TPM News

To complete a week of good news for Tex. Gov. Rick Perry, in which polls found him leading nationally and in Iowa for the GOP presidential nod little over a week after he began campaigning, a new poll released on Friday now shows him ahead of the pack in South Carolina, with another lead outside the margin of error.

Perry captures 31 percent of the GOP primary voters surveyed, with former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney in second with 20 percent, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) at 14, businessman Herman Cain at 9, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 5, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) at 4, with former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and former Gov. Jon Huntsman both at 2.

The Texas governor is the most favorably viewed candidate in the race, with 61 percent viewing him that way against 17. Some of the candidates actually have underwater favorability ratings within the GOP electorate, including Gingrich, Paul, Santorum, and especially Jon Huntsman, who registers only a 9 percent favorability rating against a whopping 44 percent with an unfavorable view.

Gallup also revealed new information on Friday that showed Perry is really catching on with Tea Party supporters nationally, data which is reflected in the new South Carolina poll. Perry gets 37 percent of Tea Party supporters, double the next closest candidate, Bachmann.

The poll was conducted and sponsored by Magellan Strategies, and uses 637 automated interviews with likely South Carolina GOP primary voters. It was conducted from August 22nd -23rd and has a sampling error of 3.88 percent.

Friday saw the release of the official documents in the investigation of the alleged physical altercation at the Wisconsin Supreme Court -- in which liberal Justice Ann Walsh Bradley accused conservative Justice David Prosser of grabbing her neck in a chokehold during an argument. A special prosecutor announced Thursday that no charges would be filed.

The event occurred on June 13, during an argument over the court's decision to uphold Gov. Scott Walker's anti-public employee union legislation, with Prosser in the court's 4-3 conservative majority and Bradley in the liberal minority, along with Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson. Prosser wanted to release the court's decision quickly, at the urging of the state legislature, but Abrahamson disagreed. Prosser and Abrahamson argued over the matter at Bradley's office, with Prosser just outside the door, and Bradley and Abrahamson inside the office itself. Prosser has maintained that Bradley "charged" at him, and he then put up his own hands as a reflex action, briefly making contact with her neck.

Even skimming the papers, which have been posted online by the Wisconsin State Journal, they reveal a detailed portrait of a court that is deeply dysfunctional, breaking down into personal factions along partisan lines.

During the court's initial meeting with Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs, conservative Justice Patience Roggensack told Bradley that she did not condone Prosser's actions during the altercation, but also said "Ann you do realize you goad him." Also, in their later separate interviews with law enforcement, Prosser and his fellow conservative Justices Annette Ziegler and Michael Gableman all described Abrahamson and Bradley as having a "mother/daughter" relationship.

On the other side, Bradley has had growing concerns about her safety and Abrahamson's. Bad relationships have been building up on the court over a long period of time, most notably in a February 2010 incident in which Prosser told Abrahamson "you are a bitch," and also added: "There will be a war against you and it will not be a ground war."

Read More →

A new detail from additional information released by Gallup on Friday about their national survey on the GOP presidential field: Tex. Gov. Rick Perry, who outpaced everyone in their recent survey with 29 percent of the total, captured 35 percent of those GOP voters who consider themselves supporters of the Tea Party movement.

Rounding out the candidates supported by Tea Party backers were former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), both at 14 percent, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) at 12, businessman Herman Cain at 6, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 5, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (R) at 3 and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman at 1 percent.

Read More →

The tables have turned again in the Federal Communications Commission's so-far topsy-turvy review process of the proposed $39 billion AT&T merger with T-Mobile, this time in AT&T's favor.

This morning, the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau restarted the 180-day-long "shot clock" on the review process at day 83, meaning that under its own informal deadline, the agency will have 97 days to approve or sideline the proposal, by December 1, 2011. FCC sources said that a decision would likely come much sooner.

The agency had previously frozen the informal clock on July 20, seeking new models AT&T promised would support its argument that the combined wireless network would be more efficient for customers and at the same time, not anti-competitive.

Read More →

Arizona state Sen. Frank Antenori, a Republican who is considering a possible run for Congress against Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords -- who has been undergoing medical treatment since she was shot in the head at a district event this past January -- has already laid out his first criticism of the Congresswoman: That the media have not been granted enough access for the public to determine whether she is fit to hold office.

"She is cognizant enough to read and comprehend the debt bill and cast a vote but her handlers don't feel the media should be given access to her, and I don't know why that is," Antenori told The Hill, referring to Giffords's recent return to the House to vote for the debt-ceiling increase deal.

"It's creating the legitimate question: Is she able to vigorously represent the district, or was this a one-time deal? Can she do this next term to the same degree of every member of Congress, is she able to continue that level of energy?"

Read More →

When the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced in June it was opening the door to ".anything" domains, the organization's president, Rod Beckstrom, said he hoped the decision would allow "the domain name system to better serve all of mankind."

But now the founding chairwoman of ICANN, who is no longer with the organization, has come out swinging against the proposal in a scathing new column.

Read More →

In a speech that sent stock prices tumbling, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke announced the central bank will not take bold new steps to stimulate the economy -- at least not yet. But he also ripped Congress for failing to do its part to combat unemployment with fiscal policy, and blamed brinkmanship over the debt limit for exacerbating the situation.

"Bouts of sharp volatility and risk aversion in markets have recently re-emerged in reaction to concerns about both European sovereign debts and developments related to the U.S. fiscal situation, including the recent downgrade of the U.S. long-term credit rating by one of the major rating agencies and the controversy concerning the raising of the U.S. federal debt ceiling," Bernanke said at an annual Fed symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. "The negotiations that took place over the summer disrupted financial markets and probably the economy as well, and similar events in the future could, over time, seriously jeopardize the willingness of investors around the world to hold U.S. financial assets or to make direct investments in job-creating U.S. businesses."

Don't do that again, he's warning. Except that top Republicans now say taking the debt ceiling hostage will be the new normal.

Read More →

Seven foundations and wealthy donors gave Islamophobic groups $42.6M from 2001 through 2009, according to a new report from the Center for American Progress.

"Sometimes the money flowing from these foundations and their donors is clearly designed to promote Islamophobia, but more often the support provided is for general purpose use, which the think tanks and grassroots organizations then put to use on their primary purpose -- spreading their messages of hate and fear as far and wide as they can," the report says.

"It is possible that some of these donors and foundations, who spend millions improving child health and creating a more equal society, have no knowledge of the hateful and inaccurate propaganda generated with their money," the report says.

Read More →

Rick Perry, by most measures the current frontrunner for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination at the moment, has been chatting with Donald Trump lately.

Team Trump tells Politico's James Hohmann -- who broke the story Friday -- that Perry has called Trump "on 'several occasions." Trump's folks seem to think this means Perry's looking for Trump's endorsement, though Perry's campaign wouldn't discuss the nature of the conversations with Hohmann and didn't respond immediately to TPM's request for comment.

Trump's representative says Romney's calling, too, though Romney's campaign did not immediately respond to TPM's request for comment either.

Read More →