TPM News

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) suggested Friday that the role of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives could be folded into the FBI in the wake of ATF's botched Fast and Furious operation.

Issa's House Oversight Committee has been investigating Fast and Furious, the operation which let guns flow across the border into Mexico in the course of an investigation aimed at stopping gun trafficking.

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Entertainment Weekly has a few nuggets from Donald Trump’s new book, “Time to Get Tough,” released today:

NBC execs should always listen to Trump’s ideas. “I told Jeff Zucker, who previously ran NBC, ‘Jeff, don’t move Jay Leno. He’s No. 1 in the evening, and when you are No. 1, you don’t move. … Don’t move Jay Leno — it’s a terrible mistake.”

He takes partial credit for Lady Gaga’s fame. “Maybe she became a star because I put her on the Miss Universe Pageant. It’s very possible, who knows what would have happened without it, because she caused a sensation. … I really believe I had at least something to do with it.”

Read the rest here.

Want to know what went wrong with Michele Bachmann in Iowa? She may have connected with Hawkeye State voters too much.

The latest numbers from the Des Moines Register poll show that Bachmann is the big winner in the retail poiticking category -- what many Iowa experts will tell you is the key to doing well in the caucus state. Asked which candidate they've seen in person, Register poll respondents put Bachmann at the top of the list.

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Herman Cain cast the end of his campaign as being a blow to the country as well as to him. It's certainly been a blow to cable news anchors, for whom the "Cain Train" has been an absolute godsend. TPM's Michael Lester has been plugged solidly into cable TV for the past few months, and this is how the end of the line seemed to him... expressed in montage form.

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Remember when newspapers had copy editors? Back in the good old days, a couple of people would read the paper's copy before it went to press.

But those days are over, leaving room for pesky profanity -- like "fuck," for example -- to sneak into the print edition. That's exactly what happened last week in The Greenville News, a South Carolina daily newspaper.

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New data from Gallup shows that a majority of Republican voters nationwide only find two of the current crop of GOP Presidential nominees “acceptable” standard bearers: former Mass Gov. Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. 62 percent of Republicans say Gingrich would be fine, along with 54 percent who say the same about Romney.

A majority of GOPers find the other candidates as unacceptable. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) and former PA Senator Rick Santorum ® are the least appealing options, with 62 percent of Republicans against them becoming the nominee.

From Gallup:

As the race for the GOP nomination enters the final month before actual voting begins, Republicans nationwide appear to have narrowed their field of acceptable candidates down to two -- former Speaker Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Romney. More Republicans see Gingrich than see Romney as an acceptable nominee, particularly among Tea Party supporters and older Republicans -- although a majority of both of these groups say Romney is also acceptable.

The efforts of various state legislatures to make it more difficult for people to vote are a direct response to the high levels of political participation by African-American voters in the 2008 election and the growth of communities of color shown in the U.S. Census, the NAACP claimed in a report released on Monday.

The "burgeoning political power" of minority voters, "has engendered a backlash," according to the report.

"In the face of far-reaching demographic and electoral trends revealing unprecedented minority political mobilization in America, an assault on voting rights accelerated in 2011," the report states. "In this year alone, over a dozen states imposed obstacles to voting at each key stage of the democratic process."

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Contrary to reports that Herman Cain was going to endorse Newt Gingrich today for the GOP’s presidential nomination, the pizza mogul has reportedly told the staff of his “suspended” campaign that he will not be endorsing anyone today… “or in the immediate future.”

According to NBC, Cain said he would endorse at some point… But not in “the immediate timeframe”:

"It's gonna happen, it's gonna happen. I have a process in mind that I'm going to go through in order to determine who I could possibly endorsement... It won't happen today. Most likely, it won't happen this week. They can calm down about that expectation."

The Des Moines Register reports:

“You’re not going to see a big bubble rise for us,” Santorum told reporters this morning. “It will be slow and steady and we’re going to surprise people on caucus day.”


“People have asked me what I have to do to get my spark and I’ve believed it from the very beginning that my spark will be the people of Iowa,” he said. “We’re seeing it every day. People are either leaving (other) camps or leaving the camp of the undecided and saying, ‘You’re the real conservative we can trust.’

“That’s what I think is going to happen here,” he continued. “It’s not going to be anything the media is going to do for me. It’s not going to be any debate performance is going to do. It’s going to be the hard work that we put in …”

At a press conference urging Congress to extend and expand the payroll tax cut as well as unemployment insurance benefits, President Obama pushed back on Republican claims that all tax cuts must be paid for: ‘At the beginning of the decade, Republicans didn’t feel the need to pay for massive tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans,’ he said. In addition, he pointed out, Republicans in Congress changed the rules at the beginning of this year so that tax cuts don’t have to be paid for.

While Obama agreed he wanted to offset the cuts, he pointed out that he had already cut spending this year, and that further cuts to education, the safety net, or similar programs would be unwise.