TPM News

Updated 11/15/11 at 3:04 PM The good news: Mitt Romney boasts an impressive stable of well-respected, non-partisan policy advisers. The bad news: they earned that non-partisan reputation for a reason. Now one of his top economic experts, Glenn Hubbard, is calling for a boost to infrastructure and education spending to turn around the economy even as Romney is proposing deep cuts.

Hubbard offered the advice unprompted in an interview with The Washington Post's Ezra Klein after he was asked what the US could do to jumpstart growth.

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Several local news outlets are reporting a shooting at UC Berkeley’s Haas Business School. KQED reports a statement from the UC Berkeley police:



There was a shooting at Haas Business School. Police are on scene and eveything is under control. Please avoid the area; find secure ind.



A text alert from the school claims a suspect is in custody, according to the same report.

Updated 3:47 pm ET, Tuesday, November 15

The first hearing on the controversial bipartisan Stop Online Piracy Act is to take place on Wednesday, November 16 at 10 am in the House Judiciary Committee.

The hearing itself has become controversial, with some critics calling it a dog-and-pony show that won't feature any meaningful dissent as orchestrated by the bill's Congressional sponsors, including Judiciary Committee Chair Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and ranking member Rep. John Coyners (D-MI), who are also those in charge of the hearing.

The official list of witnesses currently scheduled for the hearing include five speakers, one each from the U.S. Copyright Office, Pfizer, the Motion Picture Association of America, MasterCard, Google and the AFL-CIO. As TechDirt's Mike Masnick put it: "[T]he Committee is ... so afraid to actually hear about the real opposition that they've lined up five pro-SOPA speakers and only one 'against.'" (That one being Google.)

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The Des Moines Register reports that Herman Cain is defending his now-infamous moment from Monday, when he paused and seemed uncertain while answering a question about Libya from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

“First of all, you need to understand what happened at the editorial board,” said Cain. “Being in a room where you’re being asked question after question on different topic after different topic, I paused. And I don’t understand why that pause created so much quote-unquote controversy.

“I paused to gather my thoughts. I have never not taken responsibility for what some people perceive as mishaps, missteps or whatever the case may be. In that particular case, I paused to gather my thoughts. And in any other instance where I may have said something that may have been misinterpreted, I have always corrected myself.”

Here's why you should be worried about the spiraling demise of the Euro.

Travis J. Berge, Early Elias, and Oscar Jorda, Economists at the Federal Reserve Board of San Francisco, have analyzed the domestic and international factors that threaten the American economy. What they found suggests that the risk of another recession in the next several months is alarmingly high -- and largely out of our control. Downside risks within the U.S. are pretty low, but taken together with external factors, particularly the escalating crisis in Europe, the likelihood of another U.S. recession jumps above 50 percent.

Here's the graph:

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Newt Gingrich made some pretty bold claims at last week's Republican debate when asked about a $300,000 consulting gig he took with Freddie Mac in 2006. First off, he said, he was merely there as an "historian." Second, he warned them that the subprime mortgage market was about to set off a financial collapse. Neither of those are true, according to former Freddie Mac officials.

"My advice as an historian when they walked in and said we are now making loans to people that have no credit history and have no record of paying back anything but that's what the government wants us to do," Gingrich said in the CNBC debate. "I said at the time, this is a bubble. This is insane. This is impossible. It turned out unfortunately I was right and the people who were doing exactly what Congresswoman Bachmann talked about were wrong."

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The Hill reports that a new Massachusetts labor-backed super-PAC, called Rethink, has spent $150,000 for an online ad buy against Republican Sen. Scott Brown.

The ad buy will link from Massachusetts news pages, to an anti-Brown Web site and two Web videos:







Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) thinks it's time America's millionaires pay their fair share.

And in a new report -- titled "Subsidizing the Rich and Famous" -- Coburn makes an argument for closing loopholes for millionaires. "From tax write-offs for gambling losses, vacation homes, and luxury yachts to subsidies for their ranches and estates, the government is subsidizing the lifestyles of the rich and famous," Coburn writes in the report. "This welfare for the well-off -- costing billions of dollars a year -- is being paid for with the taxes of the less fortunate, many who are working two jobs just to make ends meet, and IOUs to be paid off by future generations."

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