TPM News

In an interview with George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) tried to hedge on the matter of birtherism -- using the line used by some Republicans who fall short of fully endorsing the conspiracy theory, while saying that Obama should just release his birth certificate (which he already did three years ago). To which George Stephanopoulos answered: Obama has released his birth certificate -- and here it is.

During the interview, Stephanopoulos asked Bachmann about how a prominent supporter of hers in Iowa has introduced a "birther bill" in the state legislature, which would require presidential candidates to supply their birth certificates to the state.

"Well, Governor Jan Brewer just vetoed that bill in Arizona," said Bachman, "because she felt that that was a bridge too far -- that it wouldn't be up to the authenticators in each state to do that, that that would be a federal issue. There is a federal piece of legislation that hasn't gone anywhere that would also require that candidates put forward their birth certificate. I have no problem giving my birth certificate, it wouldn't bother me at all. I've got one, its authenticated, take it."

"Well, but so does the president," Stephanopoulos replied.

Read More →

Donald Trump brushed aside questions about his business record in an interview with NBC Nightly News on Tuesday, saying that he gets paid millions of dollars "because of my genius."

NBC's Michael Isikoff probed Trump about several of his business deals that have gone sour, most notably the hotel and casino venture in Atlantic City which bears his name that has filed for bankruptcy protection three times. Trump deflected that question, saying that he was not in charge of day to day management.

"I was chairman but I didn't run the company," Trump said. "I had nothing to do with running the company."

Read More →

Despite heated words in progressive circles during the health care vote, House Democrats who bucked the party last year and voted against the Affordable Care Act had little to fear from primary challengers. Until now: Dan Lipinski is facing a highly credible challenge in his Chicago district from the left that could put his health care vote front and center

John Atkinson, a health care activist and insurance executive, is laying the groundwork for a high-spending campaign, reports Politico. Atkinson has not formally announced a run, but calls health care his "threshold issue" and says that Lipinski's opposition to the ACA "caused me to open my eyes a little bit."

Atkinson opened some eyes of his own with a huge $535,000 fundraising quarter this year, the most of any Democratic challenger. $270,000 came out of his own pocket.

Lipinski, who is pro-life, voted against the final health care law because he felt its language on abortion wasn't sufficiently restrictive. He took office in 2005 after succeeding his father, Bill Lipinski, who held the seat for over two decades. The seat is solidly Democratic, voting 64% for President Obama in 2008, providing an opening for a progressive challenger.

Republican governors stormed into state houses this January after campaigning against federal spending, and various so-called state bailouts. They won in part by painting a slanted picture of fiscal mismanagement by their Democratic predecessors.

That rhetoric -- and the rhetoric of their more senior Republican peers -- continues to this day, and occasionally translates into genuinely puzzling acts of malgovernance. Florida Governor Rick Scott, for example, turned down $2.4 billion in federal funds to build a high-speed rail line from Orlando to Tampa.

But in other ways, their failure to publicly embrace additional federal commitments during tough economic times has left them behind the eight ball, politically. As the costs to their states of providing needed social services has risen, and their revenue has fallen, they're looking for sub rosa ways to take the money without catching flak from their bases.

Read More →

Forget enthusiasm. Republicans are so jaded about their party's current crop of presidential contenders that barely a plurality say they're even 'satisfied' with the likely GOP candidates, according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll.

In the poll, 43% of Republicans adults said they were satisfied with the potential GOP contenders. But nearly as many, 40%, said they were dissatisfied with the party's options for president. Only 5% of respondents said they were very satisfied with the Republican field.

By comparison, Republicans were far more excited about the GOP field last time around than they are now. In a February 2007, a em>Washington Post/ABC News poll found that almost three-fourths of Republicans (73%) were satisfied with their choices. While that number dipped slightly to 69% at the end of 2007, it was still much higher than the level of satisfaction found in the latest poll.

Read More →

Obama Melds Politics With Policy On California Trip Reuters reports: "President Barack Obama will tout his plan to trim the deficit and try to excite younger voters on Wednesday in a campaign-style trip to California that features a stop at Facebook headquarters. Obama embarks on a deficit-cutting road show as policy makers and financial markets recover from ratings agency Standard & Poor's threat to downgrade America's triple-A credit rating on worries Washington won't address its fiscal woes."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will receive the presidential daily briefing at 9:20 a.m. ET. He will depart form the White House at 10:05 a.m. ET, and depart from Andrews Air Force Base at 10:40 a.m. ET, arriving at 4:30 p.m. ET in San Francisco, California. At 4:45 p.m. ET, he will participate in a Shared Responsibility and Shared Prosperity town hall hosted by Facebook, to discuss his vision for bringing down our deficit. He will deliver remarks at a DNC event at 9:15 p.m. ET, and deliver remarks at another DNC event at 11:30 p.m. ET.

Read More →

It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's just an unemployed guy in a red cape.

A Florida unemployment agency is under investigation for spending $14,000 in public funds on red superhero capes as part or broader campaign that frames joblessness as a battle between good and evil. The agency, Workforce Central Florida, even created a fictional villain, Dr. Evil Unemployment, whose superpower is apparently handing out pink slips in a bid to somehow take over the world.

Read More →

Democrats are launching a broad effort to drive a wedge into the House GOP using Paul Ryan's plan to replace Medicare with a voucher system and already at least two lawmakers are looking very skittish on the GOP proposal.

The Washington Post's Greg Sargent highlights quotes from Rep. Dave McKinley (R-WV) and Denny Rehberg (R-MT) in the local press in which they express serious concerns about the Medicare overhaul's effect on seniors. Both voted against the GOP budget, two of only four Republicans to do so.

"The Congressional Budget Office determined that some of the out-of-pocket costs could double for seniors and that sent up a red flag for me that we need to look at it," McKinley told the Charleston Daily Mail, adding he was "uncomfortable" with the idea.

Rehberg told the Great Falls Tribune that "there are still too many unanswered questions with regard to Medicare reform, and I simply won't support any plan until I know for a fact that Montana's seniors will be protected."

At a fundraiser for Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) in Cleveland on Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden used a colorful metaphor to describe Republicans' forthrightness about their plans to cut and phase out entitlements.

"This is not your father's Republican Party," he said. "The Republicans this time are totally, and I don't mean this in a pejorative sense, are out of the closet. They are laying out for the first time what they are for and how they think they are going to deal with the problem. That's a debate I can hardly wait for - hopefully with Donald Trump."

Speaking extemporaneously to a group of Democratic donors and Brown supporters, Biden explained that Democrats are grateful that Republicans have laid out their controversial plans so clearly.

The budget House Republicans passed last week, Biden said, will translate in election season into "things as simple as bumper stickers and as profound as the future of the country."