TPM News

Much has been written about the rightward shift of the GOP -- and the fact that Republican deity Ronald Reagan wouldn't fit in with the modern, tea party-fueled Republican agenda. But on the day of the big GOP presidential debate at the Reagan Library, the Los Angeles Times' Mark Barabak offers one of the most succinct looks at the modern myth of Regan as unbending conservative stalwart and the reality of a president that got things done by bending and compromising.

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Hotline Editor Josh Kraushaar tweets: “Bad luck Huntsman: He releases jobs plan on day of speech scheduling snafus, and he loses his voice the day of the debate.”

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty stopped by the Colbert Report Tuesday to talk about what went wrong in his defunct presidential campaign. As you might expect, most of the conversation was fluff:

"I came in third place behind Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul," he said, referring to the Ames, IA straw poll that preceded his exit from the race. "I think that's enough for any one person to endure."

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The Republican Governors Association announced today that a rising star of the party, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, was elected Vice Chairman of the organization while Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was named to the executive committee. RGA chairman Bob McDonnell praised the two in a statement, saying “No governors better exemplify the type of leadership our country needs right now than Governors Chris Christie and Scott Walker.” McDonnell took care to note the pairs ability to close “multi-billion dollar budget deficits” in his remarks.

The organization just lost its chairman, Texas Gov. Rick Perry to the 2012 campaign, moving McDonnell into the top slot. The RGA is a common launch pad for governors seeking to expand their national profile. The move is sure to stir up further rumors of a possible Christie run for the White House. Though Christie has vehemently denied any intentions of entering the 2012 GOP field, he has remained coy about a possible run in 2016.

According to ex-candidate Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney is currently the more electable Republican. “The polls are indicating that Mitt Romney runs a little stronger nationally than Rick Perry at this moment,” he said Wednesday in an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

After a bleak August jobs report, the AP is reporting that job openings are on the rise:

The Labor Department says employers posted 3.2 million jobs in July, up from 3.17 million in June. That is the largest number of openings since August 2008. Typically, it takes anywhere from one to three months to fill an opening.

Several Republicans have dinged the President’s upcoming Thursday Jobs Speech as being thinly-veiled 2012 campaign set piece.

The Des Moines Register reports that a conservative Iowa-based group is taking that to a whole new level.

They’ve launched a website ( with an online petition asking the President not to make any more speeches.

Read more at the link below.

Contraband cell phones in prisons are on the rise and pose a major threat to the safety and security, according to a new Government Accountability Office report.

But the report finds that the Bureau of Prisons hasn't coordinated with state prison officials about the best detection and prevention methods and hasn't developed a system to adequately measure various technologies for keeping cell phones out of federal facilities.

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With the 2012 political money machine now in full post-Labor Day gear, watchdog groups are trying to turn up the pressure on businesses and unions to disclose every dollar they spend on behalf of candidates, even though that kind of transparency isn't required by law.

This is the first presidential campaign after the Supreme Court's Citizen's United decision, which unlocked the floodgates for unlimited corporate and union donations, and the candidates and their supporters are already pushing fundraising to new limits with the creation of the first Super PACs -- super-sized organizations full of unlimited corporate and union cash that is not required to be disclosed to the Federal Election Commission or anyone else.

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