TPM News

At an elegantly catered tea-time roundtable fête with reporters Wednesday afternoon, likely Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said public sector unions ought to be entirely eliminated, or hamstrung to limit worker benefits and influence over elected officials. During the same session, though, he admitted that a life of public service, and running for public office, has left him without a sizable nest egg. In fact, he acknowledged that he wants to delay a final decision about the presidential campaign so he can put away more of the big-time private sector money he's currently making.

But just before offering a candid assessment of his own finances, Huckabee endorsed two policy measures -- Social Security benefit cuts, and the privatization of Medicare -- that would erode the safety net for public workers and others of modest means.

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One year out from the first primary in the 2012 season, a Gallup poll shows Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin in a virtual dead heat to claim the Republican Party's presidential nomination.

Huckabee held a marginal lead in the poll, topping the field at 18%, with Palin and Romney close on his heels at 16% each. Given the poll's 3% margin of error, the candidates are statistically tied at the front of the GOP pack.

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Potential Republican presidential candidate and noted "traditional values" defender Rick Santorum is, unsurprisingly, upset with the Obama administration's decision to no longer defend the constitutionality of the Defense Of Marriage Act.

In a statement released tonight, Santorum said President Obama's decision on DOMA is "is yet another example of our president's effort to erode the very traditions that have made our country the greatest nation on earth."

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A federal judge said Wednesday that Attorney General Eric Holder violated Justice Department policy by making statements defending the FBI's actions in the sting case against the so-called Christmas Tree bomber.

U.S. District Judge Garr M. King wrote in a filing late Wednesday that he was concerned about statements Holder made "regarding defendant's state of mind and specific activities," which he concluded "constitute a breach" of a Justice Department policy on the release of information relating to criminal and civil proceedings.

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Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) changed his tune on Wednesday, after Democrats said they're staying put in Urbana, IL rather than letting the GOP majority push through Daniels' education reform agenda. Gone was Daniels' conciliatory tone from Tuesday, when he told his party to drop the right-to-work bill that sent House Democrats across the border to Illinois. In its place a was a pledge to wait out the Democrats and keep the Indiana legislature open as long as he has to in order for votes to take place.

Color Indiana Democrats unimpressed.

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Former Rep. Bob Livingston (R-LA) severed his firm's lobbying contract with the Qaddafi-controlled government of Libya in the fall of 2009, after Qaddafi's son welcomed the individual convicted of bombing Pan Am Flight 103 back to his home country as a conquering hero.

"Saif Qaddafi gave him a really public greeting broadcast around the world to welcome him home as a hero of the state -- that was just too much," Livingston told TPM in a telephone interview.

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On Fox News this afternoon, a former GOP House candidate from California called for the still-absent Wisconsin Senate Democrats to lose their jobs.

Star Parker, who was handily beaten last November by Rep. Laura Richardson for California's 37th Congressional district, appeared on Your World with Neil Cavuto -- but she didn't talk about her home state. Rather, she focused specifically on what punishment she believes the AWOL Dems deserve.

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Likely Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee mauled President Obama's decision to halt the Justice Department's legal defenses of DOMA at a roundtable lunch with reporters on Wednesday. In defense of his position, he claimed a public mandate for the controversial Clinton-era law, and linked same sex marriage to the failure of heterosexual marriages.

"I'm deeply disappointed," Huckabee said. "They are clearly out of sync with the public."

Huckabee noted that 33 states have affirmed, via ballot initiatives, that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

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