TPM News

In a historic shift, a Gallup poll released Friday morning finds that for the first time, a majority of Americans suport legalizing same sex marriage.

That result reinforces a trove of recent polls that have produced similar findings, and it furthers a trend of Americans gradually becoming more accepting of legal recognition for same sex couples. It comes as Republicans are taking legal action over the Obama administration's decision to no longer defend parts of the Defense of Marriage Act on grounds of constitutionality.

In the poll, 53% of Americans said they supported same sex marriage, compared to 45% who said they did not. That's almost exactly the opposite of what Gallup found last year, when 53% of Americans opposed same sex marriage, while 44% supported it.

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He's running for president -- but can he save the planet Earth?

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who previously launched a presidential exploratory committee, along with a series of action movie trailer-style campaign videos, is set to officially declare what everyone already knows: he is running for president.

The Associated Press reports:

That's according to an adviser with direct knowledge of the plans. The adviser tells The Associated Press Pawlenty will declare his candidacy at a town hall style event in Des Moines, Iowa. The adviser disclosed the information on condition of anonymity.

Pawlenty will make the announcement in the state with the leadoff nominating caucuses and then head to Florida, New Hampshire, New York and Washington, D.C.

A Pawlenty aide confirmed the news to TPM.

Of course, Pawlenty already sort of let the cat out of the (clear plastic) bag several weeks ago, in an interview with Piers Morgan, when he was asked about whether he would accept the vice-presidential slot on the ticket. "I'm running for President," he said. "I'm not putting my hat in the ring rhetorically or ultimately for Vice President. I'm focused on running for President."

Additional reporting by Evan McMorris-Santoro.

The national Chamber of Commerce is using misleading quotes from the local Tonawanda News in a TV ad to suggest the paper backs Republican Jane Corwin in the NY-26 election, according to the paper. Upset with what they claim is an intentionally phony endorsement, the newspaper's editors are demanding that the Chamber pull the TV ad and that Corwin's campaign disavow it.

"We have not endorsed Corwin -- or any of the candidates, for that matter -- and the Chamber's commercial is a blatant attempt to trick voters into believing we have in order to bolster her credentials," an editorial in the paper today entitled "Chamber Ad A Shameful Misdirection" read.

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Just because bin Laden is dead doesn't mean we have to believe he is, according to Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman.

Hodgman appeared on the program Thursday night and said that even if all the evidence points to bin Laden being dead, Americans should act as if he isn't, in order to protect the war economy from going under. If bin Laden really were dead, there would be no need to keep spending billions of dollars on wars in the Middle East, and thus the economy would suffer another blow.

"War spending is the only sector of the economy thats booming," Hodgman said. "Do you want to risk popping the terror bubble? It's our last bubble."

Hodgman then laid out a detailed case for how bin Laden could still be alive, one that hypothesized that Obama and bin Laden were schoolyard chums years ago in Indonesia.

"We're the country that put a man on the moon, and we're also the country that created the rumor that we did not put a man on the moon," Hodgman said.

Watch the video below:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Osama bin Laden Conspiracy Theory
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

The runoff field is now set for the CA-36 special election, where Rep. Jane Harman (D) resigned her seat, with Democratic Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn set to face Republican businessman Craig Huey, after Democratic California Secretary of State Debra Bowen conceded the second slot to Huey Thursday night.

Huey winning the second slot is something of an upset, as the conventional wisdom had been that Hahn and Bowen would face each other in a Dem vs. Dem runoff. Then on Wednesday, with all election night ballots counted but over 9,800 absentees still outstanding, Huey had a narrow edge of 206 votes over Bowen. But with those remaining ballots being counted, Huey's lead over Bowen increased to over 750.

The runoff will be held on July 12. The district in its current form is strongly Democratic, and has only been getting more so over the past decade: It voted 64%-36% for Barack Obama in 2008, 59%-40% for John Kerry in 2004, and 55%-37% for Al Gore in 2000.

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If you thought Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) dropped out of the Gang of Six deficit talks because of all the heat he's taken from anti-tax zealots in the conservative movement, think again. The Oklahoma Republican -- and one of the only Republicans with enough credibility among conservatives to sell the idea of higher revenues to rank and file members of his party -- still says higher revenues have to be part of any consensus package to reduce deficits and debt over the long term.

"[R]ealistically we cannot solve our problems unless we generate growth in this country, and the only way we're going to do that is back off on a lot of regulations, create a tax structure that's going to cause investment to happen, and get dynamic returns that actually increase the revenues coming to the federal government," Coubrn said on CNBC Thursday evening. "We can't do it all by eliminating large sections and duplicate spending and waste. We can do a large portion of it, but there has to be some revenue component to that, and anybody that says that's not the case, I think they're just wrong and they're not thinking about the long-term health of our country."

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Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), the national Tea Party movement star who is considering a run for president, is doing some serious reading before she makes her final decision -- namely, cautionary tales about presidential candidates who destroyed themselves.

As MinnPost reports, Bachmann has read Game Change by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, and The Politician by former John Edwards aide Andrew Young. And she's taken some lessons from them:

"'Game Change' is a book that is very difficult to put down, at least I found it difficult to put down, and it gives a person pause," Bachmann said. "But the other thing that it does, I think, is it informed me of what I don't want to do.

"I'm still a human being, and I still have the values that I stand for, and it tells me that the pursuit of a brass ring, the pursuit of an office, is not worth losing your health, losing your marriage, losing your integrity. That I'm not willing to do."

Obama And Netanyahu, Distrustful Allies, To Meet The New York Times reports: "As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel heads to the White House on Friday for the seventh meeting since President Obama took office, the two men are facing a turning point in a relationship that has never been warm. By all accounts, they do not trust each other. President Obama has told aides and allies that he does not believe that Mr. Netanyahu will ever be willing to make the kind of big concessions that will lead to a peace deal."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will receive his daily briefing at 10 a.m. ET. He will meet at 11:15 a.m. ET with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The two will deliver statements to the press at 12:05 p.m. ET, and hold a working lunch at 12:30 p.m. ET. Then at 3:10 p.m. ET, Obama will deliver remarks to CIA employees.

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The Colbert Report had a bit of fun with the "genius" press release that Newt Gingrich's campaign released this week that took shots at the Washington "literati" and their "minions."

"You know what, I don't think I've got it in me to convey the epic genius of this verbal spanking that Newt is dishing out here," Colbert said before calling upon actor John Lithgow to pinch hit for him.

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In his first major television interview of his likely presidential campaign rollout this morning, former Utah Gov. and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman avoided his own Newt Gingrich moment. The House Republican plan to privatize Medicare? Count Huntsman in.

"I would've voted for it," he told ABC's George Stephanopoulos Friday morning. "Including the Medicare provisions."

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