TPM News

A new Fox News poll shows Newt Gingrich essentially tied with Mitt Romney for the lead, at 23 precent to 22 percent.

Cain garners 15 percent in the poll.

Acting on information generated by agents in the Secret Service's Pittsburgh field office, a Pennsylvania police officer arrested Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez at a hotel near Indiana, Pennsylvania, the agency said Wednesday.

Ortega-Hernandez was taken into custody around 12:35 p.m. and is currently in the custody of state police. Authorities believe he is the individual who fired two bullets at the White House on Friday night.

The controversial House hearing over the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act on Wednesday was criticized in advance for featuring only one witness against the legislation: a representative from Google.

But Katherine Oyama, Google's policy counsel, certainly made the most of her time in front of lawmakers, arguing that as written, the SOPA legislation would infringe upon Americans' Constitutionally-protected Free Speech rights and would make the Internet less secure for all users.

"We are concerned that the bill sets a precedent in favor of Internet censorship and could jeopardize our nation's cybersecurity," Oyama said in her prepared statement.

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Michele Bachmann has pounced on revelations that Newt Gingrich, one of her rivals for the GOP presidential nomination, took in roughly $1.6 million while working for the housing and mortgages giant, Freddie Mac.

According to the National Journal, the Minnesota congresswoman accused Gingrich of ‘shilling’ for the company.

“Whether former Speaker Gingrich made $300,000 or whether he made $2 million, the point is that he took money to influence senior Republicans to be favorable toward Fannie and Freddie,” she reportedly told an Iowa audience.

Gingrich has denied that he did lobbying work for Freddie Mac, saying instead that he was being paid for his ‘strategic advice’ as ‘an historian.’

Democratic aides were paying close attention to Super Committee co-chair Jeb Hensraling's appearance on CNBC Tuesday night. For them, the most worrying thing was this part:

"We have gone as far as we feel we can go," Hensarling said. "We put $250 billion of what is known as static revenue on the table, but only if we can bring down rates. We believe we can bring the top individual rate down to 28, 29, maybe at most 30 percent, bring the corporate rate down to the median of the EU, 25 percent. And on balance, we think that would be pro growth. But, listen, any penny of increased static revenue is a step in the wrong direction."

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The Democratic National Committee has a new web video out, slamming Mitt Romney for his having floated an idea for privatizing veterans' benefits via health care vouchers.

The video demonstrates that despite the various explosions in popularity (and subsequent implosions) for right-wing candidates like Rick Perry, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich, the Dems are not taking their eyes off the candidate that most pundits still expect to be the Republican nominee.

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Protestors with the Occupy D.C. movement marched through the nation's capital on Tuesday night to stand up to aggressive police tactics against others in the Occupy movement across the country. But on the local front, they say they don't have much to complain about, as far as the cops go.

While other Occupy protestors from New York to Berkeley have been roughed up by police, activists and law enforcement authorities in the District have been getting along pretty well.

"It's been better than I... I'm not a fan of the police, so I'm almost biting my tongue saying this, but the police have been surprising awesome," Britney Steer told TPM.

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Police on Tuesday morning evicted Occupy Wall Street protesters from their encampment in downtown Manhattan's Zuccotti Park. And Stephen Colbert says good riddance!

"Clearly their expression was prohibiting other expression," Colbert said Tuesday. "After all, when a drum circle starts in Zuccotti Park, all other music in New York stops."

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Republicans on the Super Committee are openly toying with the idea of reneging on the debt limit deal, which created a penalty designed to get panel members of both parties to compromise on cutting the deficit. If they actually try, though, they'll be rebuking House Speaker John Boehner, who only two weeks ago said he's obligated to follow through on his commitment.

The penalty, which will be triggered if the Committee fails, would cut hundreds of billions of dollars from both defense programs and Medicare providers. The former was designed to bring Republicans to the table, the latter, Democrats. Now even the committee's GOP co-chair is saying that if there's no agreement, he and congressional Republicans will fight to change the defense cuts -- in other words, he and others in the Republican will go back on their commitment.

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