TPM News

The road to the Democratic nomination for the Senate in Massachusetts is starting to clear for Elizabeth Warren, with fellow candidate Alan Khazei dropping out of the race Wednesday afternoon.

The Boston Globe reports that Khazei will make his decision official at noon Thursday. On Wednesday morning, he acknowledged that Warren's presence in the race has affected his own prospects.

"She has struck a chord, no doubt about it," Khazei said. "It's definitely affected my position. So fundraising has been tougher, and in terms of's challenging. Things have definitely shifted."

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In his widely trumpeted speech at the conservative Heritage Foundation Wednesday, Republican budget guru and liberal boogeyman Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin rejected the notion that wealthier Americans should pay higher taxes to sustain or broaden a social safety net for poor and middle class workers and retirees.

Instead, he argued, policy should be geared toward allowing high earners to grow the economy, and to facilitate upward mobility for the working class.

America, he argued, exemplifies the latter model while European economies illustrate the perils of the former.

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A new survey of Wisconsin from Public Policy Polling (D) has some mixed news for Republican Gov. Scott Walker. On the one hand, a narrow majority of the state's registered voters disapprove of his performance. However, the voters are also split on whether they would want to recall him -- as the Democrats are aiming to do -- and he leads various potential Dem opponents.

The new poll finds Walker with an approval rating of 47%, compared to a slightly higher disapproval of 51%.

However, a later question asked: "Would you support or oppose recalling Scott Walker from office before his term is up?" The answer here is 48% in favor, to 49% opposed.

"It won't be easy for Democrats to recall Scott Walker," writes PPP president Dean Debnam. "Voters aren't as angry with him as they were earlier in the year and if Russ Feingold's really out of the mix there's not an obvious Democrat to pit against him."

In a previous survey released in August, PPP speculated that there could be an anti-recall bias among a key section of swing voters, who would be inclined to vote for an incumbent in a recall.

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With less than a month before their November 23 deadline, Democrats on the deficit Super Committee are facing serious pushback from their Republican counterparts for proposing a broad deal that would reduce deficits by nearly $3 trillion -- including cuts to popular programs like Medicare -- because it also includes more than $1 trillion in new tax revenues, according to aides briefed on private negotiations.

Sources remain mum on the specifics of the cuts and taxes Dems have put forward. And they caution that most, but not all, of the Democrats on the panel support the push -- an effort to achieve multiple Republican votes for a plan modeled on the "grand bargain" President Obama tried to strike with John Boehner.

But they got some unexpected help from Congressional Budget Office director Doug Elmendorf who testified before the panel Wednesday. He cited analysis his office did about a year ago, which found that allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire would carry greater reward than risk -- that the hole they punch in the budget overwhelms the positive impact they have on productivity.

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We've all heard about the cool and fun things that the iPhone 4S' virtual personal assistant Siri can do.

Just like a live assistant, Siri can schedule appointments, point out potential scheduling conflicts, look up nearby restaurants, and even joke around with you. The system that combines artificial intelligence and voice-recognition can even speak and understand different languages.

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Politicians are all over social media these days, but Rick Perry's apparently been at the game for a while.

In a web video released in 2009 during his race for Texas governor, Perry and his intern team slapped together a kitschy animated spot telling his supporters how to connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.

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Apple is stealthily planning to build a 171-acre solar farm help power its largest data center, located in the tiny town of Maiden, North Carolina, according to land use permits obtained by the Charlotte Observer.

The news of the solar farm is surprising for a number of reasons, first of them being that Apple was thought to have chosen the site for its data center at least in part due to the fact that the area is rife with dirt-cheap electricity thanks to Charlotte-based energy company Duke Energy, which generates most of its electricity from coal-fired and nuclear power plants.

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GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann on Wednesday filed the paperwork to get her name on the New Hampshire ballot, CNN reports.