TPM News

President Barack Obama will allow new military terror trials of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, the White House announced Monday. But Obama's statement said that the U.S. "will continue to draw on all aspects of our justice system" -- including federal courts -- to handle terrorism cases.

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Will the GOP's resurgence in Pennsylvania last year help a Republican presidential nominee carry the state for the first time in a quarter century? Eh, maybe not.

In a recent Muhlenberg College poll of registered voters in the state, Obama comfortably topped three leading contenders for the Republican presidential nomination. The results suggest that despite Pennsylvania voters flocking to Republican candidates in last year's midterm elections, they're unlikely to do so again when it comes to 2012.

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The White House has rejected a request from the House Energy and Commerce committee for information about "every meeting, briefing or telephone call" the administration had with non-governmental parties in the lead up to, and wake of, passage of the health care law.

In a letter obtained by TPM, White House counsel Bob Bauer directs committee and subcommittee leaders to publicly available information about the White House's meetings with health care stakeholders. But it looks like they won't get much more than that without a subpoena.

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Update: Roll Call reports that Ensign will announce his retirement at today's press event.

Embattled Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) will hold a press conference today at 3 PM ET in order to discuss his "political future," according to a report by local station KSNV. He is up for re-election in 2012 and a number of candidates from both parties have been discussed by observers as possible opponents in the primary and general election.

The junior Senator from Nevada has been caught in a long-running scandal concerning an affair with a married staffer and questions surrounding whether he helped the husband of the aide in question, also a staffer, get a lobbying job after he discovered their relationship. While Ensign says the Department of Justice is no longer investigating the issue, the Senate Ethics Committee is still looking into the issue.

At a January 9/12 event with local tea partiers, the Republican House Speaker in New Hampshire, Bill O'Brien explained his problem with young voters.

"They go into these general elections, they'll have 900 same day registrations, which are the kids coming out of the schools and basically doing what I did when I was a kid, which is [vote liberal]," he said. "They don't have life experience and they don't have life experience and they just vote their feelings and they're taking away the town's ability to govern themselves, it's not fair."

The remarks were caught on tape by a tracker with the New Hampshire Democratic party, but up until today they haven't caused O'Brien much embarrassment.

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Wisconsin Democrats are continuing their fire on Gov. Scott Walker's infamous phone call with blogger Ian Murphy, who was posing as Republican financier David Koch, in which Walker spoke of his passion for busting the public employee unions. And in their latest move, the Dems have announced that they are filing an ethics complaint with the state's Government Accountability Board -- accusing Walker of serious violations of the law.

"It [the call] showed Scott Walker as a grandiose plotter who thinks of himself as a national figure in the effort to distort the balance of power between working people and big corporations who seek to transform Wisconsin into a low-wage, low-benefits backwater," state Dem chairman Mike Tate said on a conference call with reporters on Monday. "But I'll leave it to you to discuss the political damage it has done to Walker and his corporate masters.

"What we are here to discuss is the fact that in his phone call, Scott Walker clearly violated campaign finance and ethics laws meant precisely to prevent the kind of shameful activity in which Walker was engaged."

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I don't think this is the sort of earned media Mitt Romney had in mind for the New Hampshire market.

That's from Sunday's Boston Herald. I'm not sure what would have happened if Romney had committed a couple years ago to being that one Republican guy who says Obamacare's not that bad, and that everybody else has lost their minds. Quite possibly it wouldn't have worked and he'd have been driven out of the party. But at least he'd have a coherent stand to take. Now he's stuck with this albatross around his neck and my sense is it's too heavy for even the scrappiest communicators in politics to lift it off him.