TPM News

In the first three months of this year, scandal-dogged Rep. Don Young (R-AK) raised $92,000 for his legal defense fund. That's not so unusual. But, as Roll Call reports, the fact that $60,000 of that money came from a single Louisiana family is raising a few eyebrows.

Gary Chouest, the president of a marine transportation company, and his family members control 12 entities that each gave $5,000 donations to Young's fund. Nine of the entities list identical post office box addresses.

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In the face of a daunting $27 billion dollar budget shortfall, a Texas bill that would give huge tax breaks for large yachts, has been green-lighted by a House committee. The decision comes as the "Lone Star State" faces scores of teacher-layoffs, and deep cuts to education and social services like medicare and medicaid.

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Monday's national election in Canada proved to be a decisive, historic turning point in the politics of America's largest trading partner and neighbor to the north. Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative Party won an outright majority of seats for the first time in his five years of governing the country. But perhaps even more importantly, what had been a multi-party system for many decades, spanning the right, middle and left, now appears to be realigning to a simple two-party system of the right versus the left.

The Liberal Party, which governed from both the center and center-left for most of the 20th century and with many significant accomplishments, fell to third place in a national election for the first time in their history, seemingly supplanted by the more social democratic and labor union-affiliated New Democrats (NDP) as the party of opposition to the Tories. And as for the left-wing secessionist Bloc Quebecois, their cause of Quebec separatism has suffered a thorough defeat, with the province's cultural nationalism certainly not going away, but instead now being represented from the left by the unionist NDP.

With all seats now projected by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Conservatives won 39.6% of the vote and 167 seats, a gain of 24 seats to put them above the 155 magic number needed for a majority in Parliament. The NDP rocketed to 30.6% and 102 seats, up from the mere 37 they had at the last election. The Green Party also won a single seat, too. And the big two losers were the Liberals, who took only 18.9% of the vote and 34 seats -- down from the 77 they won last time, which was itself viewed as an awful result for them -- and the Bloc Quebecois, which within Quebec only fell from 38.1% and 49 seats (out of 75) to 23.4% and a mere four seats this time, as the NDP went from just one to 58 seats in the province.

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Following President Obama's announcement that Osama bin Laden had been killed, Americans' attitudes toward the Afghan war -- and the war on terror in general -- have undergone a sharp turnaround, according to a new poll.

In a Survey USA poll conducted on Monday, a plurality of Americans now say the Afghan war has been worth fighting. That reverses months of rising opposition to the war, when polls showed that record-low levels of Americans thought the war had not been worth it in the long run. The new survey also found that, with bin Laden's death, six in ten Americans now think America is winning the broader war on terror.

TPM SLIDESHOW: Osama Bin Laden Killed: The Nation Reacts

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A White House source confirms to TPM that the Obama administration is considering releasing a photo of a deceased Osama bin Laden taken after the terrorist leader was shot dead by American forces. No decision has yet been made on releasing the photo, the source said, but confirmed other reports that a decision could come as soon as Tuesday.

White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan told ABC News Tuesday morning that photos of a dead bin Laden as well as videos taken by special forces' helmet cameras during the raid are under consideration for release. But no final call has been made.

TPM SLIDESHOW: Osama Bin Laden: 9/11 Mastermind, Longtime U.S. Enemy Killed In Pakistan

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Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN), the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, urged the Obama administration to significantly scale back U.S. resources and military commitment in Afghanistan given the bleak chances for establishing a flourishing, stable democracy there any time soon.

"It's exceedingly difficult to conclude that our vast expenditures in Afghanistan represent a rational" strategy, Lugar said during opening remarks at a Tuesday hearing on the future of Afghanistan.

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Now that Osama bin Laden is dead, Americans can go back to the peaceful lives they lived before 9/11, Stephen Colbert said on his show Monday night. That is, unless bin Laden returns as a terrifying mutant shark hybrid.

On his show Monday night, Colbert hearkened back to the summer of 2001, when shark attacks were the deadliest news on TV.

"With bin Laden gone, we've got nothing to worry about so long as no one chums the ocean," Colbert said.

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