TPM News

Rep. Allen West (R-FL), the hard-line conservative Tea Partier who is currently the only Republican member of the Congressional Black Caucus, has announced that he is not quitting the organization, after he had threatened to do so last week.

"Cowards run from challenges, while warriors run to the sound of battle," West proudly declared. "I will not be resigning from the Congressional Black Caucus. Constitutional Conservatism is now and will in the future be a part of the Congressional Black Caucus."

West made his threat over comments made by Rep. André Carson (D-IN), who said at a CBC event in Miami, "Some of them in Congress right now with this Tea Party movement would love to see you and me -- hanging on a tree."

West posted a message Thursday on Facebook, announcing that he had met with Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) and Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO). "I expressed my condemnation of recent comments from fellow CBC members, especially Rep. Andre Carson," West declared.

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Making clear that his performance in Wednesday's debate was no coincidence, Mitt Romney escalated his attacks on Rick Perry's Social Security stance even further on Thursday.

In an interview with Sean Hannity, Romney all but called Perry unelectable thanks to his comments that the program is a "Ponzi scheme," a "monstrous lie," and his book's suggestions that the program is unconstitutional and should be replaced with a state-level system.

"Social Security is a good thing. We need Social Security," Romney said. "If we nominate someone who the Democrats could correctly characterize as being opposed to Social Security, we would be obliterated."

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Updated 7:07 p.m., Thursday Sept. 8 The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted 89-9 to approve a landmark patent reform bill, already passed by the House, that would radically overhaul the U.S. patent system, turning it from one of the only "first-to-invent" systems in the world to the more common "first-to-file."

President Obama is expected to sign the "America Invents Act" into law without delay, making it the first time in 60 years that the U.S. patent system has been comprehensively reformed.

The passage came just hours before the President was expected to give his much-hyped speech debuting a new job-creation initiative, but the bill has already been frequently touted as a job-creating effort.

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Details and excerpts of President Obama's plan to spur job creation and economic growth began to leak out Thursday evening ahead of Obama's joint address to Congress scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

"The people of this country work hard to meet their responsibilities," Obama plans to say, according to brief excerpts of the speech. "The question tonight is whether we'll meet ours. The question is whether, in the face of an ongoing national crisis, we can stop the political circus and actually do something to help the economy; whether we can restore some of the fairness and security that has defined this nation since our beginning."

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It's only had one public hearing so far, but already the so-called Super Committee seems to be causing headaches for its members.

Shortly after the committee's first gathering, held Thursday morning, Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl (R) headed to a forum hosted by conservative think tanks and said he'd be "off the committee" if it wound up advocating further cuts to military spending.

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We're going to hear sooner than we thought we would about what really happened at the federally-backed Silicon Valley solar startup Solyndra.

House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders announced on Thursday that they've "invited" officials from the Department of Energy, Solyndra and the White House to come to testify next week about the DOE's loan program and its $535 million stimulus loan guarantee to Solyndra.

The committee has been investigating the conditions surrounding the loan since this February.

Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-FL) announced Thursday that they've asked Jeffrey Zients, deputy director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, to testify, as well as the executive director of DOE's Loans Program, Jonathan Silver. They also want Solyndra President and CEO Brian Harrison and Chief Financial Officer W.G. Bill Stover to appear.

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Mitt Romney’s response to Obama’s speech takes the unusual form of an electronica-backed video:



Was Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) bowled over by the President’s speech? Read for yourself:



“President Obama’s call for nearly a half-trillion dollars in more government stimulus when America has more than $14 trillion in debt is guided by his mistaken belief that we can spend our way to prosperity.

“Like the president’s earlier $800 billion stimulus program, this proposal offers little hope for millions of Americans who have lost jobs on his watch, and taxpayers who are rightly concerned that their children will inherit a mountain of debt.

“America needs jobs, smaller government, less spending and a president with the courage to offer more than yet another speech.”

Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) isn't done tweaking the White House over the President's address to a joint session on jobs tonight.

Boehner's latest commentary over the Obama administration's economic policies will come in the form of a special guest invited to attend the speech and sit in the Speaker's box: the CEO Of Gibson Guitar Henry Juszkiewicz.

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