TPM News


December 27: Violence erupts in Iran once again, as police crack down on opposition protesters in Tehran. The protests break out during the Ashura festival, a holy day for Shiite Muslims, as demonstrators continue to oppose President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's contested June 12 re-election. By some counts, at least 15 are killed in the crackdown, including the nephew of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi.

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Newscom/Sipa Press






Newscom/Sipa Press






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Newscom/UPI Photos






Newscom/Sipa Press






Newscom/UPI Photos






Newscom/Sipa Press






Newscom/Sipa Press






Newscom/Sipa Press

President Barack Obama addressed the nation today about the attempted bombing of an airliner bound for Detroit on Christmas day -- and took the opportunity to express his support for the protesters in Iran.

"We will not rest until we find all who were involved and hold them accountable," Obama said. "This was a serious reminder of the dangers that we face."

In response, Obama said he directed stepped up security measures and the addition of more air marshals on international flights.

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We told you earlier about the tender email sent in February by Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) to Allen Stanford, in which the lawmaker told the accused Ponzi schemer: "I love you and believe in you." We also told you about the lengthy ties between the two men.

Now Sessions's office has provided TPMmuckraker with a statement on the issue. We'll just let it speak for itself:

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The arguments of a group of Republican state attorneys general who are talking up a constitutional challenge to the "Cornhusker Kickback" provision of the health care bill are "strictly political" and do not have legal merit, a law professor tells TPMmuckraker.

"If a private individual brought the suit, the court might assess a fine for bringing a frivolous suit," says Timothy Jost, a health law specialist at the Washington and Lee University School of Law who favors the reform bill.

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During his appearance yesterday on Fox News Sunday, Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) appeared to give out some inside dirt from his days as a Republican -- alleging that the GOP plotted early to stop any bipartisan cooperation with President Obama, and to instead look towards the 2012 election.

"I'd like to pick up on what Sen. DeMint says about the process. I think the process was very bad. But the process was really caused, in large measure, by the refusal of the Republicans to deal in any way," said Specter.

"Sen. DeMint is the author of the famous statement that this is going to be President Obama's 'Waterloo,' that this ought to be used to break the president," said Specter, referring to the political battle over health care. "So that before the ink was dry on the oath of office -- and I know this, because I was in the caucus -- the Republicans were already plotting ways to beat President Obama in 2012."

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Intrigue. Deceit. And forbidden love on a sun-kissed tropical island -- with billions of dollars on the line.

No, this isn't a Danielle Steel bodice-ripper. Or Mark Sanford's latest confession about crossing "the ultimate line". Instead, it's the story of the tangled, high-stakes relationship between Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) and accused Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford.

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