TPM News

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By John Voelcker

There are lots of different Land Speed Record categories, and each year one or two of them fall to new challengers.

So it's not surprising that new records for production diesel and biodiesel trucks were set this weekend at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.

What is surprising is the vehicle that was used: a relatively stock 2011 Ford F-250 SuperDuty pickup truck, and the speeds it reached: 171 mph on standard diesel fuel, and 182 mph on soy-based B20 biodiesel.

Frankly, the very idea of traveling 180 mph in any more-or-less stock pickup truck--especially one as large as an F-250 SuperDuty, which has the aerodynamics of a small community hospital--fills us with awe.

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Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alan Khazei isn't letting the revelation that Sen. Scott Brown's (R-MA) campaign team is behind a fake Twitter feed that's been attacking him pass without making some political hay.

"Sen. Brown should denounce these tactics, immediately close the fake Twitter account and apologize to the citizens of Massachusetts," Khazei Chief of Staff Emily Cherniack said in a statement.

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Former Mass. Governor Mitt Romney has been the frontrunner in most national polls of the GOP primary over the last year, and the general punditry considered it his nomination to lose, at least at first. And while it's still early, new polling released on Wednesday shows his unchallenged time at the head of the pack may be over.

A new national Gallup poll of GOP and GOP-leaning voters shows Romney, who had more than a quarter of the total vote in Gallup's June numbers in the same poll, has fallen to 17 percent, while newly minted candidate Tex. Gov. Rick Perry surges to 29 percent and the lead. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), considered a top contender, falls to fourth with 10 percent, behind Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) at 13 percent. The rest of the field is in single digits.

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It's time to write the next chapter in the growing political tome, "The Trouble With Twitter."

Eric Fehrnstrom, adviser to both Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), apparently outed himself as the man behind @CrazyKhazei, a Twitter feed that mocks Alan Khazei, the former City Year executive and founder of Be The Change who's running to take on Brown in next year's election. (Readers may know the race as the one progressives really want Elizabeth Warren to run in.)

Fehrnstrom, it appears, sent a tweet intended for @CrazyKhazei from his personal account, thus making him the latest person to press the wrong button on a Twitter app and find himself, er, exposed.

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Bob Turner, the Republican candidate in the NY-09 special election to replace former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D), is criticizing the new law providing health-care aid to 9/11 rescue workers and volunteers who have suffered health problems from exposure to toxic debris.

"I probably couldn't go home if I didn't support the Zadroga bill. I have firemen in my family, but is that bill beyond criticism? No," said Turner, the New York Daily News reports, referring to the law signed this past January by President Obama. The law is named after the late NYPD Detective James Zadroga, who died of a respiratory illness attributed to his having breathed in toxic dust at the World Trade Center site.

"My call would be to protect police, fire, emergency workers, construction workers, etc," Turner explained, also adding: "If someone said, 'I volunteered' or walked through there, it's just not the type."

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The Justice Department Inspector General and Bureau of Prisons officials are investigating several new allegations that employees of federal prisons mistreated Muslim inmates, according to a new report.

As required by the PATRIOT Act, the report discloses several complaints by Muslim inmates who say they were discriminated against by BOP employees. In all, the Inspector General processed 1,065 new civil rights or civil liberties complaints between Jan. 1 and June 30 and found 155 of the complaints required further review. That's down from the previous six month period, when 1,293 new complaints were processed.

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