TPM News

The Supreme Court has just agreed to hear challenges to President Obama’s health care reform law. The court is likely to issue a ruling on the law by July, Reuters reports.

From the SCOTUSblog:

The take away is that the Court has granted essentially all of the health care related questions, and granted extensive oral argument time.

Congress is busy. It has to extend federal funding for all federal agencies before November 18, or else the government will shut down, and the deficit Super Committee has to recommend a big package of budget cuts to the House and Senate by November 23, or set in motion dramatic automatic spending cuts to defense programs and Medicare providers. But it's still suffering a hangover from the debt limit fight. And so this week House GOP leaders will fulfill one of the terms of the debt limit law, and appease some conservatives, by holding a vote on a Constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment.

There's a bit of a strife among Republicans -- and even among some Democrats -- over the details of such an amendment. But almost any version would constitute a radical policy shift for the country, and threaten key safety net programs as the country ages and the cost of health care soars. It would lead to dramatic swings in U.S. fiscal policy, and at a time of high unemployment, would cost the economy dearly.

Don't believe me, here's what analysts at Macroeconomic Advisers said about it.

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The King Street Patriots are a Texas Tea Party group with an anti-voter fraud spin off organization that is plotting a nationwide poll watching movement and advocates for voter ID laws. Matthew Vadum is a conservative columnist who thinks that registering poor people to vote is un-American and "like handing out burglary tools to criminals." On Monday, the King Street Patriots will be hosting him for lunch in Houston.

For $100, guests of the King Street Patriots can dine at Maggiano's for a four-course meal and a signed copy of Vadum's Subversion Inc.: How Obama's ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers. They'll learn all about how a group with "such an innocent sounding name and endearing logo" is really "a criminal organization with the goal of the destruction of America and the installation of a totalitarian government."

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There was more evidence Monday that sexual harassment accusations against Herman Cain are starting to stick, despite his best efforts to quash them. 53% of Americans believe that the sexual harassment allegations against him are true, compared to 24% who don’t believe the charges, according to a Newsweek/Daily Beast poll released Monday.

39% of respondents thought Cain was doing a bad job handling the charges. And 57% said they absolutlely wouldn’t vote for any candidate who was proven to have sexually harassed employees.

Interestingly, respondents distrusted the claims of Cain’s most prominent accuser, Sharon Bialek. 35% of respondents said Bialek was lying to get a payday or publicity, compared to 27% who believed her.

There were 6,628 criminal hate crime incidents in 2010, up slightly from 6,604 in 2009, according to FBI data.

There’s good and bad news for Mitt Romney in the new national Politico Battleground poll out this morning. On the upside, a plurality of Republican respondents expect Romney to be their nominee.

On the downside, President Obama is leading Romney by six points. When asked to compare Obama to a “generic Republican,” the race is tied. That suggests Obama’s strategy of tearing down Romney early is getting results.

NBC News has tapped Chelsea Clinton as a special correspondent to report for the network’s “Making a Difference” segment.

From NBC’s release:

“Chelsea is a remarkable woman who will be a great addition to NBC News. Given her vast experiences, it’s as though Chelsea has been preparing for this opportunity her entire life,” said Steve Capus, President of NBC News. “We are proud she will be bringing her considerable, unique talents and dedication to NBC News.”