TPM News

The 89 employees of a New York law firm specializing in foreclosures who dressed as homeless people during an office Halloween party last year have been thrown out on the street.

Steven J. Baum P.C., a firm that specialized in foreclosures, is closing its doors a month after photos showing employees celebrating Halloween by dressing like the homeless surfaced in a New York Times column by Joe Nocera. Nocera wrote a follow up column this weekend, in which he quoted an angry email he received from Mr. Baum himself. The firm announced the shuttering via press release and was reported by the NYT:

Read More →

Jose Pimentel wasn't exactly hiding.

The 27-year-old accused of plotting to attack New York with pipe bombs was operating a website that espoused his beliefs in committing terror against the U.S. and was relatively well known in law enforcement circles.

Federal authorities passed on the case -- with one source telling TPM on Sunday night that the FBI passed several times, and an official telling the Associated Press on Monday that Pimentel "didn't have the predisposition or the ability to do anything on his own." That's leaving observers wondering what exactly the feds didn't like about the case and setting up another squabble in the long-running turf war between the New York Police Department and the FBI.

Read More →

Updated 3:38 pm ET, Monday, November 21 AT&T, the nation's second largest wireless phone company, on Monday sent an email to selected customers warning them of an "organized and systematic" hacking attempt on their accounts, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.

"We recently detected an organized and systematic attempt to obtain information on a number of AT&T customer accounts, including yours," the email read. "We do not believe that the perpetrators of this attack obtained access to your online account or any of the information contained in that account."

Read More →

Massachusetts Democrats are using gridlock on the Super Committee as an opening to drive a wedge between Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) and the GOP's leading anti-tax activist Grover Norquist.

"Scott Brown talks the talk on looking for bipartisan compromise, but he doesn't walk the walk," said Massachusetts Democratic Party Chair John Walsh, in a statement provided to TPM. "For Brown, asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share has always been off the table because of his blind allegiance to the Republican Party's agenda. Abandoning Norquist's extremist pledge that protects giveways to Big Oil and other special interests would go a long way toward showing that Scott Brown is serious about taking a balanced approach that asks the wealthiest Americans to share the burden of getting our nation's fiscal house in order instead of dumping it all on senior citizens and the middle class."

Read More →

The White House press office has distributed an email detailing the five pardons and one commutation of sentence granted by President Obama on Monday, November 21. Text below:

WASHINGTON, DC – Today President Barack Obama granted pardons to five individuals and commutation of sentence to one individual:


Lesley Claywood Berry Jr. ­- Loretto, Ky.
Offense: Conspiracy to manufacture, possess with intent to distribute, and distribute marijuana, 21 U.S.C. §§ 841 and 846.
Sentence: April 29, 1988; District of Minnesota; three years in prison.

Dennis George Bulin - Wesley Chapel, Fla.
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute in excess of 1,000 pounds of marijuana, 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 846 and 18 U.S.C. § 2.
Sentence: March 10, 1987; Middle District of Alabama; five years of probation and $20,000 fine.

Ricky Dale Collett - Annville, Ky.
Offense: Aiding and abetting in the manufacture of 61 marijuana plants, 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and 18 U.S.C. § 2.
Sentence: March 7, 2002; Eastern District of Kentucky; one year of probation conditioned on 60 days of home detention.

Martin Kaprelian - Park Ridge, Ill.
Offense: Conspiracy to transport stolen property in interstate commerce, 18 U.S.C. § 371; transporting stolen property in interstate commerce, 18 U.S.C. § 2314; concealing stolen property that was transported in interstate commerce, 18 U.S.C. § 2315.
Sentence: Feb. 1, 1984; Northern District of Illinois; nine years in prison, five years of probation.

Thomas Paul Ledford - Jonesborough, Tenn.
Offense: Conducting and directing an illegal gambling business, 18 U.S.C. § 1955.
Sentence: June 12, 1995; Eastern District of Tennessee; one year of probation conditioned on performance of 100 hours of community service.

Eugenia Marie Jennings - Alton, Ill.
Offense: Distribution of cocaine base, 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1).
Sentence: Feb. 23, 2001; Southern District of Illinois; 262 months in prison, eight years of supervised release, $1,750 fine.
Terms of commutation: Prison sentence to expire on Dec. 21, 2011, leaving intact and in effect the eight-year term of supervised release with all its conditions and all other components of the sentence.

Here's some news that should warm Jeff Bezos and company's heart: Consumer interest in Amazon's Kindle Fire going into the holiday season is pretty high, with 22 percent of likely tablet buyers saying they want a Kindle Fire, according to the results of a new survey from market research firm ChangeWave (via Electronista).

While that pales in comparison to the 65 percent of likely buyers who said they wanted an Apple iPad or iPad 2, the result is significant because the Fire is the first tablet outside of the iPad to score double digit demand, dramatically outshining the third-place competitor, the Samsung Galaxy Tab, which registered just 4 percent of consumer demand.

Read More →

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) endorsed Mitt Romney over the weekend, a big pickup for the man who has spent years making the Granite State the keystone to his political comeback. In an ironic twist, Ayotte and Romney have more in common than just being Northeastern Republicans: they've been accused of scrubbing their potentially damaging internal emails before gearing up for a run for higher office.

Read More →

One way or another, the U.S. will trim the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years, President Obama said in a statement.