TPM News

Last week brought a survey from Magellan Strategies that showed a new result in the New Hampshire Republican primary -- former Mass Gov. Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich were locked in a statistical tie for first place among a large sample of nearly 750 GOP primary voters. But a new poll from Suffolk University released Monday night found the race to be essentially where its always been, Romney with about two-fifths of the electorate and the rest of the field duking it out for the balance.

Romney leads the GOP field with 41 percent in the Suffolk poll, followed by Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) tied for second with 14 percent each. The other GOP candidates were each in single digits.

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Jose Pimentel, the "lone wolf" arrested in the terror sting run by the New York Police Department, smoked marijuana with the NYPD's cooperating informant in the case, an official familiar with the sting tells TPM.

An official with the local prosecutor's office said they were personally unaware of the marijuana detail on Monday afternoon. The NYPD did not respond to a request for comment. The marijuana detail was also reported by the New York Times on Monday night.

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President Obama on Monday threatened to veto any effort to avoid the automatic spending cuts triggered by the deficit super committee's failure to reach a deal.

Obama -- who spoke for about four minutes and took no questions -- placed the blame for the committee's failure to reach a deal on Republicans, saying that Democrats offered concessions on entitlement programs, but Republicans wouldn't budge. Obama added that, one way or another, the U.S. will trim the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years -- a goal the super committee originally sought to achieve.

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University of California-Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi on Monday apologized to students for last week's pepper-spraying incident, where a campus police officer at point-blank range sprayed down a group of sitting protesters.

"I feel horrible for what happened on Friday, Katehi told a rally of students. "If you think you don't want to be students in a university like we had Friday, I'm just telling you, I don't want to be the chancellor of the university we had on Friday."

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The United States in number one...when it comes to intellectual property, that is.

American companies accounted for 64 percent of all firms around the world that were issued U.S. patents in 2010, up from 54 percent a year earlier, according to the latest Patent Power Scorecards, an annual tally of the global patent landscape from patent research firm 1790 Analytics and the electrical engineering trade publication IEEE Spectrum.

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OK, Herman Cain.....

If there was one thing you would think would sink a presidential campaign it would be not one but five separate people accusing you of sexual harassment. However, buoyed by a conservative media certain these were scurrilous accusations, Cain used it as a fundraising platform.

But, like a photo negative exposed to too much light, the more scrutiny Cain came under, the more and more he faded. Evan McMorris-Santoro reflects on what you really have to do these days to lose the GOP nomination.

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So much for that idea. Mitt Romney is rapidly walking back a proposal to partially privatize VA care after a wave of criticism from Democrats and veterans groups.

"I have no proposal of that nature," Romney told the Nashua Telegraph on Monday. "We had a group of veterans and said, 'tell me about the quality of your care.' Some were concerned about the quality of their health care. I said, 'what kind of options do you have, what do you think about a system that let you go to private as well as VA hospitals?' The response was mixed, but I don't have any proposal of that nature. We have a VA system that needs to be improved and I've got no plans to change that other than to make it better and to invest more money in providing for our veterans."

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Democrats have three words for Republican presidential candidates who attack President Obama as weak on defense in Tuesday's foreign policy debate: Osama Bin Laden.

Three of the leading military minds in the party, former NATO Commander General Wesley Clark, former Navy Secretary Richard Danzig, and retired Major General Paul Eaton, lit into the Republican field at a press conference in Washington for their shifting positions and made clear that Obama's military achievements -- including the Al Qaeda leader's death -- will be fair political game in 2012.

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Get this: Fox News is -- gasp! -- not all that informative, according to Fairleigh Dickinson University's latest PublicMind poll.

The poll -- which asked New Jerseyans where they find news and information about current events -- found that Sunday morning news shows are the most informative, while Fox News actually leads people to be less informed than those who consume no news at all.

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A whirl of last minute meetings and shuttle diplomacy weren't enough to help the 12-member deficit Super Committee reach agreement on anything. Late on Monday, co-chairs Jeb Hensarling and Patty Murray put the panel to bed in an official statement.

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