightline, the 14-year-old Los Angeles native said she faced so much teasing and harassment this past spring that her parents resorted to homeschooling. ‘When I walk by they’ll start singing “Friday” in a really nasally voice,’ Black told the network. ‘Or, you know, they’ll be like, “Oh hey, Rebecca, guess what day it is?” Black’s mom Georgina Marquez, a teacher, agreed to take the teenager out of school because of the mean students.” It might be time for young Ms. Black to update the lyrics to her one hit: “It’s Friday, Friday, gotta stay home on Friday! All the mean kids lookin’ forward to my weepin’, weepin’!”
6.) Today’s words of wisdom from Alec Baldwin’s Twitter feed — “My event tonight is in Denver! Not Boulder! Shizz Dang! When my office is closed for vacations, it all goes to Hell!”