TPM News

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Detroit on six federal charges stemming from his alleged plot to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight Christmas Day.

The Detroit Free Press details the charges:

Abdulmutallab was charged with six counts: attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, attempted murder within the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States, willful attempt to destroy and wreck an aircraft within the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States, willfully placing a destructive device on an aircraft and two counts possession of a destructive device in furtherance of a crime of violence.

The paper reports that the weapon of mass destruction charge carries a sentence of up to life in prison.

Abdulmutallab is currently being held in a Michigan prison while he awaits trial.

Read the full indictment here.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA), in his state of the state address today, attacked health care reform -- specifically the "sweetheart deal" that Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) got for his state.

"While I enthusiastically support health care reform, it is not reform to push more costs onto states that are already struggling while other states get sweetheart deals," he said.

"California's congressional delegation should either vote against this bill that is a disaster for California or get in there and fight for the same sweetheart deal Senator Nelson of Nebraska got for the Cornhusker State. He got the corn; we got the husk," Schwarzenegger added.

The governor has spoken in praise of health care reform in the past.

"Health care reform, which started as noble and needed legislation, has become a trough of bribes, deals and loopholes," he said today. "You've heard of the bridge to nowhere. This is health care to nowhere."

Despite setbacks, a shadowy conservative group isn't backing off its bid to undermine state restrictions on political robocalls, as it gears up to unleash a barrage of such calls in 2010 races.

In October, as we reported, the American Future Fund Political Action (AFFPA) argued in a brief to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that state laws restricting robocalls are pre-empted by a more lenient federal law. AFFPA informed the FEC that it planned to make such calls in Congressional races this fall.

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James Von Brunn, the elderly neo-Nazi who was charged with killing a guard at the U.S. Holocaust Museum last June, has died in prison, according to his lawyer. The news was first reported by the AP.

As you may remember, the elderly von Brunn was shot after he opened fire at the entrance to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, killing security guard Stephen Johns. Von Brunn was brought to the hospital in critical condition after reportedly being wounded in the face.

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Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) will not run for the open Senate seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan, RealClearPolitics reports -- a serious blow to Dems in their efforts to keep this seat.

A Democratic source has also confirmed the news to TPMDC.

Third-term Republican Gov. John Hoeven is set to run for the seat, and starts out the race as a heavy favorite. In addition to Pomeroy, who would have been the strongest possible Democratic candidate, the party has also been courting liberal talk show host Ed Schultz, who launched his broadcasting career in North Dakota.

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Frequent White House critic Rep. Peter King (R-NY) said today on ABC's "Good Morning America" that President Obama should use the world "terrorism" more frequently.

Host George Stephanopoulos interviewed King, who said someone should be held accountable in the wake of the failed terror attempt on Flight 253.

The host asked "one other specific recommendation the president could implement."

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House Democrats know they're going to have to sacrifice many of their priorities when they amend and adopt the Senate health care bill in the coming weeks. And in the last couple days they've started taking off the gloves.

"In my view, the House bill is so far superior to the Senate bill, that I would appreciate hearing [President Obama] say that," said House Rules Committee Chair Louise Slaughter (D-NY) this morning.

Yesterday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ribbed Obama for backtracking on campaign pledges as the health care debate has dragged on.

As much as the concessions sting, though, House leaders and health care principals continue to hash out just which issues they plan to press hardest for in negotiations with the Senate and the White House.

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The National Archives plans to release hundreds of thousands of new documents and photos from the Nixon administration and 12 hours of new audio recordings from the Nixon administration on Jan. 11.

The collection includes "approximately 280,000 pages of textual materials, 12 hours of sound recordings, and 7,000 images from the personal collection of White House photographer Oliver F. Atkins," according to the Archives release.

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Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) issued a statement today in response to Sen. Chris Dodd's (D-CT) announcement that he will not seek reelection in 2010. Here's the full text:

"He was a legislator par excellence, combining the best of the old school and the best of the new school. As he resumes a career outside the Senate, he can take satisfaction in knowing that millions of lives have been made better by his hard work and legislative acumen.

"As a friend and as a legislator I will miss him."