TPM News

Governor Rick Perry may have a problem the next time he campaigns in North Carolina. According to “Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue,” Perry tried some Eastern N.C. BBQ from King’s of Kingston during the 1992 Republican National Convention in Houston, TX.

Upon tasting the meat, Perry weighed in on the pride of the region’s cuisine. “I’ve had road kill that tasted better than that,” he judged.

The South is split not just by States, but also by regions of BBQ. Whereas some regions prefer dry-rub, others prefer vinegar or molasses based sauces brushed on the slow-smoked meat, and there is fierce debate over exactly which region produces the best combination of meat, spice and sauce. Voters would generally prefer a politician that pretends to like all their food.

In an opinion piece published by Politico late Wednesday night, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) asked conservatives which they would prefer more: a Republican candidate with conservative values or a Republican in the White House.

He wrote, “considering what’s at stake—the possibility of four more years of President Barack Obama’s ruinously wrongheaded ideas—electability is a key factor. We have to win.”

The former GOP presidential candidate touted Romney’s experience in the private sector, pointing out that “He has an extraordinary command of the economic challenges we face, gained from day-in, day-out experience working in the marketplace. If ever America needed a leader who knows his way around the business world, it is now.”

The op-ed concludes with yet another dig at challenger Rick Perry’s statements on Social Security. The two campaigns have traded barbs with increasing frequency and intensity over the last few days, building tension before tonight’s debate.

Rep. Darrell Issa has come out in support of Mitt Romney’s presidential bid, saying Romney’s the right man to get the economy back on track.

“As someone who shares my background in business, Congressman Issa understands that we need to make fundamental changes in Washington,” Romney said in a statement. “I am proud to have his support, and look forward to working with him as I campaign in California and work to bring jobs back to the state and strengthen the American economy.”

A ceasefire called in Yemen has failed to put an end to violence in Yemen’s capital as explosions rocked Sanaa and clashes between government forces and protesters resumed Thursday.

A South Korean official said Thursday that that North Korea wants to hold a second round of talks with the U.S. as part of a renewed effort to restart nuclear disarmament efforts.

The AFL-CIO and organized labor in general is breathing a sigh of relief after the Senate Appropriations Committee narrowly defeated -- in a tie vote Wednesday night -- an effort to gut the National Labor Relations Board and prevent it from filing suits against companies that move operations to right-to-work states.

After a furious last-minute AFL-CIO lobbying spree, the Senate Committee, which is split 16 to 14 Democratic voted 15 to 15 to defeat language from being attached to a bill funding the NLRB, as well as the Labor and Health and Human Services Departments.

Sen Lindsey Graham (R-SC), motivated by an attempt to help Boeing, managed to convince Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) to support his efforts to add the anti-NLRB language to the larger spending bill, but in the end, a wavering Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) stuck with the Democratic party line and voted no. A tie vote in committee prevents language from being added.

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It's official: Lawyers for AT&T and the Justice Department will lock horns in the courtroom beginning February 13, 2012, as the company tries to fend off the DOJ's claims that its proposed $39 billion merger with T-Mobile violates U.S. antitrust law. But Sprint won't be joining them, at least not yet.

That's the word from U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle, who on Wednesday ruled in a preliminary scheduling hearing that AT&T and the DOJ would have six weeks to prepare for the non-jury trial.

The ruling was pretty much an even compromise between the DOJ"s request for the trial to start on March 19 and AT&T's for an earlier kickoff on Jan. 16.

"AT&T doesn't want to drag this out," said Daniel Crane, a professor of antitrust law at the University of Michigan, in a telephone interview with Idea Lab. "The longer duration of the trial, the more it is on the government's side, as it will have more time to amass evidence from competitors against the merger."

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GOP legislation to continue funding the federal government failed in the House Wednesday by a vote of 195-230, after Democrats rejected a controversial measure to nix a popular manufacturing program to offset federal disaster aid.

A successful Democratic whip effort left Republicans without enough support in their caucus to pass the bill along party lines. Over 40 Republicans, demanding steeper cuts to federal programs, rebelled against GOP leadership.

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