TPM News

Rick Perry is standing by his remarks about Fed Chair Ben Bernanke's "ugly" reception in Texas should he enact "treasonous" expansionary monetary policies before the election.

"He is passionate about getting federal finances under control," Perry spokesman Ray Sullivan told the New York Times in an interview. "They shouldn't print more money, they should cut spending and move much more rapidly to a balanced budget."

Perry has come under fire, even from some fellow Republicans, for his intimidating talk against Bernanke.

"I know there's a lot of talk and what have you about if this guy prints more money between now and the election," Perry said in Iowa on Monday. "I don't know what y'all would do to him in Iowa, but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas." He added that it would be "almost treasonous" to print money ahead of the 2012 election to help boost the recovery.

But as his spokesman's affirmation suggests, there is political upside as well: a fight over the Fed could be difficult territory for the more Wall Street friendly Mitt Romney.

Rick Perry's tough words for Ben Bernanke Monday weren't just idle talk. By going after the Federal Reserve, he immediately brings to the forefront one of the few major policy distinctions between him and Mitt Romney.

A successful investor who is well-versed in monetary policy, Romney has been extremely wary about joining in on the Republican party's populist revolt against the Federal Reserve over the last two years. Perry, by contrast, is clearly all too happy to ride the anti-Fed tide, perhaps making a play for some of the Bernanke haters more naturally drawn to Ron Paul.

As recently as April of this year, well after Tea Partiers had taken to vilifying Bernanke as the face of the 2008 bailout, Romney defended the Fed Chair in an interview with CNBC's Larry Kudlow after being repeatedly pressed to criticize him for "depreciating the dollar."

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The U.S. Navy's bomb squads have a weight problem. To keep their field gear powered up, the typical explosive ordnance disposal unit has to haul fifty pounds of specialized chargers and related devices around, creating an unwieldy and potentially dangerous drag on the operation.

Now help is coming from an unexpected source: the sun.

The Navy's Explosive Ordnance Disposal Training and Evaluation Unit 2 in Virginia has been testing five prototype lightweight field power kits that include solar cells as a key component. The kits replace fifty pounds of equipment with a compact system that weighs only about nine pounds.

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Why is Josh Brolin's character from "W." running for president? Jon Stewart asked on Monday. Oh right, that's Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R). It's not the first time Perry's been compared to George W. Bush -- but "on steroids." Maybe it's the southern drawl, or that "west-Texas swagger." But Stewart thinks Perry is much, much more than that.

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The UK Parliament has published a bombshell of a letter from convicted News Of The World phone hacker Clive Goodman that alleges that the practice was not only "widely discussed" among senior staff and editors at the tabloid, but that then-editor Andy Coulson tried to cover-up the extent of the practice.

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Texas governor, and freshly minted GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry will have to explain what he meant when he said "we would treat [Fed chairman Ben Bernanke] pretty ugly down in Texas" if he prints money -- or, more charitably, printing more money than usual. Likewise, he'll have to explain why he thinks printing money -- or prints more money than usual -- would be "almost treasonous," at least as compared to, say, secession.

But what's gone completely unnoticed in the wake of candidate Perry's first big flap is his rationale for opposing a looser Fed policy in this depressed economy: specifically that it would work, boost the economy, and thus make it harder for the GOP to defeat President Obama.

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A special prosecutor has been named to investigate the alleged physical altercation at the Wisconsin Supreme Court -- in which liberal Justice Ann Walsh Bradley has accused conservative Justice David Prosser of grabbing her neck in a chokehold during an argument over the state's anti-union law -- with Sauk County District Attorney Patricia Barrett having agreed to the task of reviewing the case and deciding whether to pursue charges.

Barrett's profile could potentially help her be seen as politically insulated in this case. As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, she was elected as a Republican, but has long advocated making DA offices nonpartisan: "Politics should play no role in what we do." In addition, she has announced her intention to retire, when her current term comes up in the 2012 election cycle.

Given the political sensitivities of the story, this case has been transferred through various offices, before ultimately being taken by Barrett.

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