TPM News

Coming off a dramatic and highly successful entry into the 2012 Republican nomination race, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) escalated his rhetoric against Washington and the Obama administration today by calling Fed Chair Ben Bernanke's emergency economic policies "almost treasonous."

Asked about the Federal Reserve, Perry told a questioner at a campaign stop in Iowa that if Bernanke "prints more money between now and the election I don't know what you'all would do to him in Iowa but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas."

Perry went on to suggest that a continuation of Bernanke's policies -- a so-called third round of quantitative easing -- would be "almost treasonous."

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Once upon a time, Google was run like a playground; it was the sort of place where you'd get points for attending the Burning Man hippie drug fest. Under new CEO Larry Page, we're seeing a more ruthless Google -- the sort of company perfect comfortable turning its business partners into creepy sock puppets today.

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Anyone who wants to protest a military funeral in Illinois will have to do so from a distance of 300 feet, according to a new measure Gov. Pat Quinn (D) signed on Sunday.

The legislation is an expansion of the "Let Them Rest in Peace Act," one of Quinn's "top initiatives", press secretary Annie Thompson told TPM. The extension expands on the law's previous 200-foot barrier.

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The Justice Department suffered a major setback last week when a federal jury in Alabama tossed out most of the charges in a massive public corruption case involving casino interests allegedly bribing state senators to support a bill legalizing bingo in the state.

But federal prosecutors indicated Monday that they'll give it another go on the charges that weren't unanimously acquitted. A judge has scheduled a new trial for October.

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Tim Pawlenty's exit leaves behind a whole campaign's worth of free agents ready to be scooped up by the remaining candidates. And the process is already beginning: according to the New Hampshire Union Leader, Pawlenty's NH state director, Sarah Crawford Stewart, is joining up with Jon Huntsman.

"Governor Huntsman is committed to winning the New Hampshire primary, and I look forward to helping him and his team do just that," Stewart told the paper. "I viewed Gov. Huntsman as somebody with exceptional governing experience. And I viewed him as someone who would be the strongest competitor against President Obama in a general election."

Huntsman has yet to make much of an impact in the race despite his impressive credentials as a former governor of Utah and ambassador to China.

Congress may be out, but that doesn't mean President Obama can't score some political points from its inertia.

He's been doing that since the end of June, repeating at virtually each public appearance a mantra-like list of actions that Congress could do "right now" to help the economy.

The President was at it again Monday, speaking to an audience in Cannon Falls, Minnesota. Trade deals, rebuilding projects, red-tape slashing... President Obama said these were all things Congress could tackle "right now," or at the very least once it's back in session.

One item he included in that list is shaping up to be a key part of the White House's strategy in the coming months: the payroll tax holiday.

Contrary to conservative smears against the President as a tax-raising liberal, this is a tax break he is battling to keep in the face of Republican opposition.

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By John Voelcker

It's widely accepted in the auto industry that all manufacturers game the test cycles used to establish emissions and gas-mileage ratings. Ask auto engineers about the topic, and they tend to get a faraway look and go silent.

But the test cycles established in 1978 and used ever since are far from the reality of U.S. driving in 2011. This means the results have to be manipulated using various "adjustment factors" to have any semblance of real-world relevance.

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