TPM News

Jon Stewart on Thursday took on the campaign of Mitt Romney -- or, as he's better known, "the uncontested frontrunner for everyone's second choice for the Republican nomination."

Over the past year, Stewart reported, Romney's polling numbers have been fairly consistent: hovering around 20 percent. "How has he managed to neither gain nor lose support, to remain inert?" Stewart asked. "If he were a color, he'd be beige."

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The Hill has picked up an entertaining quote from billionaire businessman and the father of GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, Jr.

“If he were running for president of China, he would have already won the election,” the elder Huntsman told the Deseret News. “But he’s had to come here and start from scratch. Most of the other candidates had a year or two or three or four. Mitt’s had six.”

A new survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with its lowest ever level of support in their polling, a huge shift from September, when Americans' view of the new health care reform law ran nearly even at 41 percent favorable versus 43 unfavorable. The October poll showed that 51 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view, against 34 percent who see it positively.

Kaiser has tracked the popularity of the new law since it was passed, and it's been fairly popular some past surveys: in June of 2010, 50 percent of Americans liked what they saw with only 35 percent disliking it. But for the most part, the ACA favorability numbers have remained in the 40 percent range on either side.

Of course, many of the provisions actually in the health care law haven't been implemented yet. Kaiser has a very handy breakout of what's currently in effect by the law's timeline and the areas of policy that each provision effects here. For instance, a majority of the insurance provisions have not yet gone into effect, including major (and some might say the MOST important) reforms like guaranteed availability of insurance and essential health benefits, neither of which will happen until 2014.

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On Friday, the Statue of Liberty’s 125th anniversary, 125 immigrants from 46 different countries were sworn in as citizens of the United States, the AP reports. To mark the occasion, we put together a slideshow of the statue’s legacy. Click the photo below to see the slideshow

Speaking at a town hall meeting in Davenport, Iowa on Monday, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich made a wild accusation, The Des Moines Register reports. The GOP candidate accused the EPA of of considering placing restrictions on farmers against plowing their fields in an attempt to control dust.

Gingrich said he was convinced that the person who made such a proposal “leaves an air-conditioned condominium to get on the metro subway to ride to an air-conditioned federal office building to sit in an office with no windows where they sit back and they imagine dust and then they decide, ‘You know, dust is bad.’"

The only problem? The EPA insists that it has not proposed new rules on farm dust. The agency is conducting a routine review of science on arious air pollutants, but EPA Administrator testified before the House in March and said no changes to particulate matter regulations are being proposed.

That doesn’t seem to bother Gingrich, however.

He concluded: “The EPA is probably the most destructive single organization in the federal government today because it has people who have selected out and who have imposed their will on the American economy and the American society with no regard for common sense and no regard for practicality and that is why we need to replace it.”

House Speaker John Boehner is taking the safe road in the 2012 GOP primary — he says he’s unlikely to take sides in the ever-fluctuating race.

From the Washington Post:

“No, I don’t see that happening,” Boehner said when asked whether he plans to back a candidate before next summer’s Republican National Convention. “I think we’ve got a lot of good candidates. They’re out there presenting their ideas, and I think it’s important to allow those who show up in the Republican primary to choose the candidate of their choice.”,

Herman Cain is slowing things down after weeks of mistakes on the campaign trail, the Daily Beast reports. Aides say they want to be sure Cain feels rested and prepared.

Communciations VP J.D. Gordon told the Beast’s Howard Kurtz that Cain has been packing “seven or eight events a day” into his schedule.

“When you do that and don’t use a Teleprompter, sometimes you can make a mistake,” Gordon was quoted as saying.

The special one-on-one debate featuring Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich, coming up this November 5, will charge attendees anywhere from $200 to $1,000 for tickets.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Bleacher seating at the Gingrich/Cain debate, hosted by the Texas Tea Party Patriots at the Woodlands Resort in Houston, costs a cool $200. The next step up, the $500 ticket, gets you “prime seating” and a ticket to the “Nite Cap party after the Debate,” says the group’s website. And for the really high rollers, $1,000 will get you “the best seating in the house for the debate” and “a professional picture taken with the candidates.”