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She may have just formally entered the 2012 Presidential race six days ago, but Michele Bachmann is already being targeted by gay activists for her extreme stance on gay rights. It happened on Saturday when an activist by the name of Rachel E.B. Lang from the California-based Get Equal group headed toward the stage where Bachmann was speaking at and started to throw glitter at her, in what was called a “glittering attempt”. Fortunately for the Republican Congresswoman, she was barely hit, and even if she was, seems unfazed from the incident, smiling at supporters attending the event as it happened.

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Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York plans to leave office, calling House leaders Wednesday night at a White House picnic to inform them he would resign today, sources tell ABC News.

Weiner’s decision comes after days of mounting pressure from congressional Democrats following his embarrassing admission of risque online chats and photo swaps with multiple women after first denying it.

Weiner, 46, has begun sharing his decision with close friends, the sources said, but has yet to send a formal letter to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo or House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, indicating his intentions.

A Democratic source said Weiner called House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Wednesday night at the picnic.

Israel pulled Pelosi aside and both spoke with Weiner on the phone, which is when he shared his decision, said a Democratic aide who spoke on condition of anonymity.

News of Weiner’s decision came as Democrats prepared to consider whether to strip the embattled congressman of his committee assignments in an effort to limit his influence and push him out.

In the past week, President Obama, Democratic Party chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Pelosi and other top congressional leaders have all encouraged Weiner to resign, calling the scandal a “distraction.”

“Our caucus understands our concern for the rights of the individual member,” Pelosi, of California, said after a meeting Tuesday with House Democrats, “but also our higher responsibility to our country to uphold a high ethical standard in the Congress of the United States.”

Weiner, who has not been charged with or convicted of violating any laws or House ethics rules, had insisted he would remain in office despite the pressure from his colleagues.

The House approved Weiner’s request Monday for a two-week temporary leave of absence while he received “treatment” for an undisclosed condition at an unknown location.

Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, returned from an overseas trip with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton early Wednesday morning and met with her husband in person for the first time since the sexting scandal broke. Weiner had told friends he was waiting for her return before making any decision about his political future.


Republican White House hopefuls were set Thursday to hold their kick-off debate of the 2012 race, but most of the high-profile candidates likely rivals sitting out the event.

Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin? Absent. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney? Not there. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee? Nope. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich? Took a pass. Former ambassador to China John Huntsman? Skipping it.

Real estate mogul and reality television star Donald Trump and Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, both mentioned as possible candidates seeking to challenge President Barack Obama, will also stay on the sidelines.

Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, arguably the best-known contender due to attend the 9:00 pm (0100 GMT Friday) event, scolded his potential competition in a column for the Daily Caller news website for not attending the debate.

“Some candidates are skipping tonight’s Republican debate in South Carolina because they believe it’s ‘too soon’ to begin the presidential campaign against Barack Obama. I only hope that it’s not too late,” he wrote.

Pawlenty accused Obama of mismanaging the recovery from the worst US economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s, notably pointing to sluggish growth that has left unemployment at stubbornly high levels.

“His re-election may be hard to imagine. But he is an excellent campaigner who is already working hard to build the most expensive campaign in American history. Republicans will only win if we unite behind our conservative values and start the campaign against him now,” Pawlenty warned.

Some Republican insiders say higher-profile contenders are hoping to shorten the duration of the race to the White House, avoiding a potentially savage primary fight that could leave the winner weakened in a showdown with Obama.

But the respected Gallup public opinion polling organization noted recently that, since 1952, Republicans always had a clear front-runner at this stage of the campaign, and that person almost always won the nomination.

The debate was sponsored by Fox News Channel and the Republican party of South Carolina a conservative early primary state known for its vast population of military veterans.

The event was to provide Pawlenty with a chance to boost his standing and give lesser-known candidates the opportunity to make the case that they deserve to shed the long-shot label and be considered along with the marquee names — helping them secure the vast sums needed to fuel a strong campaign.

One of them has run for president before: Republican Representative Ron Paul, known as a fierce critic of US-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, vainly challenged Senator John McCain for the party’s nomination in 2008.

Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson is an avid skier who once scaled Mount Everest and favors legalizing marijuana.

Herman Cain is a former chief executive of the Godfather’s Pizza chain — motto: “A Pizza You Can’t Refuse” — and considered a skilled, quick-witted speaker.

Former senator Rick Santorum has left no doubt he will attack Obama relentlessly, including on foreign policy.

Days after the daring weekend raid into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden, Santorum charged that Obama’s policies had left America’s enemies “less fearful and less respectful of us,” according to the Des Moines Register newspaper.


Fox News has cut off Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, Nevada Republicans are suing the Secretary of State, Jon Huntsman is going to New Orelans, and there’s a real live debate tonight.