TPM News

Verizon's alleged "legal games" are pretty transparent -- and the D.C. Court of Appeals doesn't seem to be too amused. On Wednesday, the court rejected Verizon's request for the same panel of judges that ruled against the FCC in favor of Comcast to hear their own appeal against the Commission's new net neutrality rules. With Verizon's attempt to hand-pick its judges foiled, lawyers agree that their base strategy of ensuring their case will be heard by the D.C. Court of Appeals is still their best bet.

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The U.S. intelligence community warned President Obama about instability in Egypt late last year, according to a CIA official.

Stephanie O'Sullivan, the President's nominee for principal deputy director of national intelligence who currently serves as associate deputy director of the CIA, told the Senate intelligence committee Thursday that the agency briefed Obama. She did not indicate how specific the information they provided was.

"We warned of instability but not exactly where it would come from [and in what form]," she said. "That happened at the end of last year."

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A new survey of Arizona from Public Policy Polling (D) finds an interesting result: This red state wants more gun control -- indeed, they favor it more than national surveys have shown since the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) in the Tucson area.

The poll asked: "In general do you think Arizona should have stricter laws concerning who can buy guns or not?" The answer was Yes 55%, No 38%.

As PPP's Tom Jensen points out: "That's a higher degree of support for increased gun control in the wake of last month's shootings in Tucson than national polls are showing. A recent CBS poll showed just 46% of voters across the country in support of tougher laws on guns and ABC and NBC both put the number at 52%."

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Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad's office is putting the kibosh on a report that he was supporting former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty in the state's key early presidential caucus -- saying that he is remaining totally neutral instead.

In a column today, David Broder mentioned as a side point:

An exceptionally skilled politician, Branstad is generally counted in the Pawlenty camp. His support is the main reason Pawlenty is given a chance in the leadoff caucuses - even against Huckabee, the surprise 2008 winner in Iowa; Romney, who has invested heavily in organizing the state; and perhaps others, including Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House.


Branstad's people moved quickly to refute the story, with a pair of tweets on his account.

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The Internal Revenue Service took a bold step for a government agency and released a smartphone application. Titled IRS2Go, the app lets users check their tax return status. But IRS2Go's relatively limited functionality signals a future challenge for federal agencies releasing iPhone/Android applications: how do you give people the functionality they want while still complying with a variety of outdated rules that govern agencies' interactions with the public.

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The Internal Revenue Service took a bold step for a government agency and released a smartphone application. Titled IRS2Go, the app lets users check their tax return status. But IRS2Go's relatively limited functionality signals a future challenge for federal agencies releasing iPhone/Android applications: how do you give people the functionality they want while still complying with a variety of outdated rules that govern agencies' interactions with the public.

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Pro-choice activists and politicians may have scored a victory with the news that the House abortion bill won't contain a redefinition of rape, but that hasn't made several prominent House Democrats any happier about the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.

"Look, my reaction is this is not really changing things that much," Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) told TPM in an interview today. "This exposed them for what their true intentions are. Now that they're exposed they're trying to put the genie back in the bottle, and it's not going to work."

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) wasn't interested in giving the sponsors of H.R.3 much credit for altering their bill under pressure from pro-choice groups.

"It's still a totally flawed bill," Maloney told TPM. "I would call it the deepest attack on a woman's right to choose in my lifetime."

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