TPM News

A lawyer for a homeless man accused of launching a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on the city of Santa Cruz because of an anti-camping law told TPM on Wednesday that such campaigns are the modern day equivalent of occupying the Woolworth's lunch counter as happened during the civil rights movement.

Jay Leiderman, the lawyer who is representing 47-year-old Christopher Doyon on a pro bono basis, said that regardless of whether his client is "Commander X," DDoS attacks should be legal.

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With the spotlight in Florida on the Republican candidates for president, Texas Gov. Rick Perry's roll as the GOP frontrunner is stalling. His poor debate performance sent conservative pundits running and wondering if the whole process was basically back to square one. And in this case, square one is former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney.

In a new Public Policy Polling (D) survey of the Republican electorate in Florida, pollsters found two things. First, as PPP's Tom Jensen tweeted, the debate mattered. Before the debate, Romney was up by two in the state. After, Romney expanded his lead to ten points, on his way to an overall lead. Romney leads the field with 30 percent of the Florida GOP, with Perry at 24 percent and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at ten. The rest of the candidates are in single digits. Romney also beats Perry in a head-to-head matchup within the GOP primary, outside the margin of error at 45 percent against Perry's 36.

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New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg told CNN that he agrees with Rick Perry’s recent statements on immigration.

“I don’t agree with Perry on other things, but on this one he’s right,” Bloomberg told CNN’s John King in an interview to air on “John King, USA.”

Republicans and conservative operatives have become obsessed with the idea that wealthy liberals should prove their largesse not by making public arguments for higher taxes on people like themselves but by donating money to the U.S. Treasury.

This is the fiscal equivalent of the old critique that environmentalists should just buy hybrid cars and never fly anywhere instead of fighting for laws meant to combat climate change. It's silly, but it's combustible, and it exploded on Twitter and elsewhere after an Obama supporter in California this week asked the President to raise his taxes.

Anti-tax warrior Grover Norquist has turned this talking point into world class snark.

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Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) plans to introduce a bill to create a volunteer summer internship initiative in order to replace the House page program that was eliminated by budget cuts.

“Based on the old page program, Norton’s bill requires summer interns in the program to have much of the same duties and responsibilities as House pages,” said the statement released by Norton’s office. “Unlike the House page program, however, Norton’s proposed internship program requires applicants to be in college or college-bound, and to provide for their own housing during the internship, as well as being unpaid.”

The cancellation of the page program was highly unpopular. Last week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced that she was also working on introducing a low-cost alternative to the old program.

Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain says blacks have been “brainwashed” into voting for Democratic candidates.

“African-Americans have been brainwashed into not being open minded, not even considering a conservative point of view,” Cain said on CNN’s “The Situation Room” in an interview airing Wednesday between 5-7 p.m. ET. “I have received some of that same vitriol simply because I am running for the Republican nomination as a conservative. So it’s just brainwashing and people not being open minded, pure and simple.”

A federal judge handling a federal lawsuit filed by a former ACORN employee against James O'Keefe has ordered the conservative provocateur and filmmaker to disclose video footage and payments he received from Andrew Breitbart in relation to one of his sting operations.

"The Court believes that it may be relevant that Defendant was paid for the video of Plaintiff," wrote U.S. Magistrate Judge Mitchell D. Dembin. "Such a payment may inform the intent of the Defendant in engaging in the alleged illegal activity and Plaintiff must prove that the actions were intentional."

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Samsung, the world's top seller of smartphones based on the Android operating system, has agreed to license key patents from Microsoft, leaving Motorola Mobility, soon to be owned by Google, out in the cold.

"The agreement also gives both companies greater patent coverage relating to each other's technologies, and opens the door to a deeper partnership in the development of new phones for the Windows Phone platform," Microsoft's lawyers Brad Smith and Horacio Gutierrez wrote in a blog post on the matter Wednesday morning.

Microsoft first sued Motorola for infringing on its patents in October 2010 in federal district court in Washington as well as at the International Trade Commission. The suit alleges that Motorola infringes on nine Microsoft patents on syncing data on various apps such as e-mail, calendar and contacts, among other things.

Smith and Gutierrez noted in their Wednesday blog post that the Samsung agreement is the seventh one they've struck in three months with hardware makers who use the Android operating system. HTC, the other big hardware company that uses Android as its operating system, has also struck an agreement with Microsoft.

Sounding a bit like mafioso bosses in a Hollywood movie, they claim that Samsung's acquiescence illustrates that "licensing works," and shows "what can be achieved when companies sit down and address intellectual property issues in a responsible manner."

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