TPM News

Well, we all thought we'd heard the last of Donald Trump when he was laughed out of the room after President Obama knee-capped his main presidential platform by producing his much talked about birth certificate.

However, it seems that in the roller-coaster of the 2012 GOP primary, Trump has emerged as some sort of king-maker. Candidates have flocked to his side, eager to get his endorsement (or whatever else they talk about over pizza) and The Donald is even hosting his own Presidential debate.

Evan McMorris-Santoro combs his way through the story.

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A chief of staff to former Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich (R) was found guilty on Tuesday on four counts, including election fraud, for his role in setting up robocalls intended to surpress minority voting turnout in the final hours of Election Day last year.

Paul Schurick's trial took place in Baltimore Circuit Court, where he was brought up on charges of conspiracy, election fraud and a charge relating to his failure to include a disclosure on the robocall that it was authorized by the campaign. He had been indicted by state prosecutors alongside Julius Henson in June.

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Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) has a new TV ad, his third thus far in the effort to persuade voters not to sign petitions to recall him from office.

This ad features an elementary school teacher, coming to the defense of Walker’s state budget — which has inflamed public employee unions (especially teachers) with its rollback of collective bargaining — by crediting it with preventing layoffs: “I don’t agree with Governor Walker on everything. But thanks to his budget reforms, hundreds of teachers like me still have a job.”



President Obama offered one of his most detailed critiques yet of the GOP's bedrock philosophy, likening them to a long line of discredited political movements who opposed taxes on the wealthy and regulations on business.

"I believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share, and when everyone plays by the same rules," Obama told a crowd at a high school in Osawatomie, Kansas. "Those aren't Democratic or Republican values; 1% values or 99% values. They're American values, and we have to reclaim them."

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Scientists have given up on any hope of regaining even minimal control over Russia's wayward spacecraft Phobos-Grunt, which successfully launched for Martian moon Phobos on November 8, only to lose contact with engineers shortly thereafter and fail to boost out of Earth's orbit, where it currently remains trapped.

The craft may now be breaking apart. At least two pieces of debris believed to have separated from the Phobos Grunt were reportedly detected by the U.S. Army's Strategic Command, according to the Moscow Times on Tuesday, citing a report from news and intelligence outlet Interfax.

We've reached out to the U.S. Strategic Command for more information and will update when we receive a response.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011. 2:16pm Eastern Time

The White House has released the text of President Obama's speech in Osawatomie, Kansas. Here are the full remarks, as prepared for delivery:

Good afternoon. I want to start by thanking a few of the folks who've joined us today. We've got the mayor of Osawatomie, Phil Dudley; your superintendent, Gary French; the principal of Osawatomie High, Doug Chisam. And I've brought your former governor, who's now doing an outstanding job as our Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius.



It is great to be back in the state of Kansas. As many of you know, I've got roots here. I'm sure you're all familiar with the Obamas of Osawatomie. Actually, I like to say that I got my name from my father, but I got my accent - and my values - from my mother. She was born in Wichita. Her mother grew up in Augusta. And her father was from El Dorado. So my Kansas roots run deep.

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Jon Huntsman used to believe climate change is real. Now he's not so sure.

In a move that's sure to endear him to the conservatives who are starting to warm up to the former Utah governor, Huntsman said Tuesday under questioning from TPM that he now believes there's "more debate yet to play out" before we can be sure climate change is really happening.

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Update at 13:43 Eastern: Yahoo has changed its explanation of how it came to be on the call. In an earlier version, the reporter said access was gained "via a clerical error." That's now been shifted to " Yahoo News was invited to attend because of a mistake by someone on the staff of the Republican National Committee." It's possible, then, that this should be taken with a pinch of salt, and that perhaps these words *were* indeed intended to be overheard.

With election season upon us, Republican strategists are urging party surrogates not to attack President Obama personally. Although that approach may be tempting given his low approval ratings they warn it could backfire because voters "feel sorry for him."

On a conference call Tuesday run by Nicholas Thompson, Vice President of Tarrance Group -- which Yahoo News "accessed via a clerical error" -- Thompson warned that though Obama's overall approval is low, his personal approval ratings are quite high. Voters "don't think he's an evil man who's out to change the United States," explained Thompson, and Republicans should "exercise some caution" when going after him personally.

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