TPM News

Former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman now says he will not compete in Iowa for his potential presidential run -- and leaders in Iowa aren't thrilled by his open snubbing of the state.

As ABC News reported over the weekend, Huntsman spoke to a crowd in New Hampshire:

"I'm not competing in Iowa for a reason. I don't believe in subsidies that prop up corn, soybeans and ethanol,"Huntsman said, according to multiple news sources at the event.

Huntsman, the former ambassador to China, continued, "I think they destroy the global marketplace.... We probably won't be spending a whole lot of time in Iowa. I guess I understand how the politics work there."


Now, the Des Moines Register reports, Iowa Republicans are firing back.

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Newly minted GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum is appalled that President Obama would disrespect those who fought at Normandy by not trusting them to make their own health care decisions. "Those Americans risked everything so they could make that decision on their health care plan," he said Monday.

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With Republicans on the ropes when it comes to defending their proposal to privatize Medicare, a group of Senate Democrats is hoping to deliver a body blow to GOP plans to push for the proposal in talks about reducing the nation's spiraling debt.

Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Charles Schumer (D-NY) on Monday called for Republicans to take Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) plan for Medicare off the table in ongoing bipartisan deficit-reduction talks.

"We owe it to our children and our grandchildren to pay down the debt but not at the expense of our seniors' healthcare," Brown told reporters on a conference call. "Ending Medicare as we know it should not be part of our debt-reduction negotiations."

Ryan's Medicare proposal has sparked a backlash with the public and has been roundly panned in national polls. Some Republicans are already distancing themselves from the plan, but GOP leaders and most of the party's presidential contenders remaining strongly committed to it.

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) on Sunday said his state will not "subsidize" anyone's drug addiction, defending recent legislation requiring welfare applicants to undergo drug testing.

Scott told CNN anchor T.J. Holmes he isn't sure how many welfare recipients are using drugs in Florida, but said "I know it's not right for taxpayer money to be paying for someone's drug addiction."

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A District Court judge in Indiana is now considering whether to grant a preliminary injunction against a new law that strips Indiana Planned Parenthood of all of its federal funding.

Planned Parenthood has requested a preliminary injunction against the law, arguing that without it the state will stop receiving about $1.4 million in Medicaid funding on June 20, and would cut health care services for more than 9,000 people.

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On May 25, MSNBC's Ed Schultz left cable after he called conservative radio host Laura Ingraham a "right wing slut." Tonight, MSNBC says, Schultz makes his "triumphant return to television."

Schultz offered viewers a long apology for his comments about Ingraham, which came not on his primetime show but his daily talk radio program.

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Backing off his earlier stance, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) is warning colleagues that the Treasury Department's deadline to raise the debt ceiling before a catastrophic default is the real deal.

"Secretary Geithner feels August 2 is his deadline," Cantor told ABC News in an interview released on Monday. "I don't question the Secretary of the Treasury other than to say we're trying to get in place real spending reductions -- trillions of dollars of spending reductions -- if the president wants us to increase the credit limit of this country by trillions of dollars."

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It's like Christmas in technoland -- all the geeks are pumped up with anticipation over just what exciting new product features Apple CEO Steve Jobs is going to unveil Monday at Apple's week-long Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Apple announced last week that it would unveil Lion, the next generation of its desktop operating system, iOS 5, its update to it mobile operating system, and discuss details about its brand new cloud computing service, dubbed iCloud.

Some of the cool new features being discussed on the tech blogs include: a new capability that will allow you to back up your data on all of your devices and computers remotely through Time Machine; a new cloud-based music service; more social networking features built into Apple's mobile devices; and a new encryption system for the Apple operating system.

(Disclosure: I'm an occasional contributor to Cult of Mac.)

A Wisconsin judge on Friday granted state election officials further time to review the extensive challenges that Democrats have lodged against the recall petitions targeting three Dem state senators. But also as a key development the six already-certified recall petitions targeting six Republicans were not delayed -- thus making it likely that two sets of recalls will be held on different dates.

Last week the state Government Accountability Board, which oversees elections in Wisconsin, had asked Dane County (Madison) Circuit Court Judge John Markson for an extension on their deadline to certify or reject the three recalls by June 3. The recalls are targeting Democratic state Sens. Dave Hansen, Jim Holperin, and Robert Wirch.

The state Democratic Party had previously said they would stop those three recalls, alleging a "racket" of vast fraud in the Republican efforts. And in that effort, the Dems filed many, many pages of challenges for the board to look at.

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