TPM News

A proposal in San Francisco to ban the circumcision of males under 18 is facing a legal challenge after opponents filed suit to block the measure from the ballot in November.

The Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Community Relations Council of San Francisco and number of Jewish and Muslim individuals filed suit Wednesday, saying San Francisco would have no power to enforce the ban.

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A new anti-abortion movie called "Gates Of Hell" envisions a world where the government outlaws abortion because a group of black terrorists begins murdering abortion doctors.

Molotov Mitchell, a contributor for World Net Daily who produced the film, said in a promotion that "this film could do more damage to the abortion industry than anything we've seen. 'Gates of Hell' raises questions about Planned Parenthood's racist history in a way that's never been done before."

"But best of all, it casts a vision of what a post-abortion America could look like," he said.

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His mother called him Sonny, and he is Jimmy to his friends and siblings, but everyone else knows him as Whitey. James "Whitey" Bulger, Boston's most notorious gangster, was arrested Wednesday after a 16-year manhunt. Once the head of the Winter Hill Gang, as well as a top FBI informant, Bulger will now finally face charges related to 19 murders and a host of other crimes. And while the 81-year-old's long criminal career effectively ended while on the run in Santa Monica, Calif., it began, and will forever be linked to, South Boston.

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Energy Secretary and Nobel Prize winner Stephen Chu dropped a little science on OPEC Thursday, announcing that America would try to devalue its pricey oil by unleashing 30 million barrels of its own via the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Adding to its oomph, the move was part of a coordinated effort with US allies in the International Energy Agency, who are contributing another 30 million barrels themselves.

Chu said in a statement that they were tapping the reserve "due to supply disruptions in Libya and other countries and their impact on the global economic recovery." But will their plan actually make a difference?

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BALTIMORE, MD -- Newt Gingrich fired up the crowd in this blue state with the promise that President Obama is so bad that he's made it possible for the Republicans to win over the African American vote in 2012.

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Newt Gingrich Through The Ages]

Gingrich stopped off at an airport Marriott near Baltimore Thursday to keynote the Maryland GOP's annual Red, White & Blue banquet. Before the speech, he assured reporters that his campaign was still going strong. When he took the podium, he offered Republican donors a long, dense speech full of red meat and warnings about the state of the world around us.

He also said it was time for Republicans to tell African Americans how terrible Obama has been for them.

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On Wednesday, the Congressional Budget Office released its updated long-term budget forecast, which looked surprisingly like the previous version of its long-term budget forecast.

It showed, as one might expect, that if the Bush tax-cuts remain in effect and Medicare and Medicaid spending isn't constrained in some way, the country will topple into a genuine fiscal crisis -- not the fake one the Congress is pretending the country's in right now.

Republicans, of course, seized on that particular projection, and claimed (a bit ridiculously) that it proved the government must adopt their precise policy views: major spending cuts, particularly to entitlement programs.

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Private prison companies have helped fuel government policies which lead to an increase in prison population and boost their profits, according to a recent report.

The private prison population has grown 353.7 percent in the past 15 years, according to a study by the Justice Policy Institute. Major private prison companies have an incentive to encourage policies which keep that number on the rise.

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NEAR BALTIMORE, MD -- Newt Gingrich still has a press guy. The staffer ended up waylaying some reporters briefly while they waited for the former House Speaker to walk from the VIP room to the banquet hall at the Maryland GOP's annual Red, White and Blue Dinner here Thursday night. He slipped past.

Gingrich is the keynote speaker, and thanks to one wily member of the press corps from Huffington Post, Gingrich ended up taking press questions anyway. The theme, not surprisingly, was the viability of Gingrich's lagging presidential campaign.

Rumors of its demise, Gingrich said, are greatly exaggerated.

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The two men the feds just charged with terrorism and firearms related charges for plotting to attack a military installation in Seattle allegedly worried they were "gonna look like fools" if they ran out of ammunition and used the password "OBL" (for Osama bin Laden) for picking up bus tickets.

FBI officials were monitoring 33-year-old Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif (aka Joseph Anthony Davis) of Seattle and 32-year-old Walli Mujahidh (aka Frederick Domingue) of Los Angeles when they took possession of machine guns they purchased and were planning to use to attack the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) located on East Marginal Way, Seattle.

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