TPM News

House Republicans are on the cusp of passing legislation that would slash federal spending dramatically over the next six months, and they've larded it up with extraneous riders, which would undermine many of President Obama's accomplishments.

That sounds terrible, but on the bright side it gave Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) a chance to unload on the GOP's "orgy of self-congratulation."

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TPM recently reported that DARPA, the Department of Defense's agency that develops new technologies for future military use, has been laying the ground work to send humans five light-years into space to visit the stars. "How can they top themselves after announcing that?" you might be wondering.

Two words: "Cyber Camouflage." How about another two words? "Robotic Hummingbirds." These are just two of the hundreds of projects DARPA has included in their 2012 unclassified budget request. Barack Obama's 2012 budget proposal requests $2.9 billion in funding for DARPA, including $270 million in sensor technology, $61 million to machine intelligence, and $107 million for "Classified DARPA Programs."

Here's quick run-down of some of DARPA's proposals:

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker may be engaged in a high-stakes political battle with Democrats and state workers, but he's playing with fire by clashing with the Green Bay Packers, warn two Democratic members of the state's delegation in the U.S. House.

In a match-up between Walker and the Packers, Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), a popular former county prosecutor in the state, says his money is on his Superbowl champions.

"I wouldn't want to be going up against the Packers right now," he said.

"Yeah, I like those odds," remarked Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI).

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The teachers unions in Wisconsin are continuing to revolt against the anti-public union provisions of Republican Gov. Scott Walker's budget proposal, with more and more schools closing down from teachers calling in sick en masse.

In the capital city of Madison, where the "sick-out" began on Wednesday, the school closings have continued into its third day, the local CBS affiliate reports.



And among the many other districts with closures throughout the state, now another big shoe has dropped. The Milwaukee Public Schools, the largest district in the state, has closed its schools Friday.

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Add Tennessee to the list of states primed for a fight over public sector worker rights.

The Senate Education Committee voted along party lines Wednesday to abolish collective bargaining between teachers unions and school boards across the state.

The vote was 6-3, with all Republicans on the panel voting for the bill and all Democrats against.

Sponsor Sen. Jack Johnson said passage of the bill -- SB113 -- will remove 'an albatross from around the neck of our school boards across the state' and remove a roadblock to education reform.

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Stephen Colbert may have crossed the streams.

Earlier this week, Colbert poked fun at the Huffington Post for aggregating original news from other sites, announcing the creation of his own site, The Colbuffington Re-Post, an identical copy of HuffPo with his title pasted across the top. Naturally, HuffPo then wrote a story about Colbert's site -- which was then automatically re-posted on Colbert's site.

You can see where this is going.

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What better way to alleviate Americans' false perceptions of Muslims than to win them over with a heart warming sitcom about an average Muslim family in America?

Using The Cosby Show as their model, The Daily Show tried to do just that Thursday night, screening a pilot of their fictional program, 'The Qu'osby Show' starring correspondent Aasif Mandvi. In the show, Mandvi and his family did their best to act like a normal American family, line dancing to Toby Keith, high-fiving, and drinking 'Pork Juice.'

And of course, Mandvi wore Cosby's signature tacky sweaters throughout.

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