TPM News

Former White House financial reform adviser Elizabeth Warren, who is now running to challenge Republican Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts, is turning out to be one Democrat who is not shying away from the Republican cries of "class warfare" against President Obama's proposals to raise taxes on those with very high incomes -- instead offering up a full-throated rebuttal about the benefits that the wealthy were able to obtain from society at large, and the need to give something back.

In a video of a recent Warren appearance, posted online by an individual who says he or she is not affiliated with the campaign, Warren answered the charge. "I hear all this, you know, 'Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever,'" Warren said. "No. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own -- nobody.

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by Marian Wang, ProPublica

It's become a mantra on Capitol Hill and a rallying cry for industry groups: Get rid of the job-killing regulations. In recent days, with nearly every one of the GOP presidential candidates repeating that refrain, the political echo chamber has grown even louder. Earlier this month, President Obama also asked the Environmental Protection Agency to back off more stringent ozone regulations, citing the "importance of reducing regulatory burdens" during trying economic times.

But is the claim that regulation kills jobs true?

We asked experts, and most told us that while there is relatively little scholarship on the issue, the evidence so far is that the overall effect on jobs is minimal. Regulations do destroy some jobs, but they also create others. Mostly, they just shift jobs within the economy.

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The AFL-CIO launched a furious lobbying spree Wednesday just hours before a key Senate Committee is set to vote on an anti-union proposal that would prevent the National Labor Relations Board from filing suits against companies who move operations to right-to-work states.

The biggest union in the nation is trying to prevent Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) from adding the anti-NLRB language to a spending bill funding the agency as well as the Labor and Health and Human Services Departments.

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Unnerved by talk of entitlement cuts in Congress, the nation's largest advocacy group for seniors is warning Republicans and Democrats alike to lay off their benefits.

AARP is launching a new TV campaign in which seniors tell "Washington" that cutting Social Security and Medicare is off the table.

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Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman accused Google of fixing the search results game on Wednesday, saying he doesn't know if his user review website would have made it if Google gave their products "preferential treatment" like they do today.

Stoppelman hasn't yet testified at the Senate's antitrust hearing on Google, but he's already posted his remarks and accompanying presentation online (embedded below).

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As early as January, Time called 2008 "The Year of the Youth Vote." Droves of young Americans got involved in the political process. In the key primary state of Iowa, then-Senator Obama rode an overwhelming 4-1 advantage with young voters to narrow victory over then-Senator Clinton. Even the youngest sub-set of voters, those under 25, gave him a net advantage of 17,000 votes; he won by less than 20,000.

Those in the key 18-29 demographic saw in Obama a man with hope for the future and rallied around him like no other candidate since JFK, a connection underscored when Caroline Kennedy cited her three teenagers influence when giving the candidate her endorsement. "They were the first people who made me realize that Barack Obama is the President we need," she said.

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Several centrist Democratic Senators have spent the last week wringing their hands a bit over President Obama's deficit reduction plan and its dependence on increasing taxes on the wealthy and closing corporate loopholes.

Some approve of shutting down the corporate subsidies, while others support hiking taxes for the rich, but none reached by TPM embraced the entire package.

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Responding to the bleak economic outlook, and the weak prospects for reduced unemployment in the months ahead, the Federal Reserve has announced a new round of monetary stimulus, disregarding a Republican political push to dissuade them from tinkering with the economy.

In a new iteration of Quantitative Easing -- that Fed watchers are calling "Operation Twist" -- the Federal Reserve will swap $400 billion worth of medium term bonds for longer term bonds over the next nine months,to drive down long-term interest rates to encourage immediate investment. Separately, it will take steps to drive down mortgage interest rates.

It's the first significant action the Fed has taken to juice the economy since a modest second round of monetary stimulus ended several months ago. However, the Fed says it continues to expect unemployment to drop slowly and for inflation to remain below the target rate -- meaning it isn't attempting to spur immediate spending and investment by raising the expectation that prices will soon rise. Though the hope is that the new easing will accomplish that on its own.

Politically, the action is sure to rankle Republicans, both in the presidential primary, where chairman Ben Bernanke has become a whipping boy, and on Capitol Hill, where leaders have more cautiously criticized Fed policy.

Read the full Fed statement below the fold.

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When the Super Committee starts making budget cuts, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) knows just where they should start: the Justice Department's $16 muffins.

DOJ's Inspector General on Tuesday released an audit of the agency's spending on conference planning and food and beverage costs that highlighted some examples of wasteful spending in fiscal years 2008 and 2009, periods which spanned both the Bush and Obama administrations.

One example: The law enforcement agency spent $16 each on 250 muffins served at a D.C. legal conference held in August 2009.

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