TPM News

Rick Perry describes himself in his introduction as “an authentic conservative… not a conservative of convenience.”

Strange that CNN insists on opening its debates with a rendition of the national anthem, but Fox doesn’t.

CNN opens with a bizarre “western” intro, replete with cowboys, cattle, and rolling plains. These are the kind of issues that matter in ‘12… 1812, that is.

As Herman Cain has climbed in the polls, lawmakers and other GOP presidential candidates have had to contend more seriously with his ideas. One of the main attacks his opponents have leveled against his 9-9-9 tax plan is that it won't fly in Congress.

True story. Today's GOP leaders aren't willing to embrace the plan, which would wipe out the current tax code and replace it with a nine percent tax on individual income, a nine percent tax on corporate income, and a nine percent sales tax.

As noted here, here, and here, the plan has a lot of problems. It's deeply regressive. As businesses passed on the cost of their share of the tax to consumers, it would hit low and middle income earners exceptionally hard at a time when the economy desperately needs more, not less, consumption. And part of it's probably unconstitutional, at least as Cain envisions it.

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Forget "Jersey Shore." MTV knows where the real action in the tristate area is, which is why the company has apparently issued a casting call for "Real Word: Zuccotti Park."

According to a Craigslist ad posted on Monday night, MTV's seminal series about the (oft-drunken) misdaventures of young 20-somethings in ______ (insert urban setting of your choice here) is seeking members of the 99 percent to participate in a forthcoming season. (H/T: New York Observer.)

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deported more illegal immigrants in fiscal year 2011 than in any other year in its history, the agency announced Tuesday.

Overall, the agency removed 396,906 individuals, nearly 55 percent (or 216,698) of whom had been convicted of felonies or misdemeanors, ICE said. That group included 1,119 illegal immigrants convicted of homicide and "5,848 aliens convicted of sexual offenses; 44,653 aliens convicted of drug related crimes; and 35,927 aliens convicted of driving under the influence," according to ICE.

"Smart and effective immigration enforcement relies on setting priorities for removal and executing on those priorities," ICE Director John Morton said in a statement.

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While Occupy Wall Street may not have a 59 point plan to improve the economy or even a new tax structure in slogan form, their general message is clear enough. OWS protesters are upset with income inequality and pervasive unemployment, while some parts of the economy -- read: the financial sector -- have continued to do well (although Tuesday's earnings report from Goldman Sachs shows that even financial firms are feeling the pressure).

But a new USA Today/Gallup poll shows that this feeling is not reserved to just young people currently occupying Wall Street. 44 percent of American adults in the new survey say that the current economic structure is "personally unfair to them," hinting that overall frustration with the economy is not so much defined as pro or anti-capitalist as the accepted American belief, but that it's just not working particularly well.

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Mitt Romney's answer to the wave of home foreclosures might not play too well with swing-state voters. In an interview on Monday with the Las Vegas Review Journal -- located in the state of Nevada, where the economy has been particularly damaged by the collapse of real estate -- Romney spoke out against stopping foreclosures.

"As to what to do for the housing industry specifically -- and are there things that you can do to encourage housing? One is, don't try and stop the foreclosure process," said Romney. "Let it run its course, and hit the bottom, allow investors to buy up homes, put renters in them, fix the homes up, and let it turn around and come back up.

"The Obama administration has slow-walked the foreclosure process that long existed, and as a result we still have a foreclosure overhang.

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