TPM News

New data released Wednesday by Gallup shows that a plurality of Americans, 47 percent, think the new health care law should be repealed, versus 42 who think it should be kept. The Supreme Court recently announced it would hear a challenge to the law’s constitutionality next year.

From Gallup:



Views on this issue are highly partisan, with Republicans strongly in favor of repeal and the large majority of Democrats wanting the law kept in place...At the same time, half of Americans say the federal government should be responsible for making sure all Americans have health insurance, underscoring the divided nature of public opinion on this issue. About one in four American adults at this point have government-provided health insurance, making it clear that the issue going forward is the degree to which government should be involved in healthcare in the years ahead, rather than whether the government should get out of the healthcare business altogether.

Former Mass Gov. Mitt Romney is running away with the GOP Primary in New Hampshire, but he’s also showing some real strength in a possible general election matchup against President Obama there: a new Bloomberg poll shows Romney with a ten point lead on the President in the Granite State. Obama won New Hampshire in 2008 by nine points against Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

From Bloomberg:



Independent voters in the state, the site of the nation’s first presidential primary, have swung even more strongly against Obama. Romney would win independents there by 15 percentage points, the poll shows.

Self-proclaimed housing historian Newt Gingrich had two contracts with mortgage company Freddie Mac and was paid between $1.6 million and $1.8 million in consulting fees, two sources familiar with the agreements have told Bloomberg.

Mitchell Delk, Freddie Mac's chief lobbyist, was Gingrich's key contact. But Delk told Bloomberg that Gingrich -- who was paid a monthly retainer of $25,000 to $30,000 between May 1999 until 2002 -- "did not do any lobbying" and was instead provided counsel on public policy issues.

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It's hard to see how the Super Committee can possibly reach a consensus by this time next week after Republican co-chair Jeb Hensarling's appearance on CNBC Tuesday night. The short version is that he left the ball in Democrats court, and hinted that if the committee fails, Congress will spend the next year or so trying to change the terms of an automatic penalty to make sure that hundreds of billions of cuts to defense programs never take effect.

Hensarling claimed that if the committee recommended even a dollar of new net tax revenue -- the kind of revenue Dems are demanding -- it would constitute a step in the wrong direction. He said a GOP plan put forward by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) -- one which Republicans claim would raise revenues by nearly $300 billion over 10 years, but would also make the Bush tax cuts permanent -- is as far as Republicans are willing to go on revenues. But that's an offer Democrats flatly rejected as unserious. And unless one of the parties breaks cleanly with its publicly stated position, the committee will either fall well short of reducing the deficit by $1.2 trillion over 10 years as required by law, or will fail altogether.

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Apple on Tuesday moved to fill a critical vacancy left in the wake of the death of Steve Jobs.

The company announced it had appointed Arthur "Art" D. Levinson, chairman of biotech company Genentech and a longtime Apple board member, to the position of chairman, last occupied by Jobs.

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Protestors with Occupy D.C. just took over the D.C. headquarters of Brookfield Properties, which owns Zuccotti Park (location of the Occupy Wall Street protests). TPM was there and took this video.

Arguing against an amendment designed to narrow the scope of America's cyber security laws that was recently accepted by the Senate, the Justice Department's deputy chief of computer crime on Tuesday told lawmakers that his agency should be given the power to prosecute Web users who violate online "terms of service" or "terms of use" agreements.

In a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on crime, terrorism and homeland security, Richard Downing, the Justice Department's deputy chief of computer crime, testified in part that "customers who intentionally exceed those [terms of service] limitations and obtain access to the business's proprietary information and the information of other customers" should be eligible for prosecution under U.S. cyber law, according to his prepared statement.

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Aside from the epic fail moments like Rick Perry forgetting his own policies, the best moments of the GOP debates so far have almost undoubtedly been the introductions.

Grandiose, otiose and verbose, you could be forgiven for thinking they're teasing some epic Hollywood movie, rather than a handful of middle-aged people bickering on stage. Here's TPM's tribute to this underappreciated part of campaign kitsch: the Ultimate Debate Intro Mash-up.

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About a week ago, Republicans on the Super Committee offered Democrats a plan they themselves claimed would raise new tax revenues. Setting aside specifics, Democrats treated it as a crack in the dam -- the first indication the GOP's alliance with anti-tax activists was starting to crumble.

Democrats ultimately rejected it. But so too did Grover Norquist, which suggests it really did violate his pledge (which most Republicans have taken) never to raise effective tax rates. Fast forward to Monday, Norquist told The Hill, "I've talked to the House leadership and the Senate leadership. They're not going to be passing any tax increases.... If Republicans raise taxes now, they don't win the Senate, and if Republicans raise taxes now they might not keep the House."

Logically, this means one of four things:

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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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