TPM News

The White House is pushing back on an emerging Republican talking point in the Solyndra debacle: that the failure of one solar panel company spells doom for the future of green energy.

"As the Department of Energy has made clear, they have always recognized that not every one of the innovative companies helped would succeed, but we can't stop investing in game-changing technologies that are key to America's leadership in the global economy," White House spokesman Eric Schultz said in an email.

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Michele Bachmann's opposition to vaccinating young girls against HPV, a policy Rick Perry once championed -- and her allegation that it can lead to mental retardation -- is now getting further pushback from outside of the regular political sphere, with the American Academy of Pediatrics chiming in.

The Academy released this statement late Tuesday, joining the list of people rebutting Bachmann's comments, and the theory that vaccines cause brain damage:

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George Allen, who is running to reclaim his old Senate seat for the GOP in Virginia, is distancing himself from Rick Perry's rhetoric on Social Security.

Virginia Democrats recently went up with a video linking Allen to Perry, who is visiting the state, and highlighting Perry's quotes from a recent debate that the program is a "monstrous lie" and "Ponzi scheme." The ad also highlighted Allen's past support for President Bush's plan to privatize the program in 2005.

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MCALLEN, Texas (Reuters) – U.S. Border Patrol agents found a rocket launcher, assault rifles and explosives in a bag along the Rio Grande river in Texas, the agency said on Wednesday, suggesting a link to Mexico’s drug wars.

Rick Perry, meet your base.

A PPP poll out on Wednesday illustrates a clear contradiction within the GOP electorate: overwhelming majorities of voters who deride President Obama as a socialist, but who also love actual real social welfare programs -- Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid -- and don't want to see them cut.

For a candidate like Rick Perry, that cognitive dissonance could present real problems. He's rocketed to the front of the pack on the strength of his appeal to the Tea Party, where the Obama-as-socialist rhetoric runs red hot. He's also pretty much declared war on Social Security.

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Bank of America Corp must reinstate a Countrywide whistleblower fired shortly after the two companies merged in 2008 and pay the employee $930,000, the Labor Department said on Wednesday.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly attributed remarks by Rep. Kurt Schrader to Rep. John Barrow. TPM regrets the error.

Blue Dog Democrats are pushing members of the joint deficit Super Committee to reduce the deficit significantly more than they've been tasked with. But they don't want to talk about President Obama's jobs plan. And beneath the surface its clear that there are major differences between the White House and conservative members of his party.

Leaders of the Blue Dog caucus held a press conference in the Capitol Visitor's Center Wednesday to push the Super Committee to "go big." But thanks to an explicit efforts by Democrats and the administration the deficit panel's work has become linked to the idea of job creation, and Obama's jobs bill. But the Blue Dogs didn't really want to talk about it.

After the press conference I asked Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC) whether he agreed with CBO chief Doug Elmendorf -- and by extension Obama -- that the wisest economic path involves near term stimulus followed by long-run fiscal restraint.

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By Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield

Sometimes a clever inventor or a team of engineers changes the way we think about an appliance or a concept we've lived with for years -- producing a revolutionary new design that makes us wonder how we ever lived without it.

But sometimes a supposed revolutionary new design is little more than changing something for changes' sake, producing a product that never quite catches on.

So when electric automaker Mia invited us to test drive its tiny electric microbus ahead of the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show -- complete with a centrally-mounted driving position -- we had to see if it was revolutionary or just plain weird.

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Michele Bachmann's presidential campaign announced on Wednesday that the congresswoman will be appearing on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno this Friday, September 16.  According to the press release, Rep. Bachmann will "share with Mr. Leno and his studio audience what life is like on the campaign trail, personal stories, and 2012 campaign plans."

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