TPM News

Voyager 1, launched in 1977, is speeding away from the sun at more than 100,000 miles per hour. And as Popular Science writes, it may leave our solar system any day now. Its sister satellite, Voyager 2, is several billion miles behind, and will cross the boundary after Voyager 1.

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He's baaaack! After his ouster from MSNBC in late January, progressive pundit Keith Olbermann will debut his new Countdown on Current TV Monday night.

The show has bagged a number of high-profile guest hosts and commentators. David Shuster will be Olbermann's primary stand-in, according to a Current release from Friday. Other frequent contributors will include Rolling Stone's Matt Taibi, Mother Jones' Kate Shappard, and former Nixon White House counsel John Dean among others.

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South Florida Tea Party Chairman Everett Wilkinson thinks the GOP budget -- and in particular its call to phase out Medicare and replace it with a marketplace for private insurance -- is a total disaster. He's saying that Republicans, including members in his sphere of influence like Rep. Allen West (R-FL), should back away from it.

In an email to fellow Tea Partiers last week, obtained by The Palm Beach Post, Wilkinson called the GOP plan a "public policy nightmare" that could trigger "huge Democratic wins in 2012," and prompt Republicans to blame the Tea Party for their losses.

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Wal-Mart's legal team and lawyers representing more than a million women across the country went head-to-head before the Supreme Court in March. Today, the nine Justices handed the company a victory.

In a unanimous ruling, the Court said the 1.5-million plaintiff class action suit is too large to proceed. That reverses a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the case could go ahead.

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Michele Bachmann's presidential campaign is firing at Mitt Romney, over his refusal to sign a stringent pro-life pledge from a conservative group.

On Saturday, Romney wrote on National Review that he would not sign the pro-life pledge from the Susan B. Anthony List (which supports pro-life candidates for Congress, in something of a counter-weight EMILY's List), on the grounds that its pledge to defund all "contractors and recipients of federal funds with affiliates that perform or fund abortions" went too far, and would cut off funding to many hospitals.

"As much as I share the goals of the Susan B. Anthony List, its well-meaning pledge is overly broad and would have unintended consequences," Romney wrote. "That is why I could not sign it. It is one thing to end federal funding for an organization like Planned Parenthood; it is entirely another to end all federal funding for thousands of hospitals across America. That is precisely what the pledge would demand and require of a president who signed it."

The Bachmann campaign then pounced -- linking Romney's stance on the pledge to his original pro-choice positions -- with spokeswoman Alice Stewart saying in a statement, in part:

"It is distressing that Governor Romney refuses to sign the SBA Pledge, even while claiming to be pro-life. The excuses for not signing clearly continue the doubts about his leadership and commitment to ending the practice of abortion - particularly for a candidate who ran as pro-choice for the Senate and Governorship of Massachusetts. Any Presidential candidate seeking our party's nomination should sign the SBA Pledge and vow to protect life from conception to natural death. Governor Romney should reconsider his decision not to sign the Pledge just as he reconsidered his position on the life issue during the last campaign."

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If the consulting firm McKinsey & Co. comes clean about the methodology behind its recent report that claims "Obamacare" will significantly undermine worker's health benefits, they'll have plenty of allies -- among conservatives.

A new line is gaining traction among health care reform opponents. They claim that McKinsey is entitled as a private company to keep its survey materials private -- and if they cave, they'll unleash a wave of administration bullying and antagonism against businesses on a White House enemies list.

"In economic terms this is the equivalent of a journalist being told to reveal their source," said Fox Business host Stuart Varney on Fox News Friday. "[I]f congress finds out which companies are indeed going to leave ObamaCare, then they will be subject -- maybe -- to all kind of pressure. Intimidation. Bullying. They may be on an enemy's list. There may be retribution against those companies."

In response to this, the anchor noted, "If you are an American insurance company and you say to McKinsey, 'You know, we are curious how this is going to affect us and how it's going to affect the people that we cover and the companies we're involved in, we would like to hire you privately to do a study to give us information on that. I think most folk would say that's a closed circle. That's a business arrangement. You give us the research and we'll pay you for it."


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The New York legislature entered its final day of the session Monday, with lawmakers and gay rights advocates continuing to pursue a deal to pass marriage equality legislation in the state Senate.

The New York Post reports that Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R) are closing in on a deal to get the legislation passed. The Senate Republicans had still not decided whether to bring the legislation up for a vote at the end of last week, as some in the caucus pushed for more specific exemptions for religious groups.

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Jon Stewart appeared in his first Sunday morning news show interview ever with Chris Wallace, and unlike his often entertaining and jovial encounters with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, this confrontation was a bit more heated. Wallace opened the segment suggesting to Stewart "you love to take shots at Fox News" and from there Wallace was determined to get Stewart to admit that the mainstream media has a liberal bias. Yet Stewart refused to believe that anyone in the media is as "relentlessly activist" as Fox News.

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