TPM News

In her most candid assessment to date, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Democrats should have fared better in the debt limit fight. And she was unable to defend the final deal from the suggestion that it will cost the country jobs.



But in a new wrinkle, she also said the deal was crafted with the expectation that Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) would be able to marshal a majority for the bill on his own -- a mark he fell far short of.

Pelosi convened a handful of new media reporters to discuss the Democrats' plans for legislative action on jobs. I asked whether she believed the new law, which will ultimately result in at least $2.1 trillion worth of austerity measures, would cost jobs, and if so, how many.

Her response is worth quoting in full.

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Watchdog groups are demanding that state and federal officials investigate a $1 million donation from a mysterious firm to an independent political group backing Mitt Romney's campaign in order to determine whether it violates federal campaign laws.



In a letter to Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, the Public Campaign Action Fund claims that the giant contribution to Super PAC "Restore Our Future" from the firm W Spann LLC is out of bounds. As first reported by NBC's Michale Isikoff, records show the firm was incorporated in the state in March and then dissolved in July with little apparent activity besides its donation and virtually no publicly available information on its owners.

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Two dozen public interest, consumer, and government watchdog organizations want to shine a bright light on the activities of the newly established super committee tasked with finding $1.5 trillion in additional deficit reduction this fall.

Specifically, the groups want members of the joint Congressional committee to put a halt to all political fundraising while they conduct their work and provide details of any and all meetings and contacts with with lobbyists and outside parties.

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TPM watched Mike Huckabee's new children's educational video about 9/11 so you don't have to. What's inside? A lot of talk about how "most Muslims" aren't terrorists, a reference or two to The Kite Runner, more than a couple scenes extolling America's commitment to Israel -- and no mention whatsoever of President Obama authorizing the mission that took out bin Laden.

Plus there's a really weird plot-line centering around a pre-teen girl never having known that her mother, with whom she lives in an archetypal American small town, was the town's mayor just a few years ago. But that's not even the strangest hole in Huckabee's telling of the 9/11 story.

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President Obama phoned Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) Wednesday to urge him to pass a bill extending funding for the Federal Aviation Administration and hopes House Republicans and Democrats can resolve their differences and get tens of thousands of FAA and construction workers back on the job by the end of the week.

White House spokesman Jay Carney confirmed Obama's call to Boehner and said the President wants a resolution to the impasse by the end of the week even though the two sides have yet to make any progress resolving their differences.

"Obama called Boehner yesterday, and said this is one thing we can do for job creation pretty instantly," Carney told reporters Thursday. "It's not resolved, and it needs to be resolved, and we're hopeful that it will by the end of the week."

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Without disclosing details, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) says she has a plan for dealing with the Republicans' legislative hostage-taking strategy. In a meeting with a small group of reporters in her office Thursday morning, she said the dynamics of the debt limit fight -- where Democrats were forced to accept deep cuts to government programs on the threat of default -- will not happen again.

"Suffice to say that you won't see a repetition of what happened last week, taking us to the last minute when they didn't even have the votes -- they didn't even have the votes -- and then saying to us 'You will be responsible for a default," Pelosi said in response to a question from TPM.

Pelosi was reluctant to spell out just how she would stave off this situation, however. "I would say that if I were to tell you...it would be defanged," she said, after being pressed for details. "In terms of what we -- how we would approach where they go from here. And that may be a House Democratic position.... Our members were very unhappy about that vote the other day. Very unhappy."

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While Republicans race to set the expectation that they will reject any proposal from a powerful new fiscal committee if it includes higher tax revenues, don't expect Democrats to be nearly as adamant about entitlement programs.



House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) says her caucus will be broadly united in a fight to protect Medicare and other successful programs from cuts when the committee convenes to reduce deficits by at least $1.2 trillion over 10 years. But neither she nor the people she appoints to that committee will publicly draw bright lines.

"I'm not drawing any lines in the sand because I think it plays into their hand," Pelosi told a small group of reporters invited to her office on Thursday morning. "When 12 clowns are in a ring and a sane person jumps into the ring he looks like the 13th clown.... It is part of their plan to keep the attention on this, and the debt and the who and the rest and I'm simply not going to do it."

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When Facebook quietly turned on its friend photo identification feature for European users in June, it sparked off a panic among European regulators.

Compounding the problem, Facebook turned on the feature as a default, not clearly explaining it, and left it up to the public to figure it out for themselves. As a British security blogger Graham Cluey noted on his Sophos Naked Security blog in June, Facebook account holders in Europe could find themselves showing up identified in photographs in their friends' Facebook accounts without having any say over the matter.

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A federal judge is allowing a suit brought by a U.S. citizen against former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld to proceed. The accuser is a military veteran who claims he was imprisoned unjustly and tortured by the U.S. Army at Camp Cropper, a military facility near Baghdad. Camp Cropper is known for holding "high-value" detainees.

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