Michele Bachmann has harsh words for ... somebody, Ben Quayle’s mom had nothing to do with what’s going on in Arizona, Rick Santorum has Chuck Laudner and Newt Gingrich has a new book.

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* Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has come up with a new phrase: “frugal socialists.” Not naming anyone in particular, she told a crowd at the Family Research Council in Washington that “some” Republican presidential candidates are willing to tolerate “socialized medicine ... because they share the same core political philosophy about the purpose of government” as Obama.

* The office of Rep. Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.) is denying reports that the congressman’s mother called Gov. Jan Brewer (R) and urged her to impeach the leader of the state’s independent redistricting commission. Quayle could face a possible primary fight under the new map. Quayle’s mother, Marilyn Quayle, has also denied any involvement.

* Chuck Laudner, the former chief of staff to Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), has endorsed former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum. It’s a good get, but Laudner told the Des Moines Register he’s actually supported Santorum for months. “Everybody’s waiting for the perfect timing and it’s not that kind of caucus this time around,” Laudner said. “I thought, ‘Let’s go and see if we can’t get the dominoes going, so to speak.”

* A majority of moderates and independents believe that Republicans in Congress are “playing politics” by blocking President Obama’s proposals, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Of course, those same voters can still think Obama is an ineffectual leader for failing to get around GOP obstruction.


* Texas Gov. Rick Perry is increasing his ad buy in Iowa, according to Politico, spending about $380,000 on ads starting Tuesday. He’s also spending $77,000 on ads in New Hampshire.

* Former president Bill Clinton is headed to Las Vegas on Jan. 7th to fundraise for Rep. Shelley Berkley (D), who is running against Sen. Dean Heller (R). Not that Berkley is doing so bad on her own: She raised $1.2 million last quarter, while Heller took in only $675,000.

* A new Pew Research Center poll finds that a plurality of Americans believe the allegations against former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain are true, 39 percent to 24 percent. A plurality (39 percent) of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents think the allegations are false, while 29 percent think they are true. A 51 percent majority of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents think the allegations are true; only 14 percent think they are false.

* It’s Monday, and that means Newt Gingrich has a new book out. ”The Battle of the Crater” is not policy but historical fiction about a Civil War battle, so it probably will not come up much in GOP debates. But MSNBC.com has an excerpt.


Everyone likes juggling, right?

With Rachel Weiner and Aaron Blake