TPM News

The letter urging the Senate to use reconciliation to pass the public option has been slowly growing, but several senators are telling us today they won't be signing on.

A spokesman for freshman Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) told TPM today the senator won't sign the letter.

Read More →

One Missouri lawmaker has an idea of how to help the state's bottom line - gamble a portion of Gov. Jay Nixon's salary each month on lottery tickets.

The Missourian details a bill by state Rep. Mark Parkinson (R) that proposes deducting $2 from Nixon's monthly paycheck to buy Powerball tickets.

Any potential winnings would be put in an account called "Governor Nixon's Scratch-off, Match-off Fund," according to the bill, which gets a hearing tomorrow.

Read More →

The man who cited natural law in an off-script anti-gay rant at CPAC has had two run-ins with the real law in the past decade, including a restraining order for domestic violence, according to court records in California.

Ryan Sorba of California Young Americans for Freedom, who is a longtime anti-gay activist, in 2001 had a restraining order brought against him by a woman in a San Bernardino County domestic violence case, according to case records.

Read More →

A new survey of the Texas Republican gubernatorial primary by Public Policy Polling (D) finds that tea party activist Debra Medina has lost some support, and could possibly have been hurt by comments that seemed to indicate that she might be a 9/11 Truther.

The numbers: Incumbent Gov. Rick Perry 40%, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison 31%, and Medina 20%. Three weeks ago, the numbers were Perry 39%, Hutchison 28%, and Medina 24%, with Hutchison in serious serious danger of falling into third place and missing out on a spot in the expected April 13 runoff.

About two weeks ago, Medina was asked during an appearance on Glenn Beck's radio show whether she believed in 9/11 conspiracy theories. "I think some very good questions have been raised in that regard, there are some very good arguments and I think the American people have not seen all the evidence there, so I have not taken a position on that," said Medina.

Read More →

What exactly does Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), a potential presidential candidate, want to do with the country's two big entitlement programs?

Appearing on Meet The Press this past weekend, Pawlenty spoke in favor of radical changes to Social Security for younger workers:

So the truth of the matter is, is we are going to have to reform entitlement programs. I've done this in Minnesota, for example, with our bus drivers in the Twin Cities. They had post-retiree health insurance benefits, and the premise was this, if we made a promise to you, we'll keep it. We're not going to cut people off in terms of their pensions if we've made a promise to you. But for people who are new to the system, who are coming on, where we can fairly give them notice and fairly change expectations, the system's going to change. And we did it.

Read More →

The public option has been alive, then dead, then alive, then dead so many times now it's enough to make your head spin. Right now it's somewhere in between--an undead public option, still beloved by a large majority of Democrats, but, for now, lacking the political leadership needed to usher it through the legislative process. Nevertheless, the fact that it has a pulse is remarkable in and of how did we get here all over again? Though the latest action is all in the Senate, the momentum re-emerged in the House.

"We had heard on the House side that [Colorado Rep. Jared] Polis was talking behind the scenes with folks about why a public option wasn't being pushed," says Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee--one of several progressive pressure groups (including Democracy for America, and Credo) pushing the public option.

That touched off a symbiotic relationship. If Polis, and fellow public option supporter Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) would work the inside game in the House, the groups would build pressure from the outside, and together they could build a formidable list of signatories to a letter.

Read More →

Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI) has signed the letter calling for passing a public option via reconciliation, his office confirms to TPMDC. He is the 23rd senator to do so.

The letter, written by Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) has been collecting signatures over the past week.

For the full list of signatories, see here.

A top Tea Party leader derided Barack Obama as "our half white, racist president" in an email to colleagues.

Mark Williams, the conservative talk radio host who has become a prominent spokesman for the Tea Party Express, sent an email in September -- obtained by TPMmuckraker -- to other leaders of the group, in which he appeared to be responding to charges of racism against himself.

Read More →