TPM News

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) says he's found the one thing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) doesn't flip-flop on: grabbing power by any means necessary.

"I cannot think of a public policy" Romney hasn't changed positions on, Frank said in a blistering interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "The only consistent principle of Mitt Romney is he thinks he should run the world."

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Tim Pawlenty has a plan for America, and it would force the government out of just about every sphere of American life where it exists now.

Pawlenty's tax plan, by design and effect, would dramatically erode the government's revenue base. As noted here, his plan would reduce the top individual income tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent, cut the top corporate rate from 25 percent to 15 percent, and allow pass-through corporations to pay taxes at the corporate -- not the individual -- rate. He also wants to completely eliminate capital gains taxes, taxes on dividends and interest, and the estate tax.

An independent analysis found that it would cost the Treasury over $11 trillion over the course of a decade -- nearly three times the cost of the Bush tax cuts -- most of which would benefit the wealthiest Americans.

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Two leading Republicans say they do not support President Obama's plan to broaden, deepen, and extend a payroll tax cut to stimulate the economy in the short-term.

In a briefing with reporters in the Capitol Tuesday, the House and Senate GOP conference chairs said they're through with short-term stimulus measures, even if they take the form of tax cuts.

"Well they've tried this once, and it hasn't seemed to be working," said Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX).

His Senate counterpart, Lamar Alexander (R-TN) echoed this view.

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Looking to exploit a rare rift between Republicans and anti-tax groups, Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) renewed calls on Tuesday to include revenue increases in any deficit deal.

Some 34 Senate Republicans voted for an amendment ending ethanol subsidies on Tuesday, despite warnings from anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist that dropping tax credits counted as a tax hike. The divide over the issue is complicated and hinges on regional factors in both parties, but Democrats largely voted against the unsuccessful amendment due to stated objections to the procedure by which it was brought up.

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Since formally announcing that he would seek the presidency, Newt Gingrich's support has completely fallen apart among members of his own party, according to a forthcoming NBC/Wall Street Journal poll.

In an early look at that survey published Wednesday afternoon, NBC News said that a plurality of Republicans now have an unfavorable opinion of Gingrich, with 34% viewing the former Speaker of the House unfavorably, compared to 32% who view him favorably. That's a huge shift from just two months ago when 50% of GOPers liked Gingrich, while only 13% did not.

Further, 48% of all Americans now view Gingrich unfavorably according to the poll, an all time high that topped even his worst marks from his days in Congress, during the push for President Clinton's impeachment.

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Jimmy Camp, campaign manager for Republican Craig Huey -- who's trying to pull off an upset win in the special election to replace retired Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) next month -- says he is as upset as anyone about the shocking web video a conservative PAC put up yesterday to help out his candidate.

"I don't know how we would get them to take something off the [YouTube]," Camp told TPM in an interview Wednesday. "If I could wave a magic wand and have it off, I would."

Camp condemned the content of the ad, which attacks Democratic candidate Janice Hahn and has been labeled "the most vile, racist, sexist ad we have ever seen" by Hahn endorser EMILY's List. He called the 90-second video "offensive" and "inappropriate," adding that "it has nothing to do with our campaign."

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