TPM News

Sarah Palin has long been the bane of liberals, but now she's apparently beginning to turn off members of her own party.

A Washington Post/ABC News poll released Wednesday morning finds that the percentage among self-identified Republicans who have a favorable opinion of Palin has dropped to a record low, while the number of Republicans who have an unfavorable opinion of the former Alaska governor has risen to a record high. It's the first time the survey has shown Palin drastically losing support within her own party.

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Michael Scanlon, Jack Abramoff's partner in crime, doesn't want to pony up the ill-gotten millions he owes to Abramoff's former lobbying firm, Greenberg Traurig, and he doesn't think he has to, his attorneys said Tuesday in a court filing.

Scanlon, who worked hand-in-glove with Abramoff, pleaded guilty to defrauding a group of Native American tribes out of tens of millions of dollars and last monthwas sentenced to 20 months in prison and ordered to pay Greenberg for its losses. Greenberg has settled a series of actual and threatened lawsuits from the tribes that Scanlon and Abramoff defrauded, and now the K Street giant is demanding that Scanlon make good on the court-ordered compensation payments and pay the firm more than $17 million.

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U.S. lawmakers are sticking to their past support for nuclear power despite Japan's ongoing crisis, but the disaster could put the kibosh on proposed funding cuts to nuclear safety programs in America.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) has called on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where he is the ranking minority member, to hold hearings on nuclear safety, and National Journal quotes a Republican aide saying that there will a budget hearing on the issue in the wake of Japan. The Republicans' proposed bill funding the government through September would cut $131 million from the Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Energy as well as $1.4 billion from emergency response training to chemical and radioactive disasters.

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The diplomatic standoff over CIA contractor Raymond Davis ended on Wednesday, after a Pakistani court acquitted and released Davis, who had been held for almost 2 months after shooting two men dead on the streets of Lahore. But the resolution came only after a deal was reached to pay the victims' families what the Punjab Law Minister called "blood money" -- in accordance with Islamic law.

In other words, Davis may have been bailed out by sharia.

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On Wednesday evening, Republican state legislators from Wisconsin will gather at the offices of prominent DC lobbying firm BGR Group for a high-dollar fundraiser.

If they hoped that escaping Madison and the labor protests that continue there even after Gov. Scott Walker (R) decisively won the latest round of the bout over collective bargaining, labor progressive groups aim to make it clear they were mistaken.

As the Republicans arrive at BGR for the fundraising event this evening, they'll be met by a coalition of left-wing activists who'll bring the frustration over Wisconsin to them.

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Obama Strategy: Share Credit (And Blame?) The New York Times reports: "As they prepare to wage political war against President Obama, the potential 2012 Republican candidates are doing everything they can to draw sharp distinctions with him. But Mr. Obama isn't cooperating. Rather than emphasize his differences with potential Oval Office rivals or Republican adversaries on Capitol Hill, the president is taking every opportunity he can to embrace members of the other party as co-conspirators in his efforts to confront the country's challenges."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama and Vice President Biden will receive the presidential daily briefing at 10 a.m. ET. Obama will meet at 1:35 p.m. ET with USAID Administrator Raj Shah, and will meet at 2 p.m. ET with senior advisers. At 2:55 p.m. ET, he will accept an award in conjunction with Sunshine Week, from a coalition of good government groups and transparency advocates. Obama and Biden will meet at 3:05 p.m. ET with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. At 5 p.m. ET, Obama will deliver remarks at a Democratic National Committee event.

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The House of Representatives passed emergency legislation Tuesday to keep the government funded through mid-April and avoid a shutdown reminiscent of the one Newt Gingrich triggered back in 1995.

That was the broader result Speaker John Boehner wanted, and, indeed, House GOP leadership has insisted for months now that they don't want a shutdown, period.

But Tuesday's outcome was nonetheless a mixed one for Boehner. It illustrated a reality he'd hoped to escape -- that a large chunk of his caucus won't vote with him if he compromises. Indeed, the 54 Republicans who voted against the stop-gap legislation put him in an unenviable box: Either he kowtows to his right flank, and pushes initiatives that can't pass in the Senate; or he abandons them, as Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has suggested, and passes consensus legislation. The latter option, however, would require significant concessions to win Democratic votes, and further delegitimize himself with the Tea Party base.

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Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus has a message for President Obama: How dare you be a sports fan!

Priebus just posted this on Twitter, linking to a right-wing blog post that attacked Obama for videotaping a brief segment on ESPN:

How can @BarackObama say he is leading when puts his NCAA bracket over the budget & other pressing issues? http://bit.ly/ieSuCI


Maybe Obama would have been better off not talking about sports -- that way, conservatives could stick to attacking him as an out-of-touch elitist.

Thirty-one Republicans on the House Energy And Commerce Committee -- the entire Republican contingent on the panel -- declined on Tuesday to vote in support of the very idea that climate change exists.

Democrats on the panel had suggested three amendments that said climate change is a real thing, is caused by humans and has potentially dire consequences for the future. The amendments came on a Republican bill to block the EPA from offering regulations to mitigate the results of global climate shifts. The global scientific community is in near unanimous agreement that climate change is real, and that humans contribute to it.

None of the 31 Republicans on the committee would vote yes on any of the amendments (Rep. Marsha Blackburn [R-TN] declined to vote on one.) The committee's 21 Democrats voted yes on all three.

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