TPM News

In a speech in Spartanburg, South Carolina on Saturday, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) offered some solutions to the country's financial woes, saying, "We can't put the so called social issues on the back burner while we are solving our economic challenges because the family is the solution to those challenges."

Bachmann offered that when it comes to entitlement reform, "I think if we give Glenn Beck the numbers, he can solve this."

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On the back of a new union poll suggesting the Wisconsin public is ready to stand with the protesters gathered in and around the Capitol in Madison, a coalition of unions is going on air in the Badger State with an ad calling on the public to do just that.



As Greg Sargent first reported, the AFL-CIO, National Education Association, American Federation of Teachers and others are paying for the spot, which features a Racine, WI firefighter urging Gov. Scott Walker (R) not to ban collective bargaining for teachers, nurses and other unionized state employees.

"They're simply asking that you not take away their rights," the firefighter says.

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Stephen Colbert pined for the exciting days of the Egyptian uprising on his program last night, saying that the turmoil in other Middle Eastern countries just didn't compare.

"I miss the emotional heights of Egypt," Colbert said. "It had everything: huge crowds, pyramids, the chance of a mummy attack."

Yet Colbert said he was not impressed with the protests that have cropped up in other countries throughout the region.

"Bahrain? More Like Bore-ain," he said. "Yemen? More like 'Yawn, man.' And Morocco? I could us a little less rocco."

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Is Wisconsin the new Egypt? Or perhaps a fiscal 9/11? That's what The Daily Show sought to answer last night, as Jon Stewart analyzed a number of metaphors being tossed around in the media to find the one that best fits the situation in Madison.

Many pundits and politicians have compared the protests in Wisconsin to the uprising in Egypt that ended President Hosni Mubarak's three decades in power. Stewart minced no words in shooting down that comparison.

"They're not the fucking same, in any way, shape, or form, at all," Stewart said.

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President Obama will arrive in Cleveland Tuesday for a series of small business events with entrepreneurs and members of his own cabinet.

But the Democratic senator from that state is unhappy with Obama's performance on this score thus far -- particularly when it comes to promoting manufacturing. And he's taking his critique public.

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A new poll from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee shows voters in the southern California district soon to be vacated by Rep. Jane Harman (D) are ready to support a candidate who's going to protect traditional entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.

PCCC is national political group best known for its efforts to push the Democratic Party and its leaders to the left on issues like entitlements, taxes and military spending.

Harman is leaving Congress later this month to take a job leading a Washington think tank. Her departure will trigger a special election in the Los Angeles district Harman represents.

Several Democratic candidates have emerged to take Harman's seat, but two well-known candidates are seen as the front-runners: California Secretary of State Debra Bowen and Los Angeles Councilwoman Janice Hahn. The PCCC poll shows Bowen ahead by four points, but also includes a "significant undecided" vote that PCCC says suggests the race is "wide open."

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This post has been updated.

Union supporters in Wisconsin are pointing to a new poll they say shows support for Gov. Scott Walker (R) is straining under the weight of the thousands of protesters gathered in and around the state capitol in Madison.

The poll of Wisconsin voters, conducted by Democratic pollster GQR Research for the AFL-CIO between Feb. 16 and 20, shows public feelings toward the union supporters versus the Republican governor are vastly different.

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The protesters amassed outside the state capitol in Madison, WI and their supporters across the country have succeeded in getting state Republicans to back down on at least one front: the toll-free Legislative Hotline that the legislature has kept open 24 hours a day for more than 20 years.

After a flood of calls that legislative staff tell TPM came from "unions and other non-profits," the legislature's Sergeant at Arms ordered the number disconnected Friday, a move that according to sources could save the state quite a bit of money as the protests against Gov. Scott Walker's (R) union-busting budget plan rage.



One union source said he didn't know about the call flooding, but he said that Republicans have another think coming if they believe taking down a phone number will silence the frustrated union supporters with their eyes on Madison this week.

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