TPM News

Looks like Texas governor Rick Perry may be on the verge of trying to cut short his losses.

The former GOP frontrunner has been on a downward spiral in the polls pretty much since he first opened his mouth during a national debate.

So, his team appears to be reasoning that if he loses support each time he appears at a debate, then maybe there's one pretty easy way to help: just don't show up.

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Of all the competitions going on right now between tech firms (over who has the best social network, who has the best mobile phone OS, etc), the browser wars might have just become the most surreal.

On Wednesday, Microsoft, the company that faced numerous antitrust allegations over bundling its Internet Explorer browser for free with its Windows operating system in the 1990s, announced it was teaming up with Mozilla, the company behind the Firefox browser, which rose out of the ashes of the Netscape browser, which Internet Explorer helped kill off.

That's right, users can now download an all-new "Firefox with Bing," actually just Firefox version 7.01 with Bing as the built-in search bar in the corner, the default homepage and as the search technology behind the "AwesomeBar," aka the URL bar at the top of the browser, into which users can enter letters and keywords and allow Bing to suggest websites based on previous browser history.

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If you've ever wanted to test your lightsaber skills against a flying robotic orb ala "Star Wars," you're in luck, because the Japanese Ministry of Defense has developed and successfully demoed what it calls "the world's first spherical flying machine." Lasers not included.

The remote-controlled, spherical flying machine (TPM note: there's got to be a better name than that?) is seen wowing journalists at the Digital Projects Expo in Tokyo, displaying aerial maneuvers and rolling on the ground, in the following video from Tokyo-based news outlet DigInfo TV, posted online Sunday.

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It's nearly Halloween, but every evening must feel like fright night for Mitt Romney now. His well-heeled rival, Rick Perry, is once again dominating the airwaves. And all this after many thought Romney had finished the Texas governor for good by pummelling him in the GOP debates. So, is Perry back from the dead? Paranormal expert Thomas Lane investigates.

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Rep. John Kline (R-MN), who chairs the House Education and Workforce Committee, isn't happy with President Obama's executive action aimed at helping students pay back college loans.

House Republicans, he said, believe the presidential push to scale back students' monthly payments will only increase overall student debt and do nothing to curb unemployment.

"Sadly, the President has once again chosen to put politics before policy, touting a plan that will do nothing to help the nation's unemployed workers," Kline said in a statement Wednesday.

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The road to the Democratic nomination for the Senate in Massachusetts is starting to clear for Elizabeth Warren, with fellow candidate Alan Khazei dropping out of the race Wednesday afternoon.

The Boston Globe reports that Khazei will make his decision official at noon Thursday. On Wednesday morning, he acknowledged that Warren's presence in the race has affected his own prospects.

"She has struck a chord, no doubt about it," Khazei said. "It's definitely affected my position. So fundraising has been tougher, and in terms of's challenging. Things have definitely shifted."

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In his widely trumpeted speech at the conservative Heritage Foundation Wednesday, Republican budget guru and liberal boogeyman Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin rejected the notion that wealthier Americans should pay higher taxes to sustain or broaden a social safety net for poor and middle class workers and retirees.

Instead, he argued, policy should be geared toward allowing high earners to grow the economy, and to facilitate upward mobility for the working class.

America, he argued, exemplifies the latter model while European economies illustrate the perils of the former.

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