TPM News

The White House is pushing a new initiative that will strong-arm many agencies into adopting cloud computing. Proponents of the plan say that the move will enhance productivity and help keep budgets low in an era of austerity. Critics of the plan fear that government agencies who adopt cloud computing will put themselves at risk for security lapses.

Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra gave a presentation aimed at encouraging government agencies to adopt cloud computing at an Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association panel discussion on February 25. According to Kundra, "We want to make sure the shift is disruptive. ... We want the federal government to move away from asset ownership and shift to service provisioning."

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Mike Huckabee now says he knows President Obama wasn't born in Kenya and that he misspoke when he made that much-maligned comment earlier this week. But on social conservative Bryan Fischer's radio show on Wednesday, he agreed when the host offered that "there may be some fundamental anti-Americanism in this president."

"Well, that's exactly the point that I make in the book," Huckabee replied.

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The military has filed 22 additional charges against Pvt. Bradley Manning, including aiding the enemy, in the alleged massive leak of classified files, NBC News reports.

Manning is accused of illegally downloading tens of thousands of classified documents from both the U.S. military and the State Department that were later released by WikiLeaks, Jim Miklaszewski and Courtney Kube report.

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The Ohio State Senate just passed the controversial SB 5, aimed a limiting unionized state employees' ability to collectively bargain or go on strike.

In an indication of how divisive the legislation is in the Buckeye State, the final vote in the Senate was 17-16. The bill now moves to the state House, which like the Senate, is under Republican control.

Gov. John Kasich (R) has endorsed the measure and is expected to sign it when it reaches his desk.

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An African-American studies professor at Columbia University on Wednesday took to task a Texas student who is organizing scholarship exclusively for white men.

Marc Lamont Hill on MSNBC told Colby Bohannan -- who came up with the scholarship idea -- that "being white is itself a form of scholarship." He said that white Americans have better access to health care, criminal justice and housing, among other things.

"There's no need," he said. In fact, Hill called it a "spectacle that we see every year with Affirmative-Action bake sales, with now whites-only scholarships, which only draw attention to white folk who are becoming increasingly frustrated that the world is becoming a little more fair."

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It took the removal of two -- count 'em -- union-sympathetic Republicans from Ohio state Senate committees, but supporters of Gov. John Kasich's (R) plan to limit collective bargaining rights for state workers were able to move their plan one step closer to Kasich's desk today.

By a vote of 7-5, a State Senate Committee charged with reviewing the collective bargaining proposal -- known as Senate Bill 5 -- moved the bill toward a floor reading and its expected passage. Shortly after that, a similarly close vote moved the bill out of the Senate Rules Committee.

The bill is now on the Senate floor and passage is expected imminently. But opponents of the law say the pathway to today's vote shows how hard a sell Kasich's plan is to the broad swath of voters in the Buckeye state.

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TPM just spoke to Wisconsin Democratic state Sen. Chris Larson, one of the fugitive Dems who has left the state in order to block the three-fifths quorum needed for a vote on Gov. Scott Walker's anti-public employee union proposals, regarding the state Senate GOP's newly-passed fines of $100 per day for the absent Dems. And the way Larson tells it, the fines don't faze him and his fellow Democrats.

"They've become increasingly desperate with these petty things that they're throwing out there," Larson said. "The next thing they're gonna throw out is we're gonna have to say 'Mother, may I' before anybody can talk."

TPM asked Larson, who said he was at a rest stop in Illinois, whether he was prepared to pay the fines. "You know, it's not about us, it's not about the finances," said Larson. "It's about the cuts that they're doing to workers rights, it's about the cuts that they're doing to educators, and throwing out Medicare, Medicaid and Seniorcare, and trying to change these provisions."

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Missouri is now the latest state seeking to ban its courts from consulting Sharia law. A bill introduced on Tuesday by State Rep. Paul Curtman (R) would bar courts from taking any foreign law, legal code or system into consideration when deciding cases.

From the bill:

Any court, arbitration, tribunal, or administrative agency ruling or decision violates the public policy of this state and shall be void and unenforceable if such court, arbitration, tribunal, or administrative agency bases its rulings or decisions in the matter at issue in whole or in part on any law, legal code, or system that would not grant the parties affected by the ruling or decision the same fundamental liberties, rights, and privileges granted under the constitutions of this state and the United States.

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Gov. Scott Walker (R) has another friend in his fight over union rights - Republican governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley.

On Fox and Friends Wednesday morning, the South Carolina governor spoke about her continued fight against the health reform bill, and was then asked by co-host Gretchen Carlson for her thoughts about events talking place in Madison.

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