TPM News

Stephen Colbert could not be more excited about the 2012 Republican presidential field, comparing the candidates to "the perfect appetizer sampler platter."

"You've got pizza bites (Herman Cain), crazy bread (Michele Bachmann), boiled potato (Newt Gingrich), Texas toast (Rick Perry), foie gras (Mitt Romney), imitation foie gras (Jon Huntsman) un-inspected squirrel jerky (Ron Paul) all with a Santorum dipping sauce," Colbert said Tuesday.

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Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul on Wednesday said the U.S. could target journalists in the same way it targets terrorists, the AP reports. Paul was a vocal critic of the Obama Administration’s decision to kill American-born al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.

In her new novel, “It’s Classified,” former McCain campaign adviser Nicolle Wallace freely admits that she based her protagonist, a mentally unfit vice president, on former GOP VP candidate Sarah Palin.

In an interview with Time, Wallace states: “She was often withdrawn, uncommunicative and incapable of performing even the most basic tasks required of her job as McCain’s running mate.”

Wallace goes on to say that there were discussions about whether, if McCain were to win the election, “it would be appropriate for her to be sworn in.”

Rick Perry is a mensch. Now he has a 26-inch mezuzah named after him to prove it.

Back in June, responding to a Jewish couple whose condo association forced them to remove a mezuzah from their doorway, the Texas governor signed a bill requiring home owners associations to allow religious displays up to 25 inches.

In commemoration of the new law, Rabbi Aaron Shaffier, a certified Torah scribe living in Israel, commissioned an enormous "Texas style" mezuzah and named it after Perry.

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Jon Stewart isn't the least bit surprised that by Hank Williams Jr.'s harsh words on Fox and Friends this week, where the country music superstar compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler.

"Frankly, I'm surprised he didn't punctuate his Obama-Hitler metaphor with, 'I mean, shiiiiit,'" Stewart said on Tuesday. ... "When he talks, I can smell the Jack Daniels on his breath from the television."

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TPM has obtained the mugshot of Kinde Durkee, the California campaign treasurer accused of pilfering money from campaigns, from the U.S. Marshals Service via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Federal investigators have said that they are continuing to investigate Durkee, who so far has only been charged with stealing money from one California politician. Other Durkee clients have indicated that they're missing money, and more charges are likely coming soon.

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President Obama has not had the greatest run in the polls on handling the economy. But new data from ABC News and the Washington Post shows that if Americans have to chose between him and congressional GOP on creating new jobs, then it's not really a contest.

Obama has jumped fifteen points ahead of congressional Republicans on who Americans trust more the create jobs following a Presidential push for his jobs bill and deficit reduction passage. The poll shows that 49 percent of Americans trust Obama more on the issue, while 34 percent go for the congressional GOP. Just a month ago that number was locked at 40 for each, after a summer of downward markets and an almost-default, which was quickly followed up with palatable disgust toward policymakers in Washington.

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As we reported last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) proposed a 5% surtax on those earning over $1 million per year in order to pay for President Obama’s American Jobs Act. The proposal would raise $445 billion over 10 years, sufficient to cover the proposed spending in the president’s jobs plan.

Mr. Reid said during the announcement on Wednesday that his proposal would “have the richest of the rich pay a little bit more…for job creation to ensure the country’s economic success.”

Signs of life from the Rick Perry campaign, which is set to announce an impressive $17 million haul over the last quarter.

The number, first reported by Politico, is almost as much as Romney's $18 million haul in his first fundraising quarter.

Money was never expected to be a problem for Perry, who was a prodigious fundraiser in Texas. In addition to his own campaign cash, a Super PAC run by his former chief of staff, Mike Toomey could prove a major force by collecting unlimited donations from Perry's most loyal backers, a list that includes a number of ultra-wealthy Republican donors.

But given that his campaign is crashing in the polls, anything short of a strong quarter would have been a huge blow to the campaign. Instead, Perry will have plenty of money to make a serious effort at reviving his campaign before the Iowa caucuses.