TPM News

Democrats and Republicans in Congress are having a difficult time figuring out how to accomplish a common, and politically urgent goal. Specifically, they both agree that a provision in the health care law that steps up enforcement of business' tax reporting requirements has to go. It's too burdensome, they all agree.

Set aside whether they're right or not, the reason they're having a hard time getting it done is that they disagree about how to offset the impact on the deficit. Reducing the tax burden on businesses means reducing the amount of money the Treasury collects, and thus a big hole in the budget.

But wait! Don't Republicans all believe that tax cuts (or 'tax relief,' as they prefer) don't need to be offset with spending cuts or tax hikes elsewhere in the budget? Yes indeed they do. Just not in this case, where it pertains to the health care law -- and they're tying themselves up in knots trying to square their conflicting views.

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by Dafna Linzer, ProPublica

In a decision that will likely make it more difficult for Guantanamo prisoners to win release, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today reversed a lower court's ruling in the pivotal case of a Yemeni detainee.

In a 14-page decision, the appeals court rejected the lower court's ruling to release Uthman Abdul Rahim Mohammed Uthman, who has been held at Guantanamo without charge since 2002. Uthman's case and the government's attempts to classify the legal opinions it generated were the subject of a ProPublica story.

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Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) signed on Tuesday a bill to criminalize abortions based on the race or sex of a fetus, making the state the first in the nation to do so.

The bill, H.B. 2443, makes it a felony for a doctor to perform such abortions, and a crime punishable by up to seven years in prison.

AZCentral reports:

The law allows the father of an aborted fetus - or, if the mother is a minor, the mother's parents - to take legal action against the doctor or other health-care provider who performed the abortion.

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A Frontline investigation reveals that alleged Wikileaks source Pfc. Bradley Manning threatened his stepmother with a knife in 2006.

Manning's father, Brian Manning, in an interview with Frontline said the incident spawned from a discussion of Bradley Manning needing to follow house rules. Then things reached a boiling point, he said.

"My husband's 18-year-old son is out of control and just threatened me with a knife," Manning's stepmother told the 911 dispatcher. "And his father has just had surgery and he is down on the floor... Get away from him! You, get away from him! Get away from him!"

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Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi has just blocked -- again -- Gov. Scott Walker's (R-WI) new law curtailing public employee unions, after the state Republican leadership moved last Friday to circumvent her previous order that blocked the law on procedural grounds. But that's not the end of the discussion, as it appears the state will continue to defy the order.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:

"Further implementation of the act is enjoined," said Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi.

She noted her original restraining order issued earlier this month was clear in saying that the state should not proceed with implementing the law. The Walker administration did so after the bill was published Friday by a state agency not included in Sumi's earlier temporary restraining order.

"Apparently that language was either misunderstood or ignored, but what I said was the further implementation of Act 10 was enjoined. That is what I now want to make crystal clear," she said.

But minutes later, outside the court room, Assistant Attorney General Steven Means said the legislation "absolutely" is still in effect.

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has asked his caucus to postpone any Libya resolutions until after they receive a classified briefing Tuesday evening.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are scheduled to brief senators Wednesday night. Afterward, Reid said, all bets are off and Democrats can offer any type of War Powers Resolution they want.

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A foreign national was indicted yesterday for allegedly illegally importing an unmanned spy plane into the U.S., and then trying to resell it on eBay.

According to a press release from the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement service, Henson Chua of the Philippines was indicted and charged by a grand jury in Tampa with violating the Arms Export Control Act and smuggling. Chua is accused of importing an RQ-11B "Raven" Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) from the Philippines into the U.S., which is listed on the U.S. Munitions List as a defensive item, "without having first obtained from the U.S. Department of State a license or written authorization." He then "aided and abetted the attempted export" of the same UAV.

U.S. arms code prohibits people from buying and selling defense equipment without permission from the government, primarily to prevent people from selling U.S.-manufactured equipment to foreign governments. But Chua managed to reverse the process.

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Update: After the Polk County GOP tried to pull this video off the Internet, we reposted it here.

At a town hall meeting in Polk County, Wisconsin earlier this year, Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) was asked whether he'd vote to cut his $174,000 annual salary. Duffy sort of hedged, and went on to talk about how $174,000 really isn't that much for his family of seven to live on. Then he went on to say he supports cutting compensation for all public employees, along the lines of what Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has proposed for the Badger State.

The whole thing was caught on tape, and it was posted to the Polk County GOP's blog, along with several other clips from the town hall. Then just that clip where Duffy talks about his salary was taken down and removed from the internet by the county party because, an official said, the YouTube clip "was being republished without our consent."

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A foreign national was indicted yesterday for allegedly illegally importing an unmanned spy plane into the U.S., and then trying to resell it on eBay.

According to a press release from the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement service, Henson Chua of the Philippines was indicted and charged by a grand jury in Tampa with violating the Arms Export Control Act and smuggling. Chua is accused of importing an RQ-11B "Raven" Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) from the Philippines into the U.S., which is listed on the U.S. Munitions List as a defensive item, "without having first obtained from the U.S. Department of State a license or written authorization." He then "aided and abetted the attempted export" of the same UAV.

U.S. arms code prohibits people from buying and selling defense equipment without permission from the government, primarily to prevent people from selling U.S.-manufactured equipment to foreign governments. But Chua managed to reverse the process.

Read More →

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