TPM News

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) last week hurled another accusation at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in an attempt to discredit a study on climate change the agency published in June.

Smith, the chairman of the House Science Committee, penned an op-ed for the Washington Times stating that the NOAA purposefully ignored satellite data and instead used data on the earth's surface temperature in order to support the belief that climate change is real. He is targeting a climate study that used an updated data set on ocean and earth temperatures. That NOAA study contradicted earlier research showing that global warming has slowed.

The op-ed is the latest move in Smith's months-long crusade against NOAA. The Republican congressman has issued a subpoena of NOAA scientists' internal communications about the study and has threatened to subpoena the NOAA's parent agency, the Commerce Department, if the NOAA does not turn over the documents. However, the NOAA has continuously refused to turn over the internal documents, citing the importance of the confidentiality of scientists' discussion.

Smith has accused the NOAA of altering "the data to get the results they needed to advance this administration’s extreme climate change agenda."

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Not only have Alabama's attempts to defund Planned Parenthood Southeast been blocked by the courts, Alabama taxpayers will also have to foot the bill in the more than $51,000 in legal fees for the reproductive health organization, the Montgomery Advertiser reported, under a settlement filed in federal court Monday morning. The agreement still must be approved by a U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson, according to the Montgomery Advertiser.

Republican Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (pictured above) was one of a number of elected officials who sought to defund Planned Parenthood by cutting off Medicaid funding to clinics after a series of "sting" videos asserted the organization was illegally profiting off the of the sale of aborted fetal tissue. (Planned Parenthood has denied the claim that it is profiting from donation programs, and says reimbursement fees clinics receive for storage and staffing costs are legal.)

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The Obama administration announced Monday it was taking steps to crack down on security shortcomings in the visa waiver program that allows visitors from 38 countries around the world to come to the U.S. with ease.

While much of the American political scrutiny after the Paris terrorist attacks has revolved around the dangers of admitting Syrian refugees, many of the attackers in Paris were citizens of Western countries who would have been eligible to travel to the U.S. without much scrutiny. Refugees, meanwhile, undergo a rigorous background check process that can take up to two years. Democrats in Congress tried to refocus legislative changes from barring refugees to increasing scrutiny on the visa waiver program.

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CJ Pearson, the 13-year-old viral YouTube star made famous for his rants against President Barack Obama, has renounced conservatism, according to a Friday interview with CNN.

Pearson told the network in an email that the GOP's stance on racial and gender disparity compelled him to change.

"I was tired of being a champion of a party that turned a blind eye to racial discrimination," Pearson told CNN. "Tired of being a champion of any cause that denies equal rights to every American. Tired of being a champion of a party that doesn't care about the issues important to young people."

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Fox News chairman Roger Ailes told Adweek Magazine in an interview published Sunday that he's had the same "friendly" relationship with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for 30 years.

But the Fox executive also said he called the real estate mogul and asked Trump "what the hell" was wrong with him after he criticized Fox News host Megyn Kelly in August.

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