TPM News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For Al Gore, the choice is obvious: Either accept scientific reality about climate change or believe what the fossil fuel industry is paying some Republican candidates to say.

Highly unpopular Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) sat down with the folks of Morning Joe on Wednesday to discuss the Republican presidential candidates' chances in Florida as well as some of his state's own issues.

Asked how Mitt Romney and Rick Perry would do in Florida, Scott said he thinks either candidate could win in a general election. And Scott doesn't think Perry will be in much trouble for calling Social Security a "monstrous lie" and a "ponzi scheme."

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It's not your grandfather's space shuttle.

The design for NASA's new Space Launch System (SLS), unveiled Wednesday morning, is touted as the vehicle that will allow astronauts to visit "near-Earth asteroids, Mars and its moons and beyond." It'll serve as a go-between for the International Space Station as well. Watch a video simulation below and find out more from NASA here.

"This launch system will create good-paying American jobs, ensure continued U.S. leadership in space, and inspire millions around the world," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a a statement. "President Obama challenged us to be bold and dream big, and that's exactly what we are doing at NASA. While I was proud to fly on the space shuttle, kids today can now dream of one day walking on Mars."

But the proposed over 30 story tall, deep space, heavy-lift spacecraft does recycle a number of parts from the old Space Shuttle, which was retired in July this year.

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Herman Cain has said he'd have no problem with a gay cabinet official in the White House, but one ex-aide is accusing his campaign of deliberately hiding a top staffer over fears his orientation would anger religious conservatives.

The allegation comes from legal testimony by Cain's former Iowa-focused aide, Kevin Hall, as part of a successful bid to require the campaign to pay unemployment benefits after his resignation. According to the Associated Press, a Cain campaign lawyer did not dispute his account in a hearing on the case and a judge sided with Hall's account in awarding him his benefits.

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Having pinpointed the flaw that lead to the crash of an unmanned Soyuz spacecraft, the Russian Space Agency has given the green light to resume launches of cargo ships beginning Oct. 30 and human-crewed missions on November 12.

"It is planned to launch Progress cargo spaceships on October 30, 2011, and on January 26, 2012. Manned Soyuz-FG spaceships will be launched on November 12 and December 20, 2011," the agency Roscosmos said in a news bulletin posted on its website, translated into English by Universe Today.

That would seem to ease earlier fears that the International Space Station would have to be temporarily abandoned this November in the wake of the Aug. 24 crash of an unmanned, Soyuz U rocket carrying cargo for the station.

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According to Diana Aviv, president and CEO of Independent Sector, a D.C.-based advocacy group for nonprofits, President Obama is angering wealthy donors by pushing to extend taxes on charitable donations by the wealthy. Aviv asserts that her office has been ‘absolutely inundated’ with vitriolic emails from wealthy donors. Aviv, who herself has donated $3,800 to the president, told the Daily Caller that many of the emails are coming from donors who supported Democrats in 2008.

The media has begun to question if there has been a breach between Obama and his wealthy supporters. Recently, Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) won public support from noted 2008 Obama backer Anthony Scarramucci, a managing partner at Skybridge Capital. It was reported in July that several other former Wall Street Obama donors asked Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) to challenge the president.

The president doesn’t appear to be hurting for donations, however. His campaign announced in July that it raised $6 million for the DNC and his reelection in the second quarter of 2011 alone.

Rick Perry isn't the only Republican who was "taken aback" by the reaction of some in Monday night's GOP debate to the idea of letting a sick man without insurance die.

Sarah Reidy, the national director of scheduling for John Huntsman's presidential campaign has also reacted harshly over this and similar outbursts, posting on her Facebook page that the behavior made her "sick and sad" for the Republican party.

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Michele Bachmann is currently in hot water for her handling of Rick Perry's "HPV" problem. However, she's far from the first political opponent to consider that line of attack against the Texas governor.

Politico's Ben Smith has surfaced a never-used ad from the campaign of Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who in 2010 unsuccessfully challenged Perry in the gubernatorial primaries.

The 30-second spot includes creepy visuals of eerily empty schools and playgrounds while a little girl recites a variation of the "ABC" rhyme.

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