TPM News

Republicans and conservative operatives have become obsessed with the idea that wealthy liberals should prove their largesse not by making public arguments for higher taxes on people like themselves but by donating money to the U.S. Treasury.

This is the fiscal equivalent of the old critique that environmentalists should just buy hybrid cars and never fly anywhere instead of fighting for laws meant to combat climate change. It's silly, but it's combustible, and it exploded on Twitter and elsewhere after an Obama supporter in California this week asked the President to raise his taxes.

Anti-tax warrior Grover Norquist has turned this talking point into world class snark.

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Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) plans to introduce a bill to create a volunteer summer internship initiative in order to replace the House page program that was eliminated by budget cuts.

“Based on the old page program, Norton’s bill requires summer interns in the program to have much of the same duties and responsibilities as House pages,” said the statement released by Norton’s office. “Unlike the House page program, however, Norton’s proposed internship program requires applicants to be in college or college-bound, and to provide for their own housing during the internship, as well as being unpaid.”

The cancellation of the page program was highly unpopular. Last week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced that she was also working on introducing a low-cost alternative to the old program.

Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain says blacks have been “brainwashed” into voting for Democratic candidates.

“African-Americans have been brainwashed into not being open minded, not even considering a conservative point of view,” Cain said on CNN’s “The Situation Room” in an interview airing Wednesday between 5-7 p.m. ET. “I have received some of that same vitriol simply because I am running for the Republican nomination as a conservative. So it’s just brainwashing and people not being open minded, pure and simple.”

A federal judge handling a federal lawsuit filed by a former ACORN employee against James O'Keefe has ordered the conservative provocateur and filmmaker to disclose video footage and payments he received from Andrew Breitbart in relation to one of his sting operations.

"The Court believes that it may be relevant that Defendant was paid for the video of Plaintiff," wrote U.S. Magistrate Judge Mitchell D. Dembin. "Such a payment may inform the intent of the Defendant in engaging in the alleged illegal activity and Plaintiff must prove that the actions were intentional."

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Samsung, the world's top seller of smartphones based on the Android operating system, has agreed to license key patents from Microsoft, leaving Motorola Mobility, soon to be owned by Google, out in the cold.

"The agreement also gives both companies greater patent coverage relating to each other's technologies, and opens the door to a deeper partnership in the development of new phones for the Windows Phone platform," Microsoft's lawyers Brad Smith and Horacio Gutierrez wrote in a blog post on the matter Wednesday morning.

Microsoft first sued Motorola for infringing on its patents in October 2010 in federal district court in Washington as well as at the International Trade Commission. The suit alleges that Motorola infringes on nine Microsoft patents on syncing data on various apps such as e-mail, calendar and contacts, among other things.

Smith and Gutierrez noted in their Wednesday blog post that the Samsung agreement is the seventh one they've struck in three months with hardware makers who use the Android operating system. HTC, the other big hardware company that uses Android as its operating system, has also struck an agreement with Microsoft.

Sounding a bit like mafioso bosses in a Hollywood movie, they claim that Samsung's acquiescence illustrates that "licensing works," and shows "what can be achieved when companies sit down and address intellectual property issues in a responsible manner."

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Speaking to a Rotary Club audience in North Carolina on Tuesday, Democratic Governor Bev Perdue made jaws drop when she seemed to suggest suspending Congressional elections.

"I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won't hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover," she said. The governor continued, reasoning "You want people who don't worry about the next election."

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President Obama's recently submitted jobs bill is getting a thumbs-up from economists -- who say that it would prevent a backslide into recession, Bloomberg News reports:

The legislation, submitted to Congress this month, would increase gross domestic product by 0.6 percent next year and add or keep 275,000 workers on payrolls, the median estimates in the survey of 34 economists showed. The program would also lower the jobless rate by 0.2 percentage point in 2012, economists said.

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Something strange is happening in the 2012 campaign. Conservative pundits are increasingly accusing Rick Perry -- that's the Rick Perry who shoots coyotes with a laser-sighted .380 handgun on his morning jogs -- of being a closet liberal.

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