TPM News

The Ohio labor and progressive-backed political group that is behind the referendum to repeal Gov. John Kasich's new law, which would weaken collective bargaining rights for public unions, has a response to his offer on Wednesday for compromise: We'll sit down and talk -- after you repeal the bill in its entirety.

"We are asking you for a fresh start, and that fresh start must begin with a full repeal of Senate Bill 5," the group declared in a letter released Thursday, with emphasis in the original.

"A complete repeal of Senate Bill 5 would go a long way toward creating an environment for compromise, restoring trust in government by the electorate and setting the table for meaningful negotiations about creating jobs, rebuilding Ohio's economy and moving the state forward."

As such, it seems as if the most likely scenario is that the bill will not be repealed, and the referendum will go forward this November -- with the bill's opponents currently ahead in the race.

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AT&T's killing their $10/1,000 text plan. Now, you'll have to choose between $20 for unlimited, or forgo a plan and pay $0.20 per message.

AT&T calls this "streamlining." We call it what it is: an outrageous, gigantic scam

Get ready to have your mind blown.

It's important to note, before considering anything SMS, that text messages are essentially free. Not for you, of course, but for companies like AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. Unlike uploading a video to YouTube from your phone, which eats mobile bandwidth, text messages ride the same itsy bitsy communication channel your handset uses to check in with local towers to make sure it's turned on. Each text hitches a ride on an infinitesimally small data packet, chugging through traffic that would've been there anyway. For AT&T, it's basically a freebie--160 bytes of data. A trifle. Compared to the rest of what they're transmitting, AT&T's texts are like amoebas on the back of a tyrannosaurus.
For you, it's quite the opposite. For you, text messages cost money. A lot of money. How much money? Well that all depends. Starting next week, the only texting options for new AT&T subscribers will be a $20/month unlimited buffet, or paying per text, which is insane.

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While robot cars on the open road move forward in prototype form, a new system of pod cars with dedicated tracks is now in operation at London's Heathrow Airport. The firm behind the pods is also pushing the technology elsewhere, including potentially near San Jose's airport.

The new system, in trials since April and entering regular service this summer, connects Heathrow's Terminal 5 with two stations in a parking area about 1.2 miles away.

So far, the transport pods have received positive reviews from passengers who find the ride smooth and easy.

Passengers board at a computer-controlled terminal where they select their destination. A pod (with a capacity for six people going to the same place) then arrives behind adjacent glass doors, and the driverless coach whisks them off along dedicated pathways toward their destinations.

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Jon Huntsman is often regarded as too moderate a Republican to qualify for the GOP's presidential nomination -- he does, after all, support civil unions for gay couples, and served in the Obama administration as Ambassador to China. And his latest comments might not help fix that: Slamming Rick Perry's denial of global warming and non-answer on evolution.

Thursday afternoon, Huntsman tweeted:

To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.

Hmm. Huntsman is running for the Republican nomination for president, and just tweeted that comment. Maybe we can call him crazy.

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Campaigning in New Hampshire Thursday, Texas Governor, and GOP Presidential candidate Rick Perry claimed that Texas public schools teach both evolution and creationism in their science classes.

Perry described evolution as "a theory that is out there," telling a young child questioning him that "it's got some gaps in it." That's why, he said, "in Texas we teach both creationism and evolution in our public schools. Because I figure...because I figure you're smart enough to figure out which one is right."

There's just one problem with that: in 1987 the Supreme Court ruled that teaching creationism in public schools is an unconstitutional violation of the Establishment Clause.

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Rick Perry is sure about a lot of things. But the theory of evolution, or even how old the planet Earth is, are not on that list.

A woman who will probably not be supporting the Texas governor brought her young son along to a campaign event in New Hampshire on Thursday, and had the boy ask Perry his views about science. "How old do you think the earth is?" the boy asked. This was an apparent allusion to how fundamentalist Christians often insist that Earth -- and indeed, the whole universe -- is about 6,000 years old.

"How old do I think the earth is? You know what, I don't have any idea," Perry responded. "I know it's pretty old. So it goes back a long, long ways. I'm not sure -- I'm not sure anybody actually knows completely and absolutely hold the earth is.

Perry then steered the conversation to some questions the boy's mother had been asking him, about evolution.

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Florida Secretary of State Kurt Browning wrote in an editorial on Thursday that the Justice Department had determined "all 76 provisions" of Florida's new elections law were not discriminatory, except for the four controversial parts of the law he didn't want the department to review.

In fact, Browning retracted his submission of four controversial provisions of Florida's new election law from the pre-clearance process at the Justice Department after the agency started asking questions.

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A staffer working for Rep. Darrell Issa's Oversight Committee on financial regulation issues has come under scrutiny by ThinkProgress for changing his name after he left his previous position at Goldman Sachs. The story implied that he changed his name three years ago to hide his background with the company.

But Peter Haller, formerly known as Peter Simonyi, said in a statement to TPM that he and his sister switched their names a few years back to respect the last wish of his grandfather to carry on his mother's family name.

His mother's father, Alfred haller-koi gr Haller, was killed by fascists in Budapest in 1944 when he tried to stop children from being conscripted into the military, Haller said.

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