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Should ISPs should be able to limit or cut off your internet access for "overuse"? We won't get to the heart of this matter until people start asking the right questions. And so with that in mind I wanted to summarize the key issues. I'm also going to include a few questions that will make any broadband provider squirm--because, frankly, there aren't good answers.
It's my hope that all of you (including the press and politicians) will use these questions as a bit of a crib sheet, and challenge broadband providers when they duck answering them. It's time to let consumers, press, and politicians continue this debate. And as much as my experience here has put a face on this issue, it isn't about me-so I will purposely be stepping back a bit to let the real issues take center stage.
So what is the key issue?
Data caps are arbitrary and harm consumers by stifling innovation and choice.

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Tim Pawlenty is getting a very special reaction to his new TV ad, in which he calls on Iowa voters to "prove the experts wrong" and give his struggling campaign an underdog's victory: A cease-and-desist letter from ABC Sports. They're going after him for unauthorized use of sports footage from the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" U.S. hockey team.

"It's a violation of our copyright and exclusive proprietary rights," said Louise Argianas, director of rights and clearances for ABC Sports, the Des Moines Register reports.

"And they used our announcer's voice which they are not allowed to do either," Argianas added "Which I'm going to have to call his agent about."

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A former reporter and the former legal manager for News Of The World are disputing part of James Murdoch's Tuesday testimony before Parliament, saying he knew there were other reporters involved in the phone hacking before News Corp settled a phone hacking lawsuit by the former head of Professional Footballers' Association.

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The White House is denying reports, including this one, that President Obama is close to a deal with House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on a debt limit/deficit reduction package comprised of concrete spending cuts, and aspirational revenue increases.

White House spokesman Dan Pfeiffer tweeted that reports of a $3 trillion deal without revenues were incorrect. "POTUS believes we need a balanced approach that includes revenues," he wrote. However, what the President believes and what he may ultimately feel compelled to sign off on are not necessarily the same. Equally, Pfeiffer's tweet would not seem to rule out the idea of "aspirational" revenues that would come at some unspecified time in the future, while coupled with cuts that could begin immediately.

With that in mind, Senate Democrats are worried. One top Dem aide explained the problem: In early negotiations that ultimately collapsed, Obama and Boehner considered passing a package of spending cuts with a promise to tackle tax reform in the coming months. But -- this is key -- a failsafe written in to the grand bargain would have decoupled most of the Bush tax cuts from those cuts benefiting only top earners. If comprehensive tax reform failed to pass this Congress, those top bracket cuts would expire.

Now, the aide says, Democrats are concerned that the White House might abandon that failsafe.

Senate Democrats just had a feisty meeting with White House budget director Jack Lew, and raised concerns about this and similar reports. And in a statement to reporters after the meeting broke Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) sought out reporters to push Obama not to budge on his vow that any debt reduction plan must contain balance (read revenue).

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In a few weeks, the first major contest of the 2012 Iowa caucus kicks off in Ames. The famous Ames Straw Poll is a mixture of Republican politicking, theater and raw, unadulterated capitalism.

Herman Cain doesn't want the state GOP to ruin the fun. "By putting people on the ballot who didn't pay, [the state party] has the potential to weaken Iowa's status as the first in the nation caucus," Cain spokesperson Ellen Carmichael told TPM.

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A Congressional aide briefed on ongoing negotiations between House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama says the two principals may be nearing a "grand bargain" to raise the debt limit which would contain large, set-in-stone spending cuts but only the possibility of future revenue increases.

"All cuts," the aide said. "Maybe revenues some time in the future."

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Debt Ceiling Negotiations At The White House]

The status of negotiations has Democratic aides on both sides of the Capitol nervous and unhappy. And the notion that the impasse over the debt limit may be nearing an end is sparking denials from both the White House and Boehner's office -- in part, perhaps, because neither side has buy-in from their parties on a consensus plan.

A White House spokesman called the claims from aides "not credible" -- the result of having a "third-hand version of the facts."

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