TPM News

The police department in Santa Cruz, California, has begun an experiment that uses a mathematical algorithm to predict when and where certain crimes will be committed, and puts police on the scene before they happen.

So far police have arrested five people using this technique of "predictive policing" and the rates of certain categories of crimes in the city have dropped significantly, perhaps as a result. The program has correctly predicted 40 percent of the crimes it was designed to monitor.

Police departments have said that programs such as these, if proved to be reliable, could help them to deploy their resources more efficiently.

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Speaking earlier this morning, presidential advisor David Axelrod strongly denied that the White House was working on passing the American Jobs Act in a piece meal fashion, stating ‘We’re not in a negotiation to break up the package, and it’s not an a la carte menu. It is a strategy to get this country moving.’

Yet hours later, economic advisor Gene Sperling contradicted Axelrod when he told reporters at a jobs summit that while the administration will make a ‘strong push’ for the passage of the whole bill, but if the president were presented with parts of the plan ‘his instinct would not be to reject things he favored but to come back and keep fighting and fighting to get the entire program.’

Speculation was rampant yesterday that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal was positioning himself for a spot on the GOP ticket by endorsing Texas Governor Rick Perry. In an interview with The Daily Caller, Jindal called the Texan ‘a great neighbor’ and expressed his admiration for Perry’s economic record. After the debate however, Jindal moved to quash the festering rumors, telling CNN that he wouldn’t seek the V.P. slot; instead he would like to focus on being ‘governor of the great state of Louisiana.’

In an interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN last night after the GOP primary debate, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) scornfully critiqued the candidates behavior. ‘Anyone watching the debate tonight, Anderson,’ she said ‘watched the Republican candidates, as expected, worship at the altar with the Tea Party.’

The congresswoman continued, criticizing the candidates for their focus on repealing President Obama’s health care reform, pointing out that to do so would ‘cost seniors $3,000 in additional prescription drug costs’ in addition to eliminating free wellness visits and preventative screenings.‘ Wasserman Schultz drove home her point, noting 'The Republicans demonstrated tonight just how out of touch they are’ by applauding leaving people ‘twisting in the wind’ without health coverage.

The U.S. Census Bureau has released new figures showing that the poverty rate in 2010 — 15.1 percent — was the highest since 1993. See the full release here.

QUEENS, NY - New York's most successful lawmakers may be among the most liberal in the country on many issues, but when it comes to Israel, any skilled politician knows that you tack hard right every time. That was certainly the case for Anthony Weiner. And Democrat David Weprin, running to replace him in Tuesday's special election, is no exception: an Orthodox Jew, he's visited Israel many times and takes an unfailingly hawkish stance on negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.

"I think going back to pre-'67 borders as a starting point is a mistake, it's not a defensible point of view," he told reporters on Monday. "Israel right now from a security point of view doesn't have a negotiating partner, certainly while the Palestinian Authority is affiliating with Hamas. I've been very vocal on that. I think my record on Israel is pretty solid."

Yet Weprin is getting battered by his non-Jewish opponent over Israel at every turn and anecdotal and statistical evidence alike suggests the issue is gaining traction in the district, a third of which is Jewish and many of whom are ultra-Orthodox. The latest poll by Democratic PPP shows that 37% of likely voters consider Israel "very important" to their vote -- and they're breaking 71-22 for Turner.

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Democratic and Republican members of the joint deficit Super Committee will meet Tuesday for their first substantive meeting, which will examine the history and driver of the country's debt, and the risk it poses in the future.

It will be the committee's second meeting overall and its first since President Obama pushed the panel in his joint address to Congress to find significantly more than the $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction they're required to find, to finance a near-term jobs bill.

That pressure has some Republicans saying that Obama's needlessly complicated the committee's task -- finding $1.2 trillion in cuts, revenues and savings is hard enough! -- and members should keep their eyes on the more modest goal spelled out in the debt limit law.

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The AP reports:

Obama’s top campaign strategist, David Axelrod, said Tuesday that the White House wants Congress to act on the entire bill rather than approaching it piecemeal. “We’re not in a negotiation to break up the package,” he said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “It’s not an a la carte menu.”

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – A group representing sexual abuse victims is accusing Pope Benedict and three top Vatican officials of crimes against humanity in a formal declaration lodged with the International Criminal Court.