TPM News

Today, a federal appeals court handed down a 22-page decision rejecting Rick Perry’s appeal to be on the Virginia primary ballot. Perry appealed a lower court’s decision that also kept him off the ballot. The appeal judges affirmed what the lower court ruled last Friday, that Perry had waited too long to file his suit. This means only Romney and Paul will appear on Virginia’s March 6 ballot.

All the big conflicts on Capitol Hill seem to get resolved just before their deadline. Except one. Federal Aviation Administration programs are again set to expire in just a couple weeks, and as has been the case for a year, House Republicans won't agree to a long term reauthorization unless it includes a provision that rigs the votes if airline and rail workers want to unionize.

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Netflix just can't catch a break.

Only a few weeks into the new year, the flagging video subscription company is already the subject of a new class-action lawsuit by investors, which accuses the company's executives of issuing "false and misleading statements" about the health of Netflix's business and selling $90.2 million-worth of their own shares before the stock collapsed.

Specifically named as defendants in the suit are Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, chief financial officer David Wells, chief content officer Ted Sarandos, chief marketing officer Leslie Kilgore and chief product officer Neil Hunt.

The suit was filed on Friday, December 13 in the Northern District Court of California (where Netflix is based) by national law firm Robbins Geller, on behalf of the City of Royal Oak Retirement System. It seeks to recover damages for all investors who purchased Netflix common stock between December 20, 2010 and October 24, 2011.

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New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman took a dig at Mitt Romney over his comment that “not very much” of his income came from speaking fees. In fact, he made $374,327.62 in the most recent year he released his financial information.

“I’ll bet you 10,000 bucks the American people think it’s a lot of money,” Schneiderman said in a conference call organized by national Democrats.

Mitt Romney hasn't yet released his tax returns, but on Tuesday he confirmed the biggest nugget that Democrats have been salivating over: he pays an effective tax rate of just 15%.

"It's probably closer to the 15 percent rate than anything," Romney told reporters, noting that his income "comes overwhelmingly from some investments made in the past, rather than ordinary income or earned annual income."

He added that he expects to release his tax returns in the spring -- although it remains unclear which year of income he'll actually release.

As TPM has reported, Romney's admission is hardly unexpected. As he indicated on Tuesday, he's made most of his fortune, estimated at upwards of $250 million, from investment income, which is taxed at a lower rate than salary. Payroll taxes, which don't come out of investment income either, are also a major chunk of the average worker's tax burden. Add it all up and the result is that he pays a lower tax rate than many middle income Americans.

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According to a recent (tweet)[https://twitter.com/#!/Netroots_Nation/statuses/159369352787922944] on the official Netroots Nation account, both Netroots Nation and the Netroots Foundation will be taking down their websites on January 17th.  This blackout day is aimed to protest and raise awareness of the controversial Stop Online Piracy and Protect IP Acts.

Websites participating in tomorrow’s blackout include Wikipedia, MoveOn, reddit, and Mozilla, among others.  Google has announced that it will not be shutting down, but instead plans to display a link and show of support.

While SOPA has recently been declared dead in the water, many still consider the Protect IP Act (PIPA) a serious threat.

According to a recent tweet on the official Netroots Nation account, both Netroots Nation and the Netroots Foundation will be taking down their websites on January 17th.  This blackout day is aimed to protest and raise awareness of the controversial Stop Online Piracy and Protect IP Acts.

Websites participating in tomorrow’s blackout include Wikipedia, MoveOn, reddit, and Mozilla, among others.  Google has announced that it will not be shutting down, but instead plans to display a link and show of support.

While SOPA has recently been declared dead in the water, many still consider the Protect IP Act (PIPA) a serious threat.

Mitt Romney tries to paint himself as a common man who relates to Americans' struggles, but on Tuesday, he downplayed the amount he received in speakers fees, demonstrating that a lot of money to most Americans is “not very much” to Mitt Romney.

On Tuesday, Romney responded to questions about his income by acknowledging that his effective tax rate is probably around 15% because most of his income comes from past investments. He did note that he got speakers fees “from time to time, but not very much.” That small amount over a 12-month period turns out to be more than most Americans make in a year: $374,327. Now the media is making hay out of Romney’s remarks. American Bridge has made a video of the affair.

Watch:



On Monday, another Republican presidential campaign bit the dust: Jon Huntsman bowed out of the race, called on his fellow candidates to stop attacking one another and offered Mitt Romney his endorsement.

Stephen Colbert, hours after Huntsman bowed out, took some credit for ending Huntsman's campaign. In a recent South Carolina poll, Colbert actually polled ahead of Huntsman. So the late-night comedian launched an exploratory committee to seek the presidency of the "United States of South Carolina."

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