TPM News

If you want to see President Obama reelected, stories like this one from TPM's Kyle Leighton this morning should really worry you. Polls all over show Democratic base voters are looking at the next election cycle and letting out a big "meh," while Republicans are raring to get to an election booth and vote the president out of office.

These are the things one-term presidencies can be made of. But fear not, one of the largest segments of the Democratic base says, Obama's doing what he needs to get his base to shake off the doldrums.

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Of every 10 companies started by entrepreneurs, half or more fail. Some are sold for the parts or the people, a couple of lucky ones may be bought by larger companies, and only the very lucky ones survive as independent companies over the long term.

Tesla: Apple or Altair?

For every Apple, in other words, there are hundreds of companies that have vanished from the computer business, from Altair, Altos, Amdahl, and Apollo to Wang, Xerox, and Zeos.

Every venture capitalist knows this, and the most successful VCs hope to have a home run and a base hit out of every 10 companies they fund. The rest? Collateral damage.

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Boeing thought a lot of employees who work on military aircraft at their factory in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania were on drugs. So they brought in the feds.

The FBI, DEA and federal prosecutors announced Thursday the arrest of 37 current and former employees (and one non-employee) accused of abusing prescription drugs, the result of a "coordinated, long-term, undercover effort" that Boeing cooperated with.

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Well, you might as well trash your copy of "Armageddon," forfeit your dreams of pulling a Bruce Willis, and saving the world from an incoming asteroid: NASA on Thursday announced that there just aren't that many space rocks out there that could threaten Earth, based on new findings from the agency's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE).

The orbital infrared telescope recently completed the most accurate census of near-earth asteroids yet, determining that there are an estimated 20,500 mid-to-large size asteroids within a 120 million mile orbit of the Sun, not 36,000, as previously thought. That's a 43 percent difference. Previous estimates were based on visible-light telescopes, which aren't as accurate.

"The risk of a really large asteroid impacting the Earth before we could find and warn of it has been substantially reduced," said Tim Spahr, the director of the Minor Planet Center at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, in a NASA press release on the news.

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CNN will host a Republican presidential debate with the Arizona Republican Party on December 1, the network announced Thursday.



“Arizona is a key state that will play a pivotal role in helping Republicans choose their presidential nominee,” said Sam Feist, CNN Washington bureau chief and senior vice president. “CNN is honored to provide voters in Arizona and around the country an opportunity to hear the GOP candidates present their vision for the future.”

Looks like Rick Perry's Texan charm just isn't flying any longer. Two polls show the Lone Star governor on a painfully downward trajectory.

Last week a poll showed that general election voters just don't seem to like him very much. It wasn't overwhelming, but Perry only retained a 23 percent favorability rating in a national poll done by ABC News and the Washington Post. Perry was viewed negatively by 31 percent, giving him an underwater overall score while a large portion of the general electorate had no opinion. President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney each ran even on their ratings. Then, Quinnipiac University polling found a similar trend: voters were split on Obama and Romney, but Perry was maintaining a negative favorability rating in the important swing state of Pennsylvania.

But on Thursday things may have continued downward for Perry on the popularity front. A new Public Policy Polling (D) survey of Florida showed that a large majority of state voters, 58 percent, see Perry unfavorably, versus only 29 percent. Again, President Obama and Romney are the two most liked of the candidates polled.

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The Federal Reserve Bank of New York wants to know what you are Tweeting, Facebooking and YouTubing. Apparently, a simple Google search for posts about the Fed doesn't suffice, as the bank has issued a request for proposal soliciting the creation of a "Sentiment Analysis And Social Media Monitoring Solution," which would allow it to gather all of the comments posted about it online and distinguish between positive and negative commentary.

The RFP, uncovered by the blog Zero Hedge on Sunday, calls for a far-reaching, customizable social dashboard that "must be able to gather data from the primary social media platforms -Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Forums and YouTube. It should also be able to aggregate data from various media outlets such as: CNN, WSJ, Factiva etc."

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Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) told an audience in Illinois that he was ashamed of his state for not allowing concealed handguns, warning that they were the "last line of defense" if Americans need to revolt against their government.

"We are an embarrassment (in Illinois)," Walsh said Tuesday night at a Tea Party rally, according to The Daily Herald. "We are the last state standing when it comes to concealed carry. There's no issue when it comes to freedom that matters like this, like the Second Amendment. The most important amendment in that Bill of Rights is the Second Amendment. It protects every other amendment. It is the last line of defense between us and our government."

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It looks like a sweet start to the Jewish New Year for President Obama. According to a new poll by Democratic PPP, the recent panic over Obama's standing with Jewish voters is little cause for concern in Florida, which has one of the largest Jewish populations in the nation.

Obama leads Rick Perry with Jewish voters 82-2 in a general election matchup and Romney 78-11, huge margins in line with Democrats' traditional edge with one of their core demographics. PPP notes that it's a relatively small sample size, but all indications are still positive: Obama's approval rating among Jewish voters is 76/20 and 61/31 on his handling of Israel.

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