TPM News

Recently disclosed financial forms from the campaign of unsuccessful GOP Senatorial candidate Christine O'Donnell reveal some of the Delaware Republican's last-minute staffing changes, including the addition to her campaign of the executive director of a conservative group that crusades against same-sex marriage.

Andresen Blom, the executive director of the anti-gay marriage group American Principles Project, was paid $13,000 dollars during the period running from Oct. 14 through Nov. 22, according to a recently disclosed campaign finance report reviewed by TPM.

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After conversations with about a dozen House and Senate aides, Democrats and Republicans, what I can say for certain is that nobody has any idea what the fall out of the House Dems' tax cut revolt will be.

However, according to my scientific poll, the plurality of respondents seem to think Democrats are saying, "we're mad as hell, and we're not gonna take it anymore!" when what they really mean is, "we're mad as hell, still taking it."

by Adrianne Jeffries

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey is making the unusual leap from software to hardware with his new startup Square -- a device that enables anyone to accept credit and debit card payments with a smartphone. His company has been touting its value to small businesses since February, but the device also has the potential to revolutionize fundraising for non-profits, advocacy groups and political campaigns.

Square replaces the credit card processing systems used by most organizations that process credit-card transactions: often-expensive card readers, complicated transaction fees and onerous contracts from banks and processing companies. Instead, Square offers a free device that plugs into the headphone jack on an iPhone or Android phone and a straightforward fee system: $.15 plus a 2.75% to 3.5% transaction fee. That's often ends up being cheaper than the bundle of verification fees, transaction fees, statement fees, set-up cost and monthly minimums that come with the traditional swipers.

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It seems President Obama's deal with Republicans on tax cuts has done something few may have thought possible: united the most progressive wing of the Democratic party with the most conservative of the Republicans.

In an email dispatched just minutes ago, the national office of Tea Party Patriots -- the largest umbrella for grassroots tea party groups in the country -- is calling on its millions of members to bombard Republicans on Capitol Hill with pleas to shut down the tax cut deal which House Democrats rejected earlier today.

"'The Deal' or 'The Tax Deal' as it is becoming known around the country between President Obama and Congressional Leadership is problematic," TPP's national coordinator team writes in the message. "This is a deal that needs to be opposed."

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by Marian Wang, ProPublica

A provision in the financial reform law forced the Federal Reserve to disclose the details of the trillions it lent out at the height of the recent financial crisis.

You can see the data from some of the Fed's emergency lending programs in our interactive. In all, there were 11 programs -- a mess of confusing acronyms like AMLF, TALF, PDCF, CPFF and so on -- but generally speaking, they were designed to stabilize the economy by enabling financial firms to keep many forms of lending going at a time when credit was hard to come by. Here's a rundown of what's come to light from this data so far.

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Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) announced on the House floor today that she will not push for a vote on her proposal to create a bipartisan task force to investigate the House ethics committee.

"Upon the advice of my colleagues whom I trust and admire, I am not pushing for a vote on this resolution today," she said this afternoon, according to her prepared remarks. "In doing so, however, I am requesting that the Committee set the record straight, on its own accord, in a bipartisan manner, with a joint statement signed by the Chair and Ranking Member, ... [the] circumstances of the events that led to the discipline of the two attorneys leading the case against me."

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House Democrats will not silently accept the White House's edict that Congress pass the Obama-GOP tax cut compromise unchanged, touching off a brinksmanship that could kill the plan.

At a private meeting of the Democratic caucus this morning, members overwhelmingly rejected the idea that the plan is inviolable by passing a resolution agreeing not to bring up the tax package without changing it first. However, the White House and Republicans insist that the plan is in stone -- and any changes would likely prompt a GOP backlash.

The Senate could adopt the proposal as early as tonight, leaving House Democrats a choice between swallowing it, modifying it, or rejecting it and starting from scratch.

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It's no secret that Fox News' political coverage isn't always quite "fair and balanced." But emails obtained by Media Matters show that Fox News' Washington managing editor Bill Sammon urged his staff to actually echo Republican talking points on the health care debate.

According to the emails, Sammon directed his staff to use specific wording when describing the health care debate, preferring the term "government option" over "public option."

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In a new display of progressive opposition to the tax-cut deal, a group of 54 House Democrats have released a letter opposing the package -- and predicting that Republicans will double-cross the Dems later on when it comes to the resulting huge increase in the national debt.

The letter, headed up by Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), declares:

Adding more than $900 billion to our national debt, as this proposal would do, handcuffs our ability to offer a balanced plan to achieve fiscal stability without a punishing effect on our current commitments, including Social Security and Medicare.


Without a doubt, the very same people who support this addition to our debt will oppose raising the debt ceiling to pay for it.

We support extending tax cuts in full to 98 percent of American taxpayers, as the President initially proposed. He should not back down. Nor should we.

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