TPM News

Rick Santorum is continuing his staunch opposition to gay rights -- warning that courts have created a "super-right" to sex, which overrides the constitutional right of religious freedom.

In an interview with the Des Moines Register's editorial board, Santorum claimed that same-sex marriage was a threat to religious liberty, alleging for example that government could threaten the licenses of marriage counselors who don't treat gay couples.

"Religious liberty is now trumped because we have now created a super-right," said Santorum. "We have a right [in] the Constitution of religious liberty but now the courts have created a super-right that's above a right that's actually in the Constitution, and that's of sexual liberty. And I think that's a wrong, that's a destructive element."

Also, the paper reports: "Santorum says if 'pursuit of happiness' means 'pursuit of pleasure,' we won't be a country very long."

Jon Huntsman's new groove is going on the attack. The one-time Mr. Nice Guy has been sticking it to Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney over health care, the debt ceiling, and that mysterious $1 million donation in the hopes of tearing down the Romney colossus.

On Friday, Team Huntsman floated a new line of attack: Romney may be too close to the Chinese for comfort.

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Rick Perry's newly released college transcript may not look like much, but graded on a curve he's not doing so bad.

Per the Huffington Post, which obtained Perry's college records, he scored mediocre to lousy marks in a broad array of subjects:

While he later became a student leader, he had to get out of academic probation to do so. He rarely earned anything above a C in his courses -- earning a C in U.S. History, a D in Shakespeare, and a D in the principles of economics. Perry got a C in gym.

Perry also did poorly on classes within his animal science major. In fall semester 1970, he received a D in veterinary anatomy, a F in a second course on organic chemistry and a C in animal breeding. He did get an A in world military systems and "Improv. of Learning" -- his only two As while at A&M.

Taken in the broader context of presidential nominees, however, Perry looks much better. President Bush, Perry's predecessor in the Texas governors' mansion, was a famously "meh" student at Yale University and graduated with a 77 average. His highest grade was an 88 which he received in three classes. He only had one "D" however.

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The state of Wisconsin's recently passed Voter ID law will now result in an increased cost to the state, as Department of Motor Vehicles offices are expanded in order to accommodate the increased demand for photo identification cards.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that state Secretary of Transportation Mark Gottlieb announced the expansion on Thursday, which will leave all current DMV offices still open, increase the total number of offices from 88 to 92, and increase total office hours across the state by about 32,000 per year.

The change is expected to cost $6 million in the first year, and $4 million for each additional year going forward.

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One day after a precipitous slide in the financial markets spurred new speculation about a double-dip recession, President Obama sought to reassure Americans that the country is slowly recovering from its economic crisis with a light at the end of a very long tunnel.

The President pointed to the slightly better than expected jobs numbers the Labor Department announced early Friday as proof of the nation's steady but fragile economic recovery. The unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 9.1 percent as July nonfarm payrolls grew by 117,000 jobs - slightly beating expectations.

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This Tuesday six state Senate recalls will be held in Wisconsin against Republican incumbents, launched in a backlash against Gov. Scott Walker's policies against public employee unions, with the potential for control of the chamber to flip to the Democrats. And for his part, WisPolitics reports, Walker now says that result is "out of our hands" and with the voters.

"I believe if given the facts they're going to make good decisions," Walker told reporters, after a ceremony opening the State Fair in Milwaukee. "Sometimes they're going to be decisions that side with me, sometimes they're going to be with others, but I'm going to respect their decision."

However, Walker stood by his predictions that voters would realize the benefits of his legislation: "I think slowly they will see, and overall the school programs have gotten better."

Several internet service providers across the United States are using an online service to secretly spy on, and redirect their subscribers' online searches, according to a group of researchers at the International Computer Science Institute in Berkeley, California.

The ISPs are monitoring, intercepting, and redirecting the searches that their subscribers are performing through the search boxes in their browsers, say the researchers.

"Instead of returning a legitimate address for,, and (sometimes), these ISPs returned the address of proxy servers," Nick Weaver, one of the researchers, told TPM.

"These proxy servers impersonate the legitimate search engine by transparently forwarding requests to the legitimate search engine, but have the ability to both monitor all queries and change the results."

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The U.S. economy added 117,000 jobs in July, beating analysts' expectations in a better-than-expected report, but still not offering much of a sign that a robust recovery was taking shape. The unemployment rate also ticked down from 9.2% to 9.1%.

Private non-farm payrolls actually increased by 154,000, but a loss of 37,000 government jobs dragged the total figure down.

U.S. stock markets, whose futures had been down following sharp overnight losses in Asian and European markets, opened in positive territory on the news.

Jobs numbers were also revised upward for June and May, noting that the economy added an additional 56,000 and 46,000 jobs in those months respectively.