TPM News

California Senate candidate Carly Fiorina, a former Hewlett Packard chief executive, is under fire for suggesting bankruptcy should be a possibility for the cash-strapped state.

Fiorina's rivals jumped on comments she made to local business leaders in the Southern California city of Colton as quoted by the Riverside Press-Enterprise: "Whether that is the right approach now, I don't know. I think bankruptcy, as a possibility, at the very least focuses the mind on what has to be done to salvage a situation." They attacked her as unprepared since states under federal law cannot declare bankruptcy.

She told the Sacramento Bee that she understands that "technicality."

"Sure, I knew, but what cold comfort is that to all these California voters who may not know that technicality but who are sitting here knowing that by any common-sense definition, this state can't pay its bills," Fiorina told The Bee.

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After Fox News happily concluded that recent snowstorms debunk global warming theories, Stephen Colbert followed the network's example: 'It is dark outside,' he said, so 'we can only assume the sun has been destroyed.'

He continued: "It's only a matter of time before the mole people emerge from the center of the earth to enslave us in 'Forevernight.' Thanks a lot Al Gore."

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A lawsuit filed by two former employees of Blackwater charges that the controversial security contractor defrauded the U.S. government, including charging it for strippers and prostitutes, the New York Times reports.

Perhaps the most explosive charge in the lawsuit -- filed by a married couple, Brad and Melan Davis, is that the company put a Filipino prostitute in Afghanistan on its payroll under the "Morale Welfare Recreation" category, then billed the government for her salary and plane tickets.

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Chances that a job bill will pass the Senate before President's Day recess are hovering near zero.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has suggested that if an agreement can't be reached by week's end, he might keep the Senate in session through the weekend. And one Senate aide says that remains a distinct possibility. But even if that happens, Reid himself says, with over a dozen legislators frozen out of town by a major snow storm, there's almost no way they can get it done.

"I doubt seriously there will be any votes this week," Reid said on the Senate floor late Tuesday.

Reid has been under serious pressure from both Democratic members of Congress, and the White House--desperate for a political feather-in-the-cap--to get a package through before next week's break. But that's hard when one of the only Republicans who's been constructively engaged in designing the bill--Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)--is stuck at home, unable to fly into a snow-locked DC.

Looks like it'll have to wait.

Obama: Administration Are 'Fierce Advocates' For Free Market In an interview with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, President Obama described his administration as "fierce advocates" of the free market. "The irony is, is that on the left we are perceived as being in the pockets of big business; and then on the business side, we are perceived as being anti-business," said Obama. "You would be hard-pressed to identify a piece of legislation that we have proposed out there that, net, is not good for businesses."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama and Vice President Biden will receive the presidential daily briefing at 11:15 a.m. ET. Obama will meet with senior advisers at 12 p.m. ET. Obama will sign the economic Report of the President at 1:30 p.m. ET. Obama and Biden will meet with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner at 3 p.m. ET, and with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at 3:30 p.m. ET. Obama will meet at 4 p.m. ET with the 2009 and 2010 March of Dimes Ambassadors.

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Sarah Palin has upped her national profile in recent weeks, but a new poll shows that the extra attention hasn't done her any favors. In the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, the amount of people with a favorable view of Palin has dropped to its lowest point ever recorded by the pollster. More than 70% of respondents said she's not qualified to be president.

Palin's numbers don't improve much when just Republicans are asked to give their opinion of her, the poll found.

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Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) sent a letter last year asking the Fed to make a ruling that would have saved a New Jersey bank whose chairman gave $30,000 to the senator in the past decade, the Wall Street Journal reports.

In a statement to the Journal, Menendez said he was properly representing his constituents' interests when he asked the Fed to approve the sale of First BankAmericano to another bank.

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President Obama has been hammered all day for Bloomberg's portrayal of his sentiment about big banker bonuses in a recent interview, and the White House communications team took to the blog to hit back.

White House aides said the headline ("Obama Doesn't 'Begrudge' Bonuses for Blankfein, Dimon") "made it sound like the President brushed off the impact of bonuses and applauded the role of bankers."

Reporters asked Obama about two top business executives for JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, and the story quotes Obama as saying: "I know both those guys; they are very savvy businessmen. ... I, like most of the American people, don't begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free-market system."

Jen Psaki argued the headline on the Bloomberg interview "is not an accurate portrayal of where the President stands or what he said during the interview."

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As long as it's Miranda day around here: there's something in danger of being lost in all the chuckling today over Newt Gingrich's misidentification of shoebomber Richard Reid as an American citizen.

The fact is, non-citizens have the same rights under the U.S. criminal justice system as citizens. Non-citizens must be read their Miranda rights before so-called "custodial interrogation" by the police, just like anyone else.

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Fox News took advantage of today's East Coast blizzard to prove some point or other about Al Gore on Cavuto this afternoon. Guest host Eric Bolling did color commentary as a copy of Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" was placed outside Fox News HQ to prove, it seems, that today's record-breaking snowfall that shut down infrastructure in at least three major cities proves that Gore's climate change warnings are without merit.

"Poor Al Gore," Bolling told viewers as the snow piled up around Gore's book on air. "We should get a camera outside his house."

Video after the jump.

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