TPM News

Updated September 18, 2011 1.15 EST Protestors and hacktivists of all stripes filled the streets of lower Manhattan Saturday as they sought to register their ongoing anger at what they see as the influence of big financial institutions over politics and everyday life in the United States. The protests, dubbed Occupy Wall Street, were organized through Twitter, the magazine web site Adbusters and under the banner of "Anonymous" at various sites online, and were planned for several other cities around the world we well.

New York City Police wouldn't give TPM's Idea Lab any crowd estimates, but they apparently showed up in force to keep things under control and to protect the bronze bull in Bowling Green Park, which has often been the target of anti-Wall Street wrath in the past.

A Livestream broadcast of the streets around Bowling Green Park showed a rowdy, circus-like atmosphere with people conducting yoga lessons in the park, and a choir singing behind a protest sign. The sound of police sirens blared in the background, against chants of "All day, all week, occupy Wall Street!"

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Earlier this week, it seemed Rick Perry was going to put the Ponzi scheme away forever. But have no fear, America: it's back in Perry's repertoire.

After taking a hammering from Mitt Romney and his rivals for using the metaphor to describe Social Security, Perry dialed things back a bit in a USA Today op-ed. The words "Ponzi scheme" didn't appear, and Perry focused his attention on promising the retired and retiring that he's not out to touch their entitlement. (The rest of us are not so lucky, however. Perry has talked about raising the retirement age to as high as 70 for workers 45 years old and younger, and/or scrapping the current system entirely in favor of state-run retirement schemes.)

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Updated 8.48 am ET, Saturday, September 17

That's one way to burn a bridge.

TechCrunch writer Paul Carr, one of the website's most vocal and consistent critics of its relationship with corporate parent AOL, posted his resignation "letter," on the blog late Friday, lambasting new editor Erick Schonfeld for "f***[ing] over... the whole of TechCrunch" and comparing him to a "crying baby."

Schonfeld has been on the job less than a week.

Carr begins the post with a Hunter S. Thomspon quote, explaining that his resignation from the popular gadget blog should come as little surprise since he himself threatened to resign on September 8 unless departing editor and founder Michael Arrington (who was fired from the blog by AOL's chief of content Arianna Huffintgon due to a perceived conflict of interest between Arrington's editorial integrity and the new startup fund he launched) was allowed to choose his successor.

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Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) in a lengthy memo to House Republicans laid out areas of potential compromise with President Obama's jobs bill and even thanked the White House at one point for beginning to back away from an "all or nothing approach" to passing it.

"For the sake of 14 million Americans who are currently unemployed and the more than 4 million who have been unemployed for more than a year, we are pleased that the White House has begun to back away from that extreme," Boehner wrote in the letter sent late Friday afternoon.

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The FBI may or may not have psychological profiles of certain members of Anonymous -- but they definitely won't be found in this document, which has been making the rounds online lately.

An FBI spokesman speaking to Threat Post debunked the idea that the report originated from its training academy in Quantico, Virginia, as the fake document maintains.

The document was first "leaked" on Friday, September 8 by an Anonymous Tumblr account and Twitter. It circulated around the web, although most were quick to point out that it is replete with typos, grammar errors and other copy errors unbefitting of an actual FBI report.

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As quickly as the Republican presidential candidates are distancing themselves from the most memorable moment at Monday's CNN/Tea Party Express debate, progressive groups are working to make sure it doesn't fall down the memory hole.

On Friday, MoveOn fired up a powerful new rapid response campaign aimed at tying the GOP candidates to the members of the debate crowd who cheered the idea of letting an uninsured man die rather than provide him with goverment-funded care.

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The James Webb Space Telescope -NASA's overbudget, delayed successor to the Hubble Space Telescope- will see the light of day the stars after all in 2018, if all goes according to plan, thanks to a lifeline thrown out to it by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

A detailed report on the 2012 science budget resolution released by its Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Friday clarified that although NASA's overall budget is slated to be slashed by 2.8 percent in 2012 (from $18.5 billion to $17.9,) the agency will actually receive even more money that it asked for specifically to continue building the giant, infrared orbital telescope.

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has spoken publicly on the apparent investigation of former aides from his time as Milwaukee County Executive -- saying that he does not know any of the details.

"We don't know what exactly is involved," Walker told the Associated Press on Friday, when asked at an unrelated event in Milwaukee.

He also added: "Until we know, obviously it's a concern but again, I don't know any more details than what I've seen reported in the media outlets around the state."

The "John Doe" investigation -- a secret proceeding in which witnesses can be subpoenaed to testify under oath, but are forbidden from talking publicly about the case -- is reported to have originally stemmed from a staffer resigning in 2010, when she was found using her county time to post reader comments on online newspaper article promoting Walker's gubernatorial candidacy and criticizing his opponents.

While Rick Perry has been touting his record of creating jobs in Texas as a key reason he'd make a great president, it turns out employment numbers aren't so peachy in his homestate either.

NBC's Michael Isikoff reports that the Texas unemployment rate "increased to 8.5% in August -- the highest level in more than 24 years and more than twice the rate when Perry took office in December 2000."

That's still below the 9.1 percent average nationwide. But remember how the latest national figures showed zero job growth? Well Perry's Texas lost territory, shedding 1,300 in August. The private sector added 8,100 jobs, but the public sector lost 9,400.

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