TPM News

Reid: 'Wait And See' On Arming Libyan Rebels Appearing on Face The Nation, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said that the United States should hold off on arming the Libyan rebels for now. "I spoke to the president yesterday about this, President Obama, and I think at this stage we really don't know who the leaders of this rebel group is," said Reid. He also added: "We have others, as [Defense] Secretary Gates has said, that can do it more easily than we can. So I think at this stage let's just wait and see."

Graham: 'I'm Ready To Look At Arming Them' Appearing on Face The Nation, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was more positive on arming the Libyan rebels. "I'm ready to look at arming them to help themselves," said Graham. "We need American air power back into the site. We need to take the fight to Tripoli. Go after his inner circle. That's the way to end this war decisively and quickly. The strategy we have is going to lead to a stalemate. It needs to change. Help the rebels, take the fight to Tripoli. Get this thing over with. Qaddafi must go."

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Obama Promotes Energy Policy In this weekend's YouTube address, President Obama discussed his proposals for energy policy, to reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil and encourage the use of clean energy.

"Part of this strategy involves increasing our oil exploration right here in America. In fact, our oil production last year reached its highest level since 2003, and we want to encourage more safe, responsible drilling where we can," said Obama.

"But the truth is, drilling alone is not a real strategy to replace our dependence on foreign oil. And that's because even though America uses 25 percent of the world's oil, we currently have only about 2 percent of the world's oil reserves. Even if we used every last drop of all the oil we have, it wouldn't be enough to meet our long-term energy needs. So, real energy security can only come if we find ways to use less oil - if we invest in cleaner fuels and greater efficiency."

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The Mackinac Center For Public Policy -- the conservative-leaning think tank in the news this week after it requested emails from Michigan labor studies professors regarding Wisconsin and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow -- says it has called in the FBI after receiving a series of threatening voicemails that promised to bomb their Midland, Michigan headquarters.

"You are on Main Street," one of the voicemails said, according to details posted on the Mackinac website. "You are the first place to be bombed."

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A day after he reported the office of Rep. Sean Duffy's (R-WI) false accusation that TPM posted "selectively edited" video of Duffy talking about "struggling" on his $174,000/year salary, Johns corrected the record and reported that, in fact, TPM had posted the full clip until the the Polk County GOP forced its removal.

Speaking on CNN Newsroom Friday afternoon, Johns told anchor Brooke Baldwin that Duffy's suggestion that TPM selectively clipped the tape was, in fact, not true.

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The solar system's innermost planet got its first ever photo close up this week, as NASA's "Mercury Messenger" probe began broadcasting images back to Earth. The spacecraft entered Mercury's orbit on March 17th, where it will stay for at least the next year, snapping shots of the surface for study back home.

Check out some of the stunning photos in our slideshow.

Rep. Michele Bachmann raked in $2.2 million over the first three months of 2011 according to Fox News, giving her a huge war chest as she prepares to launch a rumored presidential bid.

Bachmann raised a staggering $1.7 million through her Congressional campaign committee, and an additional $500,000 through her political action committee, MichelePAC. The money raised through her reelection campaign fund can be transfered over to pay for a White House bid.

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In a CNN poll of American adults released Friday, the median guess on what percentage of the federal budget goes to public broadcasting was 5%. With a $3.55 trillion budget last year, that would put funding for the CBP at approximately $178 billion.

In reality though, that's not even close.

The CPB received about $420 million last year from the federal government, making it roughly one one-hundredth of one percent, of the overall budget. That means that the median response was about 424 times higher than the actual amount of federal funding that went to public broadcasting last year.

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Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) says shut 'er down. The one-time Republican conference chair, turned presidential footsie player, turned potential gubernatorial candidate, and always a tea party favorite told MSNBC on Friday that a looming spending cut deal is not worth it. He'd rather have a government shutdown.

"Well, look, I think that really is, Contessa -- I think that really is the important question. I think if liberals in the Senate are unwilling to embrace even this modest step toward fiscal discipline in Washington, D.C., then I say shut it down," Pence said. "You know, look, I think the American people sent this historic new majority to Congress to see the change in this direction."

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The University of Wisconsin-Madison has announced that it is legally complying with the state Republican Party's open-records request, which sought the e-mails of Professor William Cronon after he had written a blog post critical of Gov. Scott Walker's anti-public employee union bill. But there's a big catch.

Chancellor Biddy Martin announced in a statement posted online that the university will release some of Cronon's e-mails later on Friday. But first, they applied a "balancing test" to the e-mails, excluding those protected by various privacy laws and other key rules, and that they believe they are in compliance with the law:

We are excluding records involving students because they are protected under FERPA. We are excluding exchanges that fall outside the realm of the faculty member's job responsibilities and that could be considered personal pursuant to Wisconsin Supreme Court case law. We are also excluding what we consider to be the private email exchanges among scholars that fall within the orbit of academic freedom and all that is entailed by it. Academic freedom is the freedom to pursue knowledge and develop lines of argument without fear of reprisal for controversial findings and without the premature disclosure of those ideas.


Reading through that list, one gets the feeling that there would not be very much left. Martin also says that the university examined Cronon's university e-mails for any violations of the law, such as engaging in partisan political activity -- and there are none. And Martin also adds a vigorous defense of the principle of academic freedom.

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The House GOP weathered a number of defections to defeat attempts to remove anti-labor language from a bill reauthorizing the FAA on Friday.

An amendment to strip the bill of a provision requiring workers to be present for votes on union representation or be counted as a "no" vote failed 220-206, with 16 Republicans joining Democrats on the losing side of the ledger. Labor groups had been hoping a larger defection might materialize, allowing them to carry the vote.

Despite their success in preserving the measure, House Republicans still have to get past President Obama and the Democratic Senate. The White House has stated that it will veto any FAA bill that includes the provision.

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