TPM News

Watch your step, presidential candidate Rick Santorum: Your old nemesis Dan Savage just threatened to take away the one good name you have left.

Santorum's been cooking up a new war with Savage -- the sex columnist and LGBT-rights activist who Goggle-bombed Santorum's last name in 2003 -- to help raise money for his campaign following some controversial statements Savage made on Bill Maher's HBO show. More on all that here.

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The fast-developing Republican civil war appears to have wracked up its latest injured, the most prominent of which is Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (OH). Following his attacks on Speaker Boehner's debt limit proposals, reports indicate he himself came under heavy assault. Meanwhile, the RSC's executive director, Paul Teller, was facing calls for his sacking over his emails opposing Boehner.

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A 24 hour delay, and the revival of Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) debt limit plan in the House have changed the legislative calculus in Congress, and now Senate Democrats are piecing together how to move forward if Boehner prevails Thursday evening.

"It appears quite clear that Boehner -- a favor was done by CBO for him yesterday because his bill was doomed to failure," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told reporters Wednesday. "And he can juggle things around, and had a caucus today, and he may get it passed, but it doesn't matter. That is a flawed piece of legislation."

Reid says Democrats will decide precisely how to proceed once the gavel comes down on Boehner's vote. House Democrats are expected to oppose that bill unanimously, making Boehner's margin for error very thin -- but momentum within his caucus is in his favor with just over 24 hours before that vote.

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A coalition of 115 House Democrats have signed a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder calling on the Justice Department to vigorously oppose voter ID laws that are sweeping state legislatures across the country.

"Many of these bills only have one true purpose, the disenfranchisement of eligible voters -- especially the elderly, young voters, students, minorities, and low-income voters," they write in the letter.

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By John Voelcker

Ask Americans about fuel-efficient cars, and many will name the iconic
Toyota Prius hybrid, with gas mileage rated by the EPA at a combined 50 miles per gallon.

So you'd expect the EPA to rank the Prius as the best midsize car on its list of Most and Least Fuel Efficient Cars, right?

It's not there.

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On Tuesday, conservative Republican Study Committee chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) predicted defeat for House Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) plan to raise the debt limit.

"I am confident as of this morning that there are not 218 Republicans in support of the plan," he said.

He was counting on the opposition of dozens of House conservatives who have in the past pledged not to raise the debt limit on terms that compromising with Democrats would require.

Twenty-four hours later, after taking a beating from the GOP establishment and party leadership, and after watching Democrats grow more and more confident in their ability to split the Republican coalition, those conservatives are reconsidering their rebellion.

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The tea party is so hell-bent on getting America's finances in order, they're willing to suffer the personal consequences of a government default. That's according to leaders of the Tea Party Patriots, who spoke with reporters in Washington this morning as the city remains gripped in debt ceiling stalemate.

Jenny Beth Martin, a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots (the grassrootsier wing of the movement) agreed that default -- and the requisite end in government payments for the programs that go with it -- could hurt the thousands of tea party voters she represents. But she said her members are willing to take the hit.

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