TPM News

Ever since President Barack Obama proposed raising taxes on millionaires as part of a debt reduction package, Republicans have been refining their defense for resisting the change. These are the job creators, they argue, and economic growth will be hampered if they have to pay more income to the government. But it looks like they may have to find something more effective.

In the first public polling available on the so-called "Buffett Rule" specifically -- the proposal to raise taxes on millionaires advocated by billionaire investor Warren Buffett -- Daily Kos/SEIU's weekly "State of the Nation" survey asked the following: Do you support or oppose ensuring that people who make over a million dollars a year pay the same percentage of taxes or more on their total income as those who make less than a million dollars a year?

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The rumors surrounding Amazon's planned Kindle announcement in New York on Wednesday have reached epic proportions, with the latest reports suggesting the company will reveal not one, but three new Kindle models at the event. But one thing is certain: Amazon is lining up content providers in print and video to make a run at Apple's dominance over the tablet market.

On Monday, Amazon, the world's largest online retailer announced it had reached a deal with Fox to make over 2,000 Fox movie and TV titles available for streaming on Amazon Prime later this fall, bringing the total number of titles available at Amazon Prime to 11,000.

"[We] will continue to add more of our customers' favorite movies and TV shows to Prime instant videos," said Steve Oliver, director of Video at, in a press release.

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Some House Republicans have proposed a bill which would kill the 1-dollar bill and replace it with a mandated dollar coin, The Hill's Peter Kasperowicz reports.

Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) and two other House Republicans introduced the Currency Optimization, Innovation and National Savings (COINS) Act last week, saying the U.S. would save $184 million a year by moving to the dollar coin.

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Jon Huntsman appeared Tuesday on Morning Joe, and among other things was asked whether he would put down any additional self-financing of his campaign. In response, Huntsman laid out that such a thing won't be necessary -- because of his campaign's focus on just one key early state.

"I don't anticipate doing that. We're gonna focus singularly on New Hampshire," Huntsman said. "That's not an overly expensive market. That's a market where the old Adlai Stevenson shoe leather is important. I know how to work that market.

"The early signs are that we're connecting with the people. They like the message. It's got to be about vision. At the end of the day you've gotta have substance, you've gotta have real plans, you've gotta have a worldview. And the people in New Hampshire get that part, and they're responding to it."

Also, a quick note to Huntsman: The Adlai Stevenson comparison is incorrect for the New Hampshire primary. The actual winner of the Democratic primaries in New Hampshire in both 1952 and 1956, was Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN). Indeed, Kefauver was really the man who put the state's primary on the wider political map for decades to come, through his active, on-the-ground campaigning there. However, Kefauver ultimately did not win the Dem nomination in either of his two campaigns, losing each time to Adlai Stevenson.

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As the latest round of fervent speculation around Chris Christie demonstrates, there appear to be an awful lot of Republicans wishing they had more choices in the Republican primary. After all, isn't there a candidate out there -- somewhere, anywhere -- who is simultaneously electable, consistently conservative, and an easy sell to the Tea Party and establishment alike?


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In a speech at Stanford University's conservative Hoover Institution, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) offered a recitation of his controversial, alternative vision for the country's social safety net.

But despite the backlash Republicans have faced taken since they voted overwhelmingly in the spring to adopt his approach, Ryan says now's the time for conservatives and GOP candidates to renew their support for that vision, not to walk away from it.

[W]e took a few dings at first, we survived," Ryan admitted. "The Democrats' tried the same old scare tactics for a few months, and in the first special election that took place after our budget passed, we learned a costly lesson. We learned that unless we back up our ideas with courage, and defend them in the face of attacks, we will lose. But once we learned that lesson and started to get our message out... well, a funny thing happened: People listened. They learned that our plan did not affect those in or near retirement; that it guaranteed coverage options like the ones members of Congress enjoy; and that choice and competition would drive costs down and quality up. They also learned more about the Democrats' plans for Medicare, and they didn't like what they heard."

Ryan went on.

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An ambitious project to install thousands of rooftop solar panels at more than a hundred military bases in as many as 33 states is likely to have to be cut back for now because of a House Energy & Commerce Committee investigation into the Department of Energy's handling of its loan guarantee program, according to a solar company CEO.

SolarCity, a solar company based in San Mateo, California, had in early September been awarded a conditional loan guarantee of $275 million from DOE for a $1 billion project that would have installed solar panels and provided power to 160,000 military residences across he country.

But on Monday, the company's CEO Lyndon Rive told the San Francisco Business Times that it would have to scale back the project to the 11 states it already operates in because he expects that the company may not obtain the loan guarantee from the DOE in time as a result of the fallout from the Solyndra bankruptcy.

The DOE had pitched the SolarCity loan guarantee to the public as a project that would generate jobs and training for veterans.

The point of the DOE loan guarantee was to lower SolarCity's cost of borrowing, which in this case was from the US Renewables Group and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

The deadline for finalizing the DOE's stimulus-backed loan guarantees for renewable energy companies like SolarCity is this Friday, September 30th. In all, there are 14 renewable energy projects amounting to $8.9 billion.

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Inclement weather has delayed engineers' plans to rappel down the Washington Monument and inspect the full extent of the damage caused by a rare earthquake hit the East Coast, CNN reports.