TPM News

An Ohio state court judge on Wednesday dismissed a low-profile antitrust lawsuit launched against Google by a specialized shopping search engine called myTriggers.com, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The court said that myTriggers.com had failed to provide enough evidence in its case to prove that Google had blackballed the firm.

The case is noteworthy, as the Journal points out, because the tiny firm's lawyer is Microsoft's chief antitrust lawyer Charles "Rick" Rule of the firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. He's also representing Tradecomet.com in another similar suit against Google.

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White House spokesman Jay Carney on Thursday downplayed the skirmish over scheduling a presidential speech on jobs and the economy before a joint session of Congress, repeatedly dismissing the communications breakdown between the two branches of government that occurred just the day before as the very type of petty Washington politics the American people disdain.

During a press briefing, Carney was asked why the President and Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) couldn't seem to get on the same page over something as simple as scheduling a speech before a joint session of Congress and what that portended for the work of Congress' supercommittee and the must-pass additional debt reduction this fall.

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Six companies submitted to informal bids for Hulu this week, according to sources.
About a dozen companies initially expressed interest.
The informal bids expression of interest, really came in between $500 million to $2 billion, with most in the upper end of that range.
Companies among the six include Yahoo, Amazon, and Google.
SK Telecom, which expressed interest at an earlier stage, did not bid.

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President Obama's mid-session budget review confirms what most private and government projections have recently concluded -- that the economy is considerably weaker than earlier forecasts held, and won't fully recover from the Great Recession for years.

Most troubling, both for the country and for Obama politically, is that near-term unemployment is expected to remain significantly higher than expected, averaging 9 percent in fiscal year 2012.

Obama's budget office initially calculated its economic forecast based upon data available through June. Even that data presaged an 8.8 percent average unemployment rate in 2011 and an 8.3 percent average rate next year. But the mid-session review got delayed, and when the Office of Management and Budget revised it to incorporate the data through the end of August, the picture became much gloomier. Unemployment will average 9.1 percent this year, and 9.0 percent next year, OMB concluded, and won't dip below 7 percent until 2015 at the earliest.

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Eyebrows shot up all over the country Thursday following news that that the Republican Party in Pima County, AZ -- home to Tucson and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' (D) district -- is raffling off a Glock similar to the one used to shoot Giffords in the head in January.

In Tucson, the condemnation of the plan was universal and bi-partisan.

"There's a woman who has a bullet in the brain and who everybody is wishing a full recovery," Brian Miller, the immediate past chair of the Pima County GOP told TPM. "I don't think that raffling off a firearm right now is probably the right way to go."

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The White House has just unveiled a new public petition website, "We the People," promising to respond to every petition submitted by anyone online that draws 5,000 or more digital signatures in a month or less.

What could possibly go wrong with that?

Three words: Anonymous, LulzSec and 4chan. Or, if you prefer, just one: marijuana.

But let's back up. There's a good argument to be made that White House has admirable intentions in unveiling the new petition submissions website, which will live at www.whitehouse.gov/wethepeople. (Right now, the site is just in a very limited preview phase and is soliciting e-mail addresses from interested people who can sign up to receive updates when the site launches in full, sometime in the coming weeks.)

It is the latest public relations push in President Obama's "Open Government," initiative, a memorandum signed on his first day in office in 2009 to improve transparency from federal agencies, largely by relying on new digital tools like the government spending-tracking websites data.gov and recovery.gov.

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Jon Huntsman is shaking up his staff in New Hampshire, dropping his campaign manager for the state, Ethan Elion, and replacing him with a former aide to Tim Pawlenty.

"Sarah Crawford Stewart, a seasoned New Hampshire strategist, will be taking over many of the day-to-day responsibilities in her role as New Hampshire senior adviser," a spokesman told the New Hampshire Union Leader. The campaign is very pleased with the leadership team we have in place in New Hampshire."

Stewart was Pawlenty's state director and also worked on John McCain's successful 2000 and 2008 primary campaigns.

It's a bit of a stretch to call any state a "must-win" for Huntsman given that he's barely registering in national polling at the moment, sharing the bottom-tier with candidates like Thad McCotter and Gary Johnson. But as a far as Huntsman has a path to the nomination, it runs through New Hampshire, where he's hoping he can appeal to independent and moderate voters to jumpstart his campaign.

Republican "insiders" are wary of Rick Perry's ability to win, according to a survey by National Journal, picking Mitt Romney by a wide margin as the more electable candidate.

The poll, which regularly checks in with a pool of Republican and Democratic strategists, finds both parties in agreement that Romney is the superior candidate. Republicans think the GOP would be better off nominating him by a 69% to 31% margin. That number is even higher among Democratic insiders, 83% of whom see Romney as the better bet versus 17% for Perry.

Unnamed insiders from both parties cited questions about Perry's ability to win over independents given his resume as a hardline conservative, red-state governor. "Perry can fire up the base, but this election will be won in the middle, not on the fringes," one Republican said.

Given his recent appeals to the Tea Party, winning a poll of veteran Republican politicos may not be the most exciting achievement for Romney. And given that Perry is amassing a solid lead in national polls and surging in a number of early primary and caucus states, it may not be the most representative slice of GOP opinion either. A recent PPP poll of South Carolina, for example, showed Perry cleaning up not only with the conservative, Tea Party wing of the GOP, but with more moderate Republicans that should in theory be Romney's base.

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