TPM News

Rick Santorum really does not like the political activism that gay people have launched against him, ever since his 2003 remarks comparing the legalization of gay sex and gay marriage to pedophilia, bestiality and incest.

"So the gay community said, 'He's comparing gay sex to incest and polygamy, how dare he do this,' and they have gone out on a, I would argue, jihad against Rick Santorum since then," Santorum said at a campaign event in Spartanburg, S.C., on Friday, The Hill reports.

There is a certain irony here, in that radical Islamists -- like Santorum himself -- would want to see homosexuality outlawed. And it is Santorum's prior remarks on that subject that have led to the situation that he is complaining about.

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While much of the eastern seaboard dries out from Hurricane Irene, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has found herself in hot water over the claim she made in Florida over the weekend that the storm and last week's historic earthquake were sent by God to wake up politicians in Washington to the views of the tea party.

Bachmann's campaign says the whole thing was a joke, and that's certainly how CNN played it this morning.

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By Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield

The City of Chicago has put so much time and money into supporting electric cars that Nissan has decided to reward Illinois by moving forward the planned Chicago launch of its Leaf electric hatchback to this Fall.

In February this year, Gov. Quinn of Illinois signed a bill investing $1 million in electric car infrastructure throughout the Chicagoland area, installing a network of 280 electric vehicle charging stations throughout the city and surrounding areas.

The charging network -- installed in collaboration with commercial electric charging infrastructure 350Green -- includes plans for 73 rapid charging stations and 207 Level 2 fast charging stations.

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President Barack Obama Monday announced his selection of Princeton economist Alan Krueger as his choice to succeed Austan Goolsbee as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.

Krueger served as the top economist at the Treasury Department during the first two years of Obama's presidency and previously as Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the Labor Department during the Clinton administration.

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As TPM reported recently, emails sent and received by Florida Gov. Rick Scott's (R) transition team were accidentally deleted, apparently in violation of state standards. But it wasn't clear when they were deleted, or how.

Now the Miami Herald reports some new details: Scott's transition team knew the emails were missing as early as March. Rackspace, a private company handling the emails, notified the transition team that no records existed from almost all the accounts that had been closed, including Scott's, the Herald reports. Scott has said he only learned within the past couple weeks that the emails couldn't be recovered.

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When Congress returns from recess, House Republicans will begin a continuous assault on a series of health, environmental and labor regulations, which they say are hampering job creation. And they'll twin it with two tax cuts for both large and small businesses. One of those cuts will actually be aimed at preventing a scheduled tax increase -- but it's not the payroll tax cut President Obama has asked Congress to extend.

In a memo to members, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) laid out a list of 10 rules, most of which have yet to be implemented, which they'll seek to prevent week by week. These include regulations that would limit the amount of mercury and other toxins boiler and incinerator operators can burn into the atmosphere; that could make it easier for workers to unionize; and that assure that employer insurance policies exempted from new health care law -- so-called "grandfathered" plans -- meet the law's basic requirements and aren't gamed by employers to reduce workers' existing benefits.

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Women in large hats released white doves and yellow confetti filled the air outside the State Department on Friday, as supporters of an Iranian opposition group that the U.S. officially considers a terrorist organization rallied to get the group off the list designating them as such.

"Ode to Joy" played from massive speakers as former Rep. Patrick Kennedy introduced the leader of the Mujahedin-e Khalq, or MEK, a group that the State Department puts on a list that includes Al-Qaeda and Hamas. He didn't hold back on the rhetorical flourishes.

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Starting in 2009, the current Republican Congressional majority rode into power on a wave of voter frustration voiced through organized protest at town halls. So it's perhaps out of fear that the same thing will happen to their majority in 2012 that Republicans found new and novel ways to stifle the voices of constituents who might criticize them.

All across the country, Republican members of Congress have done their best to duck their critics this August, traditionally the month when town halls can become heated and policy agendas shifted. But with congressional and Republican approval ratings way, way down, it seems the GOP is preoccupied with quieting those who might criticize them over facing the music back home.

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It seems that the Tea Party's governing style, most clearly on display during the debt ceiling fight in Congress, has taken a toll on Americans' view of the movement. Polls have been showing a drop in its approval, and a new AP/GfK poll shows that its unfavorable rating has seen a sharp rise. 46 percent of those surveyed said they have a negative view of the Tea Party movement, versus 28 who say they view it favorably.

The last time the AP conducted a national poll on Americans' favorability of Tea Partiers was in their pre-governing period: throughout 2010 the conservative movement was viewed slightly unfavorably but the splits were close. In June of 2010 it even earned a positive rating, with 33 percent of over 1,000 adults surveyed finding the movement favorable against 30 percent. In the last AP rating, taken Nov. 3-8, 2010, directly after the 2010 election, the split stood at a slim negative rating of 32 percent favorable against 36 unfavorable.

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