TPM News

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood confirmed on Thursday that he will not serve in President Obama’s second term if the president is re-elected. Speaking to the Chicago Tribune, Lahood said that his current post would likely be his last in the public sector, explaining “I"m not running for public office anymore.”

It appears that the current environment in Washington has begun to grate on LaHood’s nerves. “Wouldn’t it be great if we could re-create that type of bipartisanship today,” he asked during his speech when referring to a highway bill signed by President Reagan passed by a Democratic Congress.

Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) made a questionable joke while addressing the Distilled Spirits Council at a gala dinner last night, The Washington Post reports.

While jesting about the proper pronunciation of Louisville, Rogers described a dinner with “the Chinese ambassador, who spoke broken English but was trying to impress his staff with his knowledge of the U.S.”

“It’s not Roo-ee-ville, it’s Roo-uh-ville,” said Rogers, delivering the punch line.

MIchael Higdon, Rogers' spokesman, clarified the congressman’s remarks to the Washington Post on Thursday. “A simple and unfortunate attempt at humor that clearly fell flat,” he said of the event. “He apologizes if anyone took offense.”

In his defense, the room did laugh.

Rick Perry is struggling. Polling at 16 percent nationally and at just nine percent in Iowa, Perry's campaign is on the ropes. His performance at Tuesday's primary debate in New Hampshire -- for which he was criticized after failing to seize the moment -- hardly helped.

Perry's dramatic rise and fall mirrors that of another conservative superstar who's lost her mojo -- Sarah Palin.

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Herman Cain has been surging, and that's been major news in the most recent national polls. But within a number of those surveys is a new storyline: voters are starting to favor a Democratically-controlled Congress, as disapproval of the legislative body grows.

A Reuters/Ipsos survey released on Wednesday showed a major gap between the two parties, with 48 percent of voters going for Democrats while 40 percent went for Republicans. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed a four point lead for Democrats, and Public Policy Polling showed a six point edge for Dems.

Below is the TPM Poll Average of the metric, showing a small .1 percent advantage for Democrats, the first they've had in our tracking since late in 2009.

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Democrats are condemning a House GOP attempt to prevent President Obama's health care law from paying for abortions as an assault on women and a waste of precious legislative time when Americans are demanding action on the economy and job creation.

"First of all, it's not a jobs bill. What are we doing but wasting time?" Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporters Thursday. "Every woman in America should be concerned about this assault on women's health."

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Netflix is moving up in the world, at least among Manhattan's (fictional) social scene. "Gossip Girl" and other hit shows on The CW network, including "The Vampire Diaries" and "One Tree Hill," will be available on Netflix's streaming instantly service on October 15, according to the terms of a reported $1 billion, four-year-deal Netflix signed with The CW's corporate parents, Warner Bros and CBS Corporation.

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A new national survey from Public Policy Polling (D), as well as surveys from other firms, shows that Republican politicians might just be right when they say that the Occupy Wall Street protests aren't cut from the same cloth as the Tea Party protests -- in fact, survey respondents are more likely to support Occupy Wall Street.

The poll asked registered voters simply this: "Do you support or oppose the goals of the Occupy Wall Street movement?" The result: Support 35%, Oppose 36%.

The next question: "Do you support or oppose the goals of the Tea Party movement?" The result: Support 39%, Oppose 45%.

And then this comparative query: "Do you have a higher opinion of the Occupy Wall Street movement or the Tea Party movement?" The result: Occupy Wall Street 40%, Tea Party 37%, with OWS leading within the poll's ±3.7% margin of error.

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Canadian telecom giant Research in Motion declared it's nearly-week long global BlackBerry outage to be over in a press conference at 10 a.m. ET on Thursday, but said it was still struggling to identify exactly what caused the catastrophic failure in the first place.

"All services are back up globally," confirmed RIM founder and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis in the teleconference.

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Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has been accused of a lot of things: torturing political opponents, overseeing a corruption-filled regime and living a lavish lifestyle as most of his people languish in poverty. Now he can add not paying his legal fees to an American lawyer to his list.

Lanny Davis, who previously represented the government of deposed Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo, is suing the Republic of Equatorial Guinea for stiffing him on a legal bill.

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