TPM News

Republican Members of the House of Representatives are set to take on a larger role in setting environmental priorities and funding scientific research in the 112th Congress, in the wake of a blue-ribbon report that once again warned that the U.S. is in danger of slipping in global science and technology.

So it's a bit troubling that some of them don't believe in climate change and still others want to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of some of its power to regulate pollution. And then, of course, there's the guy who apologized to BP on behalf of the government after the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

So, where do those guys stand on environmental policy? Pretty far from where the Administration wants to go, it seems.

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The Connecticut gubernatorial race isn't done yet. Though Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz (D) announced official results on Friday, which put Dem nominee Dan Malloy ahead of Republican Tom Foley by 566,498 to 560,861, Foley has said that he's "not going to take her word for it," and has an announcement set for 1 p.m. ET today on whether he will challenge the results.

The Associated Press had in initially called the race last week, only to take back its call soon after -- and then reinstated its call for Malloy on Friday night.

The Hartford Courant reported Sunday:

Foley said in a telephone interview that he doesn't know yet what decision he'll be announcing at a press conference in the lobby of Goodwin Square, 225 Asylum St. But he said that lawyers have been examining statewide election results from Tuesday's balloting, and that "our analysis" should be completed Monday.

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Newly crowned Senator-elect Rand Paul (R-KY) brought his "message from the tea party" from Kentucky to his biggest national interview since handily winning the election over Democrat Jack Conway last Tuesday. In a nutshell, Paul stuck to his tea party guns in the brief sitdown on ABC's This Week. The movement's moment has arrived, Paul told host Christiane Amanpour. Now it's time to start cutting. Cutting everything.

"Republicans traditionally say, 'Oh, we'll cut domestic spending, but we won't touch the military,'" Paul explained. "The liberals -- the ones who are good -- will say, 'Oh, we'll cut the military, but we won't cut domestic spending.'"

As for Paul and his tea party friends, "Bottom line is, you have to look at everything across the board."

Amanpour pressed Paul for specific cuts, but for the most part Paul preferred to talk in the same sweeping generalizations about cuts that helped win him the election and helped the tea party win the hearts of so many conservatives this year.

"We don't need bigger government," Paul said. "We need to shrink the size of government."

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Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters in Australia on Sunday that he would like to see Don't Ask, Don't Tell repealed in the lame duck session of Congress.

Asked if he saw any prospect for repeal of the policy in the lame duck, Gates replied, "I would like to see the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, but I'm not sure what the prospects for that are and we'll just have to see."

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NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions announced this morning that he will not make a run for Majority Whip and will instead remain head of the NRCC for another term. The announcement means the GOP will avoid a tough leadership fight with Rep. Kevin McCarthy, according to ABC News.

That was soon-to-be Speaker John Boehner's preference, and, as GOP sources predicted just before the election, the GOP leadership is transitioning fairly smoothly into the majority.

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Gates, Obama Urge Repeal Of DADT The Associated Press reports: "Defense Secretary Robert Gates is encouraging Congress to act before year's end to repeal the ban on gays serving openly in the military. It's a position shared by his boss, the president...'I would like to see the repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell,' but I'm not sure what the prospects for that are and we'll just have to see,' Gates told reporters traveling with him to Australia this weekend. Gates has said he would prefer Congress act after the Pentagon releases its study of how repeal would be implemented, which is due Dec. 1.'"

Obama Hails Ties With 'World Power' India The AFP reports: "Obama heaped praise on the country and its Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the end of a three-day trip, which saw a raft of commercial deals signed and agreements to cooperate more closely in agriculture, health and energy. The president said that the principles of democracy and human rights were too often ignored around the world, which was riven with conflicts and misunderstandings between nations. 'For our two countries to be able stand together to promote these principles in international forums, I think can be incredibly powerful and incredibly important,' he said at a joint press conference with Singh."

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This simple pixel diagram displays the human death toll of the Iraq war. Blue pixels are "friendly" deaths (U.S. and coalition forces), green ones are "host" deaths (Iraqi government), gray are "enemy" deaths (insurgents) and orange, well, those are civilians.

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Four days after MSNBC announced it was suspending Keith Olbermann over political donations he had made, Olbermann will be back on the air.

MSNBC President Phil Griffin announced Friday that Olbermann would be suspended "indefinitely" without pay after it was revealed he had donated the maximum amount to three Congressional candidates. Yesterday, he announced Olbermann will be back on the air Tuesday night.

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President Obama and the First Lady are certainly having an active trip abroad. Following the Mrs. Obama's hopscotch moment with Indian students yesterday, the President and First Lady attended a celebration of the Hindu holiday of Diwali at a local school in Mumbai. They even busted out a few moves, participating in a fisherman's folk dance with a group of children. Watch the video below:

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