TPM News

The Obama campaign is launching a new website for 2012 to squash “disinformation” before it takes root.

“” s modeled after the 2008 campaign’s “Fight the Smears” which rebutted popular myths about things like Obama’s religion and birth certificate. The new site tackles more general topics, however, rebutting general criticism of Obama on the economy and foreign policy, for example.

During Tuesday's joint Super Committee hearing on the origin and drivers of U.S. debt, Republicans were eager, as they are in many settings, to portray the country as on the brink of a genuine debt crisis -- and to argue that the most effective remedies to a debt crisis are spending cuts, not tax increases.

This sounds like bland political pabulum, and in some ways it is. But it's also a huge reveal. If we're not in a fiscal crisis, and we thus have years of running room ahead of us to make appropriate, and non-drastic policy changes, then there's no immediate imperative to make the dramatic changes to Medicare and other popular government safety net programs Republicans want to see.

Here's how CBO director Doug Elmendorf responded when Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) nudged him about the relative merits of cutting spending (i.e. rolling back government services) as part of a national austerity program.

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Comcast is on a hiring roll.

Starting next Monday, telecom policy veteran Rebecca Arbogast, a managing director of media and telecom equity research at the investment banking firm of Stifel Nicolaus, will be Comcast's new vice president of global public policy.

She'll be joining Kyle McSlarrow, who joined Comcast this April from the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, where he was president and CEO, and Meredith Atwell Baker, who left the Federal Communications Commission when her term as a commissioner expired at the end of June.

McSlarrow's title is President of Comcast/NBCUniversal for Washington, D.C, while Atwell Baker's is senior vice president of government affairs.

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Former White House financial reform adviser Elizabeth Warren will officially launch her campaign for U.S. Senate from Massachusetts on Wednesday, challenging incumbent Republican Sen. Scott Brown, a source close to Warren told TPM on Tuesday.

"The pressures on middle class families are worse than ever, but it is the big corporations that get their way in Washington," Warren said in a statement. "I want to change that. I will work my heart out to earn the trust of the people of Massachusetts."

Warren has been exploring a run in recent weeks, and has been on a listening tour of the state.

Brown was elected to the Senate in a special election in January 2010, following the death of long-time Sen. Ted Kennedy, in a stunning upset against Democratic state Attorney General Martha Coakley. A recent survey showed Brown leading the lesser-known Warren by 44%-35%, but with the incumbent below the crucial 50% mark in a state that is expected to vote Democratic by a wide margin in the presidential race.

The White House turned up the rhetorical heat on House Republicans Tuesday over passing the jobs bill, at one point asking Congress "what on earth are we waiting for?"

During a speech at a newly renovated high school in Speaker John Boehner's home state of Ohio, President Obama called out some House Republicans for pushing their leaders not to pass any of elements of the package in order to deny President Obama a political "win."

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The Congressional Budget Office would be stepping out of bounds if it endorsed specific legislation or even hazy policy objectives. But it's hard to read CBO chief Doug Elmendorf's testimony to the joint deficit Super Committee Tuesday as anything other than a de facto endorsement of President Obama's broad strategy to boost the economy: legislation that spends money to hire people and reduces payroll taxes in the near-term, and that reduces deficits by even greater amounts in the middle and end of the decade.

"If policymakers want to achieve both a short-term economic boost and long-term fiscal sustainability the combination of policies that would be most effective according to our analysis would be changes in taxes and spending that would widen the deficit today, but narrow it in the coming decade," Elmendorf told the panel's 12 Democrats and Republicans. "The combination of fiscal policies that would be most effective would be policies that cut taxes or increase spending in the near-term, but over the medium and longer-term move in the opposite direction."

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On Monday night, while the Republican presidential contenders were busy debating one another on CNN, Bill O'Reilly was left with a need to fill airtime.

Luckily, it was the same day Glenn Beck kicked off GBTV, his new internet-only network. So O'Reilly aired a conversation with Beck -- sporting a newly grown goatee and tattered polo shirt -- from a few days earlier. Problem solved.

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After months of rumors and unofficial leaks, Microsoft on Tuesday finally unveiled the first solid glimpse at its all new Windows 8 operating system, designed to recreate Windows from the ground up for post-PC world.

"Things are pretty different from 1995, the last time Windows went through a pretty significant evolution," said Windows president Steven Sinofksy at the new Microsoft Build developers conference in Anaheim, California on Tuesday, FOX News reported. "Everything that was great about Windows 7? We took that and made it even better in Windows 8."

An actual commercial release dates remained elusive, but developers and attendees got the opportunity to try the new Windows 8 out for themselves. Developers who weren't there can download the preview version beginning tonight here.

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David Weprin's campaign is alleging dirty tricks in NY-9, accusing supporters of Republican Bob Turner of trying to jam communications by organizing mass phone calls to their campaign headquarters. But they've been slow to respond to follow up requests and a source inside the campaign downplayed the severity of the incident to TPM.

A spokeswoman for the Weprin campaign, Liz Kerr, initially told TPM that they received a "huge flood of calls" this morning that they traced to a 3 AM text message urging people to phone the campaign. It wasn't immediately clear from official campaign statements what the messages said, who was calling, and how debilitating the supposed "phone jamming" was based on the Weprin campaign's statements. Repeated requests for even basic follow up information, like whether law enforcement is involved and what callers were telling volunteers, have gone unanswered more than an hour after the initial phone jamming complaint.

One Weprin source told TPM that the calls were "very annoying," but not debilitating as they have other phone lines. According to the source, callers were asking the same question, "Why doesn't Weprin support Israel?" -- a prominent line of attack against the campaign.

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