TPM News

Rep. Dave Obey, the powerful chairman of the Appropriations Committee, will be announcing his retirement, multiple news outlets are reporting. Obey (D-WI), has served in the U.S. House since 1969 and he is a close ally of Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Politico is reporting that Obey will announce his decision today. His office announced a 1 p.m. press conference for a "major announcement."

The retirement comes as Democrats are facing a potentially bruising fall midterm election cycle where they could lose 20 or more seats, and as Republicans say they believe they have a fighting chance to recapture the House. Obey's district went for Barack Obama in 2008 by 14 points, but was much closer in 2004 and 2000. John Kerry and Al Gore each won it by one point in those years.

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One of the Republican candidates seeking to run against Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), Navy veteran and former airline pilot Dan Fanelli, has a new ad openly advocating the use of racial profiling at airports.

"Does this look like a terrorist?" Fanelli says, pointing to an elderly white man. "Or this?" he asks, turning to a burly tan-skinned man with facial hair.

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Halliburton is back.

The Houston energy services giant once led by Dick Cheney became the corporate bête noire of the Bush years as one of the biggest (and most troubled) Iraq War contractors. But the company had largely faded from public view since President Obama entered office -- until now.

As the provider of crucial cementing services on the oil rig that exploded and set off the massive spill in the Gulf, Halliburton finds itself under scrutiny once again.

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It's been a week since Democrats broke a GOP financial reform filibuster, allowing debate on the legislation on the Senate floor. But debate means amendments, and amendments mean votes, and there have been precisely zero of those since the logjam broke. Why not? Apparently, it's because Repulbicans are unwilling to bring up their own amendments for the time being.

"This is really something," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, visibly angry on the floor yesterday. "[The GOP] will not let us vote on amendments [they] offered, amendments that we've agreed to--they won't let us vote on them."

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Times Square bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad was put on the U.S government's no-fly list at approximately 12:30 p.m. Monday, and airlines were notified of the change three minutes later. At about 3 p.m. the FBI began surveilling Shahzad at his Connecticut apartment. And yet, several hours later -- after somehow eluding the FBI surveillance team -- he received a boarding pass for a flight from JFK to Dubai and made it on board before he was stopped. How'd that happen?

While details are still coming to light, it seems to be a failure at two levels: the FBI surveillance team tracking Shahzad somehow lost track of him, and the United Arab Emirates' national airline apparently didn't catch his name on an updated no-fly list until it was nearly too late.

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Stephen Colbert was not surprised last night to learn where Faisal Shahzad, the man who allegedly attempted to bomb Times Square, came from. "This Faisal character," he said "came from exactly where you'd expect -- Connecticut. When are we going to close that border?"

He added that his worst suspicions were confirmed when he saw a picture of Shahzad. "He's not just from Connecticut. He's a Connecticut douche bag."

Colbert also reported that a "heroic" Times Square sketch artist helped catch Shahzad by putting police on the tail of a "skateboarding tennis player with a giant head."

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Jon Stewart was upset last night when he heard that John McCain is opposed to reading Miranda rights to the man who allegedly attempted to bomb Times Square.

He choked up a little bit as he addressed McCain: "This next clip's gonna hurt me as much as it's gonna hurt you," before showing Glenn Beck saying he supports reading the man his Miranda rights.

Stewart then launched into a heartfelt rendition of "Memories."

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Israel Sees Talks Failing As George Mitchell Meets Netanyahu U.S. Middle East Envoy George Mitchell is set to meet today with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. At the same time, the Israeli government is openly predicting that indirect talks with the Palestinians would fail. "This won't work ... indirect talks, proximity talks will not yield results," said Intelligence Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor, in remarks published in the Jerusalem Post.

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will receive the presidential daily briefing at 10 a.m. ET, and meet at 10:30 a.m. ET with senior advisers. He will meet at 11:15 a.m. ET with Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ), and at 11:45 a.m. ET with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). At 1:30 p.m. ET, he will deliver remarks and sign the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act. At 6 p.m. ET, he will deliver remarks at a Cinco de Mayo reception.

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The New York Times has published an editors' note saying a front-page story questioning the scope of the oil spill "should have included more information" about the Gulf of Mexico Foundation, which was described as a "conservation group" without noting its close ties to the oil industry and Transocean, the owner of the rig that exploded.

The head of the Gulf of Mexico Foundation was quoted as saying: "The sky is not falling. We've certainly stepped in a hole and we're going to have to work ourselves out of it, but it isn't the end of the Gulf of Mexico."

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