TPM News

Life must be pretty sweet if you're an oppo researcher in the Romney camp right now. The immigration issue has created a big opening against Perry. And *someone* has just found Romney some neat old footage of a former Mexican president effusively praising Rick Perry for doing something the GOP base hates.

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Getting the federal government "out of peoples' lives" has been a Republican talking point for decades. Of course, that attack works optimally when the person in charge is a Democrat.

New data from Gallup looks at perceptions of government intervention within the lives of individuals and business, and yes, the number of people who think the federal government is too involved is high. But the remarkable bit about the survey is just how high, and how that perception is related to political circumstance as well. The numbers show that the day President Obama took his seat in the Oval Office, the percentage of Republicans who thought the government was too powerful climbed, and kept climbing through 2009 and 2010. At the same time, Democrats, who had thought the same about the federal government when President George W. Bush was in office (although not as much as Republicans do now), also did an about-face, with far fewer saying the new Obama Administration had too much power.

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Jon Stewart on Thursday condemned the New York police officer who maced several protesters participating in the "Occupying Wall Street" demonstration, but not before having a bit of fun with the story.

"Who was this human crop-duster, raining habanero misery on the crowd?" Stewart asked.

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Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren is emerging as a national figure that one group of progressives says can rally the left-wing base next year.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee rolled out a new round of endorsements Friday, aiming to drive national money and attention to three more House candidates they say will help push the Democratic caucus in Washington to the left. The PCCC is labeling the three "Warren's Allies."

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NBC reporter Alexandra Moe is following former Speaker Newt Gingrich as he campaigns in Iowa today. She just sent out the following tweet:

“‘My campaign is really a cultural campaign with a political component,’ Gingrich tells crowd of 100+ at #Iowa State University.”

Speaking to WLS Radio, Senate Majority Whip. Dick Durban (D-IL) admitted that his party doesn’t have the votes necessary to pass President Obama’s jobs bill.

Asked if the Democrats have the votes to pass the bill, Durbin replied: “Not at the moment, I don’t think we do but, uh, we can work on it.”

The problem?

“The oil-producing state senators don’t like eliminating or reducing the subsidy for oil companies, "Durbin admits. "There are some senators who are up for election who say I’m never gonna vote for a tax increase while I’m up for election, even on the wealthiest people. So, we’re not gonna have 100% Democratic senators. That’s why it needs to be bi-partisan and I hope we can find some Republicans who will join us to make it happen.”

The state of Florida’s special committee has officially voted to hold the state’s presidential primary on January 31, violating the RNC rules mandating that the state hold its contest no earlier than March 6.

The move is sure to trigger retaliations by the official early primary and caucus states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, thus moving the primaries into early January.

Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) released a statement on Friday congratulating the US military, intelligence community and even President Obama on the killing of al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki.

“The death of American-raised al Qaida leader Anwar al-Awlaki is an important victory in the war on terror,” Perry wrote.

“We must remain vigilant, and make sure we bring every resource and tool to bear in the fight to keep Americans safe,” he concludes.

Speaking on CNBC Friday morning, billionaire investor Warren Buffett said he doesn’t fully endorse the details of President Obama’s proposed “Buffett Rule” because he hasn’t seen them yet, but not that he rejects it outright.

“Well, the precise program, I don’t know what their program will be,” Buffett said. “My program would be on the very high incomes that are taxed very low — not just high incomes. If you make 50 million appearing on television, that income won’t change, but if they make a lot of money and pay a low tax rate, like me, it would be changed by a minimum tax.”

Asked if that meant he doesn’t support the President’s jobs plan which would enact a tax hike on the wealthy, Buffett demurred, saying that “my program is to have a tax on ultra-rich people who are paying very low tax rates. Not just all the rich people. It probably would apply for 50,000 people.” Story and video to come soon.

Following the recent repeal of DADT, the Pentagon announced on Friday that it would permit military chaplains to perform same-sex unions, whether on or off a military installation. The military will not require chaplains to do so if it would conflict with his or her religious or personal beliefs.

Some in Congress have argued that allowing military chaplains to perform such services would violate the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.

The ruling is sure to spark a new round of debate amongst the GOP candidates.

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