TPM News

(Reuters) - AT&T Inc (T.N) plans to forge ahead with its deal to buy Deutsche Telekom's (DTEGn.DE) U.S. wireless unit despite fierce regulatory opposition, and it has the financial resources to close the acquisition quickly, a top executive said on Wednesday.

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USA Today published a story claiming that Newt Gingrich broke the law when he said during the Republican Jewish Coalition GOP debate on Wednesday that he would appoint John Bolton, the former ambassador to the UN, as Secretary of State. The story has been picked up by several other outlets. However, those claims are false.

Newt's comment was, "If he will accept it, I will ask John Bolton to be Secretary of State." The basis for calling this illegal is Title 18, Part I, Chapter 29, Section 599 of the U.S. Code, which states that:

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Former smartphone king Research in Motion, the creator of the popular BlackBerry line of devices, has been having a tough go of its business lately.

The latest blow: A federal judge in New Mexico on Tuesday ruled to temporarily block RIM from using the name "BBX" for its new operating system across the globe, after a trademark infringement claim was filed by Basis International Ltd, an Albuquerque-based software company that has marketed its own product under the name "BBX" since 1985, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"The BBX mark is identical to the mark which RIM is allegedly using to presenting its BBX product," Judge Judge William Johnson ruled in the District Court of New Mexico, later adding "there is sufficient similarity in this case to weigh in favor of Basis."

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Michele Bachman, who was condemned as an anti-vaccination conspiracy theorist after suggesting that Gardasil causes "mental retardation," said Wednesday that she was in fact a big supporter of vaccines. Not only that, she thinks there are too many regulations on them.

Bachmann told a gathering of the Republican Jewish Coalition in Washington that cures for polio and other diseases "literally changed the course of history and this was good." Until the government got in the way, that is: "[T]he problem is that bureaucracy has risen up to such an extent that today because of the FDA and other measures we're no longer seeing the miracle of cures that were coming forward," she said.

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It's 11 months until Election Day -- but in the open Senate race in the swing state of Virginia, the gloves are already coming off, with presumptive Democratic nominee Tim Kaine and presumptive Republican nominee George Allen facing off Wednesday in a very heated debate, hosted by the Richmond Times Dispatch and other state media outlets.

During the debate, Kaine (a former governor and DNC chairman) pitched himself as a moderate political leader, mentioning frequently that he cut state spending by $5 billion during his time as governor, while simultaneously making investments in infrastructure and human development. By contrast, Allen (also a former governor, but more notably former senator who narrowly lost re-election in 2006) was often quick with an Agnew-esque attack on elites in Washington.

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A former official in the Oakland County Democratic Party in Michigan was sentenced to one year probation for his part in a scheme last fall to split the Republican vote by putting fake Tea Party candidates on the ballot.

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Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has taken a double digit lead in the national Republican primary since the fall of businessman Herman Cain. But he's also moved to the front of the pack in the first primary states, and is even closing on former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney in New Hampshire, the longtime stronghold of the former Massachusetts Governor.

The new CNN/TIME polls show Gingrich with a 13 point lead among Iowa GOP caucus-goers and a 23 point lead in both the South Carolina and Florida primaries. In New Hampshire, where Romney has averaged more than forty points of support throughout the campaign, Romney gets 35 percent to Newt's 26.

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Michele Bachmann tried to tie the Occupy Wall Street protests as tightly to the White House as possible in a speech Wednesday, referring to them as "the Obama re-election team."

"They want other people to pay for their stuff, that doesn't work in the United States of America," she told the Republican Jewish Coalition in Washington, DC. "We are here to Occupy America."

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Rick Perry's new ad attacking the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell is drawing fire from a group that advocates for gay servicemembers.

In a what appears to be a rather blatant attempt to bolster his standing among social conservatives in Iowa less than a month before the Jan. 3 caucuses, Perry went up with an ad Wednesday that pushed just about as many buttons with the evangelical crowd as is conceivable in 30 seconds.

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