TPM News

President Obama's speech unveiling his jobs bill was a call to action for Congress. Literal action, in this case, as he's gone on a barnstorming tour of swing states with a simple message repeated over and over: "Pass this bill." So how is the new jobs package playing with Americans? Pretty well, but as before, economic pessimism is reigning right now, and it's a drag on almost all numbers.

But being down on the economy hasn't convinced Americans to hand control over to Republicans: they still trust Obama more on the economy than the Congressional GOP.

CNN and Bloomberg on Wednesday both released polls on reaction to the jobs plan and the economy in general. CNN asked Americans if they agreed with the proposals in Obama's plan, and a plurality said they did: 43 percent favored the bill and 35 were against it. But Bloomberg asked voters if the plan "will or will not help lower the unemployment rate?", which respondents doubted. 40 percent said no, 51 yes.

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The cases are still in their early stages. But bit by bit, the lives and personalities of the suspects arrested and charged in July as members of the 'hackivist' collective 'Anonymous' are coming to light.

The prosecutions, stemming from cyber attacks on PayPal, AT&T, and a law enforcement website, represent the government's first major salvo against a group whose operations it considers an increasing criminal threat, at the same time as its basic construction has remained largely opaque.

But while the charges are clear cut, the potential motives of the accused are less so. Indeed that's the key question. Who are Anonymous, and what do they want, if anything? Is Anonymous even a real organization, or is it an ethos? And does that distinction really matter, when there are real crimes being committed under the Anonymous banner?

One suspect's attorney told TPM that his client believes that he was participating in a legitimate political protest, another relayed the message that he was "concerned about the availability of information in today's society."

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Monday night's Republican presidential debate was truly "an historic event," Jon Stewart said, with a "truly remarkable pairing."

"A fringe, often derided, incompetent bunch of yahoos was finally granted legitimacy by pairing with the tea party," Stewart said.

CNN's "Ameri-gasm" kicked off in true reality-show fashion, dubbing Michele Bachmann the "firebrand" and Jon Huntsman the "diplomat." But after meeting the candidates for the first time, CNN thought it appropriate to introduce them again.

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As U.S. west coast states go, Oregon isn't exactly know for its gnarly waves. Unless, that is, you're in the wave energy business, in which case action off the Oregon coast is as tantalizing as Malibu Beach swells are for California surfers.

Recently, Oregon coastal waters have attracted the interest of some of the world's biggest wave power companies, including New Jersey-based Ocean Power Technologies and Aquamarine Power, based in Scotland.

In 2010, Ocean Power Technologies received nearly $6 million in U.S. Department of Energy funding to scale up its PowerBuoy technology and begin building a utility scale wave energy project off the Oregon coast large enough to provide power for around 400 homes. The Oregon Wave Energy Trust (OWET), a state-funded non-profit tasked with supporting the development of wave power in Oregon, recently awarded Aquamarine Power a $100,000 matching grant to deploy several Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers--devices used to measure wave energy potential--to assess Oregon coastal waters.

Oregon is not alone among U.S. states in wooing wave power companies and exploring the opportunity to help build a potentially lucrative industry; California, Washington, Maryland, and Massachusetts also have a toe in the water. But so far Oregon has emerged as the U.S. leader.

So what makes Oregon such a hot destination for wave power entrepreneurs?

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Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who represented NY-9 for 18 years as a Congressman, told reporters on Wednesday that it would be wrong to take any national implications for 2012 from the GOP’s upset victory.

“The district is not a bellwether district, it’s one of the more conservative districts in New York City,” he said, noting that President Obama won only 55% of the vote in 2008, much less than neighboring districts and the city overall. He added that the demographics there had been trending away from Democrats for some time.



On September 11, a Muslim man going by the name "Tarek G." on Yelp ordered a burger from the Houston restaurant Petrol Station and received it in a "Happy September 11" box complete with an airplane crashing into one of the Twin Towers. Now that's personalized customer service.

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An article published Tuesday night by the Austin American-Statesman alleges that much of Texas first lady Anita Perry's $60k-a-year salary at a nonprofit comes indirectly from Gov. Perry's political donors, large state contractors, and companies with business before the state legislature. An investigation by the paper found that of the 37 major donors to the Texas Association Against Sexual Abuse during the first lady's tenure as a fundraiser for the organization "only three have no ties to the governor or state business."

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The 'Let him die' cheer from Monday night's Republican debate is not going away.

The progressive pro-health care reform group Protect Your Care promised to pressure Republicans over the memorable moment -- when members of the audience cheered on the idea of letting the uninsured die rather than provide them with government-funded care -- and on Wednesday they delivered.

The group has launched LetHimDie.com, a petition site based around debate moderator Wolf Blitzer's debate question that led to cheers. Going along with the site is a online ad campaign that features the face of the Republican candidates with "Would [NAME] Let An Uninsured Man Die?"

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