TPM News

For Michele Bachmann federal cash is absolutely disgusting -- and the portions are so small!

Despite repeatedly decrying the evils of federal spending, records obtained by the Huffington Post show Bachmann repeatedly requested money for her district even from agencies and programs she has vilified in her speeches. They include the stimulus program that she branded "fantasy economics" as well as the Environmental Protection Agency she's said should be renamed the "Job Killing Agency."

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Rooftop fuel cells may one day join refrigerators, furnaces, and yes, chicken dinners among the staples of modern domestic life in the U.S.

That could be the outcome of a new solar-fuel cell hybrid system under development by Duke University researcher Nico Hotz, who foresees that fuel cells may eventually trump rooftop solar panels as the equipment of choice for building owners who want to generate their own clean, cheap, renewable energy.

In contrast to traditional means for creating energy by burning fuels like coal and oil, fuel cells create energy by chemical reaction.

Until now, hydrogen has been the standard ingredient for fuel cells, but hydrogen production involves expensive processes all the way through from production to storage. That's one reason why fuel cells have been slow to make inroads into the alternative fuel vehicle market, let alone development for household use.

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Brittany Laughlin is 25 years old. She has been to all 7 continents, 36 countries, and she hops on a plane every two weeks.
Clearly, she's obsessed with traveling. But until last year, she hadn't found a way to turn that into a career.
The NYU graduate comes from an entrepreneurial family. Her mother started an interior design business, her sister launched a clothing line, and her father founded 12 companies.

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Sure, it's been hot this summer, but Stephen Colbert doesn't believe in the "myth" of global warming.

Take the heat index, for instance -- a combination of heat and humidity to describe how it actually feels outside. Colbert thinks that's just another number "big media" throw around to make us feel like this summer has been extra hot. And what's worse, these "hot heads have started to indoctrinate our kids," he said. Thankfully, we've got the folks at Fox and Friends to bring the truth to light. Last week, the program ran a segment claiming Nickelodeon's Spongebob Squarepants is pushing a global warming agenda.

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Newsweek should be ashamed of its cover photo of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Jon Stewart said Tuesday night, which shows the congresswoman in a, well, not-so-flattering light.

"Look, Newsweek, that's a shitty picture of Michele Bachmann," Stewart said. "And clearly not an accidentally shitty picture of Michele Bachmann. Because you can say a lot of things about Michele Bachmann. A lot of things. But here's what you can't say about Michele Bachmann: that she is not photogenic."

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Not one to play favorites, Mike Huckabee will play bass for not only Herman Cain but Rick Santorum and Tim Pawlenty as well at the Ames Straw Poll this weekend.

The news takes some of the thunder out of Cain's earlier announcement that Huckabee would back him up while he sang gospel himself at the event. The former Arkansas governor won the state handily in 2008 and it was considered his to lose in 2012 if he had decided to run. He has yet to endorse any of the candidates.

Huckabee's daughter, Sarah Huckabee, is a top aide to Pawlenty and tweeted on Wednesday that her father would play bass with the bands Sonicflood and the Nadas, who are performing at Pawlenty's booth. As for his Santorum appearance, the Des Moines Register reports he'll play Buddy Holly's "That'll Be The Day" and "Peggy Sue."

Government lawyers asked a federal judge to sentence Raj Rajaratnam to up to 24-1/2 years in prison, the maximum allowable time, for his leading role in the vast insider trading probe that led to his being found guilty of 13 counts of insider trading in May, Reuters reports.

The memo filed Tuesday night calls Rajaratnam "the worst insider trading offender (who has been caught to date) in history." The former head of Galleon Group, one of the world's largest hedge funds which managed $7 billion at its peak, was found guilty of reaping $63.8 million in illicit profit from 2003 to 2009.

Rajaratnam, prosecutors attest, was a "billion-dollar force of deception and corruption on Wall Street," who was "motivated by greed and the desire to conquer others." Prosecutors asked for the maximum sentence for what they called his "brazen, arrogant, harmful and pervasive" criminal conduct.

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Jon Huntsman is headed to Florida on Wednesday to accept an endorsement from Jeb Bush Jr. - son of the state's popular ex-governor Jeb Bush Sr. and a nephew of President George W. Bush.

Huntsman had teased the Florida visit as a "major announcement," sparking immediate speculation that Governor Bush, who has spoken highly of Huntsman in the past and is one of the party's most highly respected figures nationally, might declare his support. But the junior Bush is an established figure in the state as well and has helped lead efforts to bring Latino voters into the Republican fold.

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) appointed three Democrats to a 12-member deficit Super Committee Tuesday, giving observers and advocates an early indication of how the committee will function as it seeks over a trillion dollars in further deficit cuts by the end of the year.

Just as important as who serves on the panel, though, is the question of whether it will function like most Congressional committees do -- open to press and voters, with conflicts of interest disclosed publicly, if not always swiftly or conveniently.

So often, high-stakes negotiations like these are conducted in private, where members feel free from accountability, and, to a lesser extent, from special interest influence. And because the debt ceiling statute that created the panel included no significant transparency requirements, the expectation has been that it will operate away from public scrutiny.

But there is growing pressure on Congressional leaders to pull back the curtain on the panel, including from influential members of their own parties. And now it seems as likely as not that the proceedings will take place in a way that makes it difficult for members to hide deal-making from the public.

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Less than two months after Keith Olbermann made his debut on Current TV, the progressive television network has made another high-profile hire.

David Bohrman, formerly CNN's vice president of programming and Washington bureau chief, has been tapped as president of Current TV. And he'll have his work cut out for him. The network is planning to build its programming around Olbermann's "Countdown" -- currently its flagship program.

After securing "Countdown" in the lineup, Current co-founder and CEO Joel Hyatt told TPM "we realized what we needed, at the senior level of leadership at the company ... someone with the expertise in TV news programming and production. We set out to find the very best person, and all roads led to David Bohrman."

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