TPM News

At a campaign stop in Iowa, Rick Santorum questioned whether President Obama "wants to be President of the United States or president of the international community" -- and also declared that America must back up Israel in an inevitable military strike against Iran.

The Des Moines Register reports that at an event in Anamosa (one county over from Cedar Rapids), Santorum discussed last week's report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, saying that there is a "credible case" that Iran is trying to develop a nuclear device.

"They have the capability of doing it. They just haven't done it yet. This is a very dangerous thing," Santorum said, explaining that this was more dangerous than nuclear weapons in other countries, because Iran is a "radical Islamist theocracy."

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There are ways to deal with protesters gracefully at a campaign event, and then there's kicking a Navy veteran out of your rally because she's wearing a t-shirt you don't like.

Melissa Harmon tells TPM she was given the latter treatment by Mitt Romney staffers at an event in Columbia, SC Tuesday. Harmon, who was discharged honorably from the Navy under Don't Ask, Don't Tell before the policy changed, showed up at the rally to protest Romney's suggestion that VA benefits should be at least partially privatized.

Harmon, like a lot of veterans, is worried about the idea. But she said the Romney campaign thought her form of protest -- a handwritten T-shirt -- was too hot to handle and so she was kicked out of the Columbia event. There's video to back up her story, but it's somewhat vague.

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Newt Gingrich's combative performances over the course of at least umpteen GOP debates have finally put him at the top of the field. However, amnesia seems to have set in among the Republican electorate, since it wasn't that long ago that everyone had written him off completely. Evan McMorris-Santoro dusts off the skeletons that are still dangling in that very open closet.

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"Frequent travel may be required."

That statement might seem innocuous enough on its own, but when paired with the myriad other qualifications posted on a new online job posting, it becomes clear that this isn't just another run-of-the-mill position.

And yet, NASA on Tuesday followed numerous other employers these days in posting an open call for new astronaut candidates online, at the government job-finding website USAJobs.

It's not the first time NASA has posted an astronaut job application online (that was actually in 2009), but with nearly 70 percent of Americans logging online to look for job information in the wake of the 2008 recession, perhaps NASA's online job app will attract even more interest this time around.

"For 50 years, American astronauts have led the exploration of our solar system," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a press release on Tuesday. "Today we are getting a glimpse of why that will remain true for the next half-century. Make no mistake about it, human space flight is alive and well at NASA."

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Public Policy Polling (D) released new numbers on Tuesday showing President Barack Obama up on former Mass Gov. Mitt Romney by three points. The two men were tied last month at 45 percent in PPP's polling in the most competitive pairing between the President and any of his possible GOP foes: the rest of the field is down by between 6 and 11 percent.

The President's approval stands at only 45 percent against 51 percent disapproval, but the Republican candidates continue to have problems on the favorability side. The most liked candidate is new GOP flame Newt Gingrich at 39 percent favorable versus 50 percent unfavorable, a surprising jump of nine points on the positive side from a 30 - 56 split in last month's PPP national poll. Romney is second in the favorability column with a 36 - 50 split, and the other candidates are further down.

Probably the most incredible number in the poll is Texas Gov. Rick Perry's favorability rating, down to 18 percent, versus 67 percent unfavorable. The only recent comparable candidate with an unfavorable rating that high was former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's in PPP's August poll, when she hit 62 percent.

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The Wisconsin recall drive (Part II), targeting Gov. Scott Walker and other Republican officials, is now in full swing.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that the Dems kicked off the recall drive at midnight, as they had scheduled earlier, with a celebration of sorts:

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin hosted a petition pickup party Monday night, and more than 40 recall supporters wore party hats and blew kazoos as they counted down the final seconds before 12:01 a.m.

The first completed petition was then turned in at the Dem office, at 12:42 a.m. CT, and the recall committee itself was formally filed this morning:

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ABC 7’s Lyanne Melendez reports:

UC Berkeley police confirm man at Haas was shot by an officer. It is an isolated incident. Students not in danger.


Police say they received a call at 2:15 saying there was a man with a gun at Haas. Police shot the man and was sent to Highlands Hospital.

Updated 11/15/11 at 3:04 PM The good news: Mitt Romney boasts an impressive stable of well-respected, non-partisan policy advisers. The bad news: they earned that non-partisan reputation for a reason. Now one of his top economic experts, Glenn Hubbard, is calling for a boost to infrastructure and education spending to turn around the economy even as Romney is proposing deep cuts.

Hubbard offered the advice unprompted in an interview with The Washington Post's Ezra Klein after he was asked what the US could do to jumpstart growth.

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Several local news outlets are reporting a shooting at UC Berkeley’s Haas Business School. KQED reports a statement from the UC Berkeley police:

There was a shooting at Haas Business School. Police are on scene and eveything is under control. Please avoid the area; find secure ind.

A text alert from the school claims a suspect is in custody, according to the same report.